I want to ask you a question related to kindergarten of my son. My son’s birthday is just near and they told us to give our son a simple cake for his birthday. Please tell us if we can give or not? I want to further tell you that we usually give him a piece of cake or muffin for the birthday of other children as also requested by the kindergarten.My son also wants to take a simple cake with him for his birthday (as he sees other children bring with them on their birthdays). Please kindly tell us your opinion regarding this issue.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
If the kindergarten your son attends is also attended by non-Muslim children and is administered by non-Muslims, then it is advisable to explain to the administration our aversion as Muslims to celebrating birthdays the way they do. We are not averse to taking note of our birthdays and our age. We take the opportunity to thank Allah for the life He has given us and we remind ourselves of our purpose and mission of life.
The general method of celebrating birthdays with songs, clapping of hands and partying conveys a completely opposite spirit to our objective of life. These celebrations are permanently inscribed in the mind of the child navigating the child to a particular value system of life. If it is possible, put your child in a Muslim kindergarten that is run with Islamic ethos. Your child will be nurtured with Islamic values and his mind will be cultivated with the Islamic value system. If this is not possible, inform the school that you would prefer to prepare a dua and a few lines of advice to be read in class during your child’s birthday and other children’s birthdays as an alternate way of wishing a fellow student. Also talk to your child about how we note our birthdays differently and how proud we feel about our identity. When the child understands this, he will not feel uncomfortable and left out when others celebrate birthdays.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai