Shah Barid Khan

Shah Barid Khan a medieval narrative-poet. He wrote three narrative-poetry books: Vidyasundar, Rasul Bijay and Hanifa-Kayrapari. Since the available manuscripts of his poetry do not indicate his identity, little is known about his life. It is, however, known from the preamble of a manuscript that he was the inhabitant of Nanupur of Chittagong. His father Nanujan Mallick was a respectable man, and his grandfather Jithakur was a religious and generous man. According to him, his great-grandfather, Ujial Mallick, was a pir.

Besides Arabic and Sanskrit languages, Shah Barid Khan was also well versed in the Sanskrit language. The source of his Vidyasundar is the Sanskrit book Chaurapovchashika or Bidyasundarom. Moreover, there are references in different places about man-woman, space and time described in the Sanskrit language. Analyzing the language and diction of his poetry, the scholars believe that he lived in the sixteenth century. He wrote Vidyasundar based on the Indian source and composed Rasul Vijay and Kayrapari on the basis of Arab and Persian sources. Vidyasundar and Hanifa-Kayrapari are love-story, while Rasul Bijay is an account of the glory of Islam. Since Resul vijay and Hanifa Kayrapari deal mainly with warfare, these two works are collectively called 'Janganama' (account of battles and bravery). Bidyasundar narrates the beauty and love affair of Princess Vidyabati of Kanchipur with Prince Sundar of Ratnabati. The rest of the story is not known due to fragmentation of the manuscript. Hanifa-Kayrapari narrates the battle and then the love affair between Hanifa, the heroic son of' Hazrat Ali and Joygoon, the heroic princess of Sahiram. It describes many battles, conquests as well as the propagation of Islam.

The main theme of Rasul Bijay is the preaching of Islam. In it, it is seen that the Prophet (sm) came out for world conquest and fought many battles, and converted the vanquished soldiers into Islam. Most of the plots and characters of Hanifa-Kayrapari and Rasul Bijay are non-historical. Although Shah Barid Khan demonstrated his superb literary flair and artistic talents in Vidyasundar, the other two works are mainly descriptive and do not show equal artistic mastery. He tried to depict a cultural environment of the Muslims in Bangladesh on the basis of Arab and Persian anecdotes. [Wakil Ahmed]