By Havva Kara Aydin
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s president on Wednesday evening celebrated the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, a day of spiritual significance in Islam.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan shared a video on Twitter of a past program in which he recited verses of the poet Ali Ulvi Kurucu about his love and longing for Prophet Muhammed.
"May our Layla-i Mawlid be blessed,” he said, celebrating Turkey’s and the entire Islamic world's Mawlid al-Nabawi.
Ali Erbas, head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, issued a message congratulating the Mawlid of all citizens.
“We, as believers who have the honor of being an ummah to the Prophet, have to put forward a strong stance in the face of all these attacks and make more efforts to introduce the world to the principles of Islam's mercy, justice, fairness and good morality,” he said.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also congratulated the Mawlid al-Nabawi of the Turkish nation and the entire Islamic World on Twitter, saying “I pray to Allah to bring blessing to our country and all humanity.”
Muslims across the world celebrate the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, with the day varying from country to country according to the lunar calendar. The prophet passed away on the same day as that of his birth at the age of 63.
The day is a public holiday in several Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and some parts of India.