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Mumbai celebrates Eid-e-Milad

Muslims across the city celebrated Eid-e-Milad with prayers and preaching sessions on Friday.

Mumbai: Muslims across the city celebrated Eid-e-Milad with prayers and preaching sessions on Friday.

Homes, mosques, dargahs and madrassas were decked with flags and banners to mark the birthday of the founder of Islam, Prophet Mohammed.

Known as `Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi`, the festival is mostly celebrated in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran and some South Asian countries.

Processions and celebrations mark the prophet`s birthday all over India.

The day, considered to be the most blessed in the Islamic calendar, saw many Muslims and community organisations hold meetings, where preachers spoke of the significance of the Prophet`s birthday.

Muslims in the city offered mass prayers and greeted each other on the occasion, as people of all ages took part in the festival and prayed for peace and harmony.

The celebrations were also supplemented with delicious Kalamra -- a special dish made of rice, curds, sugar, roses and peppered with dry fruits -- which is consumed on the day by most Muslims.

Over 50,000 people singing songs started from Khilafat House in Byculla in Mumbai and travelled through the Muslim pockets in the area. The procession was led by Union Minister of Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan.

Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar extended their greetings to the people on the occasion.

Celebrating Prophet Mohammed`s birthday is a pre-independence tradition to unite Hindus and Muslims against the British.

Prophet Mohammed was born in 570 A.D. in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and breathed his last in AD 632 at the age of 62, leaving a profound impression of his teachings on the world.

This is also an important day to pray before the relics of Prophet Mohammed kept in different parts of India.

Strands of the prophet`s hair are kept at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), Aurangabad, and at Zakaria Masjid and Mahim Durgah -- both in Mumbai, cleric Maulana Athar Ali said.

Elsewhere in the world, many personal items and relics of the prophet, including his attire, a footwear, hair, and swords are kept in Istanbul Museum, Turkey, considered to be the largest such collection in the world.