The first phase of the 57th Biswa Ijtema began on Friday after the Fazr prayer along the banks of the Turag River in Tongi of Gazipur.
Maulana Ahmad Buttullah of Pakistan gave the opening sermon (Ambayan) at the congregation.
The Tabligh Jamaat-organised event, the second-largest Muslim congregation globally, is being simultaneously translated into Bangla by the country’s Maulana Nurur Rahman.
Amidst various challenges, including cold and rain, hundreds of thousands of Muslim devotees have gathered from around the world at Ijtema grounds. The first phase of this year’s Ijtema, will conclude with the final supplication on Sunday. The second phase of the Ijtema will commence on 9 February.
In the first phase of the Ijtema, media coordinator M Habibullah Rayhan mentioned that after Maulana Ahmad Buttullah’s sermon, Pakistan’s Maulana Ziaul Haq will deliver an educational discourse at 10am on Friday.
Following the educational discourse, preparations for the country’s largest Juma prayer will commence. Maulana Kari Jobayer will lead prayer in the Ijtema ground. After that, Jordan’s Maulana Umar Khateeb will deliver a sermon, Bangladesh’s Maulana Jobayer will speak after the Asr prayer, and India’s Maulana Ahmad Lat will address the congregation after the Maghrib prayer.
After the Maghrib prayer on Thursday, hundreds of thousands of Muslims devotees endured extreme weather conditions in the Ijtema ground. Those who have taken positions in and around the main Ijtema ground, on the banks of the Turag River and adjacent to the roads are facing even more difficulty.
People from various countries, including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Europe, America, and Africa, have gathered for the Ijtema.
To maintain safety and law and order in and around the Ijtema ground, thousands of police personnel have been deployed. In addition to the police, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is also active. The situation is being monitored from a watchtower.
Death of three participants
In this Ijtema, three participants died within two days. They were Yunus Mia (60), Jaman (40), and Abdus Sattar (70). Among them, Yunus Mia was from Brahmanbaria district’s Sarail Thana, Jaman was from Chapainawabganj district, and Abdus Sattar was from Netrokona district. All three died due to old age-related causes and cardiac arrest. Abdus Sattar passed away on Thursday, and the other two died on Wednesday.