The mufti made the comments while answering a question from Al-Madinah newspaper after prominent Qassim-based scholar Salman Al-Oadah issued a fatwa saying that celebrating such occasions was not against the rules of Shariah. ''Such a call is against righteousness,'' said Al-Alsheikh, who is also the chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars and the head of the Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta).
Speaking on satellite television last week, Al-Oadah, general supervisor of the Islamtoday.com website, created controversy after ruling that there is nothing un-Islamic in celebrating wedding anniversaries and birthdays.
''It is normal for a son or daughter to celebrate birthdays. They can invite their friends for a meal on this occasion. I see nothing wrong in this,'' he said.
According to Al-Alsheikh, the highest religious authority in the Kingdom, Muslims only have two official celebrations, Eid-Al-Fitr, which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated on Dhul Hijjah 10, the Arab News reported. He said that Muslims also have a weekly Eid, which is Friday.
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manie, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said Al-Oadah had made 'a slip of tongue' and urged him to retract what he had said.
''Although he is a very learned scholar, Sheikh Al-Oadah has made a mistake here,'' he said.