More than 1,400 years after he came into this world, Utah Muslims came together Sunday afternoon to honor the birth of the prophet Muhammad.
Tins of homemade food - including chicken curry, kebabs and traditional desserts - lined tables and counters in Sandy's Utah Islamic Center as about 300 people gathered to praise the founder of the Islamic religion.
For the third year in a row, the event - titled "Milad-un-Nabi" (which means "the birth of the prophet" in Arabic) - has been coordinated by the Al-Mustafa Foundation, a Utah organization dedicated to education and the promotion of understanding and respect both within the Muslim community and with others.
Sajid Faizi, one of the forces behind the foundation, said its goal is to "promote love between human beings." Though this day was considered more of a cultural event than a religious one, he called it one of the most important, "if not the most important" days for Muslims, since without Muhammad's birth, there would be no Islam.
The hundreds who filled the center's main room were from various backgrounds, representing the diversity within the faith. There were Caucasian converts, people who were American born, as well as those from southeast Asia, the Middle East, east Africa and other parts of the world. Members of the Islamic Society of Bosniaks in Utah came out to join in the commemoration. The society's religious leader, Imam Serif Delic, chanted verses from the Quran. (MORE)