1st phase of Biswa Ijtema begins

Devotees take part in the Jumma prayers on the bank of the Turag river in Tongi on Friday.

Tens of thousands of Musallis (devotees) converged on the bank of the Turag on the capital’s outskirts Tongi as the first phase of Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims after Hajj, began formally after Fajr prayers on Friday.

As in the last three years, Biswa Ijtema will be held in two phases this year with the Phase-1 formally opened today and ending on Sunday (Jan 11-13), while the Phase-2 to be held at the same venue about a week later on January 18-20.

Although the 48th version of Biswa Ijtema formally opened this morning, the biggest gathering of Tabligh Jamaat virtually started with delivering of bayans (religious sermons) by religious scholars after Maghrib prayers on Thursday.

The three-day congregation will include delivering sermons on the fundamental issues of Tabligh, prayers for the spiritual adulation, exaltation and welfare of the Muslim Ummah.

The first phase will conclude with Akheri Munajat (final prayers) before Zohr prayers on Sunday.

Meanwhile, President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia gave separate messages on the eve of Biswa Ijtema, highlighting the importance and sanctity of the holy event.

The prime minister is also likely to attend the Akheri Munajat on Sunday.

Around 12,000 security personnel from different agencies have been posted to ensure smooth holding of the Ijtema.

Observation towers have been set up to watch public movement while closed circuit televisions and video cameras installed at 18 entrances to the venue.

Besides, plain clothes detectives (DB police) and members of the Special Branch of the police will also be there to ensure that crimes like pick pockets and theft do not occur during the three-day religious gathering.

More than 25,000 devotees from over 100 countries, including China, USA, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UK will take part in the 48th Ijtema.

Source: The Daily Star

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