Raiwind Ijtema: Thousands head home as first session ends

Published: November 20, 2011
Participants of the ijtema on their way home. PHOTO: IJAZ MAHMOOD/EXPRESS

Participants of the ijtema on their way home. PHOTO: IJAZ MAHMOOD/EXPRESS

Participants of the ijtema on their way home. PHOTO: IJAZ MAHMOOD/EXPRESS
Pakistani Muslims ride on bus rooftops as they return home after the Tablighi Ijtema religious gathering in Raiwind on the outskirts of Pakistan's cultural capital Lahore on November 20, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Around half a million people took part in the first four-day session of the Raiwind Tableeghi Ijtema, which ended on Sunday.

Participants in the ijtema, which is the biggest regular gathering of people in Pakistan, began leaving the city at around 10:30am and continued streaming out all day. Traffic police had blocked roads around the venue and opened both sides of Raiwind Road for vehicles leaving the city. At the venue, the visitors on bikes were the first to leave, followed by pedestrians and then cars and buses.

Maulana Zubairul Hassan led the concluding prayers and in his sermon called for world peace and for the solidarity, integrity and long life of the country. At the start of the congregation, Tableeghi Jamaat Ameer Maulana Haji Abdul Wahhab called for unity, brotherhood and peace in the Ummah.

Some 3,000 police officers and 5,000 razakars (volunteers) were on security duty at the ijtema, while a huge ‘tent city’ including a market with more than 400 makeshift shops and thousands of residential tents was set up to accommodate the guests.

Saddar SP Shoaib Khurram Janbaz said that the police were conducting regular search operations in the area looking out for suspicious activities. He said two suspects were taken into custody on Friday and six on Saturday night. Two were booked for extortion and carrying illegal weapons, while six were allowed to go free after they produced identity documents. He said that more than half a million people had participated in the ijtema.

The second session of the ijtema will run from November 24 to 27.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Dr. Who!
    Nov 20, 2011 - 10:22PM

    (Fat) cats on pilgrimage after devouring hundred mice?

    Islam would spread if the faithful practiced what they preached; as the ordinary but honest Muslim traders did in East and Far East without any help from any Ghaznavi type conquerors.

    Can anyone guess what percent of this “Holy mob” earns an honest living?
    How many could proudly say that they measure up to Prophet PBUH’s Hadith, “Al kasib Habibullah.”
    I am all ears!


  • Chilli
    Nov 20, 2011 - 10:49PM

    Islam is the only solution to all our problems. If we follow what is clearly mentioned in Quran and Hadith, we will be leaders as promised by Allah.


  • Fowad Khan
    Nov 20, 2011 - 11:46PM

    Dawat Tabligh Zindabad.


  • zenat rehman
    Nov 21, 2011 - 12:57AM

    Were women also invited? Or is islam only for men? These people are not muslims if they treat wmen like 2nd class citizens and force their views on others. These people are against modern education


  • Dr. Who!
    Nov 21, 2011 - 1:50AM

    @zenat rehman:
    What’s Man’s Rib Cage for?


  • Soho
    Nov 21, 2011 - 3:00AM

    @zenat rehman:
    Look at them! Look at the people in the photograph and you expect equal rights for women? Modern islam? These guys wanna take us back to the stone ages. Believe me that a good percentage of people supporting these tableeghi parties don’t even know what the heck’s going on. Unfortunate, but true!
    Education, good education that is comparable to British or American syllabus is the answer.


  • Soho
    Nov 21, 2011 - 3:08AM

    God save Pakistan from these fanatics. Evidently, their popularity is going north, no doubt. But “what goes up must come down”, fortunately! They are not existential threat to Pakistan but also humanity.


  • Yasir Mehmood
    Nov 21, 2011 - 3:12AM

    They should go and do tableegh to non muslims (most of our clerics have inhumane attitude towards them) what is the use of doing tableegh to a man who is already very religous


  • Abdullah
    Nov 21, 2011 - 9:42AM

    @Dr.Who, you don’t disclose your name and expect to find out who is earning an honest living ?


  • Sonny
    Nov 21, 2011 - 10:01AM

    I think these Raiwind Ijtema’s should be banned by government as they produce rigid Islamic version and lack tolerance. These Ijtema’s are root cause of terrorism and extremism which is prevailing in Pakistan’s society.


  • Abdullah
    Nov 21, 2011 - 11:00AM

    @Sonny, Have you ever attended one ?


  • Muhammed
    Nov 21, 2011 - 3:41PM

    May Allah give all of you mis-informed souls hidayat. Ameen.


  • Rehman
    Nov 21, 2011 - 5:16PM

    @ abdullah

    you dont have to put your hand in the fire to know that it is hot. I was insane enough to go to their chiila. But trust me, their message is not that different from Taliban. Its just that these people are not physically able to fight like Taliban. So in military lingo, you would call them ”misfits”Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed
    Nov 21, 2011 - 6:18PM

    @zenat rehman:
    They are doing it because they are good muslims. Do you have any other measure ?


  • mohammed
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:13AM

    Sonny let me give you a good example raiwind is very small to Tongi.why should they ban it? They onlx speak about Allahs greatness.zeenat you must remenber ladies place is at home.that’s why they havf masturat jamaat.yasir we must preach to ourselves than to others.if a non muslim looks at our behaviour than i.a one day they will become muslims.dawat work is very nice.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Nov 23, 2011 - 8:36PM

    Dear Zeenat and Dr. Who and all others,

    Asalam-o-Aleikum, (Good muslims should do that….don’t you think???)

    Let me introduce my self…..I am a Pakistani engineer, experienced, working in Netherlands now a days. I want to ask you guys some thing….Will you guys give your opinion if there is a discussion on open heart surgery…probably ….your answer will be…we don’t have much knowledge of it so we can’t say much…(correct answer)…but when it comes to islam….every body becomes an “Alim”…Islam teaches this…Muslims doing that…and so on….Ask your self why you do this….Let me tell you…bcoz you think your approach is correct (even if it is not what the Islam says) and you like it…as it is kind of convenient to you….but have you ever tried to study islam for every day life??? How you should eat…How you should drink…how you should sleep….just your daily activities….do you guys know what is the Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W) way of doing these things?? These are the things which are taught in the tableghi jamat along with Namaz and other activites which a muslim should do as regular activities….Please think about it….Islam is not to follwo your ego…But to follow Quran and Muhammad (S.A.W)….

    Some guy above suggested that “you dont have to put your hand in the fire to know that it is hot”… I agree….But if you read Quran….(and also believe in it) Allah had commanded fire to be cold on Abraham….isn’t that true???

    Some other suggest that “Education, good education that is comparable to British or American syllabus is the answer”….I can only laugh and feel sorry for him….You have islam and yet you are seeking for american education!!!!!!!!!

    Well…..I hope I have talked some sense in you guys….Don’t hate Islam…please…you are muslim…sometimes try being one… a true one…we can only try….only Allah knows who is righteous…..



  • Abdul Jabbar
    Nov 26, 2011 - 2:01PM

    Dear Kashif your comments are reasonable because you have knowledge.


  • Abdul Jabbar Saudia
    Nov 26, 2011 - 2:42PM

    The only way to know facts islam is to consult with islamic scholars,
    The only way to spread islam is to convey the right massage to others otherwise evil will spread automatically, e.g. if we remove light from somewhere than no need to struggle to bring darkness, it will be dark automatically.


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