Those who say Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said Mawlid celebrations are allowed, they should also quote his other fatawa where he said the best is to follow the Salaf.
وأما ما أحدث الناس قبل وقت الجمعة من الدعاء إليها بالذكر والصلاة على النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فهو في بعض البلاد دون بعض ، واتباع السلف الصالح أولى
People innovated dhikr and sending blessings on Prophet peace be upon him before the time of Jummah for the purpose of calling people for jummah. This is done in some places and not in other places, THE BEST IS TO FOLLOW SALAF SALEH. [Fath al Bari 3/45]
According to him Mawlid is an innovation as he said:
واتفقوا أن آخر من كان من أتباع التابعين ممن يقبل قوله من عاش إلى حدود العشرين ومائتين ، وفي هذا الوقت ظهرت البدع ظهورا فاشيا
It is agreed upon that Itteba al Tabiyeen remained for two hundred and twenty years, That was the time innovations appeared. [Fath al Bari vol 7 page 8 chapter on the virtues of companions of Prophet peace be upon him]
The fatwa of Ibn Hajr on Mawlid is following.
«أصل عمل المولد بدعة لم تُنقَل عن أحد من السلف الصالح من القرون الثلاثة، ولكنها مع ذلك قد اشتملت على محاسن وضدها، فمَن تَحرَّى في عملها المحاسن، وتَجنَّب ضدها؛ كان بدعة حسنة، وإلا فلا.
As for the origin of the practice of commemorating the Prophet’s birth, it is an innovation that has not been conveyed to us from any of the pious early Muslims of the first three centuries, despite which it has included both features that are praiseworthy and features that are not. If one takes care to include in such a commemoration only things that are praiseworthy and avoids those that are otherwise, it is a praiseworthy innovation, while if one does not, it is not. (end quote from al-Hawi lil fatawi of Jalal ud din suyuti)
Comment: It is allowed for him ONLY IF INCLUDE GOOD THINGS like charity, not standing in Mawlid thinking Prophet peace be upon him is present.
Proof from Ibn Hajar asqalani’s quote that Prophet peace be upon him can not visit Mawlid gatherings.
He said replying those who say we can see Prophet peace be upon him while awake:
قلت: وهذا مشكل جدا ولو حمل على ظاهره لكان هؤلاء صحابة ولأمكن بقاء الصحبة إلى يوم القيامة، ويعكر عليه أن جمعا جما رأوه في المنام ثم لم يذكر واحد منهم أنه رآه في اليقظة وخبر الصادق لا يتخلف
I say: This is very odd. If we interpret it as it appears to be, then these people would be Sahaabah, and there could be Sahaabah until the Day of Resurrection. But this may be refuted by the fact that many people see him when they are asleep but no one says that that they saw him when they were awake, so there is an inconsistency.[Fath al-Baari, 12/385]
Proof from Ibn Hajar that those people are innovators who think Prophet peace be upon him visits the grave.
Jalal ud din Suyuti himself said that Ibn Hajar asqalani was asked
و سئل هل يكشف له حتى ير النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم فاجاب انه لم يرد حديث وانما ادعاه بعض من لا يحتج به بغير مستند سوى قوله فى هذا الرجل و لا حجة فيه لان الا شارة الى الحاضر فى الذهن
“He (Hafiz ibn Hajar) was asked: does some unveiling occur for him (the dead person) so he can see the Prophet peace be upon him? He replied: this is not mentioned in any Hadith, this is only claimed by some people who have no other proof to rely upon except the saying “this man (haza Ar-Rajul)”, and there is no proof in it as it is an indication (isharah) to the one who is present in the mind”[Sharah as-Sudoor page 145]
How was the Mawlid at the time of Ibn Hajr al Asqalani.
Ibn Hajr al Asqalani said regarding Rabi al Awwal:
وفي ليلة الإثنين حادي عشره كان المولد النبوي بالحوش على العادة وتغيظ السلطان فيه على القاضي الحنفي بسبب تأخيره الحكم في الصارم إبراهيم بن رمضان بسبب ما وقع فيه – من الأمور المنكرة،
And on 12th night the Mawlid un Nabi would take place in the courtyard according to the habit of sultan, And Sultan was getting angry on the Hanafi Judge because he delayed his order on Ibraheem bin Ramadan who was very harsh and did wrong practices. [انباء الغمر2/208]
He also said
وعمل المولد السلطاني على العادة في اليوم الخامس عشر فحضره البلقيني والتفهني وهما معزولان وجلس القضاة المسفزون على اليمين وجلسنا على اليسار والمشايخ دونهم واتفق أن السلطان كان صائما فلما مد السماط جلس على العادة مع الناس إلى إن فرغوا فلما دخل وقت المغرب صلوا ثم أحضرت سفرة لطيفة فاكل هو ومن كان صائما من القضاة وغيرهم
Birthday of Sultan was on 15th. Al Bulqini and al Tafhani also came, they were dismissed (from their positions), the judges were on the right side of Sultan and we were on the left side, There were some other Scholars as well. By chance Sultan was fasting, Sultan remained with people as it was his habit to answer them even when the hall was crowded with people, until people became free. The time of Maghrib came and we prayed, and somethings were given to sultan and the judges who were also fasting opened the fast with him. (انباء الغمر 1/561 سنة اثنتين وثلاثين وثمانمائة )
This is just a rough translation, the arabic passage was given by sufis themselves, but what does this prove? No juloos, no shirk, no chantings, no Narae Haideri “YA ALI”, nothing. Fasting, salat al Maghrib and helping the people which was sultan’s daily routine, not that he did specially. Thats it. How foolish are these bidatis who quote Ibn Hajr al asqalani to prove their shirki mawlid.
1. For Ibn Hajar asqalani Following the salaf is best i.e. not to celebrate Mawlid.
2. If someone is celebrating mawlid then he should be pure in Aqeedah otherwise do not go into his mawlid celebrations.
3. The Mawlid celebrations which people do now a days is Biddah according to Ibn Hajar asqalani.
see the Aqeedah of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani against Brailwiyah