Bismillah ar Rehman ir Rahim

SUFISM IN BANGLADESH 

Sufi Shrine in Bangladesh

The Sufi principles and practices of Bangladesh are completely traced to the Quran and the Hadith. The mystical expressions of the Quranic verses of the Prophet are the direct sources of Sufism. The concepts of nafs (self), zikr (remembrance), ebadat (prayer), morakaba (meditation), miraj (ascension), tajalli (divine illumination), faqr (spiritual poverty), tawhid (Unity of God), fana (annihilation) and baqa (subsistence) are all the basic sources of Sufism, as practied in Bangladesh.
 
The regular Sufi practice in many of the Khaneghahs in Bangladesh is zikr and sama (qawwali). Surrounding the Pirs, the zakers start performing zikr, La ilaha illa LLah, or repeating the word. Sufism in Bangladesh is a silent and spontaneous movement. The Sufis and the Sheikhs in India and Bangladesh are believed to have shown many miracles and divine activities. The Bangladeshi people are tender minded in terms of religious principle, they can be easily convinced if they are given the right direction and shown the right path towards truth.
SUFI DARGAH
 
Dargah Sharif a Persian word referring to the grave of a wali aulia or sufi. In the subcontinent, buildings have been erected upon the graves of Sufis and dervishes. 
There are many dargahs in Bangladesh :
 
SHAH JALAL AT SYLHET,
SHAH AMANAT IN CHITTAGONG,
SHARFUDDIN ABU TAWWAMAH AT SONARGOAN,

SHAH ALI AT MIRPUR,
KHAN JAHAN ALI AT BAGERHAT,
SHAH ALI BAGHDADI AT DHAKA.
 
'SHAH ALI AT SYLHET '
Shah Jalal was a sufi saint of Bengal and is the most celebrated personality of the region of Sylhet, Bangladesh. Shah Jalal commands great respect of Muslims of the Indian subcontinent and is regarded as a national hero by Bangladeshis. Shah Jalal's name is associated with the Muslim conquest of Sylhet, of which he is considered to be the main figure. He lies buried at Sylhet.

Early Life & Education

Born Shaikh Makhdum Jalal ad-Deen bin Mohammed, he was later affectionately renamed Shaikh-ul-Mashaikh Hazrat Shah Jalal al-Mujarrad (the last name meaning "the bachelor", on account of his celibacy). Shah Jalal's date and place of birth is unclear. Various traditions, folklore and hostorical documents suggest different ideas. A number of scholars claim that he was born in 1271 in Konya, Turkey, and later moved to Yemen, either as a child or adult, while others contest he was born in Yemen. He was the son of a Turkish Muslim cleric, who was a contemporary of the famous Persian poet and Sufi saint, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. He was educated and raised by his maternal uncle, Syed Ahmed Kabir, in Mecca. He excelled in his studies and became a Hafiz (one who has committed the Quran to memory and was proficient in Islamic theology. He achieved Kamaliyat (spiritual perfection) after 30 years of study and meditation.

Travel to India

According to legend, his uncle, Sheikh Kabir, one day gave Shah Jalal a handful of earth and asked him to travel to Hindustan with the instruction that he should settle down at whichever place in Hindustan whose earth matched completely in smell and color the earth he was given, and he should devote his life for the propagation and establishment of Islam there.
Shah Jalal journeyed eastward and reached India in c. 1300, where he met with many great scholars and mystics. He arrived at Ajmer, where he met the great Sufi mystic and scholar, Pir Khawaja Gharibnawaz Muinuddin Hasan Chisty, who is credited with the spread of Islam in India. In Delhi, he met with Nizam Uddin Aulia, another major Sufi mystic and scholar.

