First phase of Ijtema ends with ‘Akheri Munajat’

Devotees join ‘Akheri Munajat' of first phase of Biswa Ijtema. The picture was taken from a nearby place of Ijtema ground in Tongi of Gazipur on Sunday morning.Khaled Sarker

The first phase of the three-day 57th Bishwa Ijtema – the second largest congregation of Muslims – ends on Sunday (4 February 2024) through “Akheri Munajat” (final prayer).

Maulana Hafez Zobair Ahmad, leader of Bangladesh Tabligh Jamaat and head imam of Kakrail Jame Masjid in Dhaka, conducted the prayer this morning.

Thousands of devotees sought mercy from Almighty Allah by raising their hands for divine forgiveness, blessings for peace and prosperity of the Muslim ummah. They also prayed for the country’s welfare.

Earlier in the morning after the Fajr prayer, Pakistani Tabligh leader Ziaul Huq delivered the sermon, which was translated into Bangla by Bangladeshi Maulana Nurul Rahman.

As part of the rationalized traffic system centring the final prayer, movement of vehicles will remain suspended from Tongi-Kamarpara road on Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway — from Tongi to Bhogra Bypass in Gazipur and from Abdullahpur to Ashulia Bypile — from Saturday midnight (12 am) to 2:00 pm today.

Gazipur Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mahbub Alam told media that the restriction may end at 2 pm or extend following the final prayer as it will depend on circumstances.

He said vehicles heading to Mymensingh and Gazipur have been advised to use Konabari via Gabtoli while vehicles heading to Dhaka from Mymensingh have been advised to use the 300 Feet Road through Bhogra bypass. During this time, no goods carrying vehicles will be allowed to run on these roads. However, all types of traffic movement related to Ijtema will remain normal.

On the other hand, Bangladesh Railway has decided to run 17 special trains on the occasion of Bishwa Ijtema.

Of these, 14 trains are operating only on the day of Akheri Munajat. Five special trains are running on the Dhaka-Tongi route, five trains on the Tongi-Dhaka route, one on the Tongi-Mymensingh route, one on the Tongi-Tangail route and two trains on the Ishwardi-Tongi-Ishwardi route.

Commencing on Friday after Fajr prayers, this edition of Ijtema kicked off with general sermons by the esteemed Maulana Ahmad Buttullah from Pakistan. The grounds of the Ijtema witnessed the influx of several hundred thousand Muslim worshippers from around the world.

So far, 14 elderly devotees have died at the Ijtema venue during the first phase of the global congregation, said Habibulla Imran, media coordinator of the Tabligh Jamaat.

Of them, four devotees died last night, he said.

For security, approximately 15,000 law enforcement officials are on duty at the Ijtema grounds and the surrounding vicinity, supplemented by undercover police and intelligence personnel.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is also present, with watchtowers erected to oversee and ensure the safety of the congregation.

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 9-11 February this year.