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With rituals and sweets, Muslims mark Prophet Muhammad (SAWW)’s birth

From sufis in Iraqi Kurdistan, to Libyan children receiving toys and Egyptians swapping sweets — Muslims across the world celebrated Prophet Mohammed (SAWW)’s birthday on Tuesday.

Nearly 1,450 years after the Prophet Mohammed (SAWW) was born at Mecca in modern-day Saudi Arabia, Muslims marked the anniversary with ancestral customs and new traditions on Tuesday.

In the Libyan city of Benghazi, the celebration has been under way since late Monday with children unpacking new clothes and plastic toys under strings of colourful lights.

The buildings around them are marked with bulletholes and craters — scars of the violent years since the 2011 ouster of dictator Moamer Kadhafi — but holiday cheer seems to overcome that.

And in Iraq’s northern town of Akra, a sufi ritual takes precedence.

Men dressed in loose pants, matching jackets and wrap-around belts stand in lines and semi-circles for the “dhikr,” or religious invocations.

Hardline Sunni Muslims do not observe “mawlid” at all, considering it a more modern addition to Islam.

Platters of date cookies are passed around the modest homes and traditional prayers are sung across the city.

In Pakistan, mosques are elaborately illuminated with strings of light to celebrate, while in Morocco, the day typically sees the king grant widespread amnesties.

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