"Maulid"is derived from the Arabic root word meaning to give birth. Contemporary usage refers to the observance of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
"Maulid" falls in the 12th of Rabi'al Awwal, meaning the early spring, the third month of Hijriah, in the Islamic calender.
The history: The early celebrations included animal sacrification, processions and celebratory feast, presentation of sermons and recitation of Al Qur'an. Though there is no evidence to indicate the reason for the adoption, some theorize the celebration took hold to counter Christian influence.
Islamic scholars are divided on whether observing "maulid" is necessary or permissible in Islam.
1. Approval of the observance. Hadith where Prophet Muhammad recommended fasting on Mondays, the day he was born, the day of Prophecy descended on him and also the day of commemorating Prophet Muhammad birthday. Most accept that it is praiseworthy as long as it is not against "shariah" or Islamic law.
2. Bid'ah and forbid its celebration. Although all agree that the birthday of Prophet Muhammad was the most significant event in Islamic history,they point out that the companions of Prophet Muhammad and the next generation of Muslims did not observe this event. Further more Prophet Muhammad did not observe the birth anniversaries of his family and loved ones, including his first wife, Khadijah binte Khuwailid or his followers.
Conclusion: To mark the anniversary, to express our love to our beloved Prophet, not only on the 12th of Rabi'ul Awwal but any moment. Not only performing processions and celebratory feast, listening to religious talk and "Selawat" but follow exactly his "Sunnah" Anyhow it is praiseworthy and the best alternative rather than to celebrate other occasion or holidays from the unknown or against our religious rite such as The Valentine's Day or April Fool.