Date: 12 December 2016

Observed by Sunni Muslims on the 12th of Rabi'ul Awwal and by the majority of Shi'a Muslims five days later (though Nizari Ismali Shi'a Muslims who are followers of the Aga Khan celebrate this on the same day as the Sunnis, whereas Dawoodi Bohra Islamailis celebrate at the same time as other Shi'a).The day is widely celebrated within the Muslim world and is a public holiday in a number of Muslim countries. In the sub-continent of India and certain Arab countries like Egypt, the celebration starts with reading from the Qur'an, followed by poetry and songs in praise of the Prophet. There are also lectures and story telling. In some big cities of the Muslim world the day is marked with processions and flag waving under a huge decoration of lights. In the UK many Muslims celebrate at the mosque, but some refuse to celebrate the Prophet's birthday, claiming it is a non-Islamic innovation introduced more than 600 years after the life of the Prophet. Tradition is not clear as to the exact date of the Prophet's birth.

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