The procession started at the religious celebration started Leicester Islamic Centre on Sutherland Street in Highfields at 1pm and ended at the Central Mosque on Conduit Street - where the assembly sat down to have a meal. According to Councillor Mustafa Malik of the Spinney Hills ward, there were between eight to ten thousand people in attendance.
The annual procession has taken place in the city for the past 30 years, but Cllr Mustafa said that this is the biggest turn out that he has seen so far - especially after the pandemic. He said: “The most important person in my life, and in the Muslim faith is the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).”
“To be able to gather together to celebrate his birthday and to spread his message of peace makes me really happy, and to have that many people coming out to celebrate is tremendous.”
Councillor Ruma Ali who covers the Humberstone and Hamilton Ward also attended. She said: “It was a beautiful and peaceful parade with lots of banners and a loudspeaker that played music and songs and there were a lot of children and families giving out food.
Leicestershire Police also issued a statement: “Thank you to organisers of today's procession to celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammed and for engaging with police about this long-standing occasion in Leicester’s calendar.”
Mawlid is celebrated differently in different countries, for example in Pakistan, the holiday flags are raised and ceremonies are held at national monuments. Some Muslims choose to exchange gifts or give to the poor, and flock to mosques for prayer.
Unlike other holidays that are celebrated in the home, Mawlid brings Muslims together in a public display of respect and celebration of the Prophet.