Happy Birthday to Me

This post is about celebrating Birthdays, I have been wondering how to address this issue and then stumbled upon few web pages; a few verses of the Quran and some Ahadeeth which were already pushing me to write something formed the basis for writing this article.

Let us first take a look at the facts and history of the Celebrating Birthdays:

  1. Before the rise of Christianity Pagans believed that evil spirits visited the person on his birthday. [1][2]
  2. In order to protect the person from these spirits, people used to surround him and make lot of noise. It was believed that this noise would scare away the evil spirits.[2]
  3. The tradition of Birthday cakes can be traced back to the ancient Greeks who made moon shaped sweet bread and took the same to the Temple of the Goddess of Moon. [3]
  4. The Birthday cake is particularly rounded, as it is made to resemble the moon by the Greeks. [3]
  5. The German made the cake round as it resembled baby Jesus’s swaddling (wrapping) cloth. [3]
  6. Greeks even put candles on the cake to make it resemble the moon. [4][6]
  7. Germans put a large candle in the center of the cake for religious reasons. [4][5]
  8. Even today people have superstitious beliefs about birthday candles. [4][5]
  9. In Judaism, the perspective on birthday celebrations is disputed by various rabbis. [2]
  10. The early Christians did not celebrate Christ’s birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom. [2]

Subhanallah, all the above references prove that the act of celebrating birthdays is a pagan act, which has superstitious backgrounds.

Al hamdulillah Allah has made us Muslims who are free from all these superstitious and non Islamic beliefs. So by celebrating Birthdays we Muslims want to show / prove what?

  1. Do we want to follow the ways of pre historic pagans? Whom Quran has already condemned in many verses.
  2. Or do we want to show the world (other communities, religions, etc) that we also follow their traditions, so that they are pleased with us.

In fact, the following needs some reflection:

  1. Allah SWT created us and he is the Protector of all things. [7]
  2. The Deen (Religion, procedure, tradition, law, judgement) chosen by Allah for us is Al Islam. Islam is Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAWS, if we follow it we will not go astray. [8][9]
  3. We have certainly sent you (Muhammad SAWS) with the truth, as a conveyer of good news and a warner, and you will not be questioned about the inhabitants of the hell fire. And the Jews will never be pleased with you nor the Christians till you follow their (dictated) religion. Say, “Guidance of Allah is certainly the guidance,” And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, then you will have from Allah, neither a guardian nor a helper. (Al Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 119-120)
  4. The Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala alayhi wa Sallam) said “There was disagreement amongst Jews and they split into 72 groups. In exactly the same way, there will be disagreement and divisions in my Ummah. It will split into 73 groups. Apart from one of those groups, all the remaining 72 will be thrown into Hell.” When asked which group will be on the right path, the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) replied, “The group on the right path, which will enter Paradise, will be the group which follows my Sunna and that of my Sahaba and this will be the largest group of Muslims.” [Tirmidhi, Imam Ahmad, Abu Daud, Mishkat]
  5. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said : “You would follow the ways of those who came before you step by step, to such an extent that if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would enter it too.”They said,“O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?”He said, “Who else?”(Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)[10]

So from the above it is very clear that the Quran and Sunnah has warned us against acts which have no proof and to avoid following the desires of other people.

Conclusion: Read and Reflect…


  1. History of Birthdays
  2. Wikipedia – Birthday
  3. History of Birthday Cakes
  4. History of Birthday Candles
  5. Wikipedia – Happy Birthday to you
  6. Wikipeida – Birthday Cake
  7. There :Protection is the right (only) of Allah, He is the Best Rewarder and the Best Requiter. Al Quran, Surah Kahf C18, V44
  8. What is meant by the “Deen”?
  9. The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad
  10. How Birthday Parties Started

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