Should Muslims Celebrate Halloween?
It seems innocent enough. Cute little children dressed in witch, ghost,… costumes go from house to house and ask their neighbors for candy. So why do religious Muslims, Christians, and Jews believe that Halloween should not be celebrated?
Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve was a time for celebration for the ancient Celts that lived in Britain and Ireland before the time of Prophet ‘Isa (A). The Celts had a priestly class of people called the Druids. The Celts believed in many gods and goddesses and they had many bizarre practices which included human sacrifices.
The Celts celebrated the Festival of Samhain, the god of the dead, on October 31st. November 1st was the beginning of the Celtic new year. The Celts believed that this was the time of transition from the ‘life’ of spring and summer to the ‘death’ of winter. The Celts also believed that the veil separating the living from the dead was thinnest on October 31st. They believed that the evil spirits and souls of the dead passed through the barrier and entered the world of the living on October 31st.
To ‘celebrate’ the Festival of Samhain, the Druids allowed no fires to be lit. The Druids would then proceed to make a huge fire in which they burned people and animals. The Druids would use the remains of their victims to predict the future. Embers from the fire would be used to light fires on all the hills to appease their sun god. Each Celtic head of the household would take part of the fire to light a fire in the house to protect the household for the upcoming year.
In addition, each Celtic Household would leave “treats” to appease the evil spirits on October 31st to avoid any evil “tricks”.
So how did this Celtic celebration pass from ancient times to the 21st Century?
When Christianity spread throughout Europe, many of the Celts converted to Christianity. The Christian Church chose to make a new holiday to appease the newly converted Celts. The Church declared November 1st as All Saint’s Day, a day to celebrate the martyrdom of those who were good. Unfortunately, this did not stop the celebration of Halloween. Christianity helped those who celebrated Halloween to redefine this festival. How?
People began the practice of dressing up as evil spirits and ghosts and going from door to door asking for “treats”. If they were not satisfied with their “treats” they would perform some “trick” on the household. Christianity introduced the idea of the devil as the lord of darkness. While he was ordinarily feared, people believed that he was their friend and helper on October 31st. The people believed that the devil would help them predict the future on that night.
So what do Muslims say? Halloween may seem to be a “cute” holiday, however its roots are all evil. It was originated by people who believed in many gods and transformed into what it is today in the realm of Christianity.
With all this knowledge, should Muslims celebrate Halloween?
(More information available at: http://www.soundvision.com/info/halloween/)