LAHORE - The second phase of three-day Tableeghi Ijtema formally started at Raiwind on Friday with a large attendance of people from different areas of the country.

According to some estimates, more than half a million people are participating in the event which will conclude on Sunday morning with a collective prayer.

Hundreds of buses have already reached the venue of annual congregation around 36 kilometers from Lahore. Pakistan Railways is plying special trains to facilitate the participants coming from other cities while Lahore Transport Company has arranged shuttle service from city’s different points to the site of the Ijtima. Prayer leader of Tableeeghi Jamaat Mosque Maulana Muaaz led the Friday prayers and after that known religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jamil addressed the gathering. His sermon started soon after Friday prayers and ended before Asar prayers.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi also visited the site and attended the address of Maulana Tariq. He also held meeting with the religious personality. Maulana Tariq in his detailed sermon asked Muslims for having firm belief on ascendency and oneness of Allah. He said that unless the umma turn face to Allah’s command and firms up faith it would continue to wander in darkness. He said that guidance comes through effort and hard work and it is the only way to get success in the world and hereafter. He emphasized the need for following in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and adopting his lifestyle to get success in both worlds. He also called upon the umma to protect itself from anarchy and said that love for Allah and His Holy Prophet (PBUH) is demonstrated through forgiveness and tolerance. And who do so are true Muslims, he said.