As we all know, human life is on an extremely fast pace of progress that is made possible by human expeditions and exploration. But no one can say for sure that all the achievements of this progress have been used on the righteous path. Some of these explorations are known as a forward leap in human history just like dynamite that has been used to ease miner’s jobs. But the same invention has also been used as a deadly weapon against thousands of innocent humans. Obviously, Islam did not miss this point about human life and gave advice to all Muslims in this regard: “Islam forbids eating, drinking and consuming things that are harmful to human health. The more harmful it is, the more severe the prohibition of its cause and effect, to the extent that it reaches the level of sanctity.” (1)
Now, we are going to talk about narcotics, the basis of all of the soothing medicine that are used as one of the essential materials in the ancient times surgery but is also used by heedless people for entertainment at the expense of decomposing their body and brain.
Narcotics are the most common cause of death and disability in the world that exacerbates many diseases, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, infectious diseases, cancer, bone diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hearing problems, and oral diseases. In every 8 seconds, one person in the world dies of diseases caused by narcotics; fortunately, with the advancement of science and technology and optimal information, the level of awareness of people about the effects of narcotics on their health has increased. We will see what advice Islam gave us on the issue of using narcotics for mortal pleasure.
As we said before, Islam forbids consuming materials that are harmful to human health to the extent that even on some occasions it reaches the level of taboo. Imam Khomeini, the first leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran said: "Eating something that is harmful to human beings is forbidden."(1) It is obvious that the criterion for being haram (forbidden) is to have harmed, and it does not matter whether this harm goes through eating or in some other way. Drugs is one of the things that harm human health, but is it harmful to the extent that makes it forbidden to use?
Many physicians and practitioners are following the opinion that narcotics has significant harms and have written numerous books on the dangers and diseases caused by narcotics, especially smoking. Therefore, it can at least be claimed that the harmful effects of smoking to human health vary based on the person and the situation. On this basis, some jurists have considered the extent of the forbiddance of narcotics to the level of absolute religious prohibition. Some other leaders have not seen the extent of the damage to the extent that could lead to an absolute ban on smoking. For example, if a person has heart disease and his doctor strictly forbids him from smoking, smoking is forbidden for him. (2)
Not only Imam Khomeini, but also Ayatollah* Makarem Shirazi said: It is forbidden to eat or drink something that is significantly harmful to human beings. Smoking cigarettes and other types of tobacco is also haram if it has significant harm, but the use of narcotics is absolutely haram (3), whether in the form of injection or smoking or eating or in any other ways; also the production, sale and assistance in spreading it, is forbidden. (3)
Grand Ayatollah Sistani gave guidance to Muslims in this matter: If smoking and tobacco -though in the future- causes significant harm to the body to the amount that is feared by the wise person, it is haram for being safe from the major harm caused by it. There is no problem with moderate smoking, however. (4)
As we think about this matter reasonably, we surely would understand an important point:
1. Why should we harm ourselves for a little mortal entertainment?
2. What price should we pay for this kind of entertainment?
Just think and you will see how important abstaining from narcotics is. Live safely in the light of the Quran.
- Majma Al-Masayel (third volume – page 65)
- Islamic Laws (Second volume – page 600)
- Jame Al-Masayel (First volume – page 578)
- Islamic Laws (Second volume – page 600)
- The official site of Ayatollah Sistani
* Ayatollah is an honorific title for high-ranking Twelver Shia clergy in Iran and Iraq that came into widespread usage in the 20th century.
For modern people who live in this era and feel that their smart devices can solve all of their problems, it may be a question that why they should follow a religion like Islam, while they are pros.
It is true that the power of human intellect and thought is useful in different dimensions of his life such as: choosing friends, finding a spouse, selecting a job, or making decisions for going on a trip, or more importantly standing against unrighteousness and oppression. In all of these minor decisions, human beings, using their intellect, make plans and take it into action.
