Thousands gather for Akheri Munajat, marking Ijtema closure

Biswa Ijtema is one of the biggest congregations of Muslims in the world.File photo

The 57th Bishwa Ijtema, a paramount assembly of Muslim faithful, is set to conclude its second phase with the Akheri Munajat prayer today, Sunday, 11 February 2024, on the banks of the Turag river.

This pivotal event drew approximately 8,000 foreign attendees from 62 countries, showcasing a remarkable global unity in faith.

Under the guidance of Maulana Yusuf, the son of esteemed Indian cleric Maulana Muhammad Saad Kandhalvi, the prayer is scheduled from 10am to 11am, according to the Ijtema's media coordinator Md Sayeem.

The ceremony is not just a spiritual zenith but also a demonstration of international Muslim solidarity, with participants fervently seeking divine mercy and global peace.

Prior to the Munajat, attendees will be reminded of the six core principles of the Tabligh Jamaat, focusing on belief, action, and the invitation to Islam, reinforcing the spiritual underpinnings of the gathering.

The Ijtema has magnetised thousands from across Bangladesh and the globe, converging in unity for the concluding prayer. Their collective supplications will seek not only personal redemption but also the welfare and prosperity of Muslims worldwide and the host nation.

The day began with a sermon by Indian Tabligh leader Mufti Maksud, after the Fajr prayer, with Maulana Abdullah of Bangladesh providing the Bangla translation, further bridging cultural and linguistic divides among the attendees.

Security at the event is stringent, with a significant presence of law enforcement and the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) ensuring the safety of the devout amidst this massive gathering.

Traffic adjustments have been made around the Ijtema site to facilitate the smooth flow of devotees, reflecting the extensive preparations for this significant religious occasion.

The Ijtema commenced on Friday after the Fajr prayers, with the grounds quickly filling with hundreds of thousands of worshippers, eager to participate in the sermons and prayers that define this spiritual assembly.

Tragically, this phase witnessed the loss of seven lives, adding to the solemnity of the gathering and the heartfelt prayers for mercy. This follows 14 earlier fatalities in the first phase, underscoring the event's massive scale and the intense devotion of its participants.

Since its inception in 1967, the Tabligh Jamaat has hosted this gathering, which was split into two phases in 2011 to accommodate the increasing number of participants.

This year's first phase concluded on 4 February, with another powerful Akheri Munajat, binding the global Muslim community in prayer and purpose.

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