I absolutely love Halloween! “Ohhh she’s one of those not-so-Muslim Muslims…” is what some may think. Nah-Uh. I grew up on prayers 5x a day every day…but being born and raised in a predominantly “white” part of suburban Toronto, I simply learned how to separate culture from religion.
As the only Muslim family in our neighbourhood, my parents expressed the importance of building strong relationships within the community. They taught me to respect and support the traditions of our non-Muslim neighbours, while inviting them with warmth and love into ours.
For my parents, Halloween was all about “community”. A chance to connect with local parents, while fawning over the little munchkins knocking at the door. For me, Halloween was a chance to stay out late with friends on a school night, and score some free candy. Nothing more, nothing less. It was just that simple.
Fast forward to 2016… With two little munchkins of my own…. Halloween has become a complex moral battleground. I’m suddenly bombarded with advice and questions on whether or not I will let my kids participate. “You’re handing out candy?! You should do Halaloween!” For those unaware with the term, “Halaloween” surfaced about 5-10 years ago where parents would buy chocolate/candy for the kids and have a party at home with other Muslim kids on October 31st…..but it became controversial, because you’re basically celebrating Halloween – just at home. Apparently there was also an episode about it on the Canadian television show, Little Mosque on the Prairie.
In the case of modern day Halloween, my family understands that it’s just a fun and frivolous way of participating in the community. I believe that if your faith is strong, there’s no harm in handing out candy to the adorable little batman living next door. But if you choose not to celebrate, that’s perfectly ok too! Do whatever you feel is right for you and your family.
If you’re trick-or-treating this Halloween, my lights will be on. Come on by for treats and a cup of chai.
Sophia is a marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two sons under 3 years old. She’s an avid traveller and tea drinker.
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