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Baba Saleh


Baba Saleh a high official under the Bengal sultans from the time of jalaluddin fath shah (1481-1487 AD) to the reign of Alauddin husain shah (1494-1519 AD). From the evidence of inscriptions, Baba Saleh is credited to have built three mosques, bandar shahi mosque (1482 AD) at Bandar proper in Narayanganj district during the reign of Jalaluddin Fath Shah, a mosque at Azimnagar (1495 AD), and the Baba Saleh Mosque (1505 AD) during the reign of Alauddin Husain Shah, situated about 1 km to the south-west of Bandar Shahi Mosque. In the inscriptions attached to the mosques, Baba Saleh is introduced as al-Malik al-Muazzam al-Mukarram (The exalted, the great Malik) and as a man of great piety, servant of the Prophet (khademun-nabi) who has made a pilgrimage to sanctuaries (haji al-haramayin) and has visited two footprints of the Prophet (kadam rasul).

Nothing is known about the role and activities of Baba Saleh in neither the sultanate administration nor even his status as an administrative functionary. The high royal title al-Malik al-Muazzam al-Mukarram naturally places Baba Saleh to be a high ranking officer, and his long tenure of office (1481-1506) in Sonargaon region is indicative of his holding some key post in the provincial administration of the sultanate of Bengal.

The locality now known as Salehnagar in Bandar thana is named after Baba Saleh. Baba Saleh died in 1506 AD (912 AH) in Sonargaon. He was laid to rest at a spot on the adjacent north-eastern side of the Baba Saleh Mosque. A tomb building was erected on his grave in the very year of his death. [Muazzam Hussain Khan]