Bangladesh Islamic Heritage

City of Hazrat Shah Jalal, Sylhet:
Shaykh Shah Jalal Mozorrodh Bin Muhammed Shah Jalal (born in 1271 in Konya, Turkey, and later moved to Yemen,) is credited with the help extended to the Muslim army which conquered Sylhet in 1303 A.D.

Shah Jalal is one of the most revered legendary Islamic heroes of Bangladesh and one of the key founding fathers of Islam in the country, It is said that his uncle gave him a handful of earth and told him to travel to a land, in Hindustan, where earth of the same colour can be found. There he should settle down and establish the religion of Islam.

Ibn Batuta the renowned traveller and historian noted that Shah Jalal was tall and lean, fair in complexion and lived by the mosque 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  Shah Jalal were foreign and known for their strength and bravery. He also mentions that many people would visit Shah to seek guidance. Shah was therefore instrumental in the spread of Islam throughout north east India, including Assam.

The meeting between Ibn Batuta and Shah Jalal is described in his travelogue in Arabic, Rihla (The Journey).


The earliest mosque built in South Asia.
In a remote village in northern Bangladesh, an amateur archaeologist has discovered the remains of a mosque believed to be built in the 7th century, 69 years after the death, in 632 CE, of the Holy Prophet (saws) himself.

Villagers initially stumbled on the site where they found ancient treasures and artifacts of Islamic history, including a stone with

Quranic scripture, buried underground.
Further investigation into the findings could prove the site to be the earliest mosque built in South Asia.



Star Mosque:
A very beautiful mosque of the city is situated at Mahuttuly on Abul Khairat Rd; just west of Armanitola Govt. High School.

Architecturally faultless (Mughal style) is a five-dome mosque with hundreds of big and small twinkling stars as surface decorations. The stars have been created by setting pieces of chinaware on white cement. Seen from the front and from far it looks as if shining above the surface of the earth.


The inside of it is even more beautiful that the outside, lovely mosaic floor and excellent tiles with many floral patterns set on the walls, are all in complete harmony. The sitara Masjid was built originally with three domes in early 18th century by Mirza Ghulam Pir, a highly respectable Zamindar of Dhaka. Frequently used in calendars. Entrance: through a lane named after the mosque.



Baitul Mukarram Mosque:
Baitul Mukarram Mosque is situated at Purana Paltan east of Bangladesh Secretariat and north of Dhaka Stadium. Largest Mosque in the city, three storied and built after the pattern of the Kaba Sharif. Very beautiful and costly decorations in the interior. Long lawn, garden and rows of fountains to the south and east.

The mosque is on a very high platform. Lovely flight of stairs lead to it; from the south, east and north. On the east is a vast varanda which is also used for prayer and Eid congregation. Below in the ground floor is a shopping centre.



Shait-Gumbad Mosque, Bagerhat:
In mid-15th century, a Muslim colony was founded in the inhospitable mangrove forest of the Sundarbans near the sea coast in the Bagerhat district by an obscure saint-General, named Ulugh Khan Jahan. He was the earliest torch bearer of islam in the South who laid the nucleus of an affluent city during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah (1442-59), then known as 'khalifalabad' (present Bagerhat).

Khan Jahan adorned his city with numerous mosques, tanks, roads and other public buildings, the spectacular ruins of which are focused around the most imposing and largest multidomed mosques in Bangladesh, known as the Shait-Gumbad Masjid (160'X108'). The stately fabric of the monument, serene and imposing, stands on the eastern bank of an unusually vast sweet-water tank, clustered around by the heavy foliage of a low-laying countryside, characteristic of a sea-coast landscape.

It is divided into 7 longitudinal aisles and 11 deep bays by a forest of slender stone columns, from which springs rows of endless arches, supporting the domes. Six feet thick, slightly tapering walls and hollow and round, almost detached corner towers, resembling the bastions of fortress, each capped by small rounded cupolas, recall the Tughlaq architecture of Delhi. The general appearance of this noble monument with its stark simplicity but massive character reflects the strength and simplicity of the builder.



Chhota Sona Mosque:
One of the most graceful monument of the Sultanate period is the Chhota Sona Masjid or Small Golden Mosque at Gaur in Rajshahi Built by one Wali Muhammad during the reign of Sultan Alauddin Husain Shah (1493-1519). Originally it was roofed over with 15 gold-gilded domes including the 3 Chauchala domes in the middle row, from which it derives its curious name.



Mosque of Baba Adam:
Of a slightly later date the elegant 6-domed mosque (43'x36') of Baba Adam in Rampal near Dhaka was erected by one Malik Kafur during the reign of the last llyas Shahi Sultan, Jalauddin Fateh Shah in 1483 A.D. It displays the same characterstic features of the period such as the faceted octagonal turrets at 4 corners, the curved cornice, the facade and 3 mihrabs relieved richly with beautiful terracotta floral and hanging patterns.



Place of Sultan Bayazid Bostami:
Situated on a hillock in Nasirabad, about 6 km. to the north-west of Chittagong town, which attracts a large number of visitors.

Bayazid Bastami (804-874 CE) was a Persian Sufi born in Bastam, Iran.

Bastami was never known to have visited Bangladesh. However, Sufi teachers were greatly influential in the spread of Islam in Bengal. The tomb at Chittagong attributed to him as a jawab, or imitation. Islamic Scholars have dismissed the concept of jawab or the building of shrines in Islam.






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  15. It is said that his uncle gave him a handful of earth and told him to travel to a land, in Hindustan, where earth of the same colour can be found.


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