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Millions attend world’s second-largest Muslim gathering

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More than two million Muslims from over 130 countries attended the annual Biswa Ijtema gathering in Bangladesh.

Ghazipur, Bangladesh – More than two million people from over 130 countries have taken part in the second-largest Muslim gathering in the world.

The annual Biswa Ijtema (“world congregation”) event concluded on Sunday with a mass, collective prayer on the banks of the Turag River, about 35km from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

Over the three-day gathering, Muslim worshippers listened to scholars reciting and explaining verses from the Quran. It is viewed as an opportunity for Muslims to renew their commitment to Islamic values.

Second in size only to Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia, Biswa Ijtema was first held in 1967.

It is organised by Tablighi Jamaat, a Sunni Muslim missionary movement that began in India and whose members volunteer to spread the Islamic faith.

Biswa Ijtema has been held in two phases since 2011 to accommodate the large number of attendees.

This year’s final prayer was given in Bengali, Bangladesh‘s official language, for the first time since 1980.

Crowds attended Friday prayers on the street near the congregation grounds. [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]
The main gathering took place in an area spanning more than half a square kilometre. [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]
People took overcrowded boats to return home after the concluding prayers. [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]

Hossain Opu, Mahmud. (2018, January 24). Millions attend world’s second-largest Muslim gathering. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2018/1/24/millions-attend-worlds-second-largest-muslim-gathering

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