Halloween, with its spooky costumes, “playful” pranks, and sweet treats, has become a popular celebration in many parts of the world. Islam, as a religion, has its own set of beliefs and practices that guide our lives, including what is deemed permissible and what is not. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the prohibition of Halloween in Islam and gain a deeper understanding of how we can keep our kids engaged from an Islamic perspective.
Know its origin
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to ancient Celtic traditions and the festival known as Samhain. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter in the Celtic calendar. It was believed that on this day, the boundary between the living and the dead blurred, allowing spirits to roam the earth.
During Samhain, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off these spirits. They also believed that the spirits could provide insight into the future. Over time, as Christianity spread and merged with existing traditions, Samhain evolved into what is now known as Halloween.
From an Islamic perspective, the concern arises due to the association with practices that contradict Islamic teachings, such as idolatry, witchcraft, and divination. Islam strictly prohibits engaging in shirk, which is the act of associating partners or worshiping anything other than Allah.
Teach your child that Islam does not
- Glorify the dead
- Encourage children to go asking for “treats” from strangers
- Glorify wearing devilish costumes
- Believe in dead coming back to Earth and roaming as spirits
Make your belief in tawheed strong
Simetines, kids don’t need elaborate explanations about rulings and fiqh matters. Start with tawheed. Teach your child that we submit to Allah as Muslims, and not to anything that contradicts what Allah has ordained. Taking part in Halloween’s “Trick or treats” may look fun and innocent on the outside but have strong elements of shirk and paganism associated with them. Teach them that we do not associate ourselves with such customs even if they are “just for fun”. Reinforcing our belief in tawheed and submitting to Allah is a strong starting point in helping kids understand why we don’t follow the crowd or do things to please friends or peers.
Provide exciting alternatives
When it comes to providing fun alternative activities for kids instead of Halloween, there are several options that Muslim families can consider. Here are a few ideas:
Fall-themed Family Outings:
Take advantage of the beautiful autumn season by going on nature walks, picnics, or visiting pumpkin patches and apple orchards. These activities allow children to enjoy the festivities of fall and appreciate Allah’s breathtaking creation without directly participating in Halloween.
Engage children in acts of kindness and community service. They can volunteer at local shelters, donate food to those in need, or participate in charity drives. This instils the values of compassion, empathy, and giving back to society instead of knocking strangers’ doors asking for treats.
Gather around a cozy bonfire in your backyard and share stories while enjoying marshmallows and hot beverages. Organize storytelling sessions where children can learn about Islamic stories, heroes, and role models. This not only educates them about their faith but also provides entertainment and moral lessons.
Help your children create scrapbooks where they can collect and preserve memories of fall experiences and reflections on Allah’s blessings.
Arts and Crafts:
Visit an arts and crafts store and create autumn-themed decorations with your kids. You can find inspiration on platforms like Pinterest. This activity allows children to express their creativity while embracing the beauty of the season.
As parents, it is our responsibility to raise our children with a strong Islamic identity and to teach them the values and principles of our faith. By providing alternative activities that are in line with Islamic teachings, we can ensure that our children grow up with a clear understanding of their faith and are shielded from practices that may lead them astray.
Let us focus on engaging our children in activities that strengthen their connection to Allah, highlight the beauty of Islamic culture and history, and encourage kindness, compassion, and service to others. By doing so, we can create an environment that nurtures their spiritual growth and instills in them a love for their religion, while still allowing them to enjoy the joys of childhood in a manner that is consistent with Islamic values.