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Is celebrating birthdays Haram?

Is celebrating birthdays Haram?


Assalamu Alaikum. Is it haram to celebrate a birthday ? by celebrating I mean a gathering of family and friends to share a good time and receiving gifts. I hear that it’s haram, and I keep wondering why, we thank Allah for being alive everyday, why can’t we thank him and be happy on our birthday !

Wa alykum as-salaam,

Absolutely not.

The reasoning that you have used here clearly underlines that you have made logical connections, and I think it is also quite obvious that there really is nothing in The Qur’an or the Sunnah that would indicate that birthdays are haram.

Of course, you shouldn’t simply rely upon what I say, because I’m a nobody. So let’s use the logic used by the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa, who talks about the permissibility of Mother’s Day, which is still applicable to this question:

“There is nothing in Islamic law to prohibit an occasion in which children can celebrate their mothers. This is an organizational matter; there is nothing with it and it bears no connection to the issue about which so many people murmur; the rejected innovations are those newly introduce matters that contravene Islamic law. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever introduces into this affair of ours [the religion of Islam] that which is foreign to it, it will be rejected’ [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from a Hadith narrated by Aisha (may God be pleased with her)] The Hadith means that any newly introduced matter that does not contravene Islamic law will be accepted.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) approved when the Arabs celebrated national commemorations and tribal victories in which they would sing of their tribal feats and victories. Aisha (may God be pleased with her) narrated that The Prophet (peace be upon him) once entered upon her when she was accompanied by two boundmaids who were singing the songs sung at the battle of Bu’ath. [Reported by Bukhari and Muslim]”

Furthermore, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa’s ruling on the matter was clear: “it is permissible to celebrate mother’s day; there is nothing to prevent it and no objection to it. Rejected innovations are those which contradict Islamic law.”

It would follow, logically, that celebrating one’s birthday would use the same logic and proofs of Mother’s Day, and therefore, utilizing the Islamic Tradition, as Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa undoubtedly does, we can conclude that celebrating birthdays are not haram.

I hope this answers your question, insha Allah.

I pray this reaches you and your family in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

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