Conquest of Sylhet

Tradition goes that a Hindu king named Gaur Govinda ruled the Sylhet area, then predominantly Hindu. Sheikh Burhanuddin, a Muslim who lived in the territory under his control once sacrificed a cow to celebrate the birth of his son. A kite snatched a piece of flesh of the slaughtered cow and it fell from its beak on the house of a Brahmin Hindu, for whom cows were sacred. According to another tradition, the piece of flesh fell on the temple of the king himself, which he took as a great offence. At the order of the king, Burhanuddin's hands were said to have been cut off and his son killed. Burhanuddin went to the Sultan of Gaur, Shamsuddin Firuz Shah, to whom he submitted a prayer for justice. The Sultan accordingly sent an army under the command of his nephew Sikandar Khan Ghazi. He was, however, defeated twice by Gaur Govinda. The Sultan then ordered his Sipahsalar (armed forces chief) Nasiruddin to lead the war.
At this time, Shah Jalal (R) was requested by Nizam Uddin at the behest of sultan firoz shah to travel to Sylhet along with sikander khan gazi to rescue Sheikh Burhan Uddin. With his 360 followers, some of whom were from Yemen ,tukistan ,al rum,turfan,bukhara,tirmiz,arabia,herat and others from Delhi including his nephew Hazrat Shah Paran, he reached Bengal and joined the Muslim army in the Sylhet campaign.
Knowing that Shah Jalal was advancing towards Sylhet, Raja Gaur Govinda, the king, removed all ferry boats from the river Surma, thereby cutting off any means of crossing into Sylhet. Legend has it that Shah Jalal crossed the river Surma by sitting on a Jainamaz (prayer rug). Upon reaching the opposite bank, he ordered the azan (call to prayer) to be sounded, at which the magnificent palace of Gaur Govinda shattered. With Shah Jalal's help, the king was defeated by the Muslim armies after a fierce battle, and the King subsequently fled.
During the later stages of his life, Shah Jalal devoted himself to propagating Islam to the masses. Under his guidance, many thousands of Hindus and Buddhists converted to Islam. Shah Jalal become so renowned that even the world famous Ibn Batuta whilst in Chittagong was asked to change his plans and go to Sylhet to meet this special man. 
On his way to Sylhet, Ibn Batuta was greeted by several of Shah Jalal's disciples who had come to assist him on his journey many days before he had arrived. Once in the presence of Shah Jalal, Ibn Batuta noted that Shah Jalal was tall and lean, fair in complexion and lived by the masjed in a cave, where his only item of value was a goat from which he extracted milk, butter, and yogurt. He observed that the companions of the sheikh were foreign and known for their strength and bravery. He also mentions that many people would visit the sheikh and seek guidance. Shah Jalal is therefore instrumental in the spread of Islam throughout north east India including Assam.

