News Highlights

Bangladesh sees world's 2nd largest Muslim congregation, Biswa Ijtema

Jan 11, 2016
Hundreds of thousands of devotees from Bangladesh and other countries swarmed into the main venue of the first phase of Biswa ljtema, the world Muslims' second largest congregation in Bangladesh which ended Sunday afternoon amid the Akheri Munajat or concluding prayer.
 
 
Muslim devotees ride on the roof of a train as they come back to the city after attending the concluding prayer of Biswa Ijtema in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jan. 10, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]
Muslim devotees ride on the roof of a train as they come back to the city after attending the concluding prayer of Biswa Ijtema in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jan. 10, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]
 
 
The devotees prayed to Allah for global peace, prosperity and fraternal harmony in the concluding grand prayer, led by renowned Indian Islamic scholar Mawlana Saad from India, at Biswa Ijtema on the banks of the Turag river at Tongi, some 25 km north of capital Dhaka.
 
They also sought divine blessings, stability and welfare of all mankind.
 
From Sunday dawn, huge columns of devotees dressed in traditional robes and prayer caps began streaming towards Ijtema venue, braving winter cold and dense fog in the morning.
 
The first phase of Bishwa Ijtema began Friday after Fazr (morning) prayers with religious sermons for the devotees, seeking world peace for the Muslim ummah.
 
A large number of foreign pilgrims attended the first phase of the congregation.
 
The second phase of the Bishwa Ijtema, which is being held in two phases since 2011 to avoid mad rush of pilgrims, will begin on the same venue on Jan. 15 and it will conclude with the offering of Akheri Munajat (concluding prayer) on Jan. 17.
 
Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ministers, lawmakers, political leaders of different political parties joined the concluding prayer that marked the end of the annual event.
 
Exact number of devotees on the last day could not be assessed as hundreds of thousands of devotees from the capital and the adjoining areas joined the concluding prayer.
 
The organizers do not maintain any list of devotees, but they guess the number of devotees would not be less than several millions this year.
 
The organizers have arranged loud speakers several kilometers away from the venue so that devotees could join the grand prayer.
 
To ensure safety and security of the devotees and maintain the law and order, about 12,000 members of different law-enforcing agencies have been deployed in and around 60-hectare Ijtema ground, the main venue of the congregation.
 
Observation towers have been set up at different strategic points to oversee people's movement.
 
Traffic on many city roads and highways has been kept suspended for smooth holding of the congregation.
 
Five people reportedly died at the Ijtema venue since its beginning Friday due to old age ailments, cold related diseases and other complications.
 
Courtesy: China.org, January 11, 2016

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