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Celebrating birthdays and anniverseries

Last updated: 18th November 2006
Question ID: #3062
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18th November 2006

Dear Scholar, Assalam alaikum.
My question is, what is the Islamic ruling on celebrating birthdays and anniverseries? As far as I know it's not accepted.What should i do if a friend feels bad if not wished on birthday/anniversery?
Jazak Allah

Ulamaa ID 04
Answer last updated on:
29th September 2007
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 04
Location: London

Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)

Concerning the celebration of birthdays, anniversaries etc.

To make this clearer we would like to say that Islam approves only two feasts there is no third feast. The evidence is the Hadith reported by Imam Abu Dawood from Anas (RA) that The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) came to Madinah while, people there had two days they played in. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) asked, 'what are these two days?' They said, 'these are two days we used to play in, in our Jahiliyyah'. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, 'Allah has replaced them with two better days: Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr' .

If the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) had known any other Eid surely, he would have informed his companions.

In addition, celebrating such occasions is nothing but an imitation of other nations, while a Muslim has to be distinguished from them in all aspects.

Rasullulah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa salam) has said, "Whosoever impersonates a nation (other than Islam) will be (resurrected) from them on the day of judgment". (Sunan Abu Dawud)

If celebrating one's own birthday, anniversaries etc, is not permissible for a Muslim then how would it be permitted to attend the birthday or anniversary party etc, of a person from another nation or even a Muslim?

However, if one does participate in a birthday or an anniversary party etc, will be comitting a sin of not obeying Allah Ta'ala and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam).

We must as Muslims enjoin good and forbid the evil:

Allah Ta'ala says,

"You are the best nation brought forth for the people of the world: you enjoin
right and you forbid wrong, and you believe in Allah." (Qur'an 3/110).

Also Allah Ta'ala says,

"Believing men and believing women are the protecting friends of each other:
they enjoin right and they forbid wrong." (Qur`an 9/71).

Enjoining good & forbidding the evil should be done to the extent of a Muslim individual ability.

"Whoever of you sees wrong being committed, let him change it with his hand
(i.e. by force). If he is unable to do that, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do that, then with his heart." (Muslim)

We pray to Allah to guide us to the right path, make us steadfast on the right path.

And Only Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.