Dhaka, Bangladesh: The first of Biswas Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslims after Hajj, concluded on January 26 through the final supplication – Akheri Munajat- in Tongi on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saiful, the participant of the Ijtema said.
Indian religious scholar Maulana Zubairul Hasan of India, a member on the advisory committee of global Tabligh Jamaat and son of former Amir of global Tablig Jamaat Enamul Hasan, led the 20-minute (started at 12:55 pm and ended at 1:15 pm) final supplication –Akheri Munajat – at the Ijtema, Saiful said.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, and members of different political parties were joined the prayer, according to official sources.
During the Munajat, many people took position on the roofs of vehicles and boats and rooftops of residences surrounding the Ijtema ground.
The educational institutions, offices and factories adjacent to the venue have been declared shut down for one day on final supplication- Akheri Munajat- day.
Devotees who could not reach the venue joined the prayers through cell phone and electronic media.
As hundreds of thousands of devotees had to walk miles to return home from the Ijtema venue, many social organizations and individuals distributed fruit juice, water and dry food among the devotees at different points on their way home.
Braving cold and transport crisis, devotees of all ages from home and abroad including women swarmed the Ijtema venue, some 20 kilometers off the capital, according to organizer of venue. “The gathering spilled over to the adjacent roads and areas around the venue.”
Around 4 million devotees participated in the prayer, the sources said.
Around 20,000 devotees from 103 countries including Qatar, Australia, Denmark and India joined the first phase.
Biswa Itema has begun on January 24, Islamic scholars from different countries delivering sermons on various aspects of Islam, according to our source who joined in Biswa Ijtema.
Like the previous year, a dowry- free mass wedding ceremony was held where marriages of 108 couples had been solemnized, said Kari Salam, who attended the last prayers.
In the Ijtema, nine devotees died of cardiac arrest and old age complications including a Yemeni citizen, according to official.
The first phase of Ijtema was ended with Akheri Munajat (final prayers) on Sunday while the second phase will be held on January 31 to February 2.
The ijtema has been taking place since the 1960s in Tongi.