DHAKA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Huge columns of devotees dressed in traditional robes and prayer caps began streaming towards the venue of the second largest annual Muslim congregation in Dhaka, braving winter cold and dense fog in the morning on Sunday, to attend Akheri Munajat or concluding prayer.
With hundreds of thousands of devotees from Bangladesh and other countries praying to Allah for global peace, prosperity and fraternal harmony, the three-day second largest annual Muslim congregation after holy Hajj, called Biswa Ijtema, ended Sunday afternoon.
For about half an hour the Ijtema venue and its adjoining areas reverberated with the word "Amin" repeatedly uttered by devotees raising their hands together in the prayer.
The 28-minute grand prayer, led by renowned Islamic scholar Hafez Mohammad Zobayer from Bangladesh, at the congregation on the bank of the Turag river at Tongi, some 25 km north of capital Dhaka, specially sought divine blessings and welfare of all mankind.
Religious scholars delivered sermons on Islamic philosophy in the light of the holy Quran and Hadith during the congregation days.
The first phase of Bishwa Ijtema began Friday after Fazr (morning) prayers with religious sermons for the devotees, seeking world peace for the Muslim ummah. The second phase of the Biswa Ijtema will begin on the same venue on Jan. 20 and will conclude with the offering of Akheri Munajat (concluding prayer) on Jan. 22.
To ensure safety and security of the devotees and maintain law and order, thousands of different law-enforcing agencies have been deployed in and around the 60-hectare Ijtema ground, the main venue of the congregation. Several control rooms, watch towers and a number of close circuit cameras have been installed to avert any untoward incidents.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, among others, joined the concluding prayer.
The exact number of devotees on the last day could not be assessed as tens of thousands of devotees from the capital and the adjoining areas join the concluding prayer. The organizers have arranged loud speakers several km away from the venue so that devotees could join the grand prayer. Traffic on many city roads and highways has been kept suspended for smooth holding of the congregation.