Second phase of Bishwa Ijtema begins in Tongi

  • Abul Hossain, Gazipur Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-01-17 12:01:39 BdST

The second phase of the Bishwa Ijtema -- the second largest global congregation of Muslims after the hajj -- is underway on the banks of the Turag River in Gazipur's Tongi.

The proceedings began after the Fazr prayers on Friday with a sermon by Saudi Arabian cleric Maulana Osman. It will wrap up with an Akheri Munajat or final prayer on Jan 19.

The followers of Maulana Saad Kandalvi, a Delhi-based member of the Tabligh Jamaat Supreme Council, are taking part in the event.

Earlier, followers of Maulana Zubair Ahmed, the imam of Dhaka's Kakrail Mosque, the headquarters of Tabligh Jamaat’s Bangladesh chapter, attended the first phase of the congregation from Jan 10 to 12.

Preparations for the event began in earnest on Monday after followers of Maulana Zubair left the Ijtema grounds, said Haji Munir Hossain, the coordinator of the second phase.

Devotees from all corners of Bangladesh and the world have been converging on the venue since Wednesday.

But Maulana Saad has decided against joining the congregration taking the overall circumstances into account, said its Amir Engineer Waseful Islam.

Saad has been staying away from the event for the last few years following a leadership rift within the Tabligh Jamaat after he announced himself as the chief of the body.

The dissension over the organisation's leadership between followers of Saad, the grandson of the Tabligh founder Moulana Iliyas or Zuhayrul Hasan, son of Deoband leader Moulana Zubayer, has boiled over into violent clashes in recent years.

The two factions have since been following different schedules for the Ijtema.