Praying for long life on someone's birthday
Fatwa No: 234664

  • Fatwa Date:14-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 13, 1435
  • Rating:

Question

Asallam u Alaikum, I know it is not permissible to celebrate or greet on birthdays but if a person says on a child or someone's birthday or wedding anniversary 'May Allah subhana wa ta ala' bless you with long life or many years of happiness', is this sinful ?

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

This prayer is a good thing to say, and it is good to say prayers at all times because the texts that were reported about saying prayers are general and not restricted to a given time. Allaah says (what means): {And your Lord says, Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.} [Quran 40:60]

Also, it is confirmed in Saheeh Muslim that Umm Ad-Dardaa’ said: “My master told me that he heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saying: "Whoever prays for his Muslim brother in his absence, the angel entrusted to him will say, 'Aameen and for you the same.'An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “By [my master], she meant her husband Abu Ad-Dardaa’ ”.

The problem is in specifying a particular day of the year to do that, as this could mean honoring and glorifying this day and, hence, taking it as an ‘Eed, and this is not permissible as clarified in Fataawa 106623 and 90174.

We would like to point out that if a person prays for someone to have long life, he should restrict with 'in obedience to Allaah', as having a long life is not a blessing in an absolute sense; Allaah says (what means): {And let not those who disbelieve ever think that [because] We extend their time [of enjoyment] it is better for them. We only extend it for them so that they may increase in sin, and for them is a humiliating punishment.} [Quran 3:178]

Abu Bakrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that a man asked: “O Messenger of Allaah, who are the best of people?” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “It is those who have a long life and do good deeds.Abu Bakrah again asked: “Who are the worst of people?” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “It is those who have a long life and do bad deeds.” [At-Tirmithi]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him ascribing this opinion to Imam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that it should be restricted with obedience to Allaah. It should be said, 'may Allaah prolong your life in obedience to Allaah.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa