MNA National Desk: The first phase of 53rd Biswa Ijtema ended on Sunday seeking divine blessings and continued peace, progress and welfare of the country as well as the greater unity of the Muslim Ummah. This year’s Akheri Munajat (concluding prayer) was conducted for the first time in Bangla. The first phase of Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after the holy Hajj, began on Friday.
The 35 minutes long munajat, led by Pesh Imam of Kakrail Mosque Hafez Mohammad Jubayer, began around 10:40am.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hiasina joined the Akheri Munajat from her official residence Ganobhaban while BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from her residence ‘Feroza’.
The second phase of Ijtema will be held from January 19 to 21.
The gathering of devotees, both from home and abroad, spilled over into the roads and areas around the Ijtema venue as the Akheri Munajat started. Alongside the Ijtema venue, thousands of the devotees joined the munajat from the rooftops and terraces of nearby houses, roads and open fields.
Islamic scholars from different countries delivered sermons on various aspects of Islam throughoput the three days of the Ijtema.
Some 4,473 foreign devotees from 88 countries joined the first phase of the Ijtema. Tabligh Jamaat has been organising the Ijtema at the venue since 1967. But, the Ijtema is being held in two phases from 2011 to ease the accommodation.
Police took a five-tier security measure for the Biswa Ijtema to ensure overall security. Besides, special measures were taken to ease the traffic system. Around 50 CCTVs were installed there to monitor the Ijtema ground and the adjoining areas.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway made arrangements to operate special trains on different routes of the country to facilitate the movement of Muslim devotees off the Biswa Ijtema.