You watch all of this in dismay. Knowing that Halloween is about Shirk you want to put your foot down once and for all and not let the kids go out that evening.
Ekram Beshir is a mother of four and co-author of the book Meeting the Challenge of Parenting in the West: An Islamic Perspective.
Munir El-Kassem has served as Imam in London, Ontario in Canada and is a father of five.
These are their tips about how you can deal with the Halloween hoopla:
Tip #1: Find out exactly what Halloween is
Too often, parents themselves are in the dark about the background of occasions and holidays like Halloween. Don’t think this is a trivial matter.
Tip #2: Talk to them at least a few weeks in advance
This is made easier by the fact that Halloween sales of candy and costumes are already underway and the yearly ritual of horror movies being released or shown on television (see our unTV guide) will soon begin.
Tip #3: Rationally explain that we have our own celebrations
Talking about Halloween in the context of a fiery speech against the holiday will not help Aisha or Ali see why they should not participate.
Tip #4: Mention the other dangers of Halloween
Horror stories about razor blades in apples, Ex-Lax laxative given instead of chocolate to trick-or-treaters, or the dangers on the street should also be mentioned, but not made the focus of the reasons why you object to Halloween.
Tip #5: Explain that every one of our occasions has a meaning
Remind your kids that for Muslims, our holidays always have a good, positive meaning.
Tip #6: Emphasize that there is nothing wrong with being different
This is crucial because there will be other occasions later on in their lives when Muslim children must not participate in school activities (for example, theProm.
Tip #7: Meet your child’s teacher to discuss it
Arrange a meeting to discuss Halloween and celebrations or activities you, as a Muslim would not want your child to be involved in. But also talk about what kinds of activities you would recommend or approve of, and discuss Muslim celebrations.
Tip #8: Don’t send them to school the day of Halloween if there’s a party
If the teacher has scheduled a class Halloween party, simply don’t send Ali or Aisha to school that day.
Tip # 9: Take them to a Muslim friend’s house on Halloween
Don’t make this a special occasion. If you regularly meet with other Muslim families and your children are friends with their children, visit them or invite them over just to play or hang out. This can take their minds off the Halloween hysteria happening outside.
Tip #10: Take them out for a doughnut
Or anything else Halal, just so you are not home when trick-or-treaters come knocking, which will reinforce the Halloween hysteria.
Tip #11: Turn off the lights, close the windows and educate your neighbors
Turning off the lights will give the message this home isn’t really interested in Halloween. Closing the windows may be necessary, since throwing eggs at someone’s home who hasn’t given candy is not uncommon on Halloween.
Educate your neighbors about Halloween by posting a brief polite note about why you are not celebrating the occasion. Shaema Imam for example, on one Halloween, posted a decorative note on her door telling neighbors she does not support the pseudo-satanic glorification of evil as represented by Halloween. However, she said it is excellent that there is neighborhood cooperation to promote children’s safety on Halloween (there were efforts in her area to ensure kids could trick-or-treat in safety).
Tip #12: Spread the word: two to three weeks in advance, organize a seminar
This would be for Muslim moms, dads and their young kids. There should be a presentation on what exactly Halloween is and what Muslim parents can do about it. There are Christians who also feel similar way about Halloween, you can organize this event together.