A few days ago, I turned 33 years old. Alhamdu lillaah for another year! I pray that my good deeds were plenty and accepted, and that my sins were few and forgiven, ameen.
There was a time in my life when my birthday was a big deal. The one day in the year that was “my day”, where I basked in attention from family, friends and associates, in the form of gifts, cards, money and parties. A day where I could “do what I wanna do”, simply because x amount of years before, I happened to be born on that day. A day that was like no other.
When you grow up in a society where celebrating birthdays is such a big part of everyday life, the only logical result is that you, too, will make it a big part of your life. Regardless of whether or not you are aware of the origins of this practice, or understand what taking part in it says about you. (“Whoever imitates a people, is one of them” -Prophet Muhammad).
It’s been over 12 years since Allaah guided me back to Islam, opening my eyes to the beauty of this way of life, and closing my heart to all that opposes it. Alhamdu lillaah. I no longer celebrate birthdays, not just because of the origins of doing so, but because in Islam, celebrating holidays is a form of worship, and Our Creator, the Most High, ordained our holidays for us: Eid al Fitr (immediately following Ramadan), Eid al Ad’ha (immediately following hajj), and the 6th day of the week, Friday. To observe these days in a festive manner is sunnah. It is what our prophet – peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him – and his companions did, as well as those who followed in their footsteps in the earlier – and latter – generations. To add other days to what Allaah has already ordained, to me, says that we’re not satisfied with what Allaah gave us, so we need to add more. To make it better…….To make it better? Really?
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an, Al-Ma’idah: 3)
There is nothing we can add to this religion to make it better, because it is already perfect! For all times, for all lands, for all peoples…PERFECT!
This particular year I spent my birthday doing normal mundane (and a few exciting) things. I spent it as I normally would spend any other Friday: family breakfast of pancakes; getting the guys ready for Jumu’ah prayer; distributing allowance; making lunch; trying to make time to read Surat Al- Kahf; answering the doorbell a dozen times because kids just love to run in and out of the house all day long…hahaha, you know how weekends are 🙂
Was invited to a small dinner party/reunion at a friend’s house. Had a great time seeing and catching up with good sisterfriends. Joked with the sisters and kids about the dessert being my “birthday cake”, lol!
After that went to a party at another friend’s house in honor of her 5-year old daughter who had just finished memorizing 1/30 of the Qur’an! That was one proud mama, she REALLY did it up for her daughter, Mashaa Allaah 🙂
Although it was my birthday, I didn’t receive any presents, money, cards, etc. (I did get quite a few Facebook wall posts from my “peoples”, which I appreciated), and you know what? I don’t feel any less loved, cherished by, or important to any of my loved ones. I know my “peoples” love me, because they show it in so many other ways, on so many other days and occasions. And that’s what makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, not one day of the year.
Hey look, I’m not one to preach, nor compel anyone to follow my way of thinking. This post is what it is, nothing more, nothing less: sharing information. I’m sure it may surprise some people that I no longer celebrate birthdays, so I thought a little infosharing was appropriate.
I know there are people reading this who will not agree with what I’m saying. And you know what? That’s okay with me! Because in the end, to each their own.
May Allaah guide us all to what is pleasing to Him, ameen.