Sunnah or Bidah?
Shaikh AbdulAziz Bin Baaz He was one of the biggest and best known ullima of his time. He is from the Hanabali school of thought and is well recognized by As Salaf and he supports all of his fatwaas from Quran and Sahih hadith!
Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid he is a great scholar and one of the students of Shaikh AbdulAziz Bin Baaz. Everything he has quoted is form Quran or Sahih hadith.
by Shaikh `Abdul `Aziz bin `Abdullaah bin Baaz (RH)
In the book fatawa regarding woman Page # 33
Question: What is the ruling concerning celebrating birthdays?
Response: Celebrating birthdays has no source whatsoever
in the pure shariah. In fact, it is an innovation, since the Messenger
of Allah (peace be upon him) said "Whoever introduces anything into
this matter of ours that does not belong to it shall have that action rejected."
This was recorded by both al-Bukhari and Muslim. In a version recorded
by Muslim and by al-Bukhari "Whoever performs a deed which is not in accord
with our affairs, that deed is rejected." It is well-known that the
Prophet (peace be upon him) did not celebrate his birthday at all during
his lifetime nor did he ever order it to be celebrated. Nor did he teach
such to his Companions. Therefore, the rightly-guided caliphs and all of
his Companions did not celebrate it. They are the most knowledgeable of
the people concerning his sunnah and they are the most beloved to the Prophet
(peace be upon him). They were also the most keen upon following whatever
the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought. Therefore, if one is supposed
to celebrate the Prophet's birthday, this would have been made evident
at their time. Similarly, not one of the scholars of the best generations
celebrated his birthday nor did they order it to be done.
Therefore, it is known from the above that such a celebration is not from the Law that Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) with. We ask Allah and all Muslims to witness that if the Prophet (peace be upon him) had done so or ordered such to be done, or even if his Companions had done so, we would rush to do it and call others to do it. This is because, and all praises are due to Allah, we are the most keen in following his sunnah and respecting his commands and prohibitions. We ask Allah, for ourselves and for all of our brethren Muslims, steadfastness upon the truth, avoiding everything that differs from Allah's pure shariah. Verily, He is Generous and Noble.
Shaikh `Abdul `Aziz bin `Abdullaah bin Baaz
Shaikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
From his web site
The evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that celebrating birthdays is a kind of bid’ah or innovation in religion, which has no basis in the pure sharee’ah. It is not permitted to accept invitations to birthday celebrations, because this involves supporting and encouraging bid’ah. Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed…?” [al-Shoora 42:21]
“Then We have put you (O Muhammad) on a plain way of (Our) commandment. So follow that, and follow not the desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing against Allaah (if He wants to puish you). Verily, the zaalimoon (wrongdoers) are awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) to one another, but Allaah is the Wali (Protector, Helper) of the muttaqoon (pious).” [al-Jaathiyah 45:18-19]
“Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) besides Him. Little do you remember!” [al-A’raaf 7:3]
According to saheeh reports, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does something that is a not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected” (reported by Muslim in his Saheeh); and “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The most evil of things are those which have been newly invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” There are many other ahaadeeth that convey the same meaning.
Besides being bid’ah and having no
basis in sharee’ah, these birthday celebrations also involve imitation
of the Jews and Christians in their birthday celebrations. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, warning us against following
their ways and traditions: “You would follow the ways of those who came
before you step by step, to such an extent that if they were to enter a
lizard’s hole, you would enter it too.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah,
(do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Reported
by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) also said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”(Fataawa