Witches on brooms, dracula, evil powers on Halloween night: this is the stuff of Halloween nightmares many Muslims think.
We often assume that magic does not exist and that cultural rituals associated with it (i.e. Halloween) have little real meaning or significance. The reality is quite different.
Magic is real. It does happen. Magic is declared haram by Islam. God speaks of magic in the Quran in a number of places. (See Quran 20: 56 to 76 and 2:102).
Magic has been used in the past and is still used by people for different purposes.
A modern day example of witchcraft
"Sara" is a Muslim sister living in the Hartford, Connecticut area. Prior to becoming Muslim five years ago, she had dabbled in a number of religions. She has been a Catholic, Baptist, born-again Christian, into New Age religions and the occult. She also practiced witchcraft for a short period of time.
Sara explains that all of this experimentation was part of her quest to find the Straight Path.
In an interview with Sound Vision, she noted that today's witches, who often call themselves Wiccans following the religion of Wicca, where they also have their own rules and books.
She adds that a number of witches start off believing the magic they are practicing is for the good. Good witches are called "white witches" practicing white magic.
But the potential for evil is always there. Sara recounted one incident where a friend of hers who also practiced witchcraft got into a disagreement with her husband and wanted him to have an accident because he had hurt her. That day, both she and her husband got into an accident.
Sara explains that even when using witchcraft to do good, the potential for evil is there."Satan can whisper good things," she says."Sometimes you think you're doing good, but you feel like you're in control. To me that's very dangerous because we know God is in control.
"With witchcraft..you're not at peace because you are always trying to be in control," she adds.
Muslims seek God's protection against all sort of magic. Since Halloween casts magic and whitcrafts in a harmless way, it is important for Muslims to stay away from it.