Is Halloween permissible to celebrate? Please explain light of Hadith and Quran.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuh.
Before we discuss the impermissibility of Halloween, we’d like to give a brief background to facilitate the readers understanding.
History of Halloween
The origin of Halloween can be traced to an ancient pagan festival, known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in), celebrated by Celtic people over 2,000 years ago.
By the 9th century the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted the older Celtic rites. It is widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday.
David Skal, an American cultural historian states, “It was a calculated move on the part of the church to bring more people into the fold.”
Trick or treating, one of the main activities of Halloween, dates back to ‘souling’. Poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. The practice was later taken up by children, who would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food, money and ale.
The early Celts would also dress up in masks and costumes symbolizing the evil spirits in an attempt to please them. The costumes were also used in an effort to blend in with the evil spirits, as to not be singled out and haunted for the coming year.
Halloween is a billion-dollar holiday, second only to Christmas. According to a survey conducted by the NRF, the total spending for Halloween 2016 is expected to reach $8.4 billion. U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34, with more than 171 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year.
Islam is not the only religion which rejects this holiday. It is also opposed by the Jehovah’s Witness, Jews, and Hindus. Although we do not require validation from other religions, their rejection of this holiday also proves how sacrilegious it is.
Celebrating Halloween in any form is impermissible and against the teachings of Islam.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“The one who imitates any people, is amongst them.”
The famous Sahabah, Abdullah ibn Amr (رضي الله عنهما) adds:
“Whoever resides in the lands of the non-Arabs and then celebrates their religious occasions (such as Nairuz and Mihrajan – Persian holidays) and emulates their practices and thereafter dies in such a condition, shall be raised with them on the Day of Judgement.”
Islam strongly forbids Muslims from wasting their wealth and involving themselves in futile acts.
Virtually all Halloween traditions are based either in ancient pagan culture, or in Christianity. From an Islamic point of view, they all are forms of idolatry (shirk). As Muslims, our celebrations should be ones that honor and uphold our faith and beliefs. We should not participate or condone such evil customs as Halloween.
It is the duty of every Muslim parent to educate their children to refrain from practicing falsehood and not to imitate others in their futile customs and festivals. If the children are taught to be proud of their Islamic heritage, they themselves will, if Allah wills, abstain from Halloween and other non-beneficial celebrations.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.