Birthday celebrations ‘totally un-Islamic’

Published Date: August 21, 2008

JEDDAH: Celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries has no base in Islam, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Alsheikh has said. The mufti made the comments while answering a question from Al-Madinah newspaper after prominent Qassim-based scholar Salman Al-Oadah issued a fatwa saying that celebrating such occasions was not against the rules of Sharia.

Such a call is against righteousness. A Muslim should thank Almighty Allah if his children are healthy and if his married life is stable as the years pass by. He should say: Alhamdulillah for His generosity and kindness,” said Al-Alsheikh, who is also the chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars and the head of the Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta).

Speaking on satellite television last week, Al-Oadah, who is the general supervisor of the website, created controversy after ruling that there is nothing un-Islamic in celebrating wedding anniversaries and birthdays.
It is normal for a son or daughter to celebrate birthdays. They can invite their friends for a meal on this occasion. I see nothing wrong in this,” he said.

Al-Alsheikh, the highest religious authority in the Kingdom, said Muslims only have two official celebrations – Eid Al-Fitr, which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated on Dhul Hijjah 10. He added that Muslims also have a weekly Eid, which is Friday. The mufti said that the celebration of other occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and Mother’s Day were un-Islamic.


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