Fatwa: # 17559
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 22nd February 2009

Title

Is such birthday parties alllowed if the seperation is kept . Is it allowed to say Happy Birthday in the same way as kuffars.?

Question

Some people say , including some scholars, that its allowed to attend birthday parties and functions like this .. if pardah is observed. My understanding is that it is not allowed as it is taken from christians and imitaing them is any mannner is sinful.

Is there any evidence that Sahaba celebrated birthdays or our Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam mentioned anything.

Is such birthday parties alllowed if the seperation is kept . Is it allowed to say Happy Birthday in the same way as kuffars.?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Islam is a complete way of life. Before carrying out any action we should always weigh the act in light of Quraan, Hadith and the actions of our pious predecessors.

When we look through the lives of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and Sahaba we never find any mention of celerbrating birthdays, inspite of the fact that there was no greater day than the day when Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam came in this world.

 In regards to our pious predecessors, they not only refrained from birthday parties, they even discouraged it and regarded it totally alien to Islam. This has been expressed by great scholars, the likes of Faqih ul ummah Mufti Mahmud ul Hasan Gangohi and Moulana Yusuf Ludhwani Rahimahumallah.

Fataawa Mahmudiyya (Jamia Farooqia, Vol 3 Pg179)

Aap ke masaail (Maktaba Ludhwaniyya, Vol 8 Pg126))

In the west huge amounts of money is spent on birthdays, and a person is really overtaken by pride when he is self-centered and showered with gifts.

On the contrary, we as Muslims do not follow the customs of the disbelievers for fear of being counted amongst them. It is related in a hadith which is recorded in Abu Dawood that whoever emulates a nation, he is from amongst them.

A Muslim uses this time to reflect on how much more closer he is getting to his grave. He realizes that another year has passed in his life and his death is drawing closer.  He introspects to see if in the past year of his life, did he carry out the objective for what he has been created i.e. devoting oneself in the worship of Allah. He repents for all his past sins and now makes firm resolutions for the future.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam u Alaikum

Ml. Luqman Hansrot,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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