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Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi: Muslims worldwide celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the festival of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, is celebrated across the world this week.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi: Muslims worldwide celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad

Prophet Muhammad’s birthday — a holiday known as Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi — is celebrated by Muslim communities in countries throughout the world this week. Milad-un-Nabi takes place in the third month of the Islamic calendar, with origins believed to date back to the end of the 11th century.

This year, Sunni Muslims celebrate Milad-un-Nabi on Jan. 24, while Shiite Muslims commemorate the holiday five days later on Jan. 29 — a date that coincides with the birth of their sixth Imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi is marked by large crowds of Muslims gathering in public settings to hear stories about the different aspects of the prophet's life.

In Pakistan, the holiday is honored with the raising of the national flag near monuments, followed by a gun salute at dawn. People decorate their homes and mosques with bright lights.

Large processions and a carnival-like atmosphere dominate the scene in Pakistan, but in other parts of the world the festival takes on a far more somber tone. Some Muslims see Milad-un-Nabi as contradictory to Sharia law, and choose to eschew the celebratory aspects of the holiday in favor of an opportunity to fast or spend time reading the Quran.