Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween Mubarak?

Everywhere you find Muslims gathered, you will usually find food.

At Sunday school lunch today, there was a wide variety of goodies as usual. In addition to the usual pizza, some of the Pakistani sisters brought food.

I noticed the cookies and brownies and immediately took a "few." Then I noticed something strange on the cookies: there was an image of a witch riding a broom!

Apparently, someone had them left over from Halloween.

It got me to thinking about secular holidays and the holidays of other faith groups when I was a Jewish child.

I was always bugging my Jewish grandmother:

"Bubbe? Why don't we have a Christmas tree?"

"Bubbe? Will we be getting Christmas presents?"

"Bubbe? Can we make Easter eggs?"


My bubbe ... she had a simple response. She would tell me, "That's what they do. We're Jewish. We don't do that."

"Oh," I would respond. It was that simple for me.

But I can imagine how difficult it can be for some Muslim kids. And the Muslim parents don't want their children to feel left out from their friends, or feel weird or different at the school. So, they give in, figuring, "what can it hurt?" Yet others respond that they feel it is a "learning opportunity" for them and their families.

Why can't the parents just explain to their children that "We're Muslims. We don't do that. That's why they do?"

Is it that difficult?

If you're a parent, please tell me how you handle these situations. If you're not a parent, and have a respectful opinion, you can comment, too!


Stacy K. said...

We didn't celebrate Halloween growing up as conservative Christians either. My mom just explained the reasons behind the holiday and how we didn't agree with them. It didn't really bother me growing up except when kids got to dress up for school and we didn't. I wouldn't say I was scarred by being different.

iMuslimah said...

My family is non-muslim and celebrate all the holidays.....I plan on explaining to my son, just how your bubbe explained things to to you, and as he is able to accomdate information, I hope inshaallah to explain why as muslims we dont celebrate stuff like this.

I dont ever want him to feel left out. Especially as a young child as their feelings are SO tender. That would slay me.

Halloween doesnt concern me so much, its christmas that Im worried about. For some reason, kids just love the idea of santa claus, and it is EVERYWHERE.

Good post sis!

mezba said...

Someone asked me why I don't celebrate Halloween as it is very secular.

I still don't have a coherent response.

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Mezba:

It has become secular, but actually it is not. See Wiki. You can lay that explanation (or rant, lol) on them:

AlabasterMuslim said...

Growing up with a family of Jehovahs Witnesses, it was simple like you said. Thats what THEY do, not us.(oh yeah, and because its pagan.)

zanjabil said...

I tell my boys the same thing my parents told me, "We don't celebrated non-muslim holidays, our holiday is the 2 Eids". They don't go to public school, so they don't feel like they are "missing" anything.

UmmBadier said...

My understanding about the "just secular" argument is that it becomes a bida because it is practiced the same time every year, not because of the intention behind it. So celebrating a graduation or other onetime thing is fine, but same celebration same time each year is not ok---and I gotta go--inshAllah I will come back for the valentine story!