Happy First Birthday!………….Not

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Well there it was. The situation that I had prayed would not arise. I suppose one of the most difficult things in the life of a person who wants to be a "Mu’min" is: how to maintain the highest level of politeness in face of a trial brought on by relatives, without compromising on the principles of Islam. How to deal with the unrelenting demands of people, demands which if given in to, would result in a situation that might not be pleasing to Allah? How is a Muslimah to react? How is she to maintain her firm stance, composure and polite tone when people try to twist her arm?
A’ishah turned one year old. I don’t see what the big deal is. The lunar (Islamic) year had passed already, no one stirred when it did. But the Solar date seemed to wake everyone up from their slumber. Why can we not make up our minds? When it comes to [the innovation of] celebrating the birthday of our Prophet [sal allaahu alayhi wasallam], we follow the Lunar calendar. But when it comes to our kid turning a year older, we decide to follow the Solar calendar.
"What’s the big deal, yaar?"
The big deal is my identity. I don’t want to do anything that makes me resemble any nation/people other than those who follow Islam. If we want to dress up, eat, cut a cake, or celebrate, we can concoct many pretexts to do so….why use birthdays, anniversaries, et al. for such expressions of joy? Why not just shower the child with dua’s on the days that are meant to be celebrated: the two Eids, and weddings? Or just hold a kids’ party at the house a couple of times a year? I suppose many things have already been aptly and clearly written on this topic by people who are more learned and more pious than me. May Allah guide us to strive to please Allah in all aspects of our lives, even if it means giving up something we like doing. Even if it means giving up our child – the way Ibrahim [alayhis salaam] readily laid his son down, turned his face downwards, took out his knife……….and………
So I didn’t do it. There was no birthday bash. There was no party, although efforts were made till the very end to try and have one.
Throughout my pregnancy, I didn’t recite the dua that Maryam’s [alayhis salaam] mother recited throughout her pregnancy, for nothing:
Behold! a woman of ‘Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate unto You what is in my womb for Your special service: So accept this of me: For You hear and know all things."
{Ale Imran: 35}
I don’t intend to raise A’ishah without thinking about the worldly and other-worldly consequences of each and every endeavor I make. She is one of the biggest amanah’s (trusts) Allah has endowed me with, and may He enable me to fulfill the due of this huge responsibility. Ameen.
As for who cut the cake , I did. When A’ishah was sleeping, on 5th May 2006. No candles. No nothing.
It was really yummy though.

"A Muslim has a distinguished personality. He should not imitate others in evil things and leave the good ones. Talking to our children about their birthdays, we should remind them that on such days they should remember the blessings of Allah and praise Him for giving them life and guidance. It would be better if we ask them to offer something in charity as a form of showing gratitude.

Still there is nothing wrong if we try to make them feel happy on that day as long as we are using lawful things. It is better if we make it a day ahead or a day after. If your children insist on having such a celebration, this is really dangerous. If the child insists on having his desires fulfilled at this early age, what is going to happen when he grows older? We need to be alarmed and never allow Western traditions that are based on individualism, to ruin our families. Thus, calling birthdays `eids is not accepted, for this has no basis in Islam. At the same time, there is nothing wrong if we use these occasions to inculcate Islamic principles in our children, like showing gratitude to Allah, praising Him and seizing the chance of this life in performing good deeds since the older we grow the nearer to the grave we come."

Sheikh Tajuddin Hamid Al-Hilali, Mufti of Australia and New Zealand

One thought on “Happy First Birthday!………….Not

  1. Did you save some cake for me???! Never mind the fact that it will be disgustingly stale by the time I can get to it lol 😛

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