Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has joined the Akheri Munajat (final prayers) of the 53rd Biswa Ijtema as the first phase of the world's largest Muslim congregation after the holy Hajj ended on the banks of the river Turag at Tongi.
From her official residence Ganobhaban, the prime minister took part in the munajat on Sunday.
Awami League Presidium Member Advocate Sahara Khatoon, Joint General Secretary Dr Dipu Moni and Agriculture Affairs Secretary Faridunnahar Laily as well as family members and relatives of the premier joined the prayers from the Ganobhaban. PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Jainul Abedin, Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, Special Assistant Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap and officials and employees of the Prime Minister's Office and Ganobhaban took part in the munajat from there.
A special prayer was offered on the occasion seeking continued peace, progress and welfare of the country as well as the greater unity of the Muslim Ummah.
Senior most Imam (Pesh Imam) of Kakrail Jame Mosque Mawlana Md Jubaer conducted the prayer. Both the Akheri Munajat and "hedayeti bayan" were conducted for the first time in Bangla.
Tens of thousands of devotees from 16 districts of the country attended the first phase of the Ijtema. The districts included Dhaka, Narayanganj, Madaripur, Gaibandha, Sherpur, Lakkhipur, Bhola, Jhalakathi, Patuakhali, Narail, Magura, Panchagarh, Nilphamari and Natore.
Some 4,473 devotees from 88 countries joined the first phase of the Ijtema. The devotees from other 16 districts of the country will participate in the second phase of Biswa Ijtema slated for January 19-21.
The first phase of Biswa Ijtema, which formally started with "ambayan" (general sermon) after Fazr prayers at dawn on Friday, ended with Akheri Munajat today.
In the three-day first phase Ijtema, noted ulema-mashaekhs in their sermons called for following the guidance of the holy Quran and Sunnah. The sermons were translated into different languages of the world.
The New Delhi-based Tablig-e-Jamaat has been organising the Ijtema since 1967. For managing the growing number of devotees coming from home and abroad, the holy congregation is being held in two phases since the year of 2011.