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It was stated that birthdays were allowed in Islam as these were not considered to be bidaa as bidaa relates to innovations on religion or religious principles

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, Asalamalaikum. I was just sitting among friends and acquaintences and an interesting discussion ensued among them. The point being discussed was as follows: it was stated that birthdays were allowed in Islam as these were not considered to be bidaa as bidaa relates to innovations on religion or religious principles (i.e.) since celebrating birthdays is not an embellishment on a religious function or command; then it was also stated that conducting the "Ameen" ceremony after a child finishes reading the Holy Quraan is a Bidaa ( a number of the friends suggested it was to encourage children to read the Quraan) as it is an addition to a religious subject that was never prescribed in Islam. I have looked at the questions on Bidaa and these do mention that celebrating birthdays is Bidaa; however, when placing these 2 issues side by side and basing the argument that bidaa occurs only when it is an innovation on a religious normn, what is your understanding? I look forward to your response. Regards, (There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.) Answer: Birthday 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. A bida or innovation is something which is invented, innovated, and added to the deen of Islam after the deen was completed on Prophet Mohamed (saws). It especially concerns the rites and rituals of worship, or any deed which was not performed or endorsed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), but was added as a part of the deen after his (sawss) death. It also concerns any innovated deed which one does and believes that by doing this innovated deed, he is eligible to earn more reward from Allah Subhanah. Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21: There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much. Dear and Beloved brother in Islam, it is the solemn belief of every true believer who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day, that there was, is, or never will be anyone in the annuls of creation who worshipped Allah Subhanah more or better than the Noble Last and Final Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws)! Thus if anyone dares to comes up with any act of worship like celebration, commemoration, or prescribes importance to any prayer, or fast, or night or day, or invents, innovates, or adds anything in the deen of Islam which is not endorsed by the Noble Prophet (saws), then it implies one of three things: 1. that the person who claims that worship is due on this specific night in this specific way loves and worships Allah more than the Noble Prophet (saws)!!! 2. or, that the person knows more than the Noble Prophet (saws)!!! 3. or, that the person has received revelations from Allah Subhanah after the death of the Prophet Mohamed (saws)!!! Allah is our witness brother, if anyone in the annuls of creation ever claims to have any of the above three qualities is nothing more than a confirmed and manifest liar!; for Allah is our witness, no man in the annuls of creation loved or worshipped their Lord more than Prophet Mohamed (saws), no man in the annuls of creation had more knowledge of the Truth than the Noble Prophet Mohamed (saws), and Allah is our witness, the Last and Final Revelations of The Lord Most Majestic were revealed on Prophet Mohamed (saws), and there is none who will or can receive revelations after him (saws)! If one brings, invents, adds or innovates any act or deed in religion which has not been specifically endorsed by Allah and His Messenger (saws), then it has to be a bida (innovation in the religion after the deen was completed on Prophet Mohamed (saws)), and Allah is our witness, every innovation in the deen of Islam is an error in the Sight of Allah Subhanah! Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah 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 (bida), and every innovation (bida) is an error. Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4515 Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib That the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (bida in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation (bida) or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (bida), he is cursed by Allah, by His Angels, and by all the people! Your Question: The point being discussed was as follows: it was stated that birthdays were allowed in Islam as these were not considered to be bidaa as bidaa relates to innovations on religion or religious principles (i.e.) since celebrating birthdays is not an embellishment on a religious function or command; Every people have a culture and Islam too has its own culture; and celebrating or commemorating ones birthday with a feast or a party cannot be considered a part of Islamic culture. Islam guides towards the notion that every single day one is blessed to be alive is a day of celebration and a cause to be grateful and thankful to the Lord Creator for his innumerable blessings and favors. Besides, Islam has nominated its own special days of joyous commemoration and celebration, namely the two blessed days of Eid (Fitr and Adha) and every Friday of the week. If one celebrates ones birthday with a feast or a party amongst loved ones, cuts a cake, lights candles, sings the nominated song Happy Birthday to you.., etc.; indeed one cannot say with conviction that this rite or ritual has a religious connotation..but without an iota of a doubt, this rite and ritual of celebrating birthdays is an imitation of the unbelievers; and it definitely does not behove and befit a believer who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day to imitate the pagans or their rituals in any matter whatsoever! Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.780 Narrated by Nafi Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet (saws) said, "Do the opposite of what the pagans do! Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4020 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar The Prophet (saws) said: He who copies any people is one of them. Thus even if the rite and ritual of celebrating birthdays would not constitute an bida or innovation in the deen, it would without an iota of doubt be an imitation of the rite and ritual of the pagans; and it definitely does not behove and befit one who is guided to imitate or copy the pagans! But if one commemorates the birthdays of their deceased parents or loved ones, or (Allah forbid) the birthday of the Noble Prophet (saws), or of his noble companions, etc. by a special gathering only for the occasion, or by reciting the Quran especially for the occasion, or feeding the poor especially for that occasion, or giving alms especially for that occasion, etc.; then indeed the commemoration of such birthdays would take on a religious flavor and thus constitute a manifest bida and innovation in the perfect and pure deen of Al-Islam! Your Statement: then it was also stated that conducting the "Ameen" ceremony after a child finishes reading the Holy Quraan is a Bidaa ( a number of the friends suggested it was to encourage children to read the Quraan) as it is an addition to a religious subject that was never prescribed in Islam. Conducting the Ameen ceremony, or the Quran Khaani ceremony of a new house or office, or the elaborate Fatihah ceremonies at every loved ones death, etc. are without an iota of a doubt against the Sunnah and guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws), and manifest and apparent innovations that have unfortunately crept into the perfect, pure and simple deen of Al-Islam. Every innovation in the deen starts by looking very innocent.but over time, these seemingly innocent and well-meaning innovations take on the role of a religious rite and ritual which has to be obligatorily performed at the specific occasion, and soon these innovated rites and rituals become a burden in the deen! Over time, the true religion loses its purity and simplicity in the method of worship of the Lord Most High, and religion becomes a self-imposed concoction of innovated rites and rituals which were never a part of the deen in the first place! Such is the burden of these self-inflicted and self-invented innovations in the deen, that it becomes almost impossible for a person to follow all the innovated burdens in the name of religion; and a time invariably comes when the person is unable to differentiate between the true religion and its added innovations, and more often than not, one has no option but to stay away from such a complicated and burdensome religion! Over time such becomes the unbearable burden of the self-imposed innovations in religion, that Allah Subhanah sends His Prophets to clearly differentiate the pure and simple deen as approved by Allah from the innovations which have crept into it, and relieve the believers of the burden which have unfortunately become a part of their religion! Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraaf verse 157: 157 "Those who follow the Messenger (Mohamed (saws)), the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures); in the Law and the Gospel; for he (saws) commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil: he (saws) allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); he (saws) releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the Light which is sent down with him: it is they who will prosper." Thus my beloved brother, as much as one may bring forth the argument that the Ameen ceremony encourages a child to study the Quran, or the Fatihah or Quran Khaani ceremonies encourages people to recite the Quran..know with absolute conviction that these innovated commemorations and ceremonies have absolutely no evidence in the traditions of the Prophet (saws), and thus have absolutely no basis or authority or place in the pure and perfect deen of Islam. If one truly trusts and fears Allah Subhanah as their Lord, and believes in the perfection of the example of the Messenger of Allah (saws)..then it is absolutely incumbent upon him to strive to follow the deen in its pure and perfect form as followed by the Messenger of Allah (saws) and his companions; and absolutely abstain from adding or following any innovations in it; for without an iota of a doubt, every single innovation in the deen is a grave error and a sin in the Sight of Allah Subhanah. Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah 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 (bida), and every innovation (bida) is an error. Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength. Your brother and well wisher in Islam, Burhan

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