While we are waiting for Christmas to come, it seems impossible to ignore Halloween in the meantime. It is full of fun and excitement which is why it is so popular among many people around the world. But, have you ever thought about why you are celebrating this day? Or, as a Muslim is it compatible with your Islamic values? Let’s find out.
Halloween which is held on 31st of October annually marked “the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter”  for the pagan Celts of Samhain. They also believed that on this day “spirits from other worlds (such as the souls of the dead) were able to visit earth…and roam about” .
Therefore, they would wear some costumes and light bonfires to keep the ghosts away. They would also worship their idols and pagan Gods on this celebration.
Just the same as Celtics who worshipped their pagan Gods on this day, the Christians who entered the British Isles, tried to adopt this celebration with their tradition and replaced the pagan Gods with their Saints. So, Halloween turned into the day on which the Christian saints were commemorated, and became the All Saints Day. However, “the customs of Samhain survived anyway, and eventually became intertwined with the Christian holiday” .
In 1966, Anton LaVey who founded the false cult of “Satanism” declared Halloween to be one of its official holidays. Besides, the inappropriate and sometimes horrifying costumes that are used on this celebration include signs or symbols that are identified with Satanism.
However, since Halloween has been practiced long before this association was made, we cannot accuse anyone who is celebrating Halloween of being a Satanic. But, it is necessary to be aware of the ones who are taking advantage of this celebration for their ends.
Islam Respects Traditions, not Superstitions
As we have seen above, Halloween roots back to the rites and rituals of ancient pagans of Celtic origin and then continued to be celebrated by Christians along with some adaptations. While nowadays no one thinks about the reason for this celebration or the rituals practiced on it anymore (such as trick-or-treat, wearing scary costumes, etc.), they still represent the superstitions in which Celtic pagans believed.
As Muslims, if we want to find out about Islam’s attitude toward Halloween, we should look at Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUHHP) way of reacting to such traditional celebrations. At the time of the emergence of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUHHP) respected most of the traditions and all monotheistic religions that existed at that time. However, he tried to reject the superstitions that had no rationale behind them and were based on false beliefs. So, he decided to wipe away the superstitious traditions that were practiced by pre-Islamic Arabs through informing them of their falsehood.
Of course not. However, there are three points that we should observe when we are having fun:
Many reports reveal the dangers that threaten people, especially children, on the Halloween’s eve; these include car accidents which have a high rate on this night . As Dr. Rebecca Parker, chairwoman of the American College of Emergency Physicians' board of directors, puts, “ This is a time when we see an increase of kids being hit and killed by cars” .
Also, according to the tradition of this day, people would wear scary costumes to send the ghosts coming from the other world away. But, as a person who lives in the twentieth century, we know that such a belief is entirely superstitious and irrational. So, what is the use of scaring other people and our children with a weird and sometimes disgusting look? Doesn't it result in a psychologically adverse effect?
As Muslims, we should always be observant of our actions, even if we are having fun. It is essential to keep in mind that our activities, whatever they are, do not prevent us from what Allah has commanded (prayer (Salat), fasting (Sawm), etc.). Nor do they invite us toward committing what He has forbidden (e.g., drinking alcohol, dancing, participating in inappropriate parties, observing modesty, etc.)
Islam always recommends us to be aware of what we are doing and think about our intention before any action. Even when we are having fun, there should be something behind it that makes it worthwhile. When enumerating the characteristics of a faithful person in Quran, Allah also mentions those who avoid vain actions (23:3); i.e., those activities that have no use for us and would only waste our time.
As mentioned above, Halloween roots back to Celtic pagan’s worship of their idols and many Gods. It can be argued that today we don’t celebrate Halloween with the intention of worshiping idols or performing a Satanic holiday. The rituals are still the same and still represent the Celtic culture and tradition – as we said Christians had a very limited influence upon Halloween and the way it is celebrated- which was polytheistic.
A Muslim’s life should mirror his beliefs in every aspect. So, if an action even in appearance, represents what is against Islam or far from its teachings, then it should be avoided by Muslims.
So, if you are a Muslim and wonder what to do on Halloween’s eve, make sure that you know enough about the reasons behind this celebration. And make sure it has no danger toward yourself or others, you do not commit any action against Islamic laws (e.g., drinking alcohol, wearing immodest clothes, etc.), you don’t waste your time in doing them, and you won’t contradict your belief in Islam through looking like an atheist.
When facing a question like this, you may find a group of people who try to justify that Islam is not a religion of peace. They usually refer to terrorist attacks by pseudo-Muslims and conclude that Islam is not a peaceful religion. Peace in Islam is a value and an ultimate goal of life; may it be personal, social or worldwide.
But let’s see what is Islam’s viewpoint about war and if it approves terrorism.
Before discussing the main topic of this article, we have to understand what peace in Islam means. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, “peace is a state of tranquility or quiet such as:
Freedom from Civil Disturbance
A state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.
Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
Harmony in personal relations.” 
