Although the exact date of his birth is unknown, Muslims agree he was born in the year 570 CE. The occasion is celebrated on the 12th of Rabi al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic lunar calendar, this year corresponding to December 11 and 12.
The main tenet of Islam is the belief in God and that Muhammad is his final messenger and prophet. When referring to the Prophet, Muslims add, "May peace and blessings be upon him."
The birthday of Prophet Muhammad, also known as Mawlid, is being celebrated across the world. In some Muslim countries, the day is a public holiday. In more conservative countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the practice is forbidden as there is no record of the Prophet observing the day.
The Prophet is revered by Muslims as the final messenger sent by God to spread the Abrahamic faith to the world. To non-Muslims, he is considered the founder of Islam.
A man carries an umbrella decorated with balloons during a procession celebrating Mawlid in Benghazi, Libya. (Reuters)
A woman buys toys ahead of celebrations marking the religious holiday of Mawlid in Benghazi, Libya. (Reuters)
A girl wearing a mask participates in a procession celebrating the religious holiday of Mawlid in Benghazi, Libya. (Reuters)
Keeping the tradition alive, Muslim women and children in Cape Town, South Africa, in their finest clothes cut lemon and orange tree leaves while reciting salutations upon the Prophet. (Getty Images)
The ceremony of Rampies-sny involves cutting lemon and orange leaves, soaking them in rose and lemon water and packing them in small sachets to be gifted to the men in the South African community. (Getty Images)
Women react upon seeing a relic believed to be a hair from the beard of Prophet Muhammad, on display at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, Kashmir. (Reuters)
A vendor sells traditional snacks to devotees at Kashmir's holiest shrine, Hazratbal in Srinagar, Kashmir. (AFP)
An Egyptian woman looks at the prices of traditional sweets and "Aroset El Moulid" (Bride of Mawlid) dolls at a market ahead of the religious holiday in Old Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
A vendor selling traditional sweets for the celebration of Mawlid waits for customers at a market in Old Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
The famous whirling dervishes of Turkey perform at Karabas Veli Dervish Lodge during the celebrations for Prophet Muhammad in the city of Bursa, Turkey. (Getty images)
Men sing devotional songs in praise of the life and personality of Prophet Muhammad in the streets of Nablus, Palestine. (Getty Images)
Sweets are widely distributed among the children during Mawlid celebrations in Nablus, Palestine. (Getty Images)
An illuminated mosque is pictured amid the Mawlid celebrations in Karachi, Pakistan. (AFP)
Markets are decorated for the celebration of Mawlid in Lahore, Pakistan. (AFP)
People celebrate Mawlid in various ways depending on where they are from. Here people participate in a prayer ceremony at the Diyanet Center of America near Washington DC, in Maryland, US. (Getty Images)
People are served dinner after the celebrations at the Diyanet Center of America near Washington DC. (Getty Images)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies