As Salaamu Alaikum,
What is the Islaamic view on wishing someone a happy birthday. جزاك الله خيرا
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
When looked at it from the angle of its meaning, the words ‘Happy Birthday’ simply tells a person that you are happy for his birthday and you are wishing him joy and happiness on that day. Therefore, with this understanding, there is no prohibition in Islam for using this phrase to express your happiness to a person. However, the better thing to do is to make a dua (supplication) and to ask Allah to bless the person on his birthday. This is what is evident from the teachings of Islam when there are happy occasions. For example on the occasion of one’s Nikkah (marriage), the bride and groom are greeted with words like ‘Nikah Mubarak’ (Blessed Nikah) and the supplication for Allah’s blessings are made for them. Similarly, when parents are blessed with a child, they are congratulated and duas are made for them since it is a happy occasion. So too, when one is successful in examinations or when one gets a job, he is congratulated and others make dua for him. In a similar manner, the birthday of a person is a happy occasion since it makes a change in the age of a person which is granted as a favor from Allah. Hence, one should be happy for this favor and express gratitude to Allah, and others should be happy for the person. It is for this reason, the great scholar, Mufti Abdur Raheem Lajpuri (A.R) wrote, ‘It is not prohibited to express happiness and to show gratitude to Allah on the occasion of someone’s birthday’ (Fatawa Raheemiyah Vol. 6 Page 320 Maktaba Raheemiya Surat)
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.