Is Celebrating Birthdays Haram?

is celebrating birthdays haram

Except for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, any annual celebration is prohibited in Islam, so celebrating birthdays is not advised.

Although celebrating birthdays has nothing to do with Islam many Muslims still ask whether celebrating birthdays annually is halal or haram. In this article, I will describe all the answers to celebrating birthdays.

Is Celebrating Birthdays Haram? – Mufti Menk

Is Celebrating Birthdays Haram In Islam?

Regarding birthdays, our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said that Muslims only have two Eids. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid-ul-Adha. The first is after Ramadan and the second is the Eid of sacrifice.

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast

[Sunan Abi Dawud 1134]

These two Eids are the only Eids that are permissible to celebrate in Islam and the Prophet (peace be upon him) also mentions that the weekly Eid is on Friday.

Abu Huraira reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying:

The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it Adam was created. on it he was made to enter Paradise, on it he was expelled from it. And the last hour will take place on no day other than Friday.

[Sahih Muslim 854b]

Muslims have one weekly Eid and two annual Eids. Any celebrations celebrated annually will be counted against Islamic teachings.

Celebrating birthdays is western culture and nowhere to be found anywhere in the Quran or Sunnah. Even the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) never celebrated any birthday.

Any celebration done annually for example birthdays, wedding anniversaries, valentine’s day, and mother’s day is prohibited in Islam except the Eids mentioned.

If you have a normal celebration that is not annually celebrated for example graduation party or wedding party is considered totally safe and allowed in Islam with a condition that no haram activity is done.

There are other reasons as well why scholars state that Muslims should avoid celebrating birthdays.

The history of the cake goes back to the Greeks who used to make round honey cakes in the shape of the moon in order to worship it. They believed that there is a moon God and they also blew candles.

There is also a pagan history where pagans used to have a severe cold every year. The ones who survived the cold celebrated their survival by cutting cakes and blowing the number of candles according to their age.

We know there are many cultures, many superstitions, and many ideologies that cut cakes in celebrations but none of them have to do anything with Islam.

Usually, there is also a tradition of blowing candles and wishing for something. This again comes from the Greeks who used to wish upon the moon God by blowing candles. Islam forbids this practice, although it is still done for fun. It is only Allah who can grant wishes for Muslims.

Even science declares now that blowing on something is not hygienic as now the subject on which you blow will contain the germs from the person blowing on it. Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited blowing.

Other activities involved in celebrating birthdays may also be haram. Music and dancing are included in most birthday celebrations plus there is no segregation between men and women. Even if all the other haram activities aren’t included celebrating birthdays still would not be allowed in Islam.

Furthermore celebrating birthdays also includes celebrating the birthdays of the Prophets (peace be upon them) for example Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus and some Muslims also celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

This will be considered haram totally as it’s something not present in the religion and people includes this as a religious act. Such acts in Islam are called an innovation (bidah). Bidah is anything that people have associated with the religion but it wasn’t a part of Islam in the first place.

Bidah is one of the major sins in Islam which is totally prohibited.

When a person is born the lifespan is already determined by Allah. Whatever the circumstances Allah has already written everything till his or her death plus the exact time of the death. There is nothing to be celebrated about the birthday.

If you think whenever the birthday comes it’s a reminder that one year of our life has been decreased. How can one celebrate the decrease in one’s life?

Most of the birthdays celebrated today include music, dancing, bidah, and many more sins so in short celebrating birthdays is considered prohibited in Islam.

Islam’s Stance On Celebrating Birthdays

A Muslim asked:

“what is the evidence on celebrating birthdays,is it allowed in islam?”

Answer from Fataawa Islamiyyah:

“The evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that celebrating birthdays is a kind of bid’ah or innovation in religion, which has no basis in the pure sharee’ah. It is not permitted to accept invitations to birthday celebrations, because this involves supporting and encouraging bid’ah. Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed…?”


