Shah Kamal Quhafa

Shah Kamal Quhafa
Other names Shah Kamal
Born 1291 CE

Died 1385 CE

Religion Islam
Other names Shah Kamal
Muslim leader
Based in Sunamganj, Sylhet (initially Mecca)
Period in office Late 13th century and early 14th century
Predecessor hah Jalal Yamani
Successor Shah Jalaluddin Qureshi aka Shah Jalal II
Post Mystic sufi scholar, philanthropist, pioneer and social activist

Shah Kamal Quhafa (aka Shah Kamal) Devanagari: ह्ज़्रत शाह कामाल क़ुहाफ़ा; Bengali: হজরত শাহ্‌ কামাল ক়োহাফাহ্ b.1291 d.1385 CE, was a philanthropist, pioneer, social and religious activist, who is revered in South Asia as a dervish of sufi order. He was born in Makkah, Hijaz province of Arabian Peninsula and travelled to Bangladesh with his Meccan wife and twelve sufi disciples in 1315 to disseminate ideals of socio-religious harmony and meet his father, Burhanuddin Quhafah, who had travelled to Bangladesh a decade earlier with Shah Jalal Yamani in 1303.[1][2]

Audience with Shah Jalal [ edit ]

Shah Kamal sought audience with Shah Jalal Yamani upon arriving at Sylhet. His wish was granted, he declared his allegiance and became disciple of Shah Jalal Yamani and then twelve disciples of Shah Kamal were instructed to declare their allegiance to Shah Jalal Yamani and become his disciples. After becoming disciples of Shah Jalal Yamani, they sojourned at Sylhet until June 1315.[3]

Twelve Disciples [ edit ]

Twelve disciples of Shah Kamal Quhafah are: 1. Pir Kallu Shah (Pirergaon), 2. Shah Chand (Chandbharang), 3. Dawar Bakhsh Khatib (Dawarshahi or Dawarai), 4. Syed Zia Uddin (Mukan Bazaar), 5. Shaikh Shamsuddin Bihari (Aatghar), 6. Shah Faizullah (Feizi or Fesi), 7. Shah Jalaluddin (Qusipur or Quskipur), 8. Syed Tajuddin (Tajpur), 9. Syed Bahauddin (Mukan Bazar), 10. Syed Ruknuddin (Kadamhati), 11. Syed Shamsuddin (Syedpur) and 12. Shah Manik (Manihara).[4]

Contribution to society [ edit ]

Shah Kamal was a pioneer; he is venerated for his initiatives to establish the very first human settlement on islands of erstwhile sea by the name of Ratnang. Eventually, this settlement became a fully fledged village, which now called, Shaharpara. Salient amongst his pioneering work were building of a hospice, boarding house, mosque and seminary at Shaharpara. These institutes provided unparalleled services to people. He developed fully protected ponds for preservation of drinking water; most of these ponds are in decaying conditions and nowadays they are hardly used for drinking water.[5]

Ancestry [ edit ]

Shah Kamal Quhafah was a descendant of Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, who was the eldest son of Abu Bakr, the First Caliph of Islam. He was a Quréish; belonged to Banu Tahim, which was a distinguished clan of the tribes of Ishmael and the Quréish. Shah Kamal Quhafah came to Bangladesh with his newlywed wife to spread egalitarian pursuit of life and meet his father, Burhanuddin Quhafan, who had already travelled to Chittagong leading an expedition of twelve Sufi dervish. Burhanuddin Quhafan is known in Chittagong as Shah Kat’tal, Qat’tal Shah and Gazi Kadal Khan. He has two mazar, one at Katalganj, Chittagong and another at Faringajuri or Faringi Bazaar.[6][7]

Descendants [ edit ]

Descendants of Shah Kamal Quḥāfah are settled in Shaharpara, Patli Aurangabad and Dargah Mahallah in Sylhet and they have formed very distinguished families, which are known as Kamalis of Shaharpara, Qureshis of Patli and Muftis of Sylhet. Kamali, Qureshi, Mufti, Khwaja, Siddiqui and Shah are the surnames invariably used by the descendants of Shah Kamal Quḥāfah. Descendants of Shah Kamal Quḥāfah have mainly extended to a number of families: Mullah Family, Shahjee Family, Baglar Family in Shaharpara, Qureshi Family in Patli and Mufti Family in Sylhet Dargah Mahallah. Maulana Shah Shamsuddin Qureshi, a descendant of Shah Kamal Quḥāfah, established the Qureshi Family in Patli and Maulana Shah Zia Uddin Qureshi, another descendant of Shah Kamal Quḥāfah, established the Mufti Family at Dargah Mohallah, Sylhet.[8]

