Assalamu3alaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatahu,
I was talking to a Salafi guy about the Mawlid Un Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wasallam & he said that there is a ijmah of Scholars on 12th of Rabi ul Aw’wal to be the day of Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam’s passing away from this world. There is no Ijmah on the birth date of Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam & there is a contradiction between Scholars about the birth date. By this he said we cannot celebrate Mawlid on that date.
What should be the answer to this guy??
It is true that there are months other than Rabi` al-Awwal reported for the month of the blessed Prophetic Birth such as Safar, Rajab, Ramadan, and Rabi` al-Thani, cf. Ibn Rajab, “Lata’if” (p. 184) and al-Haytami, “al-Minah al-Makkiyya” (1:181); also, dates other than the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal, such as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 17th, or 18th of that month. Nevertheless, the massive majority of the scholars (al-jumhur) have settled on Rabi` al-Awwal, and specifically on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal as the most famously established (mash-hur) date according to Ibn Rajab in “Lata’if al-Ma`arif“, the hadith master al-Salihi in his encyclopedia of all Siras, “Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khayr al-`Ibad“, our teacher Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr in his Mawlid book, “al-Nafahat al `Itriyya fi Sirat Khayr al-Bariyya“, Dr. Muhammad Abu Shuhba in his 1,400-page “al-Sira al-Nabawiyya”, Dr. Sa`id Ramadan al-Buti in his “Fiqh al-Sira al-Nabawiyya”, and many others past and present scholars.
Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (Allah sanctify his secret and grant him long life) once said in Damascus: “Once the news of something has spread far and wide, it is a fact stronger than facts” (idha shaa`a al-khabar huwa aqwa min al-waqi`). The date of 12 Rabi` al-Awwal for the Prophetic Mawlid has been the most famous date (al-mash-hur) accepted by scholars and non-scholars in this Ummah for centuries and has become stronger than fact; people remember their Prophet all year round and it peaks on that date and alhamdulillah in any case. If some people wish to contest it they are free, as it will not change anything. More importantly it is somewhat pedantic and a false type of corrective emphasis, because any date is good for the celebration itself, and to settle on one specific date as the historical basis does not invalidate the correctness of the celebration, as no one is claiming a law-enforced or legislated status (e.g. sunnah or mustahab or wajib) for that date. And Allah knows best.
For more reading on the weakness of such pseudo-objections to celebrating Mawlid see http://www.abc.se/~m9783/n/tufm_e.html
Hajj Gibril Haddad