Kerala gears up for biggest Ramadan gathering
TRIVANDRUM: Malappuram district in the southern Indian state of Kerala is gearing up for what is claimed as the world’s third largest Ramadan prayer congregation to be held next week.
The mammoth annual meet organised by Ma’dain Academy since 1986 will pray for world peace and take pledge against terrorism. Half a million people attended the meet last year and the organisers expect better participation this time.
“It is our responsibility to pray for peace in the world, especially in Palestine, Iraq and Syria where men, women and children are brutally killed,” said Sayyid Ibrahim Khalil al Bukhari, chairman of the Academy who will lead the prayers on the 27th night of the holy month on Thursday (July 24).
Bikhari will also administer the pledge to participate in the efforts to promote inter-religious harmony and peace at the end of the prayer meeting.
People from different parts of India and abroad are expected to attend the session at the Swalath Nagar where the Islamic learning centre is situated.
The number of attendees are calculated from the number of food packets distributed for breaking the daylong fast.
“This is the third largest congregation of the faithful after Makkah and Madina. On the special night expected to be Laylat Al Qadr, they free themselves from all worries and beseech the almighty for spiritual deliverance with raised hands,” al Bukhari told reporters on Thursday.
Those who fail to make their physical presence can also take part in the prayers, watching live telecast on television or following the live internet stream and joining them to chant each word of the prayers realtime together with hundreds of thousands gathered here.
‘World is going through a tough time as the hatred and intolerance is spreading. It is the duty of every man and woman to take the pledge for togetherness and harmony. The congregation intends to promote the idea of moderation which Islam stands for,” explained al Bukhari.
Elaborate arrangements were made to receive the faithfuls at Swalath Nagar with the support of 5555 volunteers. The district administration, police and fire force will also be there from the beginning to the end when faithfuls stand awake for prayers throughout the night.