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Is Wishing Someone A Birthday Haram In Islam?

When celebrating a birthday is considered haram wishing someone a birthday will also be considered haram.

A Muslim asked a scholar about wishing his mother Happy Birthday on which the scholar stated:

“ In accordance with this Qur’anic guidance, you should explain to your mother very politely the reason why you do not congratulate her on her birthday, and strive hard to honour her and treat her kindly in anything that does not involve sin. One of the greatest ways in which you can honour your mother is to try your hardest to call her to adhere to the laws of Allah, may He be exalted, and to pray a great deal that she be guided; then soften her heart towards you by giving her gifts, treating her kindly, honouring her and getting in touch from time to time, whenever it is possible for you to do that.”


One more fatwa against wishing birthdays:

“The tradition of celebrating ‘Happy Birthday’ is an invention of the West. Whose birthday is more blessed than that of the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), but the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) was not alsked to celebrate his birthday; so how common people will be allowed to celebrate their birthdays. Therefore, a Muslim should not say ‘Happy Birthday’ to others; he should clearly say that it is not allowed in Islam.”


All these support that a Muslim should avoid celebrating and wishing for birthdays as it is not an Islamic tradition.

Is It Permissible To Have Candles On A Cake?

It is not permissible in Islam to blow out candles on a birthday.

In old days pagans used to survive each year’s cold by hibernating. Some of them would die due to the severe weather. After the cold they used to count the dead and remaining alive people would celebrate by blowing candles on the cake.

Another tradition was amongst the Greeks where they used to pray to the moon God by blowing candles and wishing on the honey cake which resembles the moon. Again wishing on the candles and blowing them is haram.

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Is Cutting Cake On Birthday Haram In Islam?

Cutting cakes on birthdays have to be something that one Muslim should avoid. Scholars agree that it’s not Islamic plus there are many activities nowadays that involve music and dancing and that will make it totally haram.

A Mulsim should avoid anything that can go against the teachings of Islam and the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Can I Fast On My Birthday In Islam?

It was a sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to fast on the day he was born. Now, this day is not annually like we celebrate our birthdays. Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast on Mondays every week as he was born on a Monday.

If you want to fast on your birthday and follow sunnah fast on the day you were born weekly not annually.

Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He said, “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation.”

[Riyad as-Salihin 1255]

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Can I Celebrate My Child’s Birthday In Islam?

While there is nothing in the Holy Quran against celebrating birthdays, it’s better to avoid them since they aren’t Islamic. Birthdays should be avoided by Muslims, and children should be familiar with Islamic traditions and laws from an early age.

Muslim parents should tell their children that celebrating birthdays is not important since it involves many sins.

Was Prophet Muhammad Born On Monday?

Yes, it’s proven from the Hadith from the book Sahih Muslim that Prophet (peace be upon him) was born on a Monday and used to fast on that day weekly.

How Do I Thank Allah For My Birthday?

A Mulsim should always thank Allah in every possible way. Our life is a gift from Allah and we have to die soon. It’s better to fast on the day you were born as it’s a sunnah. For example, Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast on Mondays as he was born on that day weekly. Muslims should fast weekly on the day he or she was born.

Secondly, a Muslim can always pray extra prayers just for Allah and thank Him. Muslims can also take part in any charity for the poor and the Muslim community as thanking Allah on their birthday.

All these are Islamic which will be good in the end.

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Final Thoughts

Celebrating birthdays is not something that is suggested by scholars as it was a practice of the pagans and Greeks. Cake cutting was like worshipping the moon God by the Greeks and even they used to wish and blow the candles.

Anything that is not Islamic will include a lot of sins for Muslims whether they know it or not. Celebrating birthdays is not even supported by any hadith or Quran although Prophet (peace be upon him) used to fast on Mondays as he was born on that day.

The best practice is to fast on the day you are born weekly.

And Allah Knows Best.

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