Can We Celebrate Holidays?
What are the real meanings of these "Holy Days"?
Like April Fool's Day? St. Patrick's Day? 4th of July?
Some days are truly "Holy Days" (the word "holiday" means a "holy day") while
other days celebrated might be patriotic or commemorative days.
An example of holidays; would be any associated with any religion's form of
worship, such as: Christmas; Easter; Yaum Kipur; St. Patrick's Day; Halloween;
New Year's and Valentine's Day
Commemorative days are: Labor Day; Thanksgiving Day; Mother's Day; Father's
Patriotic Days are: Memorial Day; July 4th; Washington's Birthday; Lincoln's
NOTE: Muslims were told by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, they have two
(2) occasions for celebration: Eid Al Fitar and Eid Al Adha (end of Ramadan
and end of hajj).
Halloween has evolved and been influenced by a number of different cultures
and religions, the most important of which are paganism, the Romans, the Celts
(the people of Ireland, Scotland, Britain, Wales) and Christianity.
However, almost all of the traditions surrounding Halloween as we know it
today can be traced back to the Celtic Day of the Dead, a pagan holiday.
Samhain was the name of the Druid god of the dead. The Druids were a religious
order amongst the Celts. On this day, they would try to appease their Lord of
Death. These Druids also believed that witches rode on broom sticks and that
ghosts were the cause of supernatural occurrences.
The belief was that on the eve of the Celtic New Year (which for them was
October 31), the souls of the dead people roamed the land of the living. The
Devil, spirits and witches were also believed to be moving about and at the
height of their power.
Halloween was also a time for MAJOR Shirk (making partners with Allah).
There were games and rituals which involved fortune-telling Young people, for
instance, would try to see what their marriage prospects were using omens like
apple pairings that were thrown over their shoulders, or nuts being burned in
The Pope, in the eight century, decided to Christianize this pagan holiday
since he wanted people to abandon the occult and idolatrous practices
associated with it, and made November 1st All Saints' Day or All Hallows'
(Holy) Day. This is a day to remember all of the Christians who died for their
faith. October 31 was then considered All Hallow's Eve, and this word later
evolved into the modern day Halloween.
Some reasons behind certain Halloween traditions:
Most of the Halloween activities participated in today can be traced back to
occult symbolism. For example:
1. Dressing up in costumes: This was done so that the spirits of the dead
would not recognize people. The Druids would actually sacrifice animals and
sometimes humans and dress in these animal skins. Wearing these clothes, they
would engage in fortune-telling.
Another explanation is that today, children who dress up represent these
2. Trick-or-treating: The Druids would go from house to house on October 31
and demand specific types of food. If their demands were not met, it was
believed the people and their homes would be cursed with trouble, sickness and
death. Prosperity was promised to those who generously donated.
Today, when kids are offered treats by neighbors, this goes back to the time
people would offer food to appease the spirits.
3. Jack-o'-lantern: This started off as a legend associated with a man of
Irish origin named Jack who supposedly enjoyed playing pranks on the Devil.
After his death, Jack did not go to Heaven or Hell and therefore, had to
wander the earth carrying a lantern which gave him some light to see where he
was going. Pumpkins that were hollowed out and had candles lighted inside did
the job and they were also supposed to scare evil spirits away.
Some consider them as symbols of torches of Halloweens past.
Advice to Muslims for Halloween:
1. Avoid it, it's a night of evil. Shaytan (Satan) is our open enemy and we do
not play with evil.
2. Trick-or-treating is really kids begging for candy. Prophet Mohammed (peace
and blessings be upon him) disliked and discouraged begging.
3. Remember that Satanic movements have engaged in dangerous acts, like rape
and kidnapping on Halloween.
Dealing with Halloween: 13 tips for parents
So your kids have come home and begged you to go trick-or-treating on
Halloween night (October 31). They can't wait for all of the bubble gum,
lollipops and jawbreakers, not to mention dressing up in a Pokemon or witch
costume like the rest of their friends.
You watch all of this in dismay. Knowing that Halloween is about Shirk (making
partners with Allah) and Shaytan you want to put your foot down once and for
all and not let the kids go out that evening.
These are their tips about how you can deal with the Halloween hoopla:
Tip #1: Find out exactly what Halloween is
Too often, parents themselves are in the dark about the background of
occasions and holidays like Halloween. Don't think this is a trivial matter.
Once you find out why Halloween is celebrated, you will think twice about
getting your kids involved.
In fact, any parent who is trying to raise his or her child as a God-conscious
individual will object to the celebration of the occasion. Just spend an hour
at the library looking it up in the encyclopedia.
If you discuss it with your kids using correct information, and they sense
that you know what you are talking about, they may even agree with you about
not participating in the ritual.
Tip #2: Talk to them at least a few weeks in advance
This is made easier by the fact that Halloween sales of candy and costumes are
already underway and the yearly ritual of horror movies being released or
shown on television will soon begin.
So the atmosphere is right to sit Aisha or Ali down to have a talk about
Halloween. Talking to them now as opposed to on the morning of October 31 will
give them some time to think about it too, and get used to the concept of not
having to go trick-or-treating just because their friends are.
