The second phase of the Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims, ended yesterday with the Akheri Munajat or final supplications seeking divine blessings for people and the Muslim Ummah.
Maulana Muhammad Jamshed, an Indian preacher, conducted the 17-minute munajat that started at 11:49am.
Earlier in the morning, Mawlana Iqbal Hafiz and Mawlana Wasiful Islam delivered a sermon on the importance of Islam based on the Holy Quran and Hadiths.
Thousands of devotees of all ages gathered at the Ijtema ground on the Turag banks and on the roads adjacent to the Ijtema venue during the munajat. Many people, including women, joined the prayers even from rooftops buildings, nearby houses, and on the roads.
More than a thousand devotees from about 35 countries, including Saudi Arabia, USA, UK, Turkey and India, participated in this year’s congregation.
The first phase of the Biswa Ijtema this year was held from January 10 to 12.
Maulana Zubair Hassan, imam of the capital’s Kakrail mosque and leader of a faction of Tabligh Jamaat, conducted the Akheri Munajat of the first phase.
Followers of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi joined the second and last phase of the Ijtema.
Law enforcers had beefed up security and restricted vehicular movement near the Ijtema ground since Saturday night ahead of the Akheri Munajat.
Police Commissioner of Gazipur Metropolitan Police Md Anowar Hossain said they had deployed 9000 police officials to ensure the security of the devotees.
Different government and charity organisations provided free treatment facilities for people at the Ijtema.
The Bangladesh Railway launched special services on various routes considering the huge gathering. Besides, most of the trains were scheduled to make a stopover at Tongi Railway Station before and after the munajat.
Meanwhile, a total of 14 people died at the ijtema venue, mostly from heart attacks and old-age complications, during this year’s Ijtema.
Tabligh Jamaat has been organising the annual event on the banks of the Turag river in Tongi since 1967.