Ijtema begins today | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 15, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:12 AM, February 15, 2019

Ijtema begins today

Biswa Ijtema, one of the biggest congregations of Muslims, is going to start today.

A large number of devotees from home and abroad have gathered on the bank of the Turag river at Tongi to attend the four-day long congregation.

Having been held in two phases since 2011, this year's Ijtema will have a single phase, with two separate Akheri Munajat (final prayers) supposed to be conducted by the leaders of two feuding Tabligh Jamaat factions.

Maulana Zubair Hassan, who leads one of the factions, will administer the first two days of the Ijtema, and conduct the Jummah prayers and Akheri Munajat on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Syed Wasiful Islam, who leads the other group that follows Indian preacher Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, will supervise the last two days, including the Akheri Munajat.

Hefajat-e Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi is scheduled to attend the Friday prayers.

The followers of Zubair are supposed to leave the Ijtema ground after Maghrib prayers on Saturday.

Earlier on February 5, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah extended the duration from three days to four days after holding a meeting with two feuding groups.

Initially, the Ijtema was scheduled to be held in two phases, with the first one from January 11 to 13 and the second one from January 18 to 20.

On December 1 last year, one person was killed and over 200 were injured in a series of clashes between two factions of Tabligh Jamaat for establishing control over Ijtema Maidan.

The government then postponed the congregation after the two factions announced separate schedules.

Tabligh Jamaat has been organising Biswa Ijtema every year since 1946.

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