Nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating birthdays, says Saudi scholar
Dr. Qais Bin Muhammad Al-Sheikh Mubarak, a former member of Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Scholars, has said that there is nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating any festive occasion such as the birthday of himself or his loved ones.
Similar is the case with the celebration of anniversaries, the occasions of one’s achievements or the achievements of children, obtaining a degree or graduation from university, or other occasions, he said.
According to Al-Mubarak, the basic thing in the above celebrations is that there is permissibility and not a prohibition on the basis of any religious text. He considers the above occasions as part of traditions and customs and they have nothing to do with religious taboos. They are not included among those things that are prohibited through a religious text either in the Qur’an or in the Traditions (hadith) of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Al-Mubarak pointed out that these do not include in the category of religious rituals where it is not permissible to add or remove anything. This is based on the saying of the Prophet: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” Therefore, scholars have unanimously agreed to forbid a new ritual of worship that is in excess of the worship stipulated in the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah, such as adding a sixth obligatory prayer to the five daily prayers, Al-Mubarak said.
He emphasized that there is nothing wrong in taking advantage of any occasions such as the occasions of the Prophet’s Migration (Hijrah) or other occasions for a reminder, direction and guidance for Muslims in their day-to-day life.