The first phase of the 53rd Bishwa Ijtema, a congregation of Muslims on the bank of the River Turag at Tongi in Gazipur, ended on Sunday (Jan 14) with Akheri Munajat (final prayer) seeking divine blessings for the Muslim Ummah. Hafez Maulana Mohammad Zubayer, Imam of Kakrail mosque in Dhaka, led the concluding prayers from 10:38 am.
Hundreds of thousands of people from different parts of the country took part in the concluding prayers conducted in Bangla for the first time of Ijtema history since 1946. Mostly Bengali-speaking participants in the concluding prayers expressed their satisfaction as they could easly understand the words recited.
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who had been leading the sermons for Ijtema since 2015, stayed away from the event following protests. He used to deliver sermons in Arabic and Urdu.
Liberation War Affair Minister AKM Mozammel Haque and local lawmaker Jahid Ahsan Russel, among others, attended the Munajat at the venue, local media reports said.
As per schedule, the second phase of the Ijtema will begin on Jan 19 and end on Jan 21.