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THOUSANDS of people from all over the country came together for a faith walk to mark the birthday of the Muslim holy prophet Muhammad.

Prayers, chanting, flags and a car decorated in tinsel were part of the celebrations.

People flocked to Bolton from areas including Peterborough, Huddersfield, Bradford, Blackburn and Bristol to join in the event, which was taking place for the 19th time.

Sheikh Sufi Mohammed Aslam, a late Muslim leader, was remembered at the walk for the work he did in his life for Muslims, particularly youngsters.

Roads were closed while people walked the streets waving flags and chanting the prophet’s name.

The faith walk this afternoon started at the Makkah Mosque in Grecian Crescent, Great Lever and ended at the Ghosia Mosque in Auburn Street, also in Great Lever. It lasted for about an hour.

Mian Aqeel, from Makkah Mosque, speaking before the walk, said: “This is one of the biggest events of the year for Muslims.

We expected between 1,500 to 2,000 people to attend the walk.

After the event we will start planning next year’s. It takes a whole year to plan.

Our motto is peace, harmony and love. We love everybody. Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations.”

Waseem Khan, aged 30, from Heaton, said: “It’s a peaceful march where Muslims gather to celebrate and show everybody that it’s the birth of the prophet.

"Events to celebrate will be taking place around the world. Scholars from different parts of the country will speak after the walk about the prophet.

"We see the prophet as a role model and want to send everybody the message that Islam is a peaceful religion.

"We want to share this with everybody, not just Muslims.”

Organisers said they wanted to thank Bolton Council for its support and for allowing the roads to be closed.