Viswa Ijtema mammoth Muslim religious congregation organised annually by the http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/T_0006.HTM
- - turag near Tongi. The Ijtema at Tongi is now known as the Viswa Ijtema (world congregation). It is an annual meeting place of Muslim pilgrims from various countries of the world for special prayers. Its main objectives are to inspire Muslims of the world to follow the norms of http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/I_0102.HTM
- - quran and http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/H_0010.HTM
- Hajrat Maulana Elius founded Tabligh in 1927 at Sahranpur of Uttar Pradesh, India and at the same time organised regional congregation or Ijtema. In course of time, Ijtema movement spread throughout the subcontinent and also influenced other regions. After partition of Bengal in 1947, three Ijtema centres developed in three parts of the subcontinent - India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Viswa Ijtema at Tongi is the annual Tabligh congregation of East Pakistan. In addition to Tongi, Ijtemas are now held in Rivend, Pakistan and Bhopal, India. However, in terms of popular attendance, the Tongi Ijtema is the largest of all these congregations.
The Tabligh Jama'at movement started in Bangladesh area in 1948 at the Kakrail Mosque of Dhaka with a few followers in presence of Hazrat Maulana Eusuf. Later in 1954, a large congregation of Tabligh Jama'at was organised at the Camp of the http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/H_0023.HTM
- - ramna racecourse , Dhaka. Ramna proved to be too small to accommodate devotees. Consequently, a large open space at the village Pagar on the bank of the Turag near Tongi was chosen for the next Ijtema in 1966. That year many devotees from overseas joined the Ijtema.
The number of participants in the Ijtema of January 2001 was about 2 million. Among them were the representatives from 70 different countries including India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Kenya, and Turkey. Even the vast open space of the Ijtema venue proved congested in accommodating the huge number of devotees who came to join the prayer on the third (final) day of the three day Ijtema function.
Ijtema is now a symbol of the unity of all Muslims, an opportunity to demonstrate their mutual solidarity, love and respect and to reiterate their commitment to the Islamic values of discipline, brotherhood and magnanimity. Ijtema is the largest congregation of Muslims next to the Hajj.
For conducting the Ijtema functions in an organised way, the whole Ijtema ground is divided into 21 sections (khittas), each assigned for a region of the country and a foreign geographic zone. A khitta is supervised by a jimmadar (trustee), who is assisted by district and thana jimmadars. The central Ijtema management authority co-ordinates all affairs of the Ijtema. No paid labour is employed in the Ijtema functions and all work is done by teams of volunteers.