When we are born and complete one year of life, our loved ones celebrate our birthday. What do they celebrate? Do they celebrate the fact that I am still alive even after a long one year, do they celebrate the fact that I am still doing fine? Then another year passes, and lo! I have completed 2 full years! Another one. Another one. And this goes on and on. I still do not understand what the celebration is all about? They order cakes, they add candles after candles. They invite everyone. They wear nice clothes and of course receive nice gifts. The only thing I can see is that each passing year everyone is congratulating each other on completing yet another year on the earth. Is this an achievement? Is there something to be proud about being there all this time? Is there anything worth celebrating that someone is this much older now? Celebrating birthdays means that you are counting the days a person has been around for so many years. Or as most people come with the logic, “Come on, it’s just a sweet little gesture. We get to meet, to be in touch, to make someone feel special, to hang around, to have some fun. What the big deal?” Agree. There’s no big deal. What’s the harm? But the only thing which comes to mind is that we celebrate birthdays with such pomp and show, we even celebrate death days (anniversaries), we celebrate so many other days like valentine’s day, mother’s day, father’s day, I wonder if there’s some brother’s day or sister’s day as well!
But I do not understand that while celebrating these specific days we forget the life itself! Life is not just about celebrating some days in particular rather each day of our life should be spent in a nice way. Smiles, gifts, good relations, meeting people, giving them importance, having some fun should always be there around the corner. These gestures should not be limited to some special days. Not everyone thinks this way.
India celebrated on Friday Rama Navami, the birthday of Hindu god Rama, a mythological figure in the story of the Kingdom of Dasharatha in Ayodhya.
We can understand the other faiths celebrating birthdays because we know that their faith allows that. In fact, their faith is based on such things. Birth of this god or that, or births of saints or holy men dictate their faith and its celebrations.
But since the silent creeping of those cultures into Muslim society (I won’t say Islam because nothing can come into Islam anymore as it is complete and saturated. Allah himself says that He has completed our Deen for us.
No room for anything now. Prophet told us not to copy other faiths otherwise we will be raised with those whom we follow or copy) we started celebrating things other than the two big festivals that have been prescribed for us.
But celebration is not illegal in Islam. You can give gifts to anyone whom you like; in fact giving nice gifts as gestures of love and respect is much appreciated in Islam.
You can wear nice clothes as a gesture of Allah’s Blessings showing on you without being arrogant. You can eat good food which is in fact very much liked by Allah. You can then thank Him and feel grateful to Him. You can daily meet a whole lot of people and chat about worthy matters when you go out in the community congregational prayers.
You can order cakes any fine day or bake at home as a surprise for your family. You can bring candles home on a dark night and light them just to show your kids how beautiful they look!
You can call your children’s friends to your place and arrange a ‘friend’s party’ or ‘fun party’ in which you can give away good books, toys or anything which kids love. In that party kids can enjoy games and show their talents and skills.
The whole thing is that when our whole life can be a sort of celebration then what the need of copying others is.
This is not being said just like that. People go for science and logic behind things. The science of this matter is that we grow old each passing day. Our life is getting shorter day by day. The logic for Muslims is only one. Our Prophet did not celebrate any birthday ever. Neither did he say anything to that effect. His successors did not celebrate the Prophet’s birthday or of each other. This is not in our faith. This is an inherent part of other faiths indeed. So we must avoid things which are not mentioned in our faith or are doubtful matters.
The thing is, do not celebrate birthdays or death days rather celebrate the life in between.
Life can be celebrated by loving your family and friends all life through, meeting them, giving them importance, exchanging gifts with them, calling them over, making something special for them, talking to them, listening to them and much more. We can feel important by taking care of ourselves nicely each day, nice clothes, nice food, meeting people we like, doing what we feel good about, utilizing our skills and being useful and productive. When we do something for others out of consideration and care with the intention of doing good deeds for our Lord we naturally feel good about ourselves.
When this becomes our life then each day is a celebration for us!