Some people claim that Ibn Taymiyyah was for the mawlid and as ‘evidence’ they produce the following paragraph from his words:
“And similarly what some people innovate by analogy with the Christians who celebrate the birth of ‘Eesa (Jesus), or out of love for the Prophet (saw) and to exalt him, and may Allaah reward them for this love and effort, not on the fact that it is an innovation…“
[Taken from "Majmoo' Al-Fataawa", Vol.23 p.163, and "Iqtidaa' As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem", p.294-295, Section entitled, "The innovated festivals of time and place."]
From the above words is seems as if this great Imaam, Mujaahid & Scholar of Islaam, was for the mawlid and saw it as something legitimate and rewardable.
However, this is a false interpretation of his words. Here is what Ibn Taymiyyah actually said along with a better translation of the text:
و كذلك ما يحدثه بعض الناس إما مضاهاة لنصارى في ميلاد عيسى عليه السلام و إما محبة للنبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و تعظيما له و الله قد يشيبهم على هذه المحبة و الاجتهاد لا على البدع
“And like that, what some people have innovated, be it out of analogy to the Christians in the birth of ‘Eesa or be it out of love for the Prophet (saw) and honor for him and Allaah, they may be rewarded for this love and ijtihaad, not for the innovation.“
So it is clear that Ibn Taymiyyah claaed it an innovation, and saw no reward for the deed.
For more information please refer to “The Erroneous & Invalid In Muhammad Hisham Kabbani’s Mawlid”, By Abu Khaliyl, ‘Dar Al-Kitab Wal-Hikmah’ publishing. Pp. 30-32