If there’s a festival that must be so obviously un-Islamic, it’s got to be Halloween. This whole celebration circles around those things which would, ordinarily, scare you, disgust you and be clearly evil in nature – everything that’s the opposite of our beautiful deen, Islam. People encourage their kids to go around ‘trick or treating’ – give us some sweets or we’ll throw eggs at your doors and windows (very respectful way of behaving and bringing up kids). Celebrating festivals like halloween is haraam.
Although it may be viewed as harmless fun, there are many people who are not in the ‘halloween spirit’, who don’t want to be bothered at the door several times in one evening and who definitely don’t want to be tricked. Halloween has got to be one of the daftest annual celebrations around.
As a Muslim, I don’t want to see muslim kids going around dressed up like ghouls and ghost and witches – ugly representations of wickedness. There should be no respect for anything that is bad, even in jest. And it’s important to keep this line clear, especially for kids. Other than that, there is the added problem of imitating the kuffaar. We are Muslims and we distinguish ourselves as being Muslims and following Islam. There is no need to follow the tradition of another religion, especially if we have been Commanded by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) not to. Allah Has Prescribed for us the festivities we should follow and there is no need to add to this by following something else. If celebrating halloween or any other festival was allowed, it would have been stated in hadith or the Qur’an.
“Whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Abu Dawud]
“You must keep to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs; cling to it firmly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every new matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misleading.” (Bukhari)
The following hadiths are examples of how Muslims should not imitate the actions of non-Muslims.
Al-Bayhaqi reported in his Sunan that Anas Bin Maalik رضي الله عنه said: “When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم came to Medina, the people had two holidays from the days of Jahiliyyah.” He صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: “When I came to you, you had two days which you used to celebrate in Jahiliyyah. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has replaced them for you with better days, the days of slaughter (Adhaa) and the day of fitr.”
This is not about Muslims being segregated from society but more the opposite. This is about Muslims standing up and being identified as Muslims – not as though they have some confused fusion of identities. Islam is clear and Muslims need to be also. By being identified as Muslims, what Muslims stand for, what Islam stands for, you will gain respect from other Muslims, gain understanding and respect from non-Muslims and start to create societies where Muslims can be seen to have their place.
What should Muslims do?
Muslims need to stop engaging in non-Muslim festivities, parties, the giving of presents, sending cards, giving greetings. This is not Islamic so don’t have one foot in Islam and one foot in something else. Instead, celebrate Islam – you have two Eids and can make the most of this. Be devout and upstanding Muslims that non-Muslims can respect for their Islamic values and morals and beliefs. If you don’t then what do you stand for?
Muslims need to come to terms with an Islamic identity and the fact that we are ordered by Allah not to imitate the kuffaar – the non-Muslims. If anything, the non-Muslims have much to gain by imitating Muslims and learning from Muslims. We should be the role models, not the other way round. How will non-Muslims learn the errors of their ways, if we imitate them? Also, if we imitate the non-Muslims in the things they do, then where do you draw the line? The fairest and most just way is to not engage in festivities that are not Islamic.
Explain to non-Muslims about Islamic values and how we celebrate on Eid. They are not aliens and will understand.
Muslims… you need to act like Muslims and BE Muslims, following Islam and showing everyone the beauty of Islam.
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