As a humble toiler in the opinion mines, cursed to work the same tapped out seams day in and day out, I confess to a certain admiration for those imams who never run out of new things to rail against. Moulana Abdul Hamid Ishaq, who spoke in Toronto on Sunday, is “one of the most active and learned scholars in South Africa”, and he doesn’t care for the “evils” of “Happy Birthday To You“:
It is not necessary that everything the West does is according to logic. The biggest proof that it is the invention of the west are the song words without which this function is not complete viz. ‘Happy birthday to you.’ No one says, ‘Happy birthday celebration’ or ‘Happy Blessed birthday’ or any other words of this kind. This disease of celebrating birthdays was never prevalent among Muslims before, but since Muslims started living alongside the non-Muslims, they have been influenced by them.
Birthdays are celebrated usually at the end of a year and not at the beginning of the year. For example, if one’s birth date is on the 1st of January, then the birthday will be celebrated on the 1st of January and not the 2nd of January. Now just ponder, what intelligence is there in celebrating and showing happiness when a year has decreased in one’s life. During a birthday celebration, candles are lit on a cake, amounting to the years of the one’s life… Here a person is extinguishing the rays of the years of his life by blowing them out himself.
I like to think the imam would find this cake especially objectionable.