Tip #3: Rationally explain that we have our own celebrations
Talking about Halloween in the context of a fiery speech about how "these
non-Muslims are so evil" will not help Aisha or Ali see why they should not
Your histrionics will only blind them to reality. Instead, explain that every
group or culture has its own celebrations, and we, as Muslims have our own.
Halloween is a pagan celebration. But when Eid comes, that is our celebration.
Do not condemn those who celebrate Halloween. Rather, explain what it is
calmly, point out its dangers, and let your kids think about it.
Tip #4: Mention the other dangers of Halloween
Horror stories about razor blades in apples, Ex-Lax laxative given instead of
chocolate to trick-or-treaters, or the dangers on the street should also be
mentioned, but not made the focus of the reasons why you object to Halloween.
Tip #5: Explain that every one of our occasions has a meaning
Remind your kids that for Muslims, our holidays always have a good, positive
For example, at Eid-ul-Fitr, we celebrate our joy of fasting during the
blessed month of Ramadan, which is a time we strive to get closer to Allah and
be better Muslims.
Halloween, on the other hand, is celebrated partly as a reminder of Shaytan,
who is evil, and from whom everyone should avoid and seek refuge in Allah
Tip #6: Emphasize that there is nothing wrong with being different
This is crucial because there will be other occasions later on in their lives
when Muslim children must not participate in school activities (for example,
This does not mean permanent exclusion from all school and/or peer activities,
but it means that as Muslims, they can take what is good, but they also have
to learn to reject what is bad in a wise manner.
Tip #7: Meet your child's teacher to discuss it
Arrange a meeting to discuss Halloween and celebrations or activities you, as
a Muslim would not want your child to be involved in. But also talk about what
kinds of activities you would recommend or approve of, and discuss Muslim
Volunteer to come in during Ramadan, for example, to present and bring food
for the kids during a talk about what is the month's significance for Muslims.
Tip #8: Don't send them to school the day of Halloween if there's a party
If the teacher has scheduled a class Halloween party, simply don't send Ali or
Aisha to school that day.
However, before you do this, you should write a short letter or note to the
teacher and/or principal explaining why your son or daughter will not be
attending school that day.
Tip # 9: Take them to a Muslim friend's house on Halloween
Don't make this a special occasion. If you regularly meet with other Muslim
families and your children are friends with their children, visit them or
invite them over just to play or hang out. This can take their minds off the
Halloween hysteria happening outside.
Tip #10: Take them out for a doughnut
Or anything else Halal, just so you are not home when trick-or-treaters come
knocking, which will reinforce the Halloween hysteria.
Tip #11: Turn off the lights, close the windows and educate your neighbors
Turning off the lights will give the message this home isn't really interested
in Halloween. Closing the windows may be necessary, since throwing eggs at
someone's home who hasn't given candy is not uncommon on Halloween.
Educate your neighbors about Halloween by posting a brief polite note about
why you are not celebrating the occasion. Shaema Imam for example, on one
Halloween, posted a decorative note on her door telling neighbors she does not
support the pseudo-satanic glorification of evil as represented by Halloween.
However, she said it is excellent that there is neighborhood cooperation to
promote children's safety on Halloween (there were efforts in her area to
ensure kids could trick-or-treat in safety).
She also expressed her support for the collection of money for Unicef, which
children sometimes do when they go trick-or-treating. Imam didn't get any
comments, but no one egged her house either, she says.
Tip #12: Spread the word: two to three weeks in advance, organize a seminar
This would be for Muslim moms, dads and their young kids. There should be a
presentation on what exactly Halloween is and what Muslim parents can do about
While this is being discussed, kids should be allowed to play together under
the supervision of a couple of baby-sitters. This will serve to inform moms
and dads, while giving kids a chance to have fun (and perhaps set up an
invitation so they can avoid Halloween night craziness-see Tip #9)
Tip #13: Keep your promise about Eid
For a number of Muslim youth who have grown up in North America, Eid is
sometimes just another day, with parents not even taking a day off work.
In other cases, while parents may take the day off, the ritual is the same:
get up, put on new clothes, drive to fancy hall, pray, not understand what's
really going on, hug Eid Mubarak, go back home, eat "ethnic" food, get money
(as Eid gift). Period. It's no wonder our kids' eyes light up when they see
Christmas lights, brightly wrapped gifts and hear of Halloween fun and treats.
Make Eid special. Don't just hype it up during Halloween to convince the kids
not to participate and then break your promise.
On Eid, give the kids candy, take them out to dinner or an amusement park.
Organize a party and invite their friends over. Arrange for them to have a
gift exchange. The possibilities for Halal fun are there. We owe it to our
kids, if we want them to stay Muslim and to be proud of it, to celebrate the
occasions in life that really matter to us, like the two Eids.
''A person who calls another to guidance will be rewarded, as will the one who
accepts the message.'' [At-Tirmidhi, authentic]
«من دعا إلى هدى كان له من الأجر مثل أجور من يتبعه» رواه الترمذي، صحيح
Author: IslamTomorrow.com & Yusuf Estes