Dangerous pagan practices in birthday parties
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, warning us against following pagan ways and traditions: “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.”
Scholars have pointed to the Bible's reference of a Pharaoh's birthday as the earliest known mention of a birthday celebration (around 3,000 B.C.E.), but Egyptologist Dr. James Hoffmeier believes this is referencing the subject's coronation date, since that would have been the Pharaoh's "birth" as a god. (La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa Billah)
The idea of putting candles on birthday cakes was later added by the Greeks. The ancient Greeks believed that each person had a protective spirit that attended the person’s birth and thereafter watched over him. The Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. Among them was one called Artemis.
Artemis was the goddess of the moon. The Greeks celebrated her birthday once each month by bringing special cakes to her temple. The cakes were round like a full moon. And, because the moon glows with light, the cakes were decorated with lighted candles. More and more, though, people the world over attach a certain magic to their actual date of birth. . . We may wear a ring with our birthstone in it for good luck. And when we blow out the candles on our birthday cake, we are careful to keep what we wished a secret. If we tell, of course, our wish won't come true. (La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa Billah)
In other words, WE FOLLOW MANY OF THE OLD BIRTHDAY BELIEFS. We pay attention to the meanings of old-time birth symbols. And WE CARRY ON THE OLD CELEBRATIONS. We don’t necessarily take them seriously. We do these things mainly for fun. But it is also possible that there is something deep paganism in it.
Why do people say, “Happy birthday!” to each other? Says this authority, “For the good wishes of our friends and relatives are supposed to protect us from evil spirits.”
What about birthday thumps, bumps, pinches, and the like?
“In many parts of the world, it is a tradition to give the birthday child pinches, smacks, spanks, thumps, bumps, or punches. Even though they may hurt a little, they are said to be very lucky. . .
“The reason for birthday spanks is to spank away any evil spirits and send them scurrying far into the distance. Punches, thumps, and pinches, the harder the better, are supposed to do the very same thing. . . (La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa Billah)
As time passed, birthdays were believed to be a time when evil spirits could harm you. It was thought that any change in your life, like becoming another year older, made you vulnerable to these bad spirits. To keep yourself safe, it was important to be surrounded by family and friends wishing you well on your birthday. Presenting someone with birthday gifts would also bring them good fortune by keeping evil at bay. Noisemakers were later introduced at parties in the hope that it would scare the evil spirits away. (La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa Billah)
The false science of astrology, of course, makes a great deal out of the positions of the sun, moon and stars at the moment or day of one’s birth. Astrology teaches that the position of the sun, moon and stars at the moment of one’s birth determines their future destiny, their character, their personality, talents, health, and so forth. They cast horoscopes, or birth charts, to understand the supposed significance of a person’s birthday. (La Hawla Wa La Quwwata illa Billah)
Astrology, as the Word of God plainly shows, is a pagan, false religious deception -- a fraud and a mythological pseudo-science.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“… so invoke not anyone along with Allaah.” [al-Jinn 72:18]
“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed…?” [al-Shoora 42:21]
“Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) besides Him. Little do you remember!” [al-A’raaf 7:3]
To conclude, the day of one’s birth is not the important thing. It is merely the beginning of our life’s journey. What is important is what we DO with our lives, not how or where we begin.
.....................And Allah Knows Best........................