Badruddin, Allama

Badruddin, Allama (14th century) Sufi preacher, variously known as Shah Badar, Badar Awlia and Badar Pir. Almost every account of Hazrat shah jalal (R) and the 360 Awlias contains some reference to Badar Shah and his shrine in chittagong.

Following the instructions of Hazrat Shah Jalal (R), Badar Shah and the twelve Awlias defeated King Achak Narayan of Taraf and established Muslim rule there. Badar Shah then started to propagate the message of islam in Chittagong. Several places in Chittagong are associated with him: Badartila (hathazari upazila), Badarkhali (chakaria upazila), Badarkua (Cox’s bazar) and Badar Mokam (Akyab in Arakan). In 1340 Badar Shah helped kadal khan gazi, the general of fakruddin mubarak shah, to capture Chittagong.

The original name of Chittagong, Chattagram, is believed to have derived from the word chati or lamp. According to the legend, in the fourteenth century Chittagong was overrun by jinns and fairies who made the lives of ordinary people miserable. Badar Shah drove off these supernatural creatures by lighting a chati.

Several medieval poets, such as daulat uazir bahram khan, Mohammad Khan and muhammad mukim have mentioned Badar Shah in their poems. Shihabuddin Talish, the seventeenth-century historian, mentions Badar Shah's shrine in Chittagong in Fatiya-i-Ibriza. Badar Shah's Urs is celebrated annually at his shrine in Badarpatti on 29 ramadan.

Badar Shah is greatly venerated in the Chittagong region. However, he is also believed to be the guardian of rivers, so all over Bengal boatmen chant 'Badar Badar', when they undertake river journeys. Travellers too recite his name if a storm arises during a boat journey. Interestingly, his name is also uttered by players before games. [Dewan Nurul Anwar Hussain Choudhury]