Bishwa Ijtema

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
Reports and officials said the three-day Biswa Ijtema event drew the highest number of people including 5,000 foreigners from 50 countries on the last day of the congregation on Sunday as the event concluded with a closing prayer or "akheri munajat".
The Biswa Ijtema is the second largest annual gathering of Muslims in the world, after the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
AN overcrowded train full of Muslim devotees leaves the site of the Biswa Ijtema, or World Muslim Congregation at Tongi for Dhaka yesterday.
More than four million devotees from more than 60 countries have concluded Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims after the Hajj to Mecca, in Dhaka by praying for peace and well-being.
Earlier reports suggested BNP was in a dilemma if it should relax the nationwide transport blockade to allow people to join the three-day Biswa Ijtema set to begin on January 9 at the outskirts of the capital.