Therefore, there are two types of peace defined above; social and individual. Islam not only talks about individual peace, but also all of its rules are based on logic to shape a peaceful society. In this article, we would focus on social aspects of peace in Islam, either within one country or on what goes on between different countries.
Allah emphasizes in the Quran that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is a mercy towards all human beings: “We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations” (21: 107). It can be understood from this verse that a worldwide mercy, peace, and tranquility is the goal of sending Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with the religion of Islam.
Imam Ali (AS) in his letter to Malik al-Ashtar (his appointed commander in another country) wrote: “Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them. Do not behave with them like a barbarian, and do not appropriate to yourself that which belongs to them. Remember that the citizens of the state are of two categories. They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in kind. They are subject to infirmities and liable to commit mistakes.” 
He specifically notes that we should be tolerant of people who have no bad deeds against Muslims and the religion of Islam.
In social relations The Quran defines Muslims as moderate people; “Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves. “ (48:29)
By referring to the above verse and by going through its interpretations we find out that “Muslims should be harsh on infidels. Who are these infidels? Muslims should not be harsh on anyone who does not believe in Islam. They should behave kindly towards those who are not opposed to them, who do not plot against them, and who do not seek to wipe out their nations - even if they follow other faiths.” While at the same time “Muslims should be harsh on those who fight against Islam and their identity, nationality, country, independence, honor, dignity, traditions, culture, and values.”  Therefore, it is completely rational for Muslims to defend themselves while their values are being attacked, and it has no contradiction with their peaceful nature.
In recent years we have seen different terrorist groups such as Taliban, Al-Qaida or ISIS, who under the name of Islam, have committed terrorist attacks in different countries. They refer to verses of the Quran that are about the holy struggle (Jihad) and use those verses as a permission for their terrorist acts.
However, their interpretations of the verses of the holy struggle (Jihad) are not correct. The fact is that war is prohibited in Islam, and Muslims are not allowed to start a war against other countries for the sake of conquest or even for spreading the religion of Islam. Jihad is allowed for Muslims only if:
They are attacked by other countries, and their lives and properties are at risk.
If other Muslim territories are under attack by oppressive governments.
If other powers attack Muslim territories to annihilate Muslims or their religion.
“In the holy struggle (Jihad), violating or infringing on others' rights is not allowed. Killing other people under baseless pretexts is not part of the holy struggle (jihad). Neither is killing those who are not Muslims. Such acts are not allowed in the holy struggle (Jihad). Not all those who believe in religions other than Islam should be treated with harshness. Rather, only those who are opposed to Islam, your independence and territorial integrity, and Islamic culture, identity, and values should be treated with harshness. If carried out under these conditions, the holy struggle (Jihad) is considered as a divine order and will bring about glory to nations.” 
It is only under these conditions that Muslims are allowed to fight against the oppressors. And even when they are allowed to defend themselves and enter the war, they have to make sure to follow the rules of war. They are not allowed to kill the children or elderly of the infidels, or to poison the cities of the infidels. 
They have to tolerate the refugees, and if they betray them, they will face punishment . Also, they should observe the rights of the captives of war :
“Allah does not forbid you from dealing with kindness and justice with those [polytheists] who did not make war against you on account of religion and did not expel you from your homes. Indeed Allah loves the just. Allah forbids you only regarding those who made war against you on account of religion and expelled you from your homes and supported [the polytheists of Makkah] in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them—it is they who are the wrongdoers.” (60: 8-9)
In conclusion, Islam is a religion of peace for Muslim people and peaceful people. It is not a passive religion to sit and watch all the cruel things that are happening in the world and smile at it. Islam is the life map for those who wish to reach human perfection which is only achieved by obeying all of its rulings. No matter you call it Islam or something else, but every sane human being, by studying The Quran and searching about Islam, will understand that Islamic rules have been designed to make the society a safe place for human growth.
The Qur'ān says, “Indeed, God enjoins justice and kindness.” (16:90) Given that the context of this verse pertains to the responsibilities of human beings toward their society, the term ‘justice’ should be interpreted as ‘social justice’. Thus, God has ordered human beings to uphold justice.
'Allāma Ṭabāṭabā'ī has said that social justice denotes treating each member of society in accordance with their merit and ensuring everyone receives their rights. This social quality is an obligation that responsible individuals must observe 
The establishment of social justice is one of the most important teachings of divine prophets ('a). Hence they strived to explain its essence and scientific principles, inculcate its spirit within humanity, and compel its acceptance as a cornerstone upon which earthly life depends. Anyone with basic knowledge of religious teachings understands that the establishment of social justice enlivens God's religion.
Thus, until justice prevails, true religion remains incomplete. Similarly, until universal social justice takes root, the fulfillment of religious and legal obligations remain unattained. 
