Thousands of Muslims gather in S. Africa for Ijtema

Organizers said nearly 10,000 people had attended the opening and hoped that more will come before the spiritual event wraps up on Monday afternoon.

Thousands of Muslims gather in S. Africa for Ijtema

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of Muslims have converged on Johannesburg to attend an annual gathering organised by Jamaat Tablighi and considered one of the largest Muslim gatherings in the African country.

"I feel spiritually uplifted already," Jafar Kandulu, a Muslim from Malawi, told Anadolu Agency inside the gathering tents where a Malawian scholar was giving lectures in the local language.

"I look forward to attending next year's Ijtema," he said.

Organizers said nearly 10,000 people had attended the opening and hoped that more will come before the spiritual event wraps up on Monday afternoon.

The gathering draws only Muslim males who attend lectures both during the day and at night.

"The Ijtema is held every year in South Africa and we expect close to 20,000 Muslims to come and attend this spiritual conference," a local Muslim cleric and one of the organisers told AA, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Some people have come from as far as Malawi, Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries to attend this powerful spiritual programme which aims at motivating Muslims to live meaningful lives in the true path of Islam," he said.

The cleric said Muslim scholars had travelled from India, Pakistani and other countries to give lectures to the attendees.

A mood of spirituality and serenity prevailed inside the Ijtema tents with most of the men dressed in white clothes and addressing each other as brothers.

Organisers have set up running water for ablutions, mobile toilets and security lights.

There are special areas for restaurants and tea shops.

"The Iltema reminds me of the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj because I can see Muslims from different nationalities here," said Mahad Ali, a Somali trader living in South Africa who travelled 130 kilometres to attend the gathering.

"This is a gathering of true brotherhood," he told AA inside one of the tents.

Taking photos and video-recording are prohibited at the Ijtema.

Jamaat Tablighi, which was initially founded in India in the early 1920s, has since developed into an international movement in over 150 countries.

Their main objective is to do Dawah often reminding Muslims to follow the truth path of Islam and live meaningful lives.

Members of the movement from community mosques often visit homes in communities to remind Muslims about the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The movement organizes an annual gathering in Bangladesh, known as Bishwa Ijtema, which draws millions of Muslims from across the globe.

The gathering focuses on prayers and supplications.

Last Mod: 21 Nisan 2014, 09:36
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