The first phase of the 53rd Bishwa Ijtema, a congregation of Muslims organised by Tabligh Jamaat on the bank of the River Turag at Tongi in Gazipur, ended on Sunday with Akheri Munajat seeking divine blessings for the Muslim Ummah.
Hafez Maulana Mohammad Zubayer, imam of Kakrail mosque in Dhaka, led the 35-minute concluding prayers from 10:40am.
Hundreds of thousands of people from different parts of the country took part in the concluding prayers conducted in Bangla for the first time of Ijtema history since 1946.
Mostly Bengali-speaking participants in the concluding prayers expressed their satisfaction as they could understand the words recited.
During the three days of the first phase of Ijtema, Islamic thinkers and Tabligh Jamaat leaders delivered sermons on iman (faith in Allah), akhlaq (manners), practice and dawat (invitation).
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who had been leading the sermons for Ijtema since 2015, stayed away from the event following protests by a faction of Tabligh Jamaat.
He used to deliver sermons in Arabic and Urdu.
On the concluding day, Maulana Anisur Rahman delivered sermons after Fazr prayers. Before the concluding prayer Maulana Zubayer conducted ‘hedayeti bayan’ sermons of guidance pointing out the importance of Tabligh Jamaat.
Liberation war affair minister AKM Mozammel Haque and local lawmaker Jahid Ahsan Russel, among others, attended the munajat at the venue.
Thousands of devotees flooded the Ijtema site since early morning and the crowds spread to adjacent areas, including a long stretch of Dhaka-Mymensingh highway and Tongi-Ashulia road.
All entrance to the venue from Vogra bypass on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, from Nimtali on Dhaka-Sylhet highway and from Bipail on Dhaka-Tangail highway were closed for traffic from 12:00 midnight.
Superintendent of police in Gazipur Harun-ur-Rashid said that special security measures were taken to ensure security of the devotees during the concluding prayers.
The congregation began on the outskirts of the capital on Friday.
According to the organisers, the main purpose of Biswa Ijtema is to take stock of Tablig Jamaat’s previous year’s activities across the world and chalk out fresh programmes for the coming year.
More than 6,000 devotees in different groups will be preaching the principles and practices of Islam all over the world next year, Ijtema sources said.
As per schedule, the second phase of the Ijtema will begin on January 19 and end on January 21.
Next year, the Ijtema will be held in two phases: the first from January 11 to 13 and the second from January 18 to 20, said Tabligh leader Md Gias Uddin.
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