BIRTHDAY TO A MUSLIM; CELEBRATION OR RETROSPECTION By Sanni Kay Yusuf
What makes a birthday is the passage of time: the tick of seconds that metamorphoses into minute; the rotation of hours that brings about day; the count of weeks that leads to month; and of course, the cycle of months that results in the day and/or date of birth.
Isn’t it worth rolling drums – round the city – that one’s soul is gracefully, graciously spared for another 365 days – in sound health, well-being, wealth etc.? This is why some – muslims inclusive – will drink themselves to stupor with the sole aim of showing how stupendously grateful they are to the Sparer of their souls. Isn’t that amazing?
It is commonplace – not far fetched, at all – to see a big party thrown by a muslim amidst wining and dining (including alcohol intake), dancing to music (including songs that are characterized by lamentable vulgarity and shameful rascality) etc. in the name of marking or celebrating a year added to his stay on earth.
To some muslims, cutting a fantastically decorated and/or monetarily costly cake is the way to express their gratitude to the Lord of their souls. While some do so alongside a mini, medi or maxi-party, some rather take snapshots, selfies with friends and family members for future rememberance and reference. Hmm!
To some muslims, the best way to appreciate their Lord for witnessing another year is by extending a special invite to imams and alfas for a special prayer where the Qur’an is congregationally recited and the prayer warriors financially and gastronomically honoured in the end. The stomach is fed and the pocket is filled.
Although, birthday may require being thankful to Allah, what it fundamentally, majorly signals is the closeness of death: that one’s death-day is around the corner, and that one’s days in life are numbered. It’s a glaring pointer that a year has been reduced from the years one is destined to live on earth. It is a sign that one should get prepared for the life in the grave. What then is the celebration about?
If birthday is an indicator of death-day, should one then throw a celebration or flow in a retrospection? Should one rejoice over the approach of one’s demise or reminisce over how one’s gone days have so far been spent? A rational muslim should rather retrospect over his past so as to plan for the remaining seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and/or years ahead. He should go down memory lane in order to remedy his wrongs.
That the Prophet would fast on Mondays – the day he was born – is an indication that it is not wrong to remember one’s birthday. He would remember it, not on a yearly basis, but on a weekly basis and would be in a state of absolute servitude to his Sustainer. That makes the day somewhat significant.
The significance of any birthday, however, is rather to reflect, retrospect and reminisce over the past, so as to make corresponding corrections where necessary before Molakul Maot is sent to cease the soul from powering the body.
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