CAIRO – Arsenal Muslim player Mesut Ozil has sent a warm message to world Muslims in Arabic, English and German congratulating them on Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.
“I wish the Islamic world a blessed and happy celebration,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
A similar message was written in Arabic and German as well.
The Prophet’s birthday falls on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal (the third month in the Islamic calendar). This year, it falls on Monday, January 13.
Many Muslims see the Prophet’s birthday as an important time to learn about and reflect on Muhammad’s life.
Lectures and speeches are often recorded and published as podcasts.
Around the world, celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday include stalls selling Islamic books, leaflets, clothing, prayer mats and other materials.
The 25-year-old German footballer plays for the Arsenal in the English premier league and the Germany national football team, and was, until summer 2013, playing for Real Madrid, which bought him in August 2010 following his breakout performance at the FIFA World Cup with Germany.
Becoming a star from young age, Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national team since 2009.
He gained international attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was nominated for the Golden Ball Award, which is awarded to the tournament's best player.
Earlier this month, the Berlin branch of Madame Tussaud's museum has unveiled a waxwork version of Özil.
At the age of 24, Özil becomes the youngest sportsman to figure in the Berlin museum.
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