Getting Real with Halloween: It’s Not About Candy!
If your child asked to be baptized at Church because their entire class was doing it, would you let them?
What if they gave you a $10 incentive? Now would you agree?
Of course not.
As a Muslim, you’d never feel compelled to do any ritual outside of what Islam allows—especially not being Baptized, as it represents far more than just water.
Sure, baptism may seem like an extreme example, but the principle remains the same.
Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right.
The same can be said for celebrating Halloween in Islam.
Parents struggle with this seemingly innocent holiday of dress-up and candy eating. The most common reason Muslim parents succumb to celebrating is not wanting their children to feel left out.
We all want our children to be happy and healthy. And if it makes them happy, then why not?
It’s wrong to celebrate a custom outside of what Allah has allowed, which falls into imitating the disbelievers.
- It’s wrong to go door to door begging for candy.
- And the worst is the origin of Halloween. Even if it’s not your intent to follow it based on what it means, you’re associating yourself with it by participating. This is directly against everything Islam stands for.
The Excitement of Halloween in Islam
If your child could pick anything from the grocery store, what would they choose?
99% of the time, children will choose candy. Naturally, it tastes good!
Nearly all of us would do the same if it weren’t for the harmful side effects. So, when Halloween comes up, there’s only one thing on a child’s mind – candy!
Children will beg you to let them go trick-or-treating; why? Free candy! This is the nature of children – they want to play and enjoy sweet treats.
Halloween gives children precisely what they want.
And that’s where parents come in. We are there to guide and support them to make better choices.
And as Muslim parents, this means choices that align with Islamic values.
Halloween Costumes in Islam
Dressing up is an excellent way for children to dive into their imagination and expand their creativity.
Chocolates and sweets are occasional lovely treats. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with costumes or chocolate, and it’s all about timing.
Parental guidance allows for accommodating candy and play outside of Halloween. There are 364 other days to play, dress up and eat candy.
Choosing to do it during Halloween means choosing to celebrate Halloween, which means accepting the rituals and practices of paganism.
Three Alternatives to Halloween in Islam
- Set a playdate outside the Halloween festivities. They can dress in costumes and indulge in treats at a more convenient time, like on the weekend or school holiday.
- Load up on candy after Halloween finishes! All the best discounts happen after Halloween anyways.
- Pick a themed costume, and everyone can dress up. This can be a fun theme party for Eid.
Halloween Doesn’t Support A Good Muslim Character
Then, there’s the dark side to Halloween. Fake blood, skeletons, and demonic characters are not part of healthy character-building.
These are symbols of evil, and some are even representations of shaytan. So, to do this even outside of Halloween would not befit the characteristic of a Muslim.
The concept of Halloween is simple: you dress into a costume and go from door to door, asking for candy. In the statement “trick or treat,” there is an implication of a threat, but for the most part, that is not acted on. Some young adults do egg houses or wrap people’s property with toilet paper. However, that is an exception, with the excuse of “it’s allowed because it’s Halloween.”
Nonetheless, the act of celebrating Halloween entails that you must beg. Even if it’s an expected and well-established practice, it is still considered begging. In Islam, there is a specific criterion for those allowed to beg, which is not permitted outside of that. Those that beg must have a dire need – which is not the case during Halloween.
Begging is not lawful except…
Qabisa bin Mukhariq al-Hilali (RA) narrates: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Begging is not lawful except to one of three (people): a man who has become a guarantor for a payment, for whom begging is lawful till he gets it, after which he must stop begging; a man whose wealth has been destroyed by a calamity which has befallen him, for whom begging is lawful till he gets what will support life; and a man who has been struck by poverty, the genuineness of which is confirmed by three intelligent members of his people, so it is lawful for him to beg.” (Muslim Book 7, Hadith 114)
Abdullah bin Umar reports that as Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was sitting on the pulpit and talking about Sadaqa and abstention from begging, he said: The upper hand is better than the lower one, the upper being the one which bestows and the lower one which begs. (Sahih Muslim 1033)
How can we ignore a guarantee for Jannah?
Thawban, the client of the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him), reports him as saying: “If anyone guarantees me that he will not beg from people, I will guarantee him Paradise. Thawban said: I (will not beg). He never asked anyone for anything.” ( Sunan Abi Dawud 1643)
Bottom Line – Halloween in Islam Isn’t Allowed
Halloween in Islam is not a matter that should be taken lightly. The origin of Halloween is based on shirk -associating partners with Allah.
“Halloween has its roots in the ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on the night of October 31. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, believed that the dead returned to earth on Samhain. On the sacred night, people gathered to light bonfires, offer sacrifices and pay homage to the dead.” History.com
Even if you don’t consider yourself “celebrating” Halloween, do you want to associate yourself with rituals that anger Allah? The issue of Halloween in Islam isn’t merely haunted houses and spooky masks. In accepting Halloween, we have directly rejected the first pillar of Islam – belief in Allah Alone. No amount of fun, candy, or peer pressure is worth risking Allah’s displeasure.
In hadith, we learn that there is only one sin that Allah will not forgive: associating partners with Him:
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) report: A bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, what are the two imperatives which lead to Jannah or Hell.” He (peace be upon him) replied, “He who dies without associating anything with Allah will enter Jannah, and he who dies associating partners with Allah will enter the Fire.” (Muslim – Riyad as-Salihin 414 )
Do what’s best for your children
Halloween in Islam makes it clear that it is a temptation we should stay far away from. Even if our children are excited about it, we, as God-conscious parents, should not be afraid to teach them better.
Wanting the best for our children is not always easy.
We still vaccinate them and give them medicine when they’re sick because we know it’s good for them. They may not like it now, but they will understand later it was all for their own good.
May Allah protect our children and keep them on the straight path always. Ameen.