TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – In messages on the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hoped for strong bonds and unity among the Muslim nations, saying the Islamic world’s concerted action would contribute to peace and help counter extremism.

President Rouhani sent separate messages to leaders of the Muslim countries on Tuesday to congratulate them on the auspicious occasion, which falls on the 17th day of the lunar month of Rabi al-Awwal.

In his messages, the Iranian president expressed the hope that Muslims would refer to the great Prophet’s way of life and to the teachings of holy Quran to strengthen unity and fraternity and portray the true image of Islam to the world.

It is also necessary for the Muslim nations to counter the extremist and Takfiri ideologies and work in close cooperation to fight against violence and extremism, he added.

President Rouhani then stressed that Muslim unity would promote justice, peace, calm and stability not only in the Islamic world, but also over the globe.

The 17th day of the month of Rabi al-Awwal on the lunar Hijri calendar marks the birth anniversaries of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Imam Jafar Sadeq (AS), the sixth Imam of Shiites.

The holy occasion is celebrated by some 1.8 billion followers of Islam in the world, who make up around one-fourth of the world population.