The second phase of Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslims after hajj, concluded on Sunday with Akheri Munajat (Final prayers) attended by millions of people at Tongi on the capital’s outskirt, amid countrywide non-stop transport blockade.
Several lakh Muslim devotees, both from home and abroad, converged on the congregation venue and attended the concluding prayers with reciting the name of Allah and hearing the sermons braving all the sufferings and obstacles caused by the transport blockade.
Islamic scholars from different countries delivered sermons on various aspects of Islam. Five devotees died due to various ailments on the Ijtema ground till Saturday. Two more devotees died falling off a moving train at Khilkhet rail track in the capital on Sunday.
Maulana Shawkat Hossain of India delivered sermons after Fajr prayers while Maulana Nurur Rahman of Bangladesh translated those in Bengali.
Meanwhile, the devotees faced sufferings in the early hours due to cold wave coupled with drizzle. As in the first phase one, a dowry-free mass wedding ceremony was held on Saturday when marriages of 100 couples were solemnised.
The second phase of the 50th Biswa Ijtema formally started with sermons delivered by Pakistani Islamic scholar Maulana Ismail Hossain Godrar after Fazr prayers on Friday.
Leading Islamic scholars from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia and Iran delivered sermons on six basic principles of the Tabligh Jamaat on the first day.
Muslim devotees from 32 districts of the country and some from Dhaka district participated in the second phase Ijtema. A larger number of troops from various law enforcement agencies remained deployed at Tongi to ensure foolproof security to the devotees at the Ijtema.
Several watchtowers were installed at the entrances to the congregation venue. Besides, a good number of close circuit cameras and a control room were in place.
Earlier, the first phase of the three-day Biswa Ijtema, organised by Tabligh Jamaat since 1946, was held on January 9-11. The Ijtema is being held in two phases from 2012 to ease accommodation problem.
The first Ijtema was held at Kakrail Mosque in the capital way back in 1946, the second one in Chittagong in 1948 and at Pagar in Tongi in 1966. The Biswa Ijtema has been being held on the eastern bank of the Turag River since then.