The second phase of Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims after Hajj, began on the Turag riverbank in Tongi on the outskirts of the capital on Friday morning.
Four days after the first phase, the second phase of the 72-hour Islamic gathering started with A’mbayan (general sermons) in Urdu.
The second phase of the Islamic congregation will end with Akheri Munajat (final prayers) on Sunday.
According to the organisers, the Islamic scholars in their sermons will give emphasis on Iman, Amal and Akhlaq. They will brief the devotees saying that if Muslims follow the rules of the Quran and Sunnah, they will be the gainer both in this world and hereafter.
Maulana Faruk of India delivered hedayeti bayan (guiding sermon) to the devotees in Hindi on Thursday after Zuhr prayers. Maulana Ashraf Ali translated it into Bengali.
Pakistani Islamic scholar Maulana Harun Kuraishi preached the pilgrims after Asr prayers, while Maulana Monir and Maulana Abdullah translated his bayan into Bengali after Asr and Maghrib prayers respectively.
Dressed in traditional robes and prayer caps, thousands from far-flung villages and towns and across the world started thronging the ijtema venue from last Wednesday, but their number has multiplied on Thursday.
Media coordinator of Ijtema organisers, Md Sayem, said some 5,000 foreign pilgrims of around ninety countries have come to attend the Ijtema. Maulana Saad Kandhalvi’s son Maulana Yusuf, Maulana Saeed, Maulana Ilias and son-in-law Maulana Hasan are attending the second phase of Ijtema.
Gazipur Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mollah Nazrul Islam briefed reporters at Shaheed Ahsanullah Master Stadium in Tongi on Thursday morning to inform about the preparations taken by the law enforcement agencies for successful arrangement of the second phase of Ijtema.
He said like the first phase of the Ijtema, about 10,000 members of law enforcement agencies are deployed in Ijtema ground and surrounding areas.
He also said that learning mistakes of the first phase of Ijtema they will remain more vigilant during the second phase.
The police commissioner said apart from surveillance from watch tower and on waterways, there will be RAB helicopter patrolling in the air.
While inaugurating a free medical camp at the Ijtema ground, State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan said several ministries of the government are working together to make the second phase of Bishwa Ijtema a successful one.