Thiruvananthapuram: Tens of thousands of Muslims will collect in Kerala Monday to take a pledge against terrorism on the 26th night of Ramadan in which organisers say will be one of the largest such gatherings in the world.
Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleelul Bukhari, chairman of Ma`din Islamic Academy, told reporters: "This is the third largest gathering of its kind after Makkah and Madina. Here people congregate in search of the blessing of the special night called Lailathul Khadir. This time, people will take a pledge against terrorism."
The first convention, held more than two decades ago, attracted a mere thousand Muslims. The number has gone up rapidly since then. Very soon, it is expected to touch a million mark.
"We have made arrangements for six lakh people. Around 5,000 volunteers are getting ready for the smooth conduct of the programme," Bukhari added.
The prayers will be held on a 20-acre plot, with the devotees spilling onto both sides of a nearly seven kilometer stretch of the highway from Malappuram to Pokotur.
"Irrespective of caste or religion, all those living on either side of the highway allow the visitors to erect tents and provide them help. All those unable to get a place in the main venue are provided with televisions to witness the prayers," said Saifudeen, one of the organisers.
The event is the brainchild of Sunni leader Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musaliyar. Malappuram is about 400 km from Thiruvananthapuram