Shah Makhdum Rupos (R)

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Shah Makhdum Rupos (R) 14th century Sufi saint. He preached Islam in the varendra area. Makhdum means religious leader and Rupos means a veiled one. The real name of Shah Makhdum (R) was Abdul Quddus Jalaluddin. He was the son of Azala Shah, the grandson of Hazrat Abdul Qader Zilani (R). He came from Baghdad with his elder brother Sayyed Ahmed alias Miran Shah in 685 AH (1287 AD). Miran Shah set up his Khanqah at Kanchanpur of Lakshmipur district while Makhdum Shah set up his Khanqah at Shyampur near Kanchanpur. Later on he moved to Bagha (Charghat thana in Rajshahi district) with his companions Sayyed Shah Abbas, Sayyed Dilal Bukhari, Shah Sultan and Shah Karam Ali. Tradition goes that he used to cover his face with a piece of cloth in the manner of a section of the saints of the Chishtia order and hence was called Rupos. His abode Bagha was soon named Makhdumnagar.

Shah Makhdum Rupos came to Rampur Bualia from Bagha in 687 AH (1289 AD). His arrival there is connected with several legends and there are many anecdotes about his Karamats (supernatural deeds). He defeated and killed the tyrannical tