If you google on the internet, there are many arguments about the maulidur rasul or maulud nabi celebrations. I am not knowledgeable enough in Islamic theology to argue one way or another.
Last year when I was researching the material on Maulud Nabi in Brunei, I came across another article written by Gabriel Haddad and published in Brunei Times about the history of the Maulud Nabi celebrations in Makkah many many years ago. With the upcoming Maulud Nabi celebrations, I thought I will reproduce what I wrote based on that article.
(Photo: This is a very old photograph supposedly showing where the Prophet (S.A.W.) once lived.)
One account written by Gabriel Haddad and published in the Brunei Times in 2008 was the following description by Ibn Jubayr (540-614) in his Rihla (“Travels”): “This blessed place (the Birthplace Mosque of the Prophet) is opened, and all men enter it to derive blessing from it (mutabarrikin bih) on every Monday of the month of Rabi al-Awwal, for on that day and in that month was born the Prophet.”
Gabriel Haddad narrated several other accounts including consolidating eyewitness accounts by three 10th-century authorities: the historian Ibn Zahira from his Jami “al-Latif fi Fadli Makkata wa-Ahliha”; al-Haytami from his book “al-Mawlid al-Sharif al-Muazzam”; and the historian al-Nahrawali from “al-Ilmam bi-Alam Bayt Allah al-Haram”:
“Each year on the twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal, after salat Maghrib, the four qadis of Mekah (representing the Four Sunni Schools) and large groups of people including the jurists and notables of Mekah, Shaykhs, zawiya teachers and students, magistrates and scholars, leave the Mosque and set out collectively for a visit to the birthplace of the Prophet, shouting out zikir and tahlil (a statement that there is no god but Allah).”
“The houses on the route are illuminated with numerous lanterns and large candles, and a great many people are out and about. They all wear special clothes and they take their children with them.”
“Inside the birthplace, a special sermon for the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet is delivered. Hereafter the doa for the (Ottoman) Sultan, the Emir of Mekah, and the Shafii qadi is performed and all pray humbly. “
“Shortly before the Isyak prayer, the whole party returns to the Great Mosque, which is almost overcrowded, and sit down in rows at the foot of Maqam Ibrahim. In the mosque, a preacher first mentions the tahmid (a statement that all praise only be to Allah) and tahlil. Once again the doa for the Sultan, the Emir, and the Shafii qadi is performed, followed by the Isyak prayer. “
(Photo: I was informed that the house has been torn down and a public library was built on its site)