Bishwa Ijtema


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Bishwa Ijtema

Weekend in December-February
Bishwa Ijtema (sometimes spelled Vishwa Ijtema) brings together Muslim believers to Tongi, a northern suburb of the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka. The three-day event is organized by the Tablighi Jamaat, a missionary organization. English speakers refer to the festival as the World Muslim Congregation ( ijtema is Arabic for "public gathering"). After the Pilgrimage to Mecca ( hajj), it is considered one of the largest Muslim gatherings in the world.
Since 1966, Muslims from Bangladesh and other countries have congregated at Tongi's 190-acre venue along the banks of the Turag River, where they pray, discuss the Quran, and receive instruction from religious scholars. The number of people attending has increased over the decades, expanding to an estimated three million in 2008. Devotees pour into crowded boats and climb rooftops to watch the proceedings. In order to meet the language needs of various believers, translations are provided in English, Arabic, Urdu, and Bangla.
Unlike other Muslim gatherings that may have a political perspective, Bishwa Ijtema forbids political speeches and encourages prayers for harmony and world peace.
CONTACTS:
Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, National Tourism Organization
233 Airport Rd.
Tejgaon
Dhaka 1215 Bangladesh
www.bangladeshtourism.gov.bd