The two-day Bishwa Ijtema, organised by a faction of Tabligh Jamaat, ended at Tongi on Saturday morning with akheri munajat while another faction took the field in the evening for another spell of ijtema beginning today.
Bangladesh Tabligh Jamaat faction leader Maulana Jubair Hassan conducted the concluding prayers, known as akheri munajat, seeking unity of Muslim world, peace and mercy of the Almighty.
Thousands of devotees from across the country and also from 51 other countries took part in the event.
Thanks to live TV broadcast, people from afar were also able to take part in the prayers.
In the first half of his 24-minute prayer, which began at 10:40am, Maulana Jubair rendered verses from the Qur’an and then conducted prayers for the welfare of the Muslim world and Bangladesh as well in Bangla.
The munajat in Ijtema was held for the first time in Bangla though it has been organised at the venue since 1967.
Earlier, Pakistani Maulana Ubaidullah Khurshid delivered a speech on guidance of Islam in Urdu, which was translated into Bangla by Maulana Abdul Matin.
For akheri munajat, schools, colleges, shops, offices and other business enterprises at Uttara, Tongi and Gazipur remained closed.
Law enforcement agencies took special security measures while police restricted traffic on certain routes.
Bangladesh Railway arranged special train services from Dhaka to Tongi for carrying the devotees. Hundreds of other went to the venue by bus, trucks and boats from Dhaka and Gazipur after the fazr prayers.
Women took position in several adjacent buildings and rooftops to participate in the munajat.
Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh amir Maulana Shah Ahmad Shafi came to attend the Ijtema by a helicopter from Chattogram on Friday. He returned by another helicopter on Saturday.
Three participants of the ijtema died in two days.
Following the munajat, Maulana Jubair’s followers announced to hold ijtema in two phases next year as it had been happening since 2011.
The other faction, led by Wasiful Islam, and known as Indian Maulana Muhammad Saad Al Kandhalvi followers, will hold another phase of two-day ijtema at the same venue beginning today.
Despite several meetings between two rival factions, the government failed to reunite them.
To reconcile them, the government in January announced that ijtema would be held just in one phase that would be jointly organised by followers of Jubair and Wasif.
But, the rival leaders later forced the government to extend the duration of ijtema by one day so that Jubair and Wasif could lead Tabligh congregations separately for two days.
They are sharply divided over Saad Al Kandhalvi as the supreme leader of Tabligh Jamaat.
On December 1, one person was killed and over 200 people were injured in a series of clashes between two factions for establishing control over Ijtema venue.
For avoiding any such unexpected circumstances, the home minister Asaduzzaman Khan announced that Maulana Saad would not participate in this year’s ijtema.