Later life

According to legend, Shah Jalal found a match to the earth his uncle once gave him, and according to his uncle's wishes, he settled down in Sylhet, near Choukidhiki. It is from here that he preached Islam and became a celebrated Muslim figure in Bengal. He and his disciples travelled and settled as far as Mymensingh and Dhaka to spread the teachings of Islam, such as Shah Paran in Sylhet, Shah Malek Yemeni in Dhaka, Syed Ahmad Kolla Shahid in Comilla, Syed Nasiruddin in the region of Pargana Taraf, Haji Daria and Shaikh Ali Yemeni.
Shah Jalal's fame extended across the Muslim world. The Persian explorer, Ibn Battuta, came to Sylhet and met with Shah Jalal. The great Mughal poet, Hazrat Amir Khusrau gives an account of Shah Jalal's conquest of Sylhet in his book "Afdalul Hawaade". Even today in Hadramaut, Yemen, Sheikh Makhdum Jalaluddin's name is established in folklore.
The exact date of his death is unknown, but he is reported by Ibn Battuta to have died in 746 AH (1347 A.D). He left behind no descendants, as he remained a bachelor his entire life, hence the name "al-Mujarrad" ("the unmarried"). He is buried in Sylhet in his Dargah (tomb), which is located in a neighbourhood now known as Darg Later life
According to legend, Shah Jalal found a match to the earth his uncle once gave him, and according to his uncle's wishes, he settled down in Sylhet, near Choukidhiki. It is from here that he preached Islam and became a celebrated Muslim figure in Bengal. He and his disciples travelled and settled as far as Mymensingh and Dhaka to spread the teachings of Islam, such as Shah Paran in Sylhet, Shah Malek Yemeni in Dhaka, Syed Ahmad Kolla Shahid in Comilla, Syed Nasiruddin in the region of Pargana Taraf, Haji Daria and Shaikh Ali Yemeni.
Shah Jalal's fame extended across the Muslim world. The Persian explorer, Ibn Battuta, came to Sylhet and met with Shah Jalal. The great Mughal poet, Hazrat Amir Khusrau gives an account of Shah Jalal's conquest of Sylhet in his book "Afdalul Hawaade". Even today in Hadramaut, Yemen, Sheikh Makhdum Jalaluddin's name is established in folklore.
The exact date of his death is unknown, but he is reported by Ibn Battuta to have died in 746 AH (1347 A.D). He left behind no descendants, as he remained a bachelor his entire life, hence the name "al-Mujarrad" ("the unmarried"). He is buried in Sylhet in his Dargah (tomb), which is located in a neighbourhood now known as Dargah Mohalla, named for his Dargah. His shrine is a significant place of interest in Sylhet, with hundreds of devotees visiting daily. At the Dargah is also located the largest mosque in Sylhet and one of the largest in Bangladesh.ah Mohalla, named for his Dargah. His shrine is a significant place of interest in Sylhet, with hundreds of devotees visiting daily. At the Dargah is also located the largest mosque in Sylhet and one of the largest in Bangladesh. 

'Chittagong'

The Dargah of Sah Amanat is a holy shrine located in the heart of the town.

The 17th-century Shahi Jama-e-Masjid  and the other Qadam Mubarek Mosque. The Chilla of Bada Shah stands to the west of Bakshirhat in the old city. 

Sharfuddin Abu Tawwamah (R) at Sonargaon

Sharfuddin Abu Tawwamah was a medieval scholar, sufi saint and an Islamic philosopher. Born in Bukhara and educated in Khurasan, he attained great reputation as a Hanafi jurist and traditionalist (muhaddis) and was well versed in Chemistry, natural sciences and magic. He came and settled in Sonargaon towards the end of the thirteenth century AD. The exact date of his coming to Sonargaon is not known. During the reign of Sultan Giyasuddin Balban (1266-1287) he came to Delhi, from where he proceeded to Bengal. It is assumed that he might have come to Sonargaon sometime between 1282 and 1287 AD. Sharfuddin Yahya Maneri, who later became a famous saint in Bihar, accompanied Abu Tawwamah to Sonargaon as his disciple.

At Sonargaon Abu Tawwamah established his khanqah where in all branches of Islamic learning as well as secular sciences were taught. Sharfuddin Yahya Maneri studied under him at Sonargaon for 22 years.

There are references to the compilation of valuable works at Sonargaon, such as the Maqamat, a unique work on Islamic mysticism (tasawwuf) by Sharfuddin Abu Tawwamah; a Persian book on fiqh entitled Nam-i-Haq, either written by Abu Tawwamah or compiled (1304)) by one of his disciples on the basis of his teachings; an early fourteenth century work on fiqh entitled Majmu-i-Khani fi Ain-al-Ma'ani by one Kamal-i-Karim; the Tafsir-i-Tatarkhani and Fatwa-i-Tatarkhani compiled at the instance of Bahram Khan alias tatar khan, the Tughlaq governor of Sonargaon, and a Sanskrit dictionary Shabda-ratnavali compiled by Mathures, a court poet of Musa Khan. In his Manakkibul Asfia, Shah Shaib, a contemporary of Abu Tawwamah, has profusely praised him. The fame of Abu Tawwamah spread in the Muslim world including the Indian subcontinent, Arabia and Iran.

