Q: Apart from Salaam & Duas is one allowed to give a gift/s to a fellow Muslim on his / her birthday? Also what is the proper Islamic etiquette to celebrate a birthday?
A: Celebrating birthdays is a custom of the kuffaar. As Muslims, we are commanded to refrain from emulating the kuffaar as well as adopting their ways. Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم (the one who emulates a people will be counted from amongst them (in the sight of Allah Ta’aala)). Hence, it is not right at all for a Muslim to share in the happiness of someone celebrating his birthday by saying “happy birthday” to him or to make a birthday cake or to send gifts on that occasion.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم (سنن أبي داود 2/559)
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