Question # 336: Assalamu alaikum wr wb, I would like to know what the ruling on baby showers is? Is it permissible? Jak

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The basic principle with regard to customs and traditions is that none of them are forbidden except that which Allah has forbidden. Hence, celebrating the coming of a baby (baby shower) is a social custom involving expression of joy and happiness, and as such is permissible unless it involves a violation of the Shari‘ah.

Long Answer: The basic principle with regard to traditions [such as baby shower] is that they are permissible, unless they are matters for which the kuffaar and mushrikeen are known.

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Actions may be acts of worship or customs and traditions. The basic principle with regard to acts of worship is that none are legitimate except that which Allah has prescribed. The basic principle with regard to customs and traditions is that none of them are forbidden except that which Allah has forbidden. (Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The basic principle with regard to every action except acts of worship is that it is permissible because Allah (سبحانه و تعالى): “…while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity …” (Soorah al-An‘am, 6:119) If a person does some action or starts to play some game, then someone comes to him and says, “This is haraam for you, it is something that neither the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) nor his Companions did,” our response is to say: The basic principle is that things are permissible unless there is evidence to prove that they are forbidden.” (Sharh Manzoomah Usool al-Fiqh wa Qawaa‘idihi)

(The above reply is based on answer provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on the topic)

Ash-Shaatibi stated in his book Al-Muwaafaqaat that the purpose and meaning are what counts in custom, as opposed to acts of worship. He wrote, “The basic principle in acts of worship is compliance/submission without consideration of meaning/relevance; whereas in custom, the basic principle is consideration of meaning/relevance.”

Celebrating the coming of a baby is an expression of joy and happiness and this is a purpose approved by the Shari‘ah. Therefore, such a custom is not held impermissible unless it involves a violation of the Shari‘ah. (The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam