Holding celebrations and reciting the Qur'an upon one's reaching maturity

Q: Here in South Africa, when a boy or girl reaches twenty one years of age, people celebrate, recite Qur'an and cook various dishes of food. They also gather and give the twenty-one- year old boy or girl a key. Are these acts permissible in Islam? What is the ruling on such acts in Islam?

A: What you have mentioned including celebrating and reciting Qur'an upon reaching twenty-one or twenty-two years old has no basis in Shari`ah, rather, it is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion) and imitation of the Christians (in your country). It is authentically reported on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If anybody introduces a practice which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected. [Related by Muslim and Ahmad in Al-Musnad. It was also related by Abu Dawud on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with both of them) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Whoever copies a group of people, will be one of them (i.e. will have the same punishment that they will have.) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.