The first phase of the three-day Bishwa Ijtema ended with concluding prayers, better known as ‘Akheri Munajat’, on the bank of the River Turag at Tongi, on the outskirts of Dhaka, Sunday morning.
The second phase of the Bishwa Ijtema will begin on January 17 at the same venue and end on January 19.
The second phase is allotted for the followers of Delhi’s Moulana Mohammed Saad Kandhalvi, grandson of the Tabligh founder.
The first phase of the Ijtema began after Fazr prayers on Friday. This was organised by ‘Alami Sura’, better known as followers of Maulana Zubair Ahmed of Bangladesh.
Maulana Zubair Ahmed, the imam of Dhaka’s Kakrail Mosque, the headquarters of Tabligh Jamaat’s Bangladesh chapter, conducted the closing prayers which started at about 11:10am and lasted for next 38 minutes — first 18 minutes in Urdu and next 20 minutes in Bangla.
In the Akheri Munajat, devotees prayed for peace and prosperity, spiritual progress, exaltation and welfare of Muslim Ummah and welfare of the nation.
Pakistani cleric Maulana Ziaul Haque delivered a sermon after the Fazr prayers followed by a special sermon ‘hedayeti bayan’ by Indian Islamic scholar Moulana Ibrahim Dewla, prior to Akheri Munajat.
On the last day, the ‘Alami Sura’ leaders in a meeting decided to hold the Ijtema in two phases — one between January 8 and January 10 and the other between January 15 and January 17 in 2021, Mufti Jahir Ibna Muslim, media affairs coordinator of the Bishwa Ijtema told New Age.
If the followers of Mohammed Saad Kandhalvi orgnaise Ijtema separately in 2021, Bishwa Ijtema will be held in three phases — two by followers of Zubayer and another by followers of Saad.
During the 3-day Ijtema, Islamic thinkers and Tabligh Jamaat leaders delivered sermons on faith in Allah, manners, practices and invitation for Islam.
All roads leading to the venue from different sections of the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway stretching from the airport to Chandana Chourasta, Mirer Bazar to Tongi in Gazipur on the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway and from Abdullahpur to Bypass Road on the Abdullahpur-Ashulia Road was made off limits to vehicles until end of the Akheri Munajat.
Bangladesh Railway operated special train services on several destinations for the devotees participating in the congregation.
On Sunday, three more devotees - Ali Mahmud, 75, of Cox’s Bazar, Abdul Momen, 65, of Joypurhat and Mazharul Islam of Netrokona died at the Ijtema venue, raising the number of deaths during the Ijtema to 12.
Thousands of devotees flooded the Ijtema site since early morning and the crowds spread to adjacent areas, including a long stretch of the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway and Tongi-Ashulia road.
A large number of women from different areas took part in the munajat staying at the residences of their relatives, roads and other places.
After the Akheri munajat, people started leaving the venue for home by all modes of transports and thronged the bus, railway and river stations.
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