Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloweein In Islam

Do Muslims celebrate Halloween? How is Halloween perceived in Islam? To make an informed decision, we need to understand the history and traditions of this festival.

Religious Festivals

Muslims have two celebrations each year, 'Eid al-Fitr and 'Eid al-Adha. The celebrations are based in the Islamic faith and religious way of life. There are some who argue that Halloween, at least, is a cultural holiday, with no religious significance. To understand the issues, we need to look at the origins and history of Halloween.

Pagan Origins of Halloween

Halloween originated as the Eve of Samhain, a celebration marking the beginning of winter and the first day of the New Year among ancient pagans of the British Isles. On this occasion, it was believed that supernatural forces gathered together, that the barriers between the supernatural and human worlds were broken. They believed that spirits from other worlds (such as the souls of the dead) were able to visit earth during this time and roam about. At this time, they celebrated a joint festival for the sun god and the lord of the dead. The sun was thanked for the harvest and given moral support for the upcoming "battle" with winter. In ancient times, the pagans made sacrifices of animals and crops in order to please the gods. They also believed that on October 31st, the lord of the dead gathered all the souls of the people who had died that year. The souls upon death would dwell in the body of an animal, then on this day the lord would announce what form they were to take for the next year.

Christian Influence

When Christianity came to the British Isles, the church tried to take attention away from these pagan rituals by placing a Christian holiday on the same day. The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, acknowledges the saints of the Christian faith in much the same way that Samhain had paid tribute to the pagan gods. The customs of Samhain survived anyway, and eventually became intertwined with the Christian holiday. These traditions were brought to the United States by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland.

Halloween Customs and Traditions

  • "Trick or Treating": It is widely believed that during the Feast of All Saints, peasants went from house to house asking for money to buy food for the upcoming feast. Additionally, people dressed in costumes would often play tricks on their neighbors. Blame for the resulting chaos was placed on the "spirits and goblins."
  • Images of bats, black cats, etc.: These animals were believed to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Black cats especially were believed to house the souls of witches.
  • Games such as bobbing for apples: The ancient pagans used divination techniques to foresee the future. There were various methods of doing this, and many have continued through traditional games, often played at children's parties.
  • Jack-O'-Lantern: The Irish brought the Jack-O'-Lantern to America. The tradition is based on a legend about a stingy, drunken man named Jack. Jack played a trick on the devil, then made the devil promise not to take his soul. The devil, upset, promised to leave Jack alone. When Jack died, he was turned away from Heaven because he was a stingy, mean drunk. Desperate for a resting place, he went to the devil but the devil also turned him away. Stuck on earth on a dark night, Jack was lost. The devil tossed him a lighted coal from the fire of Hell, which Jack placed inside a turnip as a lamp to light his way. Since that day, he has traveled the world over with his Jack-O'-Lantern in search of a resting place. Irish children carved out turnips and potatoes to light the night on Halloween. When the Irish came to America in great numbers in the 1840's, they found that a pumpkin made an even better lantern, and this "American tradition" came to be.

Islamic Teachings

Virtually all Halloween traditions are based either in ancient pagan culture, or in Christianity. From an Islamic point of view, they all are forms of idolatry (shirk). As Muslims, our celebrations should be ones that honor and uphold our faith and beliefs. How can we worship only Allah, the Creator, if we participate in activities that are based in pagan rituals, divination, and the spirit world? Many people participate in these celebrations without even understanding the history and the pagan connections, just because their friends are doing it, their parents did it ("it's a tradition!"), and because "it's fun!" So what can we do, when our children see others dressed up, eating candy, and going to parties? While it may be tempting to join in, we must be careful to preserve our own traditions and not allow our children to be corrupted by this seemingly "innocent" fun. When tempted, remember the pagan origins of these traditions, and ask Allah to give you strength. Save the celebration, the fun and games, for our 'Eid festivals. Children can still have their fun, and most importantly, should learn that we only acknowledge holidays that have a religious significance to us as Muslims. Holidays are not just excuses to binge and be reckless. In Islam, our holidays retain their religious importance, while allowing proper time for rejoicing, fun and games.

Guidance From the Quran

On this point, the Quran says: "When it is said unto them, 'Come to what Allah has revealed, come to the Messenger,' they say, 'Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following.' What! Even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance?" (Qur'an 5:104)
"Has not the time arrived for the believers, that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed to them? That they should not become like those to whom was given the Book aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors." (Qur'an 57:16)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The virtues of Soorat al-Ikhlaas, Soorat al-Faatihah, Soorat al-Fath, Soorat al-Naba’

Soorat al-Faatihah (the Opening), soorah #1

Soorat al-Fath (the Victory), soorah #48

Soorat al-Ikhlaas (the Purity), soorah #112

Soorat al-Naba’ (the Great News), soorah #78

The aayah “La ilaaha illa anta subhaanaka innee kuntu min al-zaalimeen (None has the right to be worshipped except You [O Allaah]. Glorified (and Exalted) are You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers)” is from Soorat al-Anbiyaa’, Soorah 21, aayah 87.

