Teaching On Birthday
Muhammad Speaks Newspaper
P.O Box 44261
Detroit, MI 48244
Messenger Elijah Muhammad’s Teaching On Birthday Celebrations
Why Muslim Women Adhere Strictly to Laws of Islam
By Bayyinah Sharrieff
Reprinted from the April 19, 1968 edition of Muhammad Speaks Newspaper (page 24)
The females with whom I lived in the girls’ hostel in the University of
Khartoum, Sudan, were able to differentiate right from wrong, truth
from falsehood with just a glance. They would not even deliberate on
something which seemed contrary to the laws of Islam. They refused to
show a sign of interest in a subject if it did not agree with their
I turned 21 years of age in the Republic of the Sudan. I wanted to
celebrate my birthday. As I spoke of the approaching celebration and of
my plans for a large party with drinks and music, my female colleagues at
the university questioned me as to why I wanted to celebrate my birthday.
They thought it was a silly idea.
I wondered myself. Why did I celebrate my birthday? Because the people of
America (where I was born) celebrated birthdays, was my answer. They
continued to question me. Why would the Americans celebrate achieving
another year unless they doubted their chances of living another year?
Were they afraid that they would not live to an old age and achieve much
I felt very silly and ignorant after their questions, because I did not
know why Americans celebrated birthdays.
I made arrangements to celebrate my birthday in the home of the Nigerian
embassy’s secretary. His wife was a young woman, and she was one of my
best companions in the Sudan. There was one Muslim girl (Sudanese) named
Leila (a medical student at the university) who listened to my plans and
helped me select the menu and the decorations for the party. She lived
near the Nigerian family’s home, and she helped me decorate the garden
and the home for the party.
When I invited some of my colleagues to the party, they again questioned
me: What time would the party start? Would we be back in the hostel
before dark? I had planned for the party to start after dark. From this
fact alone, they informed me that they would not be able to attend the
They asked where it was to be held? The neighborhood in which the
Nigerian family lived was good, but the family was not Muslim, it was
Christian. the girls said their families would not approve of them going
to a non-Muslim home.
They next asked me who would be there? When I told them that I had
invited some of the male students from the university, they said a big
NO! They would definitely not come to the party. They could not attend a
party in the presence of men without their relatives. Some of my female
colleagues were insulted by my invitation and asked me what kind of
persons did I think they were to invite them to such a party with men at
night. This was the habit of prostitutes. Even my friend Leila left soon
after the party began.
The party was a failure. Only two Christian girls and one Sudanese girl
(who had been raised in America) came to the party. The number of males
present greatly outnumbered the number of females present. I tried to get
them to dance, but they refused. The Nigerian lady and myself were the
only two females at the party after 9 p.m.
The Sudanese thought I was rediculous to celebrate my birthday. It was
not until I joined the Nation of Islam and became a follower of the
Honorable Elijah Muhammad that I realized why the Muslims do not
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that the Nation of Islam has no
birth record. It has no beginning nor ending. Why then would a Muslim
celebrate achieving another year when their years are not numbered nor
their time limited?
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad instructs us that we should not celebrate
the days of our birth for we are of the original man, who has no birth
record. Islam is the natural religion of the Black man. We are links in a
The Honorable Eliljah Muhammad teaches us that the white man’s time to
rule the Black man is limited and that at the end of his time, the God of
freedom, justice and equality (Who came in the Person of Master Fard
Muhammad, to Whom praises are due forever) would come and the white man’s
power of unequaled justice would be broken, and he would be destroyed.
This God has come and is present, so the Honorable Elijah Muhammad
teaches us. We can see that the white man’s power is disintegrating
daily: His unstable dollar. His lack of gold. His unstable government and
the confusion of his people. Therefore know that his time is limited, he
thus celebrates the achievement of completing a year everytime he does so.
If we celebrate birthdays we are following in the way of the devil (white
man). The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has the clear evidence and is the
plain warner that we should not follow in the way of the devil, i.e.
practice what the white man practices, when it contradicts with the
religion, and when it is not in accord with the Islamic way of life.
Reprinted from the May 31, 1974 issue of Muhammad Speaks
Nia Malika Celebrates
She was one year old March 2nd. This was a very important day for us. For
Nia, it was her first birthday. She invited all of her friends over and
had a party. They really got down. Her godfather (who just happens to be
in the catering business) made some “back home” ice cream.
The cake came from Shabazz.
You should have seen how all the other ones and twos got into the act.
Her mother, well she can really appreciate Nia’s Conscious Celebration.
It was the day after her father paced the floor the night before. He made
a visit to Guaranty and got her a Conscious Book. A Conscious Book is
what you get after opening a savings account at Guaranty. Her father
believes we should think about tomorrow, today. Many of the other ones
and twos that help Nia celebrate have Conscious Books too.
In Swahili, Nia Malika means Masterful Purpose. Celebrate, visit
Guaranty, the Conscious Bank, or use the coupon below and start your
I’ll bet you can guess where Nia puts her birthday money. Conscious Money
grows. Conscious Money circulates in our community.
Guaranty…The Conscious Bank on our South Side. 68th & Stony.