Is Halloween a religious festival? Can Muslims celebrate it?

People around the world are very much concerned about Halloween as it is preeminently quite a popular festival. Great efforts are made to make it extremely tempting, scary, with horrifying and frightening costumes and makeover.

Now, what is Halloween? Where did it all start from? In order to understand this custom, we need to dig the history of this tradition. After great search we came to know that Halloween which is also known as Al Hallow Eve or All Saint’s eve actually is the modern version of the ancient Celtic Harvest festival called Samhain which was celebrated on the harvest days and beginning of the winters by the Pagan people that belong to the northwestern parts of Europe, Scotland, and Ireland.

Many believe these customs are associated with Samhain and are continued to be practiced every year on the night of 31st October. Today Halloween customs are thought to be prejudiced by Christian belief and practices derived from it. In many parts of the world, Halloween is celebrated on 31st October while some celebrate it on 1st November.

However, it is also said that Halloween is the evening before Christians’ Holy days. All Hallows Days on 1st November and all Saint Days on 2nd November. And 31st of October is marked as a holiday. Halloween which is basically known as ALL HALLOW EVE means a holiday before all Hallow’s Day. The 3-date’s observance is collectively known as Allhallowtide during which they praise and honor the saints and pray for all the recently departed souls.

When we studied further we came to know that Celtic was a nation who believed in many Gods and among them was Samhain, who they think was the God of death. They used to worship and sacrifice for him. His power remained active in their minds. They used to offer him things thinking that he would let him meet their dead ones and their gifts to him will salvage their friend in eternal rest. Wearing horrifying and scary costumes and gathering along the fire hearth partying and dancing during the fall was also originated from them and later with the passage of time this tradition was taken up by the Romans.

However, some believers also believe that Halloween began as a Christian holiday and it has no root to ancient Samhain festival.

Some of the Halloween activities include trick or treating, (children wearing horrifying costumes visit from house to house asking for treat using the phrase trick or treating), wearing Halloween costume, attending Halloween parties lighting bonfires carving pumpkins into jack-o-lantern, telling or watching horror stories, playing pranks and apple bobbing games. Beside this, there are several other customs and tradition that vary from nation to nation. Many Christians around the world attend the churches and several light candles on the graves of the dead.

However, it is clear that it is a Christian festival. It is neither a party celebration nor it has any roots with Muslims. Muslim adopted it from the Christians. Now it is up to the Muslim nation to search for it and decide the right path.

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