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Should Muslims, Christians, or Jews Celebrate Halloween?

By: S.L.A. © 2016

Today you will find people of every religious background participating in Halloween festivities around the world. Various cultures use different names for the day, but they all center around it being a day for the dead, by honoring them, and even trying to communicate with the dead. So does it have any significance related to any of the Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism)?

Catholics claim it does, but it has no foundation in the Bible. It was the creation of a Pope long ago in attempts to draw the Pagans to Christianity by adapting some of their traditions, and over time, it stuck and so the Pope declared it a religious holiday.

Regardless of what religion a person follows, they should take their religious practices from their scriptures, not by the inventions of men…not even Popes.

Where did the concept of ‘Halloween’ originate?

According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

“At Samhain, a Pagan Celtic holiday, held on November 1, the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to humankind, and the gods played many tricks on their mortal worshippers; it was a time fraught with danger, charged with fear, and full of supernatural episodes. Sacrifices and propitiations of every kind were thought to be vital, for without them the Celts believed they could not prevail over the perils of the season or counteract the activities of the deities. Samhain was an important precursor to Halloween.”[i]

Note: The Pagans Witches and Wiccans, have their own calendar, which ends on October 31st, and the Pagan New year is November 1st. They consider the time of sunset, to be the start of the next day, thus sunset on the 31st of October is the start of this day known as Samhain.

“Halloween, contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, is a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls’ Day.”

“During the Samhain festival the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes, and those who had died during the year were believed to journey to the otherworld. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favourable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death.”

“In the 7th century CE Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day, originally on May 13, and in the following century, perhaps in an effort to supplant the pagan holiday with a Christian observance, it was moved to November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy, or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween. By the end of the Middle Ages, the secular and the sacred days had merged. The Reformation essentially put an end to the religious holiday among Protestants” [ii]

So, as we can see, it had Celtic Pagan origins, and then the Catholic Pope, who was trying to lure the Pagans to Christianity invented this day to draw them in to their beliefs. Most Protestants abandoned this belief because it had no Biblical origins.

What do the Pagans believe according to their own sources?

On a Pagan Wiccan website, it states the following:

“It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort. Originally the "Feast of the Dead" was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the "wandering dead". Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos. The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with people’s names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person's fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.”

They continue by explaining the origins of the faith:

“The origins of our belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess.   With the discovery of these cave paintings, estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world today.   These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wiccan as our view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it.”[iv]   

Witchcraft is alive and well today in the world, whether people choose to believe it or not.

ABC News did a piece[v] on the Wiccan’s practice of Samhain, and stated:

“In 2008, some 342,000 people identified themselves as Wiccans, up from 134,000 in 2001 and up significantly from 8,000 in 1990, said Barry Kosmin, a sociology professor at Trinity College, and the lead researcher of one of the largest surveys on religion in the U.S., the American Religious Identification Survey.”

Ancient Occult Rituals Done by Witches of the Past and Today

Pentacle SymbolHundreds of thousands of Wiccans today (modern day witches), follow the ancient Celtic rituals, and consider Samhain to be the most sacred night of the year. On this night they will make a pentacle (a circle with a 5 pointed star in it), placing candles around it, and will communicate with their dead relatives. In this Celtic Pagan practice, they state that on this night the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is lifted and they are able to communicate with each other. They also view this night as a time for divination.

The Bible condemns all such related things as falsehood:

Leviticus 19.31 NIV Not not consult the dead

Deuteronomy 18.10 12 NIV About Consulting the Dead

Ecclesiastes 9.5 NIV Dead know nothing

“but you cannot make hear, those who are in graves” (Qur’an 35:22)

“So verily, you (O Muhammad) cannot make the dead to hear” (Qur’an 30:52)

“Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghayb (Unseen)” (Qur'an 3:179)

Refuting the “secular” holiday claim of Christians and Muslims alike, to justify their celebration of Halloween

Every aspect that mainstream society does in relation to Halloween DOES have religious significance to the Pagans. Just because it does not have significance to you, does not mean it is permissible for you to do it. Everything from the Jack-o-lanterns, to apples, bonfires, and black cats, to lighting candles, to dressing in costumes, to trick-or-treating…..has religious significance to the Pagans, and practiced by witches from the old and the new.

The Christians that claim that it is only a secular holiday for them, and that there is no harm in it, they should open their Bibles and read 2 Corinthians, because it does not permit merging false beliefs and practices with theirs.

In medieval Europe, the Catholics adopted the tradition of giving ‘soul cakes’ to the poor who would knock their doors on this night in exchange for a prayer for the dead offered by the poor. Hence were the practice of ‘trick-or-treat’ evolved.

Here is what the Bible says about mixing practices between beliefs:

2 Corinthians 6.15 17 NIV Do not mix belief with disbelief               

1 Corinthians 10.20 21 NIV Sacrifices of pagans                        

Ephesians 6.12 NIV Should be against spirit forces

The Bible states that people should oppose the spirit forces, and not celebrate with them.

Nicholas Rogers, in his book “Halloween-From Pagan Ritual to Party Night”, which details the history and origins of all practices and beliefs related to Halloween and Samhain, explains that these poor beggars would carry hollowed out pumpkins and turnips with a lit candle in it to symbolize the soul of the dead trapped in purgatory. Even the concept of purgatory is not found in the Bible anywhere either.

For a Christian to observe any of the practices of Halloween, the Bible states that they will not obtain the kingdom of heaven if they do so.

Galatians 5.19 21 NIV Idolatry Witchcraft and Sects

Islam shares a similar view that you should never mix practices of non-believer’s holidays and festivals, and traditions with yours.

The Prophet pbuh mentioned the prohibition of imitating disbelievers in great extent, he said: “He who copies any people is one of them.” (Abi Dawud Book 33, Hadith 4020)

So, do you want to be labeled a disbeliever on the Day of Judgement? Is trick-or-treating worth selling your soul in exchange?

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: “When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast.” (Abi Dawud Book 3, Hadith 1130)

It is very clear that because this was something that came before, that is was forbidden, otherwise Allah would not have replaced them. The statement of ‘better days’ shows us that we should leave the other, and adopt the better. When we disobey the commands of Allah and the Prophet pbuh, we are adopting the characteristics of Bani Israel.

Those two days of celebrations were abandoned upon that command. Encouraging an entire culture to give up a tradition is a complicated task, but the determined deterrence of the Prophet pbuh, with the help of Allah, make him successful.

This hadith refutes the claim of those that claim it is permissible to celebrate the traditions of non-Muslim, stating that it has no religious significance, very clearly. There are no indications of any religious significance even mentioned in it, nor was there any worshipping attached to it…but still the Prophet pbuh forbid it.

“You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fasiqun (disobedient to Allah - and rebellious against Allah's Command).” (Qur’an 3:110)

“And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.” (Qur’an 25:72)

Based on that, we shouldn’t even subject ourselves to it – even to witness it.

Hudhaifah (ra) reported: The Prophet (pbuh) said, "By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted". (Tirmidhi in Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 193)

Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: “You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah's Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)" those before you"? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?” (Muslim Book 34, Hadith 6448)

Allah tells us “And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” (Qur’an 5:48)

Therefore, Muslims were banned from celebrating non-Muslim holidays, because it is imitating them, condoning disbelief by not avoiding the evil and enjoining the good, and promoting shirk. If you are promoting shirk, where does that leave you?

Video by Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick regarding Halloween


Other Readings:

Read about the Pagan Rituals explained by the Wiccan Pagans directly, to see how many iconic things and practices they use contradict Biblical and Qur’anic teachings.

History of the Pentacle used by Pagans, explained by Pagans


[i]Encyclopedia Britannica regarding Samhain

[ii] Encyclopedia Britannica regarding Halloween



[v]ABC News

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