Desk Report, 15 December:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today joined the Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) of Biswa Ijtema as the first phase of the world’s largest Muslim congregation after the holy Hajj ended on the banks of the river Turag at Tongi.
From her official Ganabhaban residence, the prime minister took part in the munajat.
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, former minister and Awami League Presidium Member Advocate Sahara Khatoon and family members and relatives of the premier joined the prayers with her. Bss
A special prayer was offered on the occasion seeking continued peace, progress and welfare of the country as well as the greater unity of the Muslim Ummah. Noted Indian Islamic scholar Maulana Saad led the prayers.
Tens of thousands of devotees from 16 districts of the country attended the first phase. The districts are Gazipur, Dhaka, Tangail, Mymensingh, Brahmanbaria, Manikganj, Rangpur, Chapainawabganj, Rangamati, Bandarban, Gopalganj, Shariatpur, Jessore, Khagrachhari, Joypurhat, Moulvibazar and Satkhira.
Police super of Gazipur Harun-Or-Rashid told BSS that 7,804 foreign
nationals of about 91 countries including India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Sudan, Palestine, Tunisia, Bahrain, France, Kuwait, Somalia, Kenya, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Iraq and Iran took part in the first phase of the congregation.
The devotees from other districts of the country will participate in the second phase of Biswa Ijtema slated for January 20-22.
The first phase of Biswa Ijtema, which formally started with “ambayan” (general sermon) after Fazr prayers on Friday, ended with Akheri Munajat.
Noted ulema-mashaekhs in their sermons called for following the guidance of the holy Quran and Sunnah. The sermons were translated into different languages of the world.
The Ijtema is being held in two phases from 2011 to ease accommodation and transportation problems.
The New Delhi-based Tablig-e-Jamaat has been organising the Ijtema since 1967.