I have been following the three part “The Birth-Date of the Prophet and the History of the Mawlid” by Yasir Qadhi and was interested to see what his conclusions were. One particular passage in the last part (Part III) had me scratching my head, leaving aside the other issues of accuracy and the veracity of what he has written for people more expert in these matters than me.
Yasir Qadhi says (in Part III):
I also stress that even if I disapprove of a public celebration of the mawlid, not all mawlids are the same, and if the only matter that is done on a mawlid is to praise the beloved Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam in an appropriate manner, and mention aspects of his sirah, and thank Allah for blessing us to be of his Ummah, then this type of celebration is permissible, in fact praiseworthy, on any day of the year, and hence even if some groups choose one specific day to do it, others should not be harsh in their disapproval of it. I believe that the fatwas given by such esteemed authorities as Ibn Hajr (d. 852) and al-Nawawi (d. 676) legitimizing mawlids refer, in fact, to such “innocent” mawlids. Sadly, it is well-nigh impossible to find such “pure” mawlids practiced in our times!
OK, so in essence he does not object to the Mawlid as such, great, but then goes on to say that the fatawa given by Ibn Hajar and Imam Nawawi (what about Suyuti and Ibn Kathir’s approval?) are to do with “innocent” mawlids (what does that mean?) and then says “it is well-nigh impossible to find such “pure” mawlids practiced in our times”!, well either he is not looking hard enough or is being disingenuous. OK so he uses quotation marks around “innocent” and “pure” to suggest that there is some leeway or that the standards he considers as a being pure and innocent are in fact his own imaginings of those standards. All the Mawlids that I have ever been to are “to praise the beloved Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam in an appropriate manner, and mention aspects of his sirah, and thank Allah for blessing us to be of his Ummah”, I wonder what he considers as “impurities” and “corruptions” that happen in the gatherings I have been to? Is it just a case that he just doesn’t go to Mawlids, and is this just a case of poisoning the minds of people around this issue and also trying to co-opt the opinions of the aforementioned ulama who approve of the Mawlid, as validating his claim that the fatawa legitimizing mawlids “refer, in fact, to “innocent” mawlids”? – And Allah knows best.