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Birthdays

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Question:

What is the ruling regarding birthdays? Our muslims greet one another on this day and feel insulted if one does not greet them. Another issue is regarding birthday cakes, gifts and parties. Please advise.

Answer:

Bismihi Ta`ala

Haamidan wa Musalliyan

Respected Sister in Islam

Assalaamualaikum 

Celebrating birthdays is a custom of the kuffaar. As Muslims, we are commanded to refrain from emulating the kuffaar as well as adopting their ways. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who emulates a people will be counted from amongst them (in the court of Allah Ta’ala)” (Abu Dawood 2/559). Hence, it is reprehensible to share in the happiness of someone celebrating his birthday by saying “happy birthday” to him or to make a birthday cake or to send gifts on that occasion.

We should remember that if we make the feelings of people the benchmark, then just as some people become happy by telling them ‘happy birthday’ others take exception to this. Thus, the criteria of acceptance in the court of Allah is the adherence to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) not the feelings of people.

Allah Taala Knows best

(Mufti) Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
(Mufti) Ebrahim Salajee