Birthday celebration is a Bidaa
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear brother burhan, Assalam alaikum, Wa
I was telling to one of my brother that celebrating the birth day of Mohammad SAW is a Bida, then he told me that there is a hadeeth in
'muslim abi dawood / termazee' that "Huzoor said that whoever start any good work in our deen then he will get its ajr and whoever follow that he will also get ajr". Although I doubt the authenticity of this hadeeth, would you please let me know if you ever come across such Hadith? Thanks!
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Birthday celebration is a Bidaa
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
quoted by your brother is indeed related in the authentic collections of hadeeths of the Messenger of Allah (saws). The Messenger of Allah (saws) said the above
Thus, what the Messenger of Allah (saws) meant was that if one starts a good deed, or lays the foundation for a good deed, he will receive its reward; and all those who follow or support the person in doing or continuing the good deed, he will also get his due reward. For example, if a person exhorts other people in collecting funds, food or clothing for the poor and needy, he as well as those who support him to accomplish the good deed, will also get their due reward. If a person builds a mosque, or an orphanage, or a hospital, etc., whoever helps and supports the person, or follows the person in his good deeds, or volunteers to continue to do the good works started by the person, will also get their due reward.
The above hadith exhorts the believers to start a good deed, from amongst the already mentioned good deeds in Islam, like charity, taking care of orphans, helping the poor and needy of society, etc. The hadith in no way allows the believers to invent a completely new deed, which has absolutely no basis in Islam (like celebrating birthdays, death-days, or inventing rites and rituals without any evidence from the Sunnah) as that would be considered a bidah or an innovation, which is a sin in Islam!
The Messenger of Allah (saws) never celebrated his own birthday, nor did he ever celebrate the birthdays of his loved ones. Therefore if someone starts the ritual of celebrating his (saws) or others birthdays, he will be inventing a thing in the deen of Islam which is not from the deen! And that is exactly what the Messenger of Allah (saws) termed as bidah or innovation. And whoever follows the person in starting a bidah, or supports or continues to do the bidah, he as well as the person who started the innovation will both earn their share of the sin.
It has been reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: Whoever introduces a bida (innovation) in this deen brought by me (saws), it will be rejected.
It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.
It has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) in another authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,