Diversity in America is one of its greatest strengths. People from all over the world have brought in their distinctive cultures, traditions and experiences, adding to the beautiful mosaic that is America. I am blessed and grateful to live in this country, while preserving my own unique religious values. I consider myself to be fully integrated in society as a responsible citizen,and fortunately that does not mean that I have to surrender my values or religious identity.

In the autumn season, alongside the sight of beautiful bright leaves falling with the cool breeze, we see many places from homes to television programs and my children’s schools decorated with ghosts, witches, jack-o-lanterns, and so much more. At this time, this begs the question of how Halloween is relevant to me as an Ahmadi Muslim in America.

Firstly, Islam defines two main purposes of life. Muslims must focus on worshiping God to develop a close relationship with our Creator, and secondly, we must take care of the creations of God. Actions which do not enable us to fulfill these goals are considered unnecessary.

In addition, Islam is very strictly rooted in monotheism and we do not partake in anything which diverges from that. If we look at the origins of Halloween, we find that it is rooted in paganism and was celebrated by Celtics over 2000 years ago. They used to believe that the boundaries between the living and dead are narrowed and the dead come back to harm the living. Thus, the living would engage in rituals to frighten the dead and ward off evil spirits. Although Halloween is considered to be good harmless fun, the supernatural ideas behind it which suggest that someone other than God possesses superhuman powers, are in contrast with my belief in the One Omniscient God.

Not only that, but Islam also teaches us to live a modest life and not spend extravagantly. Our holy book, the Qur’an states, “And give thou to the kinsman his due, and to the poor and the wayfarer, and squander not thy wealth extravagantly” (Holy Quran, 17:27). Every year, billions of dollars are spent on candy, costumes, and lavish Halloween décor. At the same time there are countless charitable causes to which we can donate our money such as homelessness, education, climate change, and so on. In these difficult times, our resources can help make a difference to people who are displaced or economically disadvantaged, and we can make ourselves useful to the world in this way.

I hope this has provided insight into why Ahmadi Muslims may not be seen participating in the upcoming Halloween celebrations.

Fareha Hamid

Ashburn

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