Thousands of devotees prayed, seeking divine forgiveness and blessings for peace and prosperity of the Muslim ummah. They also prayed for the country’s welfare.

After two years of break because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ijtema began on the banks of the Turag river in Tongi after Fajr prayers on Friday (13 January) with general sermons by noted Islamic scholar Maulana Ziaul Haque of Pakistan.

As part of the rationalised traffic system, movement of vehicles remained suspended from 12:00 am on Saturday till the Akheri Munajat this morning – from Tongi to Bhogra Bypass on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, Khamarpara road, and Abdullahpur to Bypile on Ashulia road, said Gazipur Metropolitan Police commissioner Mollah Nazrul Islam.

So far, seven elderly devotees have died at the Ijtema venue during the first phase of the global congregation, said Jisanul Haque, additional deputy commissioner of Gazipur Metropolitan Police.

Tabligh Jamaat has been organising the congregation at the venue since 1967. In 2011, it divided Ijtema into two phases to accommodate a large number of attendees.

The second phase of Ijtema will be held from January 20 to 22 this year.