Most historians are silent about the exact date of birth of the Prophet (saw), where as those who do mention it, there are many contradictions and disagreements amongst them.
Muhammad Husain Haykal in the biography of Muhammad (saw) writes :
“Historians have disagreed about the year of Muhammad’s birth. Most of them hold that it took place in “the Year of the Elephant,” i.e. 570 C.E. Ibn ‘Abbas claims that Muhammad (saw) was Born on “the Day of the Elephant.” Others claim that he was born fifteen years earlier. Still others claim that he was born a few days, months, or years, after “the Year of the Elephant.” Some even assert that Muhammad was born thirty years and others seventy years later than “the Year of the Elephant.”
Historians have also differed concerning the month of Muhammad’s birth although the majority of them agree that it was Rabi` al Awwal, the third month of the lunar year. It has also been claimed that he was born in Muharram, in Safar, in Rajab, or in Ramadan.
Furthermore, historians have differed as to the day of the month on which Muhammad was born. Some claim that the birth took place on the third, of Rabi` al Awwal; others, on the ninth; and others on the tenth. The majority, however, agree that Muhammad (saw) was born on the twelfth of Rabi` al Awwal, the claim of ibn Ishaq and other biographers.”
The presence of such disagreements on the exact day of his birth, proves that birthdays were not important to the Arabs. Arabs were very well known for their great memorization skills. They used to know the lineage of their families and other Arabs by heart; they used to know hundreds of verses of poetry by heart, a great feat of memorization.
‘Amr b. Sharid reported his father as saying: One day when I rode behind Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), he said (to me): Do you remember any Poetry of Umayya b. Abu Salt. I said: Yes. He said: Then go on. I recited a couplet, and he said: Go on. Then I again recited a couplet and he said: Go on. I recited one hundred couplets (of his poetry). [Muslim 28:5602]
If the birthday of Rasool Allah (saw) was such an important celebration, surely they would have remembered it and noted it down. Further more, there is also no proof from history that Prophet Muhammad (saw) mentioned his exact date of birth nor encouraged his followers to hold milads or recite durood loudly on this day.
Neither is it recorded from any Sahaba that they celebrated his date of birth. However, he used to fast on Mondays, irrespective of the month and according to his Hadith he was born on a Monday and the deeds are also presented to Allah on Monday. He took up this day, not as a celebration but as a day of Worship.
Hadith References [Maliks Muwatta 6:2606][Maliks Muwatta 47: 017] [Tirmidhi 42:008]
History proves that Prophet Muhammad (saw) never celebrated his own birthday. He used to fast on Mondays irrespective of the month. All that we know for sure is that he was born on a Monday and that deeds are presented to Allah on Mondays, which is the reason he used to fast on Mondays. His exact date of birth and even the month is a subject of debate, which further proves the insignificance of birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Further more none of the Sahaba, his closest companions ever celebrated his birthday, decorate mosques, read aloud poetry in his praise or hold milads or take out processions on 12th Rabiul Awal.
So when we say that we dearly love our Prophet saw and therefore there is no harm in displaying this love on 12 Rabiul Awa, we need to analyze our selves and ask our selves…
If companions of Rasool Allah did not celebrate Milad then why are we celebrating it?
Do we love Prophet Muhammd saw more than his closest companions who sacrificed their lives, family , wealth and property for him? Do we love our Prophet (saw) more than these sahaba? Do we know a better way of expressing our love then the sahaba?Are we better Muslims than the Sahaba Karam (ra)? Are we more pious than Abu Bakar and Umar and Ali and usman radiallahu anhum?? Are we more knowledgeable than these companions? Obviously Not!
This tradition of Milads seeped into Muslims culture later on and was not part of original Islam. It is clearly an innovation a new thing added into Islam which is a Bida and therfore should not be celebrated as it was not part of original Islam practiced by the companions at the time of Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Rasool Allah (saw) him self said:“Whoever has performed a deed which is not in the religion from its inception is rejected (not acceptable to Allah)“. (Bukhari and Muslim)
So how should Muslims prove their love for Rasool Allah (saw)? What is the right way to proclaim and display your love for Rasool Allah (saw)