LAHORE – Thousands of people from across the globe will gather at the Raiwind City area to participate in the first phase of Tableeghi Ijtima on Thursday (tomorrow) amid tight security where the leading religious clerics of the world will deliver sermons.

Over 3,000 foreigner Muslims from Indonesia, France, Spain, UK, America, Germany, and Afghanistan and from European countries are also among the devotees, who will converge on Thursday’s congregation. The first phase of the Ijtima will start from March 8 to 11 and second will start from 16 to 18 of the current month.

Only registered faithful from the entire world are eligible to participate in the first phase of Ijtima. “Those Muslims, who have already spent at least four months along with the local or a foreigner religious preaching team in any part of the world, will attend this congregation,” an old faithful-cum-security personnel said. According to him, the leading religious scholars and renowned clerics including Haji Abdul Wahab, Hazrat Maulana Abdul Rasheed Sorti, Maulana Abdul Rasheed, Maulana Nazrul Rehman and Maulana Ahmad Laat and others are expected to deliver the sermons.

SP (Operations) Shoaib Khurram Janbaz on Tuesday told this newspaper that a good number of security personnel had been put on high alert to guard the participants of the congregation. He said barriers and blockages had been placed around sensitive areas besides installing CCTV cameras at specific points. The SP further said although the administration of the Ijtima refused to receive police security but the department will guard them. Shoaib said advance checking had already been started at Kasur boundary, Sundar areas, Raiwind localities, and other adjoining parts of the Raiwind City. 

A cleric said probably no political figure will participate in this congregation. He said the purpose of this Ijtima was the same to seek forgiveness to Allah of all the sins as the eternal success is the way of Almighty Allah and the teachings and by following the footprints of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). “The entire Muslim Ummah is facing colossal spiritual problems only because the Ummah has been de-tracked from the path of righteousness and submission in front of only Almighty Allah,” he stated.

Later, the City Traffic Police spokesman Ali Nawaz said preparations have been finalized to ensure smooth flow of vehicular activities on this occasion. According to the plan, he said, around 60 traffic wardens, three Inspectors, a DSP and an SP will supervise the entire happening in three shifts. He said two parking stands and a small control room had also been established to facilitate the participants.