He died at Sonargaon in 1300 AD and lies buried in the graveyard at the Dargahbari premises in Mograpara, near the site of his khanqah.

 Shah Langar's Dargah is situated at village Muazzampur (Mahjampur) in sonargaon thana of Narayanganj district, within the enclosure of the Muazzampur Shahi Mosque, which lies to its north. There is an old well within the compound. Numerous people visit the tomb (dargah) every year. Nothing is known about the saint who lies buried there. Local people also call him Shah Alam Shah 

Khan Jahan at Khulna

Khan Jahan local ruler and celebrated sufi saint. Khan Jahan (popularly known as Khan Jahan Ali) was entitled Ulugh Khan and Khan-i-Azam and flourished at Khalifatabad (modern Bagerhat) in the first half of the fifteenth century AD when the Later Iliyas Shahi Sultan nasiruddin mahmud shah was ruling at gaur.

Khan Jahan, a noble under the Tughlaqs, seems to have come to Bengal just after the sack of Delhi (1398) by Timur. He acquired the forest area of the Sundarbans as jagir (fief) from the sultan of Delhi and subsequently from the sultan of Bengal. He cleared up the dense forest in the Sundarban area to set up human settlements, and soon got the Masjidkur and adjacent areas on the eastern bank of the Kobadak suitable for habitation through the untiring efforts of his deputies Burhan Khan and Fateh Khan. Local tradition ascribes to Khan Jahan the first Muslim colonisation of a part of greater Jessore and Khulna districts. The titles Ulugh Khan and Khan-i-Azam of Khan Jahan, as inscribed on his tomb, suggest that he was not an independent freelancer but that he owed fealty most probably to the sultan of Gaur. He ruled over the pargana of khalifatabad stretching up to Naldi to the north of Narail.

Khan Jahan was a great builder. He founded some townships, built mosques, madrasahs and sarais, roads, highways and bridges, excavated a large number of dighis in the districts of greater Jessore and Khulna. Besides his fortified metropolis of Khalifatabad (modern Bagerhat) he built three townships, such as Maruli Kasba, Paigram Kasba and Bara Bazar. He is said to have built a highway from Bagerhat to Chittagong, a twenty-mile long road from Samantasena to Badhkhali, and a road running from Shuvabara to Daulatpur in Khulna. The most notable of his architectural monuments are shatgumbad mosque (c 1450) at Bagerhat, masjidkur mosque (c 1450) at village Masjidkur, his own tomb (1459) near Bagerhat and a single-domed mosque attached to his tomb. Of the large number of dighis and ponds excavated by him the most notable are the Khanjali Dighi (1450) near his tomb and Ghoradighi  to the west of Shatgumbad Mosque. Khan Jahan introduced a new architectural style in his buildings, which is named after him. The Khan Jahan style is seen in a group of buildings in the greater districts of Khulna, Jessore and Barisal. Khan Jahan who might have been an officer of the Gaur sultan betrays in his buildings an affection for the Tughlaq architecture of Delhi. This amply suggests his acquaintance with the Tughlaq style of architecture and perhaps his earlier involvement in Tughlaq administration.

Khan Jahan died on 25 October 1459 (27 Zilhajj 863 AH) and was buried in the tomb built by himself. He is revered by  people  and  numerous people visit his tomb. An annual fair is held on the dargah premises in the bright half of the lunar month in the Bengali month of Chaitra.

Hazrat Shah Ali Bagdadi at Mirpur

The tomb of Hazrat Shah Ali Bagdadi (R), a sacred place and historical relic, is located at Mirpur.

Hazrat Shah Ali Bagdadi (R) came to Bengal to preach Islam and finally settled at Mirpur. He died in 1480 and was buried here. During the War of Liberation in 1971 the Pak army in collaboration with the Razakars killed many people including the intellectuals. In memory of the martyrs a memorial has been established here.

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