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     Volume 2 Issue 7 | March 31 , 2007 |


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Journey through Bangldesh

From Moulvibazar

Rajat Kanti Goswami

Hazrat Syed Shah Mustafa Baghdadi (RA) was one of the 360 associates of Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA). He had come to what is now the Moulvibazar region and since then, every year the Urs-e-Hazrat Shah Mustafa has been held in the first day of Magh in the Bengali calendar.

Hazrat Shah Mustafa is a direct descendant of Gausul Azam Hazrat Syedeena Abdul Quader Zilani (RA) of Baghdad. His father Syed Sultan belonged to the spiritual school of Qadiriya Toriqa. It is said that at first he was part of the same school but later he joined the Suharardiya Toriqa.

Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA) came to Sylhet along with 360 saints in the Bengali year 703. According to the history of the area, Hazrat Syed Shah Mustafa (RA) passed away on the first day of the month of Magh in 742. After the successful completion of the historical Jalali Mission, Shah Mustafa permanently settled down in Moulvibazar and from there he continued to carry on his mission of spreading Islam.

Moulvibazar, was a little known place, full of hillocks, dense forests and wild animals. The turbulent river Monu raged through the land. The region was surrounded by a beautiful landscape and appeared to be a proper spot for the saint to dedicate his cause. After coming here, the saint had a cottage built for him in the place now known as Mustafapur.

Legend says, a local king Chandra Singha rejected the saints' petition to reside permanently in the area. The king went a step further and issued of formal directive to the Awlia (Saint) to leave the place. The saint Shah Mustafa kept himself within the premises of his hermitage. The king was enraged and held a conference, but no unanimous verdict emerged. It is said that the king even performed magical rites but to no avail. It backfired, the king at one point found himself with a poisonous snake on his throne.

A man-eater suddenly appeared and started killing people. Being moved by the king's prayers, the Awlia went to Satpatiya, a place situated on the northwest part of the Barshijura hill near Moulvibazar.

The Awlia caught the snake and made the man-eater his personal pony. This news of miracle working of the Awlia spread across the region and people from disparate regions assembled at his feet to embrace Islam. The king offered the hand of his daughter to the saint Hazrat Syed Shah Mustafa (RA) and she became the consort of the saint.

Before he came to this country he had married a girl of the Syed family. He had a son Syed Ismail who came to Moulvibazar and died. His second wife, the Princess Consort (Her Hindu name was not known) became known as Sulema Khatun after embracing Islam. The second son of the Awlia was Syed Shah Nasrullah. Syed Shah Hasan was the third son of the saint by his third wife, the daughter of Shah Helimuddin of Kanihati who was also one of the companions of Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA).

King Chandra Singha evidently did not embrace Islam and he left the old royal house at Satpatiya. He built a new palace for himself just to the north of present Dewrachhara Tea Estate. The ruins of the house can still be found at the original location.

Urs-e-Hazrat Shah Mustafa (RA) is held every year on the first day of Magh. People of all cultures and beliefs now pay their tributes to the saint. A big fair is also held every year on the occasion of Urs-e-Hazrat Shah Mustafa (RA). This year the Urs-e-Hazrat Shah Mustafa will be held on January 14. A two-day long fair will also be held started a day earlier.



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