The Ijtema began with "a'm bayan" (general sermons) by Jordanian Islamic scholar Sheikh Umar which was interpreted in Bangla by Maulana Abdul Matin, reports UNB.
Thousands of Muslims attended the Juma prayers conducted by Hafez Mohammad Jubayer, the imam of Kakrail mosque in the Bgladeshi capital of Dhaka.
Maulana Mohammad Hossain gave sermons after Juma prayers and Maulana Mohammad Rabiur Haque after Maghrib prayers.
The first phase of the 53rd Biswa Ijtema will end Sunday with the Akheri Munajat (final prayers). The second phase of Ijtema will be held from January 19 to 21.
"Muslim devotees from 32 districts across the country will take part in the two phases of the Ijtema. The first phase will be attended by the devotees from 16 districts and devotees from the other 16 districts will attend the second phase," said engineer Gias Uddin, an organiser of the Ijtema, adds BSS.
Some 3,919 devotees from 79 foreign countries have already reached the Ijtema ground, said the deputy commissioner of Gazipur.
Police have taken a five-tier security measure to ensure safety of the devotees.
Besides, special measures have been taken to ease the traffic. Some 50 CCTVs have been installed to monitor the situation in and around the Ijtema venue.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway has made arrangements to operate special trains on different routes of the country to facilitate the movement of the devotees.
The Biswa Ijtema has been arranged by the Turag since 1967.
Source: The Daily Star