The grand prayer at the three-day Muslim congregation called Biswa Ijtema was held in Bangladesh Sunday morning, seeking divine blessings and welfare of all mankind.

The 34-minute long grand prayer took place on the bank of the Turag river at Tongi, some 25 km north of Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

The event led by renowned Indian Islamic scholar Mawlana Saad, which sought divine blessings, stability and welfare of all mankind, marked the end of the largest annual congregation of Muslims after holy Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

The first phase of the congregation, a spiritual gathering where religious sermons and prayers are preached by Islamic scholars, ended on Jan. 15.

The second phase began Friday at the same venue as the first one.

The congregation has been held in two phases since 2011 to avoid rush of pilgrims.

The Ijtema venue and its adjoining areas reverberated with the word “Amin,” repeatedly uttered by devotees raising their hands together in the Akheri Munajat, or the concluding prayer, that started at about 11:10 a.m. local time.

The organizers have put up loud speakers several kilometers away from the venue so that devotees could join the grand prayer.

To ensure safety of the devotees, thousands of members of law-enforcing agencies have been deployed in the five-layered security net in and around 60-hectare Ijtema ground, the main venue of the congregation.

Hundreds of local and foreign clerics spoke during the three-day congregation. The main sermons were given in Bangla, Hindi and Urdu but later explained in other languages.

To attend the grand prayer, hundreds of thousands of local devotees from far and wide of the country streamed down into the Ijtema ground on Sunday morning, as buses, trains and all other modes of transport carried thousands of people wearing white punjabi (Muslim’s traditional suit for male) and white caps to Tongi.

Organizers do not maintain any list of devotees, but they guess the number of devotees would not be less than several millions this year.

Ijtema forbids political speeches and encourages prayers for harmony and world peace.

During the three-day congregation, devotees pray, discuss the holy Quran and receive instruction from religious scholars. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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