12- Ruling on celebrating birthdays
Q: Some scholars say that celebrating birthdays is not correct. Is this true or not?
Ans by Imam Ibn Baz (rahimahullaah) :
Yes, celebrating birthdays is an act of Bid’ah (innovation in religion). It is not permissible to celebrate birthdays. It is neither permissible to celebrate the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) nor the birthday of anyone else.
That is because the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Beware of newly-introduced matters in religion), for every newly-introduced matter is a Bid’ah and every Bid’ah is a Dalalah (deviation from what is right).”
He (peace be upon him) said in his sermon on Friday: Ama Ba’d (Now then), the best of speech is the Book of Allah, the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), the most evil of matters are those which are newly introduced in religion), and every Bid’ah is a Dalalah (deviation from what is right).)
“Celebrating birthdays is a Bid’ah that neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) did.”
It is sufficient for a Mu’min (believer) to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and carry on his tradition, and keeping far from Bid’ahs. Love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not in committing Bid’ahs, but in following his way (peace be upon him), abiding by his commands, avoiding his prohibitions, and invoking peace and blessings upon him whenever he is mentioned. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him at all times.
Introducing Bid’ahs is a means that incurs his anger and the wrath of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). As for denouncing the people of Bid’ah, Allah (Glorified be He) says: Or have they partners (with Allâh — false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allâh has not ordained?
(Part No. 3; Page No. 43)
It is obligatory upon every Muslim to follow Shari’ah (Islamic law), not to introduce Bid’ahs. Following the Shari’ah is sufficient, praise be to Allah. Innovation in religion is a way to evil and trial. All praise is due to Allah, the religion is perfect and no one is permitted to introduce any thing that Allah (Exalted be He) did not prescribe.
This is equally applied to celebrating birthdays and other innovations such as building over the graves and taking them as places of Worship. These are types of Bid’ahs and a means to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). Similarly, plastering graves, building domes, and hanging curtains over them are acts of Bid’ah and a means that lead to Shirk. It is obligatory on the people of Islam to warn against Bid’ahs, and keep apart from them so as not to contradict their Prophet (peace be upon him). Thus, they follow the commands that he (peace be upon him) ordered and abstain from the prohibitions that he (peace be upon him) forbade.
Source: English Translations of Collection of “Noor ala Al-Darb” Programs, Volume 3. By: Sheikh `Abdul `Aziz Bin `Abdullah ibn `AbdulRahman ibn Bazz (May Allah forgive and reward al-Firdouse to him and his parents). He was The Mufti of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, and Chairman of Department of Scholarly Research and Ifta’.
This English Translation is collected from alifta.net, Portal of the general Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta’