Indian cleric leads world Islamic meet prayer

February 1st, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Feb 1 (IANS) An Indian cleric led the final prayer at the 45th Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of Muslims that ended here Sunday, seeking divine blessings for global peace and prosperity.More than two million Muslims from across Bangladesh and other countries gathered along the banks of the river Turag, some 25 km north of the national capital, at Tongi for the three-day event. The final prayer, known as the Akheri Munajat, was led by Maulana Jubayerul Hassan of India.

Separate platforms were built for Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition leader Khaleda Zia, various ministers and other VVIP personnel to participate in the final prayer, Star Online said. Special security measures were taken for them.

This year, a record figure of 10,500 foreign devotees joined the congregation.

On the second day of the Ijtema Saturday, a dowry-free mass wedding programme was held at the venue as is traditionally done every year. A total of 115 couples, in presence of their relatives and guardians, got married.

The annual Haj pilgrimage in Mecca is the largest gathering of Muslims in the world.

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