Q. Is there any difference in celebrating a Birthday on any other day besides the actual day of a birthday in Islam? A part of my father’s side of the family do not fully practice Islam but my father is a fully practicing Muslim. My father’s side of the family celebrated a Birthday on the actual day of the Birthday but my father did not attend due to intermingling, cutting of a cake, blowing of candles etc. A few days later, my father’s side of the family arranged another birthday celebration (with all of the above) for those who did not attend on the actual day of the birthday celebration. My father’s side of the family is saying that it is okay to celebrate a Birthday on any other day besides the actual day of the Birthday. What is the Sharia ruling in this case?
A. There is no difference between the celebration of a birthday on the same or a different day of ones birthday. It is the same thing.
The issue of celebrating a birthday is not solely based on the fact of celebrating a birthday on the same day of a birthday; rather, it is based on emulating the ways and actions of the disbelievers. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “He who imitates a group of people is one of them.” (Abu Dawood)
In the enquired situation, it is evident that the birthday celebration arranged on day other than the day of the birthday was emulation of the disbelievers which consisted of actions contrary to Islam and hence, impermissible. Therefore, it will not be permissible to celebrate or be part of such a birthday irrespective if it is celebrated on the same day or a different day of the birthday.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa