THOUSANDS of Muslims marched through the streets of Nelson today to celebrate the prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

A plane was also seen flying over Pendle, with a banner saying 'We Love Muhammad-Mercy To All Mankind’.

The annual march was organised by mosques in Pendle, with the lead taken by Ghausia Mosque in Nelson.

The cost of the march and the plane were met by donations from the community.

Around 5,000 people from Burnley, Pendle and Manchester took part in the march, which set off from Ghausia Mosque, near Morrisons, at 10.30am.

The procession made its way along Scotland Road, Leeds Road and Barkerhouse Road before moving through to Chapel House Road.

It then travelled along Railway Street and Manchester Road, before heading back to the mosque via Every Street to share food and listen to speeches.

Several politicians joined the local Muslim community, including Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, several councillors, the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for Pendle Azhar Ali, and North West European election candidate Afzal Khan.

Pendle councillor Mohammed Iqbal took part in the procession. He said: “Muslims celebrate the birthday of Muhammad like Christians celebrate Christmas. The march brings people together from across the area. “This year was one of the biggest ever marches.

“It went very well. It was very well attended and very well organised and everyone went away happy.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson tweeted: “Pleased to join the Muslim Community in Nelson earlier today for the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.”