How to deal with Halloween..

(By Sameen Fahmi)

 

It is quite interesting to know that Muslims are not the only ones who refrain from participating in the celebration of the evil called Halloween. Many Mormons, Hindus, Orthodox Jews, those from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and certain Evangelical groups reject Halloween as well, as they all believe in its factual history- that it is indeed a Pagan holiday, which is associated with devil worship and teaches mischief rather than morals. In fact, Halloween is one occasion which clearly defies common sense and even feels disturbing to the heart, that is- if one’s heart still knows the difference between darkness and light.

As a Muslim what can I do on Halloween instead?

  1. First and foremost, educate yourself and others about the reality of Halloween.
  2. Refrain from believing in any of the superstitions of Halloween.
  3. Refrain from supporting the customs of Halloween financially by not purchasing costumes, decorations and Halloween candies. In a world stricken with poverty and malnutrition, billions of dollars are spent every year on costumes, decorations and candy; and millions of pumpkins are wasted which Allah swt created for nutritional consumption. 
  4. Refrain from participating in any of the rituals of Halloween, including trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, etc.
  5. This includes handing out treats to other children as well; instead, keep the porch lights off and do not open the door.
  6. Although to avoid people ringing the bell it is better to have porch lights off, one could put a box/holder with copies of ‘The Reality of Halloween’ handout at/near the front door. This could even be an opportunity for dawah and copies about Introduction to Islam could aslo be placed for free distribution.
  7. Many Islamic community centers and mosques often arrange family nights on Halloween, with fun events and goody bags to give kids an alternative to going out for trick or treat. Many families also host their own get-togethers amongst family and friends so the kids don’t feel left out knowing their school and neighborhood friends are out celebrating. If our kids do feel that way though, maybe we need to re-attempt at explaining the evils of this holiday.
  8. Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to do nothing! Why not just take 31st of October as any other day or evening, and go about this day doing our routine and usual tasks or activities. It is not necessary to create another tradition to dissolve an old one. If we don’t believe in something, it shouldn’t be an issue to simply ignore it. Also, staying indoors has its benefit of avoiding the nasty exposure to the unsightly scenes and costumes; and more importantly, the accidents and mishaps that happen on this night.

Halloween- When Danger Lurks..

(By Sameen Fahmi)

The literal meaning of the word occult, which goes hand in hand with Halloween, is “secret.” The danger of Halloween is not in the scary things that we see, but in the secret and wicked activities that go on behind the scenes.

Halloween is scary for many reasons, and no- the dark and evil aura created is not one of them! There are actual dangers associated with this night that hurt and harm thousands of people every year, especially innocent children. 

‘Children are twice as likely to die on Halloween than any other day of the year as they trick-or-treat along our streets. That’s according to a 2012 State Farm analysis of more than 4 million fatalities between 1990 and 2010.’ (https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/26/health/halloween-health-risks/index.html)

 

Here are 19 dangers we should beware of:

 

  1. Calories/Sugar: Other than the obvious overload of empty calories from candies, leading to multiple medical issues, overeating harmful amounts of sugar is also a major danger to kids’ health. It is linked with higher risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, and also negatively affects mood and  hyperactivity levels.
  2. Allergies: It is common for kids with food allergies to get sick from candy containing one of the allergens that either they missed on the label, or were secretly present.
  3. Poisoned candy:  Unhealthy consumption and allergies are not the only dangers associated with Halloween candies. Though rare, candy tampering is some people’s idea of a trick. Sewing needles, heroin and other drugs inserted into unwrapped chocolates have been found in Halloween treats for many years now.
  4. Hazardous costumes: Face coverings and masks often obstruct the field of vision, and a long costume poses a tripping hazard, both for its wearer and for others nearby. Riding a bike, skateboard or skate on top of that may even prove to be deadly. Also, dark costumes are less visible to the drivers around, especially at night. Costumes may also become choking hazards when the cape around the neck is pulled from the back.
  5. Road Accidents: Halloween, unfortunately, is another holiday that often results in devastating accidents due to distraction(looking around at decorations and costumes) or drunk driving, or simply due to lack of visibility.
  6. Alcohol: Usually owing it to Halloween parties, irresponsible drinking plays a significant role in certain risks that Halloween poses; either in the shape of inappropriate or dangerous behaviors, or drunk driving.
  7. Fire hazards: People often use sandbag candles and fiery jack-o’-lanterns to decorate their homes and walkways, which in turn often becomes a cause for fires and burn injuries.
  8. Dangerous props: Just like sticks, pointed props such as swords, spears and wands can poke out the eyes of excited children (or adults) gathered close by.
  9. Skin reactions: Adverse reactions to chemicals present inside face paint often cause more pain than excitement! Even the liquid inside glow sticks is dangerous- children who swallow it or accidentally splash it on their faces may even need immediate medical treatment.
  10. Eye injuries: Cheap costume contacts contain chlorine, iron and other harmful chemicals and colorants used to create tints and patterns on the surface of the lens, and uneven, scratchy surfaces that might not be visible could scratch the cornea. Germs could then enter and infect the eye, creating scarring that can damage vision and cause blindness.
  11. Dental trouble: Chewy candies contribute to cavities as they stick to the teeth, but they may also pull out fillings and crowns, and are a nightmare for braces. On the opposite end, hard candies lasting longer in the mouth, contribute to tooth decay, and can even chip teeth if bit into carelessly, or damage brackets and other dental apparatus that hold braces together.
  12. Harmful inhalations: Chemical aerosols used to create costumes and props are highly flammable and can cause severe headaches and breathing issues. They  are also detrimental for the environment due to the compressed gases and/or hydrocarbons they contain, and contribute to global warming.
  13. Knife Injuries: Almost half of Halloween related injuries reported are caused during pumpkin carving. 
  14. Falls: Falling off a ladder or other heights while decorating, ties for second most common injury during Halloween.
  15. Danger for pets too! Halloween candy can be deadly for dogs or cats. Candies are unhealthy altogether, but anything that’s sugar-free, or contains raisins or chocolate can quickly cause seizures, or even organ failure in some animals.
  16. Vandalism: Property crimes and vandalism are at their peak on Halloween night, owing to mostly teen pranks. 
  17. Mental Trauma or Heart Ailments: Severely traumatic events can affect people psychologically and even physically. Sometimes innocent children are traumatized for life after seeing certain intolerable horror scenes, and suffer mental health issues even later in life as adults. Also, extreme fear may negatively impact vulnerable patients, like those who have heart disease; and sudden episodes may also lead to serious heart problems or even instant heart failure.
  18. Kidnapping: One of the most disturbing dangers of Halloween night is perhaps the unthinkable- the actual abduction of a child, often done as a prank; or even worse- the abduction of a child to be offered as a sacrifice by hidden satanic cults who still practice these evil beliefs.
  19. When the horror becomes real: There have been tragic incidents where psychotic individuals and even impressionable youth have gotten inspired by the horror movies and the dark aura that is created around Halloween season, to the point that they have practically taken on those evil roles themselves. Many famous horror movies have actually been proven in court multiple times to be the inspiration behind several heinous crimes and murders.

Truly in the Footsteps of RasulAllah (ﷺ)

By Sameen Fahmi
“Indeed, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. That you [people] may believe in Allah and His Messenger and honor him and respect him [i.e., the Prophet (ﷺ)] and exalt Him [i.e., Allah] morning and afternoon.” (Quran, Surah Al Fath: 8-9)

 Muhammad” is from the Arabic root hamd, and means ‘the one who is very praiseworthy’, and praised very much. 

Allah(swt) Himself praises our beloved Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ), and sends His blessings upon him(ﷺ).

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet(ﷺ), and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (Quran, 33:56)

It is our honor and pleasure to praise, revere, and send salutations upon the Prophet(ﷺ), but we do it just as he himself taught us and approved. We follow in his(ﷺ) footsteps, just like how the first, and the best three generations of Muslims did. We do so every day of our lives, and day of the year alike.

SubhanAllah, Allah(swt) is perfect, and His Deen is perfect and perfectly complete.

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islām as religion.”(Quran, 5:3)

There is no room to add anything to religion, nor the permission to omit anything. And just like that, the status of the Prophet(ﷺ), given to him(ﷺ) by Allah(swt) Himself,  is already the highest possible rank any creation could be given, and there is no room to elevate that further either; as above that rank is only the Creator Himself, and there is no allowance for anybody or anything to even come close to Him and His attributes.

We worship and ask ONLY Allah(swt), and we walk in the footsteps of RasulAllah(ﷺ) to do just that.

“He who obeys the Messenger(ﷺ) has obeyed Allah..” (Quran, 4:80)

“And whatever the Messenger(ﷺ) has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (Quran, 59:7)

“But they who believe and do righteous deeds – those are the companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally.” (Quran, 2:82)

The definition of a good deed is that it is one which has ‘Ikhlaas- purity in intention for Allah’ and ‘Itteba-e-Sunnah- following the way of the Prophet(ﷺ).

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet(ﷺ) said, “Whoever has three traits within himself will find the sweetness of faith: one who loves Allah and His Messenger more than anything else, one who loves a servant only for the sake of Allah, and one who hates to turn back to unbelief after Allah has saved him, just as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” (Muttafaqun Alayh)

Alhamdullilah, Islam is a Deen(a complete way of life) based upon proof, it is that which makes complete sense to the intellectual mind; it is also ‘Deen-fitrah’- the true and natural Deen that hits the heart and our innate nature. Therefore, before we implement a way of worship, we must first verify its authenticity in the original and trustworthy sources. If the Prophet(ﷺ) did it, and the best and closest of His followers- the Sahabah, Tabieen, and Taba-tabieen did it- then we should do it too; otherwise, we must refrain from any such act, and ask Allah(swt) for forgiveness and return to the one and only true Deen- which is preserved as is, in the Quran and Sahih Sunnah.

Let’s go back and renew the fundamentals and the very foundation of our faith- pure Tauheed, as Allah has taught us through His Messenger(ﷺ).

Tauheed as divided in its three core concepts- ‘Tauheed-ul-Khaliq’, ‘Tauheed-ul-Ibadah’ and ‘Tauheed-ul-Asma wa Sifat’ makes it clear that we ask, and thus worship no one but Allah, the Only Creator, who shares none of His unique attributes and powers with anyone, including the ability of being the Only One Who can give and accept. Al Fatihah, the very 1st chapter of the Quran, also lays out this belief clearly- ‘..wa iyyaka na’budu, wa iyyaka nastaeen’- ‘It is You we worship and You we ask for help’.

Even the first pillar of Islam- the Shahadah, the very declaration of faith, entails that ‘we testify that there is no god but Allah(swt), and Muhammad(ﷺ) is His slave and messenger’, who was no other than His devout worshiper, who himself was dependent upon Allah’s mercy.

Today we must remind ourselves of the awakening words of Abu Bakr(RA) at the death of our dear Prophet(ﷺ), which shook the Believers back to the true reality of Tauheed. He said, “To proceed; whoever among you worshiped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshiped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die. Allah said, ‘Muhammad is no more than a Messenger and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful’.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir- Quran 3:144)

 

The sunnah of our beloved Prophet(ﷺ) is staunch Tauheed- he TAUGHT us how to be firm upon it, only to ask Allah and love Him and strive to please Him more than anyone or anything else; and how to only live the Quran-which was his way-the Sunnah. And whatever he did not show us from Deen, is not Islam.

 

In the following dua of Abdullah ibn Mas’oud(RA), as approved and adored by the Prophet(ﷺ), we ask Allah(SWT) to grant us the best of company- that of the Prophet(ﷺ), in Paradise, forever.

“اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ إِيمَانًا لَا يَرْتَدُ وَ نَعِيمًا لَا يَنْفَدُ وَ مُرَافَقَةَ مُحَمَّدٍ فِي أَعْلَى جَنَّةِ الْخُلْدِ”

(Allāhumma innī as’aluka emānan la yartadu wa na’īman la yanfadu wa murāfaqatah Muhammadin fī a’lā Jannat al-Khuld)

“O Allah, I ask you for firm faith that does not revert, and bliss that never ends, and then companionship of Muhammad at the highest (level) of eternal Paradise.” (Silsilah as Saheehah)

The Prophet(ﷺ) mentioned ways that we can be near to him by doing certain deeds in many ahadeeth. Some of those actions are: having good character, increasing in our prostrations, raising two girls to maturity(in Islam), helping the orphans, and staying upon his Sunnah.

“…Whoever revives my Sunnah has loved me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Paradise.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2678)

Let’s do more of what is truly righteous and loved by Allah(swt)- let’s make a habit of loving and sending durood upon the Prophet(ﷺ) regularly and throughout the year; let’s revive his(ﷺ) everyday sunnahs and make them our own daily lifestyle. Let’s adopt his(ﷺ) akhlaaq to be truly the best of creation. 

“Umm Salamah reported: By the One who took the Prophet’s soul, peace and blessings be upon him…The most beloved deeds to him were righteous deeds that a servant performs regularly, even if they are easy.” (Sunan Ibn Mājah 4237. Grade: Sahih)

Which Sunnahs are you going to adopt to attain the company of RasulAllah in Jannah in sha Allah?

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