Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The World Congregation of Muslims, generally known as Biswa Ijtema, began Friday on the bank of river Turag just outside Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The three-day Ijtema, which will come to an end with the concluding prayer (akheri munajat) on Sunday sees hundreds of thousands of devotees from home and over 25,000 from over 100 countries joining the congress, organizers said.
The three-day program of Ijtema includes delivering boyans (sermons) on the fundamental issues of Tablig, solemnizing marriages without dowry, prayer for the spiritual adulation, exaltation and welfare of the Muslim community.
Islamic scholars from countries including Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Algeria, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon are delivering their sermons, which are being instantly interpreted into Bangla, English and a few other languages, they added.
The Bishwa Ijtema was first launched in 1967 and is now the second largest congregation of Muslims in the world after the Hajj.
Around 20,000 security personnel from the police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and various intelligence agencies have been put in place to ensure security.
Security personnel are monitoring over the Close Circuit TVs (CCTVs) and keeping watch from specially erected towers, to ensure security to the congregation.
The government has taken adequate measures for ensuring security of the devotees and smooth holding of the congregation, a local official said.
President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Opposition Leader Begum Khaleda Zia, ministers, members of parliament and senior officials are expected to take part in the akheri munajat.
BBN/SS/SI/AD-23January10-1:59 am (BST)