In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
It is not allowed to institute a special fast to celebrate birthdays, for that would be tantamount to instituting a ritual act without the sanction of revelation.
Responding to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, Senior Lecturer and Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, states:
There is indeed a tradition that indicates that the Prophet used to fast on Mondays. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast on that day to express his gratitude to Allah the Almighty for giving him life and selecting him as His Prophet.
However, it is not allowed to institute a special fast to celebrate birthdays, for that would be tantamount to instituting a ritual act without the sanction of revelation.
At the same time, if a person chooses to give thanks to Allah in this way, without turning it into a ritual, no one can stop him, unless it falls on one of the days when fasting has been prohibited.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.