Celebration and importance of birthdays
Should we celebrate birthdays? What importance should be given to birthdays?
It’s not a religious issue, therefore, celebrating them is not a bid’ah. All that I can say is that if it is done on a big scale, it’s a useless exercise, which some of us have adopted because of our obsession with westernization. However, that’s just an opinion, which has nothing to do with any direct religious injunction. I have seen that many youngsters (and even elders) are so obsessed with the idea of celebrating birthdays that they would get annoyed if you oppose it. Personally, I would not want to participate in a formally arranged birthday, but would avoid talking against it, because there are many more important issues to attend to than to create unnecessary frictions because of an ordinary issue.
Some reports suggest that prophet, alaihissalaam, used to fast on Mondays, because, he himself clarified, he was born on a Monday. However, it was his personal deed which he never introduced as a part of religion to Muslims. The Quran mentions about some prophets that they were blessed when they were born, when they died, and they shall be blessed when they will raised again. The Quran says about Yahya, alaihissalaam:
“Peace be on him the day he was born, the day of his death and the Day he will be raised to life again!” (19:15)
Eesaa, alaihissalaam, said about himself:
“Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I shall die and the Day I shall be raised to life again”. (19:33)
Obviously none of these mentions have anything to do with celebrating birthdays. These mentions only suggest that the day one is born is an important day.