Saturday, June 4, 2011

To celebrate or not to celebrate - this is the question...

Today is my birthday and I am pretty excited. This is the first time in six years that I’m able to celebrate the date in Brazil, close to my close friends and family.
Now, the funny thing is that, just a couple of days before coming over, I was talking to a friend, an Emirati, and she told me something I had never heard before: Muslims do not celebrate birthdays.
According to her, 'in Islam, people do not celebrate a birthday because it is kind of bid'ah, or innovation in religion. Muslims are also not supposed to accept invitations to parties to not encourage the imitation of Western festivities.'
In her opinion, however, 'Muslims nowadays are not following Islam as they should. They celebrate birthdays, Valentine's Day and other events created and promoted by the Western world.'
After a quick investigation around I found out that not all Muslims agree with this. They feel they can express gratitude to Allah and still celebrate the occasion with family and friends – as long as they don’t engage in actions that are not permissible, or Haraam.
This is a tough one. As mentioned in one of my earlier posts (Halal x Haraam), I guess it must be hard to establish a clear limit between what is tolerable and what is forbidden, especially here in the UAE where you can see so much influence from the Western world.
Well, since I don’t have to worry about this and can celebrate all night long… let the festivities begin!!!!
Note to friends and family: can’t wait to receive all the cards, gifts and birthday wishes! :)

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