Is it permissible for Muslim men and women to attend birthday/anniversary party or buy a gift for the occasion, especially if it is for a family member?
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
Thank you for your question.
In general, there is no virtue in engaging in such celebrations nor is there any sin if such events are not celebrated.
In some of these celebrations, there is imitation to the actions and beliefs of disbelievers, which is detrimental to one’s religion.
Celebrating birthdays and or anniversaries may be allowed if the following conditions are strictly taken into consideration:
• One has no intention of imitating the disbelievers.
• All islamicaly prohibited acts are prevented during the celebrations such as music, imitation of non-muslim acts, dance, intermingling of genders, wine etc.
• One does not believe or intend it to be an established Islamic practice.
• One does not believe it to be binding or necessary.
• One does not look down upon someone who does not participate or engage in such celebrations
The following concept is referenced to Fatawa Raḥīmiyyah, ‘If one takes this occasion as an opportunity to thank Allāh Almighty and express gratitude for being blessed with another year in one’s life then there is nothing wrong with that’.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
Hadith of the Day Imam
Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute