Lakhs raise hands in prayers

January 31, 2011

Lakhs of devotees from home and abroad raised their hands in prayers seeking divine blessings as the three-day second phase of the Biswa Ijtema, one of the largest congregations of the Muslims, ended with the Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) yesterday.
The massive gathering of devotees who joined the munajat spilled over to areas around the Ijtema venue on the bank of the Turag at Tongi near the capital turning into a virtual human sea.
Eminent Islamic scholar Jubayerul Hasan from Delhi led the 15-minute prayer that started at 12:25pm.
Since holding of the Ijtema began in 1967, the annual congregation was held in two-phases for the first time this year to control the huge rush of devotees. But many devotees, who had earlier joined the concluding prayers of the first phase of Ijtema on January 23, also participated in yesterday’s prayers.
The Dhaka-Mymensingh highway stretch between Mohakhali and Board Bazar was off limits to vehicles from early yesterday morning due to the huge rush of devotees.
Scores of thousands of people from the capital and nearby areas moved towards the Ijtema venue at Tongi to join the Akheri Munajat. Many of them walked 5-15 km.
Devotees who failed to reach the venue took part in the prayers sitting on nearby roads and open spaces. The number of loud speakers used for the prayers was insufficient as in the first phase of the Ijtema. Many devotees raised their hands hearing the munajat over the phone and radio.
A female devotee, Rahima, said, “I have joined the prayers along with my son and relatives after walking around eight km from Mohakhali.”
On the other hand, hundreds of people suffered a lot to reach their destinations as movement of vehicles remained suspended for hours..
Abdul Aziz from Demra said he has been attending the Ijtema since 1968. Only around 200 people joined the congregation that year, he recalled.
Many organisations and individuals distributed water and biscuits among devotees walking to and from the Ijtema venue.
Political leaders and foreign diplomats also joined the concluding prayers.
A three-tier security was put in place to ensure peaceful holding of the Ijtema.
About 1,000 members of intelligence agencies were deployed at and around the Ijtema venue. Law enforcers also kept a close watch on the venue using closed circuit TVs.
Devotees from 31 of the country’s 64 districts joined the second phase of the Ijtema and those from 33 districts had participated in the first phase.
The 31districts are Dhaka, Mujshiganj, Manikganj, Narayanganj, Netrakona, Tagail, Jamalpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Comilla, Barahmanbaria, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj, Chapainababganj, Noagaon, Pabna, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Bogra, Satkhira, Jhenidah, Magura, Meherpur, Barisal, Pirojpur, and Patuakhali.


Via: The Daily Star

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