Some people believe that the human being is capable of managing his life, solely by using his intellect. But the fact is that human being is still an unknown creature, and the more we become acquainted with him, the more undiscovered talents and capabilities we find within him. Now, could a creature that is still unknown to himself and his kind, be able to dominate all aspects of his creation, and manage his life into reaching the happiness? Can human, who is still unknown to himself, realize what is good or bad for him and find his way towards happiness or misery?
Putting the individual aspects aside, the human is a social creature, with social needs, and in his social life, he would face lots of problems and issues. And because he is a human, his happiness, misery, ambitions, his criteria of good and evil, and his path is mixed up with other people’s happiness, misery, ambitions, criteria of good and evil, and other people’s paths. Therefore, he is not able to choose an individual path towards happiness and let others alone. But he should find his salvation and happiness in a path through which all people can reach eternal happiness.
And when it comes to the afterlife and eternal life of the soul, it becomes even more complicated as human intellect has no experience of the unseen. Therefore, the need for a life structure or an ideology comes up; a coherent, comprehensive plan that aims to guide human into perfection; a framework that shows the right and wrong, good and evil, goals and tools, pains and cures, responsibilities and duties.
All the guidelines mentioned above are delivered to human beings by God’s messengers in a framework called religion (Shari’ah).
Some people think that in the modern era that human beings have reached high levels of technology, religion is no more efficient for them. But the fact is that modern technology cannot supersede human’s need for religion for a better life. Humankind needs religion in both social and individual life. Religion is also required to make a bond between man and the creator.
It is not easy to point out all the benefits that religion can have for human beings. Some people can point out the disadvantage of religion that in some areas limits their freedom. But it is important to keep in mind that religion, like any other system of law, is not there to give complete freedom to people.
In all societies, laws are there to make the life safer and easier for all the people in the society. This safety may not be reachable but to limit the freedom of those who wish to break the social norms. Therefore, the rulings of religion will sometimes limit the freedom of individuals for the benefit of the whole society.
Most of the people who do not believe in religion, and as a result do not believe in the afterlife will at some point feel absurd and void; even those who are very successful in their worldly life. The main reason for that is the contradiction that non-religious people feel inside them. It is the contradiction between their great and unlimited talents and desires with the limited and mortal life of this world.
But when people have faith in the afterlife, and that nothing in this world has been created vain and pointless, they will try their best for the unlimited success, part of which they may gain in this world, and the whole in real life: “The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, but the abode of the Hereafter is indeed Life (itself), had they known!” (29: 64)
When people follow a religion and believe that their religious lifestyle, and following the rules and frameworks of their religion will lead them toward eternal bliss, their reactions towards problems and challenges of this life will be different. Of course, everyone in this world will go through hardship and sorrows. But they are only to strengthen them for the higher levels of life.
Therefore, those who believe in God and the afterlife, when facing a problem, instead of fearing and mourning on it, will choose a more logical way to tackle their problems. Because they know it is a test for them to improve their spiritual and even their worldly position.
People who keep denying religion and its power to make human successful and powerful in every aspect will spend a whole life in bewilderment. They may reach great positions in this life, but because they do not have an eternal goal, they will feel absurd at some point. Living life with the no belief in eternal life will lead people to absurdity, depression, meaningless life and finally it may lead them to suicide.
However, you should keep in mind that only saying that “we are religious” is not going to make us successful. Maybe that is why followers of many religions do not reach the great success and peace. Achieving the eternal bliss and success through religion is only possible by obeying and following every single rule that religion has prescribed for us. Otherwise, it will be like going to the GP and getting a prescription without using it. Would we ever gain our health back?
Therefore, as narrated from our prophet (PBUH&HP) To be a religious person is to believe in that religion by heart, and to manifest the belief by tongue and to practice the rules of religion in full. 
- The Quran, Chapter 29, verse 64
- Esfahani, R. Mu’jam-e Mufradaat-e Alfaaz-e Quran, p. 22
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.