LONDON – Marking the birthday of Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be upon him), hundreds of British Muslims in London and Leicester have organized events to celebrate the occasion which coincided with international Islamic Unity Week.
“We have to understand each other. If we understand each other we can live and work together as well,” Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, was quoted by Press TV on Sunday, January 12.
“We see problems between different sects, countries and groups.
“We need to establish a new dialogue between us.”
Under the title “Prophet of Blessings, Messenger of Islam for Humanity”, a ceremony was held on Sunday by the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (FPIST) to celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in London.
Coinciding with the international Islamic Unity Week for the second year, celebrations were held to mark both events in which hundreds of Muslim from UK and beyond rejoiced the festive mood.
Aiming at Muslims’ unity, the international Islamic Unity Week gathers prominent Muslim figures from around the world to promote Muslims’ solidarity.
Attendants included British public figures including, Tariq Ramadan, Swiss academic and Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford, Ken Livingston, Former London Mayor and British Labor party MP, along with Lord Ahmed, a Muslim Member of Britain’s House of Lords.
“This event is very important because it helps to get across the true nature of Islam, the peaceful message that the Prophet made in his last sermon,” Sais Livingstone, the Former Mayor of London.
Speeches on Islam and the Prophet's (PBUH) life, hijab and Islamic arts exhibition were also included in the event.
The Prophet’s birth 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.
UK Muslims in Leicester city have also celebrated the Prophet's (PBUH) birthday with a procession through the city streets that included thousands of Muslims.
“We are very pleased to say we had a record 3,500 brothers take part in the procession,” Mustafa Malik, one of the organizers told Leicester Mercury on Monday, January 13.
The celebrations kicked off after Zuhr prayer at the mosque in Sutherland Street, Leicester.
All through the day, celebrations included prayers and lectures on Islam and Prophet's life.
Starting at Sutherland street, the procession's route included St Peter's Road, St Saviour's Road, Hartington Road and Sparkenhoe, ending at the Central Mosque, in Conduit Street.
Ensuring festive mood and safety of walkers, Leicester police have blocked the road to let the procession proceed.
“We are very happy it went very well,” Malik said.
“We would like to thank the police for their help in ensuring everyone's safety.”
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million.
In July 2012, a report by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex found that Muslims are the most likely of all groups to be identified with the concept of ‘Britishness.’
In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.
Related Links:UK Mosques Celebrate Prophet Birthday
Prophet Muhammad Inspires Man Utd Striker
UK Muslims Prepare for Winter Appeal
UK Muslims Encouraged to Foster Kids
Mesut Ozil Wishes Muslims Happy Mawlid