The second phase of the 55th Bishwa Ijtema on the bank of River Turag at Tongi in Gazipur, ended on Sunday with the ‘akheri munajat’.
Tens of thousands of devotees from home and abroad joined the concluding prayer wherever they managed to sit or stand in or outside the venue and prayed seeking peace, happiness and wellbeing of the country as well as the Muslims Ummah.
Three-day Bishwa Ijtema, considered to be the second largest congregation of the Muslims in the world, is organised by the World Tabligh Jamaat. This phase began on Friday after Fazr prayers.
One of the top Islamic scholar of ‘Nijam Uddin Markaj’ of India Maulana Jamshed conducted the 17-minute prayer in Urdu that started minutes after 11:45pm.
Followers of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi attended the 2nd phase after the first phase was attended by followers of Maulana Zubair Ahmed, the imam of Dhaka’s Kakrail Mosque, which ended on January 12.
On Sunday, the day’s event started with the sermons by Indian religious scholar Maulana Iqbal Hafiz which was translated into Bangla by Maulana Wasiful Islam of Bangladesh.
Later Indian cleric Maulana Jamshed started special sermon ‘hedayeti bayan’ which was translated into Bangla by Ashraf Ali of Bangladesh prior to the akheri munajat.
Some of the players of Bangladesh cricket team including Mushfiqur Rahim, Sakib Al-hasan, Sohrawardi Shuvo, Zunayed Siddique, Rakibul Hasan and Shariar Nafis took part in the akheri munajat, said Md Sayem, media affairs coordinator of the 2nd phase Bishwa Ijtema.
During the Ijtema, Islamic thinkers and Tablig jamaat leaders delivered sermons on faith in Allah, manners, practice and invitation for Tabligh.
The sermons were delivered in different languages including English, Bengali, Malaya, Tamil, French, Hindi and Urdu.
A total of 2,410 foreign devotees from 55 countries joined the second phase.
A total of 10 devotees died in four days at the venue.
Like the first phase, traditional wedding ceremony without dowry was held after four year at the venue on 2nd day on Saturday.
A total of 86 pairs got married at a special room at the venue, Md Sayem said. In the first phase, a total of 96 couples got married.
Due to a rift developed among the Tabligh members over the nomination of Indian Islamic scholar Maulana Saad Kandhalvi as the Ameer, this traditional dowry-free marriages remained suspended since 2016.
This year, Maulana Zohairul Hasan conducted the marriages in the first phase and Maulana Shameem conducted the marriages in the 2nd phase.
On Saturday night, a meeting was held among the state minister for youth and sports and local lawmaker Jahid Ahsan Russel and Gazipur City Corporation mayor Jahangir Alam with the top leaders of ‘Nijam Uddin Markaj’ of India and leaders of Maulana Saad’s followers at the venue in a hope to solve all the issues between the two factions of Tabligh Jamaat.
Maulana Syed Wasiful Islam, Amir of the 2nd phase of Bishwa Ijtema said that presence of foreign devotees had been decreasing due to the factional practices.
If this situation continues, it will not be ‘Bishwa Ijtema’ anymore and it will become a local Ijtema, he said, adding, ‘So, unity is now our top priority.’
After the Akheri munajat, people started leaving the venue for their homes by all modes of transports and thronged at the bus, railway and river stations. Bangladesh Railway arranged special trains between Dhaka-Tongi, Tongi-Mymensingh and Tongi-Bhairab. Besides, all inter-city trains stopped at Tongi station.
The devotees had to take long trek to catch some sort of transport. Until late evening people were seen passing the city on foot, while some elderly people took rickshaw-van to return home.
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