World Bulletin/News Desk
On a chilly winter morning, on the banks of the river Turag outside Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, the world's second-largest Muslim congregation ended on Sunday.
The final prayers for global peace and prosperity were delivered by a Moulana Sa'ad from India at the annual Biswa Ijtema event, dubbed the Annual Global Congregation of Muslims.
The event is organized by Tablighi Jamaat, a group dedicated to religious propagation, and attracts millions of Muslims from accross South Asia.
The devotees attended the gathering despite a nationwide transport blockade, imposed by the political opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies amid an uncertain political situation.
"I had to change transport five times to come here. It would be easier if there wouldn't be any transport blockade," said Azizur Rahman, a senior devotee from Gaibandha in northern Bangladesh.
Mohammad Kiron, a small tea stall owner, seems happy with his business, saying that the gathering was still busy despite the countrywide transport blockade.
Different prominent Islamic scholars began the event with general sermons after the early morning Fajr prayer on Friday and Pakistan's veteran scholar Moulana Mohammad Ihsan then began the formal sermons after the weekly Friday prayers.
The event, which to cope with its large numbers will have a second phase next week, focuses on prayers and religious speeches but does not allow political discussions.
The event first began in 1945 in Bangladesh, which was then East Bengal, and has remained at its present 160 acre site since 1965.
Apart from splitting the event into two phases, Bangladesh's government stationed firefighters, medical staff and provided free medicine to ensure safety at the event.
There were also special arrangements made for disabled devotees.Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2015, 12:51