Bhopal: The three-day 70th annual Aalami Tablighi Jamat Ijtema (International Islamic congregation) unfolded in Bhopal on Saturday Nov 25. The congregation is said to be the third largest for Muslims after the Haj gathering in Makkah and Bishwa Tablighi Ijtima in Bangladesh.
The annual congregation draws several lakh Muslims from all over the globe. A marquee over 60 acres of land and parking space of 200 acres has come up at the ijtima site which is about 12 kilometres on the northern outskirts of Bhopal in Eintkhedi village.
Tablighi Jamaat (Society for spreading faith) is a religious movement founded in 1927 by Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi in India. The movement primarily aims at propagating spiritual reformation by working at the grass roots level, reaching out to Muslims across all social and economic spectra to bring them in line with the group’s understanding of Islam.
Aalami Tablighi Jamat Ijtema is said to be started in 1947 at Masjid Shakoor Khan in Bhopal. As number of participants increased it was shifted to Taj-ul-Masajid, one of the largest mosques in Asia. At the beginning of the 21st century with mass participation of Muslim the Ijtima was shifted to the outskirts of the city.
Heavy security arrangements have been made by Madhya Pradesh police to ensure security at the Ijtema site. In a bid to boost the security CCTVs cameras have been installed in and around the venue. Traffic police have been deployed in large numbers along with hundreds of Tablighi Jamat volunteers to streamline the vehicular traffic. The Ijtima shall conclude in the afternoon on November 27 with mass “Dua” (prayer).
The grand handicraft market, a major draw at the annual gathering, had been organised this time on a much smaller scale as compared to previous years as the local administration had raised objections.
The administration says the large number of shops and the huge gathering of shoppers cause major traffic problems. The local administration and organisers are also ensuring that the arena is kept free of polythene bags which pollute the environment.