What is the ruling on celebrating children’s birthdays?
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, sallaallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.
Muslims have only two lawful celebrations; namely, ‘Eed Al-Adh-ha and ‘Eed Al-Fitr. The evidence for this is a narration on the authority of Ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, that when the Prophet came to Al-Madeenah, the people there had two days that they used to celebrate. The Prophet asked them about these two days. They said that they used to celebrate these two days during the pre-Islamic era. The Prophet told them that Allah The Exalted had replaced these two days with the ‘Eeds of Al-Adh-ha and Al-Fitr. [Abu Daawood]
This Hadeeth (narration) proves that if the Prophet knew there were other lawful feasts, he would have told the Companions about them. Moreover, celebrating birthdays is an imitation of the disbelievers, and Muslims should be distinct in every thing. In fact, imitating disbelievers is prohibited and it may lead to them being distracted from Islam, if it is accompanied by love and loyalty for their customs. This idea is supported by many texts.
Allah Knows best.