Questions the impermissibility of celebrating birthdays
Fatwa No: 106623

  • Fatwa Date:1-4-2008 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1429
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Question

salam May Allah Blees u . i Have some question in my mind and i wana to clear that.In u one of the fatwa i read that to celebrate birthday is not permitted by the Islam. i want to ask where Allah has restained muslims to come close and to celebrate the happiness.My question is why we always on the arguemnet that its the festival of non-muslims.why we dont see with the angle that on birthday people come and gather and celebrate that the person has got some more time of world life from the special Glory of Allah.and if this is celebrated where islam says that its haram to give gifts and have happineess only because its the culture of non-muslims.and furthure many arugements that it was not done in the golden era of Last Masseneger Muhammad S.A.W and in the period of great khalifs.i ask that does this argument seems to be valid to make celebration of birthday as haram.bcz i think that to make something haram islam says it very clearly.and further if this is the valid arguments then does the marraige cermonies which are celebrated in the different areas with different cultural values do they halal aur haram bcz they were not celebrated in the period of Last Messenger (PBUH) and in the period of Khalifs as in the manner of current period.Plz answer me with detail referneces and with logics and other things bcz to make something haram i think it should have some solid grounds .hope may Allah give me the hadayat.Thx

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

We can summarize the answer to your questions in the following points:

1-    As you read in our Fataawa, celebrating birthdays is not permissible. However, it is not correct to say that something can only be forbidden if it is clearly stated in religious texts that it is forbidden. Rather, some things may be included in a general evidence, like the statement of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): "Any kind of intoxicant is considered alcohol and every kind of alcoholic drinks (intoxicants) are forbidden." [Muslim] All kinds of intoxicants are included in this statement even if it has different names at different times or in different places.

2-    Feasts and celebrations are among the religious rites. Therefore, it is not permissible to celebrate what is not legislated. What proves that feasts are among the religious rites is the narration reported by Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him who said: "When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) reached Madeenah, he noticed that the people of Madeenah used to celebrate two specific days. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked them "Why are you celebrating these two days?"   They answered, "We used to play and have fun on these days during the pre-Islamic period." The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Allaah has replaced these two days with something better, 'Eed Al-Fitr and 'Eed Al-Adh-Haa." [Ahmad and Abu Daawood] The interpreters of the Hadeeth stated that they celebrated these two days only because the weather was moderate at the times they celebrated them and not for any religious purpose. Yet, Islam abrogated them.

3-    Celebrating birthdays is a tradition of non-Muslims, and it is a new matter for Muslims, and this is something that cannot be denied. Therefore, celebrating birthdays is religiously considered as imitating the non-Muslims. Even if we presume that this is not imitating the non-Muslims, the narration in point 2 is evidence that it is not permissible to celebrate birthdays. The scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them clarified that the pre-Islamic celebrations are evil in all cases.

4-    Making someone happy is something urged in religion, but it should be with a permissible means. The things which you mentioned, like weddings and the like, are one of these permissible means. However, a wedding is not a (religious) feast, because a feast (‘Eed) linguistically refers to something which repeats at particular times while weddings are not so considering each person’s case individually. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 13538.

May Allaah enable you to do whatever He likes and pleases Him.

Allaah Knows best.

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