The absence of social justice historically has been the cause of most revolutions. Noble-minded reformers have consistently started their movements with the of establishing social justice and eradicating discrimination. The Prophet (ṣ) said that “Justice in social struggle is like a guardian shield which protects people from oppression; and it is like a stable paradise that perpetually bestows its blessings” 
Although it is necessary for everyone to respect one another's rights, it is more important for a leader [to respect human rights]. In this regard, Imām 'Alī ('a) told his commanders that neglecting people's rights equates to ruin . Additional, Imām Riḍā ('a) said that the Household (Ahl al-Bayt) of the Prophet (ṣ) are guardians and protectors of the believers' rights 
However, it is not solely leaders who must foster social justice; Islām has said both leaders and followers possess rights. Social justice can only thrive when everyone's rights are upheld. Imām 'Alī ('a) said that mutual respect between leaders and followers results in the elevation of righteousness, the revelation of religious principles, and the solidification of just characteristics.
One of the most important characteristics of social justice is meritocracy, which means entailing the assignment of roles and responsibility based on individual merit. Justice mandates that the most qualified individuals are given precedence for opportunities and higher positions.
Imām 'Alī ('a) instructed Mālik Ashtar to appoint individuals to different positions in accordance with their merit (Nahj al-Balāgha, letter to Malik Ashtar). The Prophet (s) emphasized that it is treachery to appoint less qualified people to positions of authority 
Another characteristic of social justice is paying attention to the rights of the poor and needy. Injustice is a contributing factor to poverty, which in turn breeds various hardships. Luqman said that of all the bitterness he had encountered, poverty was the harshest. The Prophet (s) said that poverty, pain, enmity, and fire are never trivial , and that poverty represents a significant form of death 
These reports show that leaders have heavy responsibilities, because the poor need justice more than other people.
When oppression becomes prevalent in society, leaders should not merely distance themselves from it; they ought to stand up and fight for the rights of the oppressed. In fact, all individuals must resist remaining silent when others endure oppression, as passivity equates to complicity in oppression.
Furthermore, not only oppression destroys everything, including culture, economics, wisdom, ability, talent, innovation, etc. but also it is the biggest obstacle to establish justice within society. Imam 'Alī ('a) asserted that ending oppression is a prerequisite for justice.
It has been reported that one day a rich man and a poor man were sitting next to each other. The rich man pulled his face at the poor man and adjusting his clothes. Observing this the Prophet (ṣ) asked the rich man “Are you afraid that some of his poverty will be transmitted to you?” 
The Prophet (s), both in words and acts, paid attention to this important characteristic. For example, when a woman from the Banī Makhzūm tribe committed theft and the people asked the Prophet (s) to judge, her family, who were still influenced by the customs of the class system, considered execution of punishment to be shameful for their aristocratic family. As a result, they started looking for ways to prevent the punishment. To this end, they coerced Usama ibn Zayd, whom the Prophet (s) held in deep affection, to intercede with the Prophet (s) and halt the punishment. However, scarcely had Usama begun to speak when the Prophet (s) grew angry and said no one should stop him from implementing God's laws. Usama promptly sought forgiveness. Later that day, the Prophet (s), aiming to dispel any perception of favoritism, addressed the incident in a speech. He said “Throughout history, tribes and nations declined and vanished due to favoritism in justice’s administration. When both an aristocrat and a commoner committed the same crime, they would punish the commoner while granting impunity to the aristocrat. I swear by the God in whose hands hold my life that I shall spare no one from punishment, regardless of their social standing, whether high or low” 
On a different occasion, when Umm Hānī, Imām Alī's sister, went to see him, the Imam gave her twenty dirhams. When she asked her non-Arab bondswoman about her received amount, the female slave said she had also been given twenty dirhams. Incensed by this equality, Umm Hānī confronted her brother, Imam Ali, in protest. In response, the Imam sent her back with these words: “Go back, and may God forgive you. In the Book of God, we have not found any preference for Ishmael over Isaac” 
A leader must avoid treating benevolent and malevolent individuals equally, as this engenders injustice. Imām Alī ('a) instructed Mālik Ashtar to avoid treating benevolent and malevolent individuals equally, because doing so could discourage the benevolent and embolden the malevolent. Instead, everyone should be rewarded according to their deeds.
- (Al-Mīzān fī Tafsīr al-Qur'ān, vol. 24, pp. 243-246).
- (Al-Ḥayāt, vol. 2, p. 97).
- (al-Ḥadīth – Riwayāt-e Tarbiyyatī, vol. 2, p. 265).
- (Nahj al-Balāgha, letter no. 79)
- (Musnad al-Imām al-Riḍā, ('a), vol. 1, p. 136).
- (Nahj al-Balāgha, sermon no. 216).
- (Al-Ta'ajub, p. 59).
- (Nahj al-Faṣāha, saying no. 252)
- (Nahj al-Balāgha, saying no. 163).
- (Majmu'at Waram, vol. 1, p. 214).
- (Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī, vol. 5, p. 152).
- (Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 40, p. 106).
- (Nahj al-Balāgha, letter no. 53).