(Pervez Bari): The three-day 66th chapter of “Aalami Tablighi Ijtima” (World Preachers’ Congregation) in Bhopal, the capital of central India state of Madhya Pradesh, is all set to commence here on December 14 after the offering of “Fajr Namaz” (early morning prayers) at the crack of dawn.
The Ijtima shall conclude in the morning of December 16 after mass “Dua” instead of afternoon as has been the practice in the past.
The congregation is said to be the largest Islamic gathering after Hajj at Makkah in Saudi Arabia and the “Bishwa Ijtima” at Tongi in Bangladesh. The annual congregation here draws between 5-10-lakh Muslims from all over the globe.
The venue of “Aalami Tablighi Ijtima” is about 12 kilometres on the northern outskirts of Bhopal town at Ghasipura in Eintkhedi village. A sprawling tent city over 175 acres of land with marquees on more than 50 acres of land has come up at the Ijtima site. The Jamaats (group of devotees) from all the Indian states, Middle East and European countries who have descended on Bhopal much before started converging to the Ijtima site soon after the “Juma Namaz” (Friday prayers) by all modes of transport such as buses, trucks, jeeps, cars, tractors, motor cycles, scooters etc. Some even preferred walking to avoid traffic jams and reached on foot.
The main “pandal” (marquee) has been erected on about 35 acres of land this year, five acres than last year to accommodate the ever increasing number of Jamaats from all over India and abroad. In the main “pandal” tens of thousands of people will camp for three days listening to the holy sermons of Islamic scholars as how to inculcate the good values in life following the Islamic tenets in order to lead an upright life in this world and thereby be rewarded with Jannat-ul-Firdaus hereafter.
Special arrangements for parking, water, toilet and other amenities have been made. Medical clinics of Unani, Ayurvedic and Allopathic systems of medicine have been set up at the Ijtima site to cater the needs of the devotees who need medical aid. A police control room has also been set up at Eintkheri and CCTVs have been installed at strategic points.
It may be recalled here that the Ijtima in Bhopal was first organized at Masjid Shakoor Khan in the walled city in 1948. Since then it is being held every year without break.
It may be pointed out here that “Tablighi Jamaat” (organisation for spreading faith) is a religious movement which was founded in 1926 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 closer to Islam.
“Tablighi Jamaat’s” inception is believed to be a response to the deteriorating values and negligence of fundamental aspects of Islam, which were considered a threat to Muslims. It gradually expanded from local to national to a transnational movement and now has followers in over 150 countries.
Tablighi Jamaat maintains a non-affiliating stature in matters of politics and “Fiqh” (jurisprudence).
“Tablighi Jamaat” has largely avoided electronic media and has emphasized a personal communication for proselytizing. The teachings of “Tablighi Jamaat” are mainly basic in approach and the six Principles put forward by Muhammad Ilyas influence most of their teachings.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata party, (BJP), ruled Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reviewed preparations for Alami Tablighi Ijtima and held one-to-one discussions with concerning departments’ officers on Wednesday. He directed that all arrangements should be fine. Visitors should not face any difficulty. He gave these directives while reviewing preparations at Ijtima site at Ghasipura Eintkheri.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Anthony de Sa, DGP Nandan Dube, divisional commissioner S.B. Singh and heads of departments responsible for arrangements were present on the occasion.
Chief Minister Chouhan said that Ijtima is one of the biggest religious events of the country. The mass prayer here will bring about happiness in everyone’s life. He sought information about preparations to ensure that Ijtima is held efficiently. He was happy to see that administration and organisers have made good arrangements with coordination.
At the meeting, Chouhan sought information from municipal corporation, Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board, Public Health Engineering, Police and other departments about works. Organising committee members Abdul Qayyum, Iqbal Hafeez, Mohammad Mian and Ateeq-ul-Islam expressed satisfaction over arrangements. They informed that all departments are making effective arrangements. Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board has successfully diverted electricity lines.
Bhopal Collector Nishant Warwade, DIG D. Shriniwas Verma,Bhopal Municipal Commissioner Vishesh Garhpale and other officers presented details about the departmental works.(firstname.lastname@example.org)