Mullah Barhi [ edit ]

Mullah Barhi was established by Shah Jalaluddin Qureshi, eldest son of Shah Kamal, and hitherto it belongs to his progeny. Mullah Barhi was a home of scholars, lawyers and jurists, who interpreted and standardised laws and customs.[9]

Shahji Barhi [ edit ]

Shahji Bhari was established by Shah Muazzamuddin Qureshi, second son of Shah Kamal, and hitherto it belongs to his descendants. Shahji Barhi was home of monarchs (shah) and statesmen.[10]

Baglar Barhi [ edit ]

Baglar Barhi was established by Shah Jamaluddin Qureshi, youngest son of Shah Kamal, and hitherto it belongs to his offspring. 'Baglar' means wealthy and 'Baglarbag' means Commander-in-chief. Baglar Barhi is an abbreviation of 'Baglarbag' and Baglar Barhi was home of treasury and commander-in-chief.[11]

Qureshi Barhi [ edit ]

Qureshi Barhi was established by Maulana Shah Shamsuddin Qureshi, descendant of Shah Jalaluddin Qureshi, eldest son of Shah Kamal, and it is located on west of village Patli. Currently there are five Qureshi Barhi in Kunarpara and one at Aurangabad, both Kunarpara and Aurangabad were part of Aurangabad mauza, but in recent past, they have been merged with the village of greater Patli. Aurangabad belongs to offspring of Khwaja Fakhruddin Qureshi, youngest son of Maulana Shamsuddin Qureshi and Kunarpara belongs to offspring of Shah Siqah Uddin Qureshi, eldest son of Maulana Shamsuddin Qureshi.[12]

Mufti Barhi [ edit ]

Mufti Barhi was established by Maulana Ziauddin Qureshi, descendant of Shah Jalaluddin Qureshi, eldest son of Shah Kamal, and it is located at Dargah Mahallah, Sylhet. Mufti Barhi was home for jurists, who interpreted law before legal verdicts were pronounced. Maulana Zia Uddin Qureshi founded the very first school in Sylhet.[13]

Heritage [ edit ]

Mausoleum of Shah Kamal Quhafa beside his wife and behind his beloved younger son Shah Jamaluddin Qureshi are at dargah precinct in Kamalshahi, Shaharpara, Sunamganj, Bangladesh. Tomb of his first son, Shah Jalaluddin Qureshi, is also in the same enclosure. There is a mosque and a site of medieval prayer alter where his disciples meditated for eternal salvation.[14]

Bibliography [ edit ]

  1. ^ Srihatte Islam Jyoti, Syed Mujtaba Ali
  2. ^ Shreehatter Itibrittwa - A History of Sylhet, Achyutacharan Chowdhury 1917 and 2002 Utsa Publications, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  3. ^ Dr G Saklayen, Bangladesh Sufi Sadhak
  4. ^ Dr G Saklayen, Bangladesh Sufi Sadhak
  5. ^ Achyutacharan Chowdhury, Shreehatter Itibritta, Dhaka, 2002
  6. ^ Syed Murtaja Ali
  7. ^ Ghulam Saklayn
  8. ^ Dr G Saklayn
  9. ^ Qureshi, S A M, Amar Atmakatha, Sylhet 1988
  10. ^ Qureshi, S A M, Amar Atmakatha, Sylhet, 1988
  11. ^ Qureshi, S A M, Sylhet 1988
  12. ^ Qureshi, S A M, Sylhet 1988
  13. ^ Siddiqui, M A A, Shreehatte Islam Jyoti, Sylhet 1938
  14. ^ Mohammed Fayzur Rahman, Hazrat Shahjalal O Tin Sho' Shat Awliya p.82, Sylhet, 1992
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