So, this is my first blog post, and today just so happens to be my birthday. Yep, and that is what I will be sharing with you now – birthdays. As exciting as this sounds to most of you, how many of you have actually really thought about birthdays and why people celebrate it? How many of you thought about the significance of celebrating your birthday?
I have officially reached my third decade of existence. Imagine reaching 60 or 70? Let me ask you something, when you die, do you celebrate your death at a dine and wine with friends and family? Today, these two almost resembles each other, to tell the truth. I spent my birthday pondering a few things, because I realised that one day in a year just does not affect me, my mood, my life or my career, one bit. Surprisingly, it does make me look uglier or more handsome depends on your taste. Jokes aside, let’s review some questions I asked myself:
- What is the significance of celebrating my birthday or Why should I celebrate?
Lets, go back in history, Egyptian Pharaohs would celebrate their “promotion” from Prince/King to Pharaoh, this tradition dates back 3000 B.C as discovered by Dr. James Hoffmeier. The “birthday” in this reference was celebrated the day of which the promotion initiates the Pharaoh as a “God”.
I doubt this applies to us. In fact, even Christians, around 4th century A.D, considered birthdays as rituals of the pagans. I am a Muslim and I am no Pagan. What are you?
2. Should we celebrate birthdays?
Personally, No. However, I do acknowledge that it was the day of the year I was born but for a simple reason I do not host celebrations for my “birthday” is that it worries me I am one FULL year closer to my death, and constantly reflect back to “Have I achieved enough, spiritually, financially and socially?” to leave, and secondly, it would be a waste to splurge cash on such festivity. I do appreciate the gestures people present forward such as “Happy Birthday.” and a little prayer like “May Allah/God grant you…”, it does bring me joy and comfort. In fact, in that sense I appreciate words more than actions. But I suppose, everyone is entitled to their own preferences. I mean, each second, minute, hour, day, week and so on, takes us closer to our death. Celebrating a year towards it, is worrying.
3. How should we celebrate birthdays?
In Islam, it is customary as practiced by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his teachings, that at a Funeral, the friends and neighbours of the deceased are to support the family of the deceased by offering help and assistance in all forms from food, finance, guidance, and so forth. These are forms of charity that friends and neighbours are able to earn reward of. I know birthdays and death is not a well compared topic, but I feel it is a necessary one. In my experience, the best forms of having to do something that truly brings joy to one’s second, minute, hour or day is the honour of charity. If I were to, let’s say, have ZAR1000.00 to celebrate, I would do something that brings me joy as a means of charity such as feed the poor, help a sickly person, or help a neighbour, family or friend that has lost a loved one and so forth, and if they want to repay in some way, I’d simply want your good graces or prayers. Counts more than cake and song. I suppose, if you disagree, then it couldn’t possibly do harm having to splurge cash on one’s party attendees and hope they’d do the same the day you leave this world or even hope they’d have the best of prayers and not gossip on their way back home. Let’s face it, GOSSIP never stops. Makes you feel any better?
4. How will it benefit me celebrating my birthday?
Now this is something I would like everyone to let me in on, tell me, how has hosting a birthday or party had any benefit on you, since it is about you? Do not let me in on, getting presents or money, or makes me feel special, cause if your birthday happens to be on Christmas or Eid, or New Years, then I’d protest for the unfairness and your loss. But I suppose, most can agree it doesn’t alter your entire life and future for the better. I mean, in my years growing as a child, I have had big bashes and money banks filled, but what happened to it? It all lasted as long as a day, a week or even a month for the most. What about the rest of my life? Good graces and prayers are remembered more than money and bashes. Memories are what I hold more dear than the things this world has to offer, since I cannot take them with me to my grave. But, while I am dead, the memories you and I have shared will remain.
I hope you have not felt offended in any way, but simply understand as to why and what my feelings are to the idea of my birthday, if you feel otherwise to my opinions, I’ll still respect you for it. Thank you to all that has wished me well. I appreciate it dearly.
Do not forget to comment or share how you feel about spending your birthday, and I and we will remember how to make your day a memory.