I figured I would post on here about something I have been dealing with for years now, basically since I converted to Islam – figuring out what the fine line is between what is permissible and what is not. One of the biggest challenges in my case is Holidays practiced by people (whether they be religious or not).
Coming up next Monday is what used to be my favorite day of the year – Halloween. As a child, I loved dressing up, looking at how houses were decorated and, of course, getting candy. As an adult, the only thing I cared about was dressing up. I will admit that now, at the age of 27, the only thing I miss about not partaking in anything Halloween is the dressing up. yes, a grown woman who loves to play dress-up! Why? I don’t know. Is it a means of escapism? Is it just the clothing and the makeup? Is it something creative I can let out? I have no clue what it’s all about.
A fellow Muslim recently asked me if I was doing anything for Halloween. Enter the ever-so-present dilemma – Do I dress up or not? Halloween is the one day a year where I can dress up, go out in public and not be looked at as a complete nutter. I didn’t partake last year and I won’t be partaking this year because of my own religious beliefs. Salem and I were actually discussing this over dinner last night and I stumbled upon a post from another blogger dating back to 2007. It’s quite a lengthy post but it goes into more detail than what I will do here, which is give you the basic rundown of my reasoning.
Halloween is a Pagan holiday. Islam is a monotheistic religion (just like Judaism and Christianity – FYI) and within our own religion, we cannot participate in anything that contradicts our faith and religious teachings (ie One God vs Many Gods). By partaking in the dressing up and trick-or-treating and all that, we’re only saying that we agree with the belief – no matter how much the practice now is different from what the real Pagans practiced and still do. Let us not forget that one (if not the) biggest sins in Islam is to associate partners to Allah (ie polytheism). Also “Whoever imitates a nation is one of them.” (Abu Da’oud)
That being said, I don’t practice or observe anyone else’s religious holidays either although it does make things complicated on my end because I always hope my family understands that it’s nothing personal and that I do miss the opportunity to visit them on what is a special occasion to them. Instead, I try to spend time with them around their holidays but not on the days themselves. While Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all faiths of the book and believe in one God, we certainly don’t practice or believe the same religious holidays. If my family wants to come and visit me on any of our two Eids, then they are more than welcome, but I don’t expect it of them as they aren’t Muslims.
It’s all very hard to explain and can get complicated because holidays involve traditions and emotions. In the end, it comes down to 2 important questions: “Is this event something that I believe in? It is something that goes against my religious teachings and beliefs?”. I believe that there is no God but God, that we worship none but him and that we are accountable to him at the end of our time on this earth. When I converted, I made the decision to follow my religion as best I could and to submit to the will of Allah, therefore I cannot participate in religious observances which I do not believe in and only participate in the holidays dictated by my religion.
On a lighter note, I won’t be dressing up on the 31st but I have already put in a request with Salem that we have a costume party for my 28th birthday. Yayyyy!!!! I’ll probably be playing dress-up at home in the meantime!