Thousands of Muslims gathered in Great Lever today to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

Some participants had travelled all the way from Spain, Italy, Scotland, and Cornwall to join in the faith walk.

Before leaving the Makkah Mosque in Great Lever to go on a parade there was a wide range of food, tea and coffee, and ice cream on offer, which was all free.

Speaking about the importance and significance of the event, Bilal Ahmed, who attends the mosque and helps to organise the annual event, said: “We are celebrating the birth of our Prophet Muhammad, his life, his legacy, his teachings.

"We are here to show within the community how us Muslims have come together to show the love we have for our Prophet and to express it to the world too.

The Bolton News: Nav Rashid, Iyaan, Salman and Mr MajidNav Rashid, Iyaan, Salman and Mr Majid (Image: NQ)“The Prophet taught us love, compassion, harmony, and he taught us all the things that shows Islam is one of the fastest growing religions now.

“People have come from all over the country, from Lincoln, Bedford and from Africa and from around the globe that have come to attend the event.

“The Prophet came as a mercy to the whole of mankind, meaning not just for Muslims, he is a mercy for everyone.

“We are here to celebrate his birth which is the greatest blessing that God has given to us; we are here to commemorate him.”

Mayor of Bolton, Mohammed Ayub, was in attendance at the event.

The Bolton News: Mayor Mohammed AyubMayor Mohammed Ayub (Image: NQ)He said: “This has been tradition now for 25 to 26 years now and every year we do this anniversary for the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, which we get provisions from the police and other departments which I am very thankful to.

“All of the people who take part are very peaceful.”

Construction lecturer at Blackburn College, Sufi Qasim, who helped organise the event said: “This event is to highlight and showcase the message that the beloved Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, spread across the world.

“He is a universal Prophet, a Prophet for the entire universe who was sent as a mercy for people.

“This event shows how peaceful Islam is, it is full of love, peace, and prosperity and it is bringing everyone together to celebrate on this beautiful occasion.

“We have people here from all walks of life to show he is a universal Prophet.”

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