Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Islaamic Ruling On Celebrating Birthdays

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وبعد

Celebrating birthdays is like self glorification. People celebrate their life every year and forget the reality that death is promised to all. The most important thing is whether we would die obeying our creator or obeying our desires.

And if you say that you celebrate it because you want to thank Allaah for another year in your life; then know that you should be thankful to Allaah for that everyday you live and that every breath you take. You should thank Him in the ways which Allaah has prescribed and the way the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has described. Singling out one day like this is not the way we were taught by our Prophet and if there was any benefit in it, he صلى الله عليه وسلم would have informed us.

Narrated Aishah رضي الله عنها: The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “…the best deed (act of Worship) in the sight of Allaah is that which is done regularly." [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, Hadeeth 41]

Narrated Aishah رضي الله عنها: The most beloved action to Allaah's Apostle was that whose doer did it continuously and regularly. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 8, Hadeeth 469]

And if you say you're just doing it for fun - one might ask you why you need to rely on pagan practices for your fun - especially after clear warnings had come about imitating non-Muslims.

Abu Saeed Al-Khudri رضي الله عنه reported that Allaah's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "You will indeed follow the ways of those before you, hand span by hand span, and an arms length after another. Even if they enter into a lizards hole, you will follow them.” We asked, is it the Jews and the Christians? He replied, “Who else!" [Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 9, Hadeeth 422]

This Hadeeth condemns imitating them. It is a proof for the prohibitions of imitating the Jews and the Christians in their occasions, symbols, or any matter related to their belief.

Celebrating the holidays of the kuffaar is an act of imitation which is forbidden in Islaam. Allaah's Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم warned us against it.

At-Tirmidhi narrated that Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "He is not one of us who imitates other than us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians."

At-Tabarani and Abu Dawud narrated that Ibn Umar and Hudhayfah رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them."

Furthermore, there are many Islaamic evidences that forbid the Muslims from having holidays other than Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adhaa. Al-Bayhaqi reported in his Sunan that Anas Bin Maalik رضي الله عنه said: "When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم came to Medina, the people had two holidays from the days of Jahiliyyah." He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "When I came to you, you had two days which you used to celebrate in Jahiliyyah. Allaah سبحانه وتعالى has replaced them for you with better days, the days of slaughter (Adhaa) and the day of fitr."

Also Imam Ahmad in his Musnad reported that Uqbah bin Amir رضي الله عنه reported the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to have said: "The day of Fitr and days of Tashriq are our holidays, the people of Islaam."

These evidences are clear in forbidding the Muslims to have any Eid other than what Allaah سبحانه وتعالى prescribed for them. Thus, they are not allowed to participate in or celebrate one’s birthdays or any other holidays of the Kuffaar, nor are they allowed to attend them, even if invited; nor are they allowed to congratulate them.

And Allaah is the Granter of success.

The Ruling Concerning Celebrating Birthdays.

What is the ruling concerning celebrating birthdays?

Celebrating birthdays has no source whatsoever in the pure shariah. In fact, it is an innovation, since the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that does not belong to it shall have it rejected.”

This was recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim. In a version recorded by Muslim and by al-Bukhari in definitive muallaq form.

"Whoever performs a deed which is not in accord with our affairs, that deed is rejected.”

It is well-known that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not celebrate his birthday at all during his lifetime nor did he ever order it to be celebrated. Nor did he teach such to his Companions. Therefore, the rightly-guided caliphs and all of his Companions did not celebrate it. They are the most knowledgeable of the people concerning his Sunnah and they are the most beloved to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. They were also the most keen upon following whatever the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم brought. Therefore, if one is supposed to celebrate the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم birthday, this would have been made evident at their time. Similarly, not one of the scholars of the best of generations celebrated his birthday nor did they order it to be done.

Therefore, it is known from the above that such a celebration is not from the Law that Allaah sent Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم with. We ask Allaah and all Muslims to witness that if the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم had done so or ordered such to be done, or even if the Companions had done so, we would rush to do it and call others to do it. This is because, and all praises are due to Allaah, we are the most keen in following his Sunnah and respecting his commands and prohibitions. We ask Allaah, for ourselves and for all our brethren Muslims, steadfastness upon the truth, avoiding everything that differs from Allaah’s pure shariah. Verily, He is Generous and Noble.

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz (former Mufti of Saudi Arabi, Allaah have Mercy on him)
Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women - Darussalam Pg.33-34

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