Auangabad Ijtema ends with Maulana Saad Khandhalvi’s Dua, Hundreds of thousands of Muslims participated

Aurangabad: The state level Tablighi Jamaat Ijtema came to end today at around 11:00 am with Maulana Saad Khandhalvi’s Dua (Supplication). Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from different parts of Maharashtra have thronged to Limbe Jalgaon village in Gangapur taluka of Aurangabad District where three day Ijtema began after Fajr prayers on Saturday.

The Aurangabad Ijtema 2018 ended peacefully without any major untoward incident. However there was a report that a youth from Malegaon had died of cardiac arrest on second day of the Ijtema. There were some reports about shortage of drinking water on Sunday although volunteers had arranged the water tankers from Aurangabad city on urgent basis.

More than 3000 marriages were solemnised including 100 couples from Mumbai. A huge pandal spreading on 91000 sq ft has been erected for prayers. More than 5000 police personnel have been deployed around the Ijtema site including three officers of the rank of commissioner and assistant commissioner, 25 police inspectors and 70 sub-inspectors. Four companies of the State reserve Police Force (SRPF), 1,000 traffic police and eight squads of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) have also been called for the Ijtema.

As per reports, thousands of people from 129 countries have participated in the Ijtema. State government too has declared Monday, the last day of Ijtema as holiday for all Urdu schools across state. As per media reports and estimates more than 10 lakh people have attended the Ijtema.

The Aurangabad Ijtema was held amid the power struggle between two rival groups of the Tablighi Jamaat, Aurangabad Ijtema is the first congregation held after the division. In the past, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband had issued fatwa against Maulana Saad, head of Tablighi Jamaat accusing him of “misinterpreting Islamic Sharia”.

The Aurangabad Ijtema has also courted some controversy and criticism through some section of society. Social media was abuzz with messages criticizing the manner in which Hazrat ji Saad Kandhalvi’s car was showered with flowers. Some messages circulating on the social media also questioned the “religious sanction” of holding such an Ijtema.

Earlier, the police department denied the permission for Aurangabad Ijtema saying the organizers had approached the police department late and also No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from different government departments have not been obtained. The organizers however submitted all the needed documents on February 17. The Police department consequently granted the permission and extended their full support.

Politics also marred the Aurangabad Ijtema where huge hoardings by Shiv Sena have been put at various places appealing “Muslims who are attending the Ijtema to pray for the party”. Shiv Sena is a right wing party known for its anti-Muslim stand on various community issues.