A word of warning: The book Dalaa’il al-Khayraat contains da’eef (weak) and fabricated ahaadeeth, and prescribes things that are contrary to the truth, so it is not right for anyone to rely on this book.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Islam Condemns Violence

"Not only did the terrorists hijack planes and destroy life, but they also hijacked the peaceful religion of Islam and split the brother and sisterhood of mankind."
(Yusuf Islam)

The sanctity of Human Life

Al- Quran 6:151  
“…take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.”

Islam considers all life forms as sacred. However, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live. The Glorious Quran says:

The Last Messenger and the Message of God

All praises and thanks, be to Almighty God, the creator of all that exists. The greatest thing that God has offered humanity is that he provided them messengers chosen from among the best of their kind.
He disclosed and conferred upon man the Revelation to guide everyone towards the truth, the straight path, as well as warn and deliver people from falsehood and evil, such that they would alone seek His pleasure and satisfaction in pursuit of Paradise.

Since time immemorial, God sent prophets after prophets, messages after messages --- dating from Noah to Abraham, Moses, Jesus (Peace be upon all of them) and culminating with the seal of them all, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), who came to confirm not only the previous messengers but especially that of the universal message which calls people to worship the Creator alone.

Al- Quran 2:285 

The Apostle believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in God, His angels, His books, and His apostles. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His apostles." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."

Virtues of Friday (Jummah Mubarak)

Praise be to Allah.

Friday has many distinguishing features and virtues that Allah has bestowed upon this day and not others.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah and Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah led those who came before us away from Friday. The Jews had Saturday, and the Christians had Sunday. Then Allah brought us and Allah guided us to Friday. So there is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and thus they will follow us on the Day of Resurrection. We are the last of the people of this world but we will be the first on the Day of Resurrection, and we will be dealt with before all others.”

Narrated by Muslim, 856.
Al-Nawawi said:

Al-Qaadi said: The apparent meaning is that it was obligatory for them to venerate Friday but this was not stated clearly; the matter was left to their own reasoning… But they did not manage to work it out and Allaah did not guide them to it. It was enjoined clearly upon this ummah, and was not left to their own reasoning, thus they were blessed with it … It was narrated that Moosa enjoined Friday upon them and told them of its virtues, but they disputed with him and argued that Saturday was better, and it was said to him, ‘Let them be.’ Al-Qaadi said: if there had been a clear command, their arguing with him would not have been valid, rather it would have been said to him that they were going against the command. I say: it may be that that was clearly enjoined upon them but they disputed as to whether it was something they had to adhere to or they could change it to another day; they decided to change it to another day and they erred greatly thereby.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How i came to islam

May Allah’s peace be upon you!

My name’s Brunsheska, I am a 22 years old married woman from the USA. I have being asked about Islam in several occasion, and the best answer I came to learn now, is that Allah made his way to me one way or another. I would assume that the first time I truly became very curious about Islam was 11SEP2011, everyone was saying all kind of things about Islam and Muslims including my family members, some of them were talking very bad about Islam and Muslims because of what they heard. I didn’t have the mean to do more research about it at that time. My father wasn’t a big Muslim fan at that time especially with his military background that somehow influenced his interpretation to Islam. Simultaneously, I was affected as well with the media, and I started hating Islam and Muslims with no reason except of what the media wanted me to believe.
Yet, I knew deep in my heart that it can’t be only way of telling a story, and Islam can’t be the cruel. So I started making more research in at a college level, which helped me somehow get a subjective point of view about Islam, contrary to what my classmate were saying, when they ask me about the reasons I want to learn about that religion? I simply answered them that feeling confused about Christianity and I have not find in it the stability that I am looking for.
Couple years later, I’ve met a young Muslim man online his name was Adil and he seemed to be a good person, walked me through Islam believe and answered almost all my questions about Islam. Two years after that I married him, and we are a happily married Muslim couple now. Some thinks that he influenced my beliefs and others thought that I reverted just because of him, that is what they say, but my I’ll say that Allah had his way to communicate with heart, mind and soul, and if god decide to give credit for me and for other person for me to find true answers that I haven’t find anywhere else, who else is better to get them than my husband. After all, who’s better get that and do more good deeds in this life, because I am not looking to live in a small mention in paradise, I want that big castle with the big land, to live happy with my loved husband happily ever after.
To all the other sisters from different religion, don’t get influenced with what you see, read and hear, use your brains and listen to your heart and open your eyes widely; because of Allah is closer to you than you think. Allah said:” you might hate something and it’s good for you”, and Islam is for peace and those people who conducted those attacks and do all the bad things around the world are representing themselves and not a great religion such Islam.
Thanks to god!


Related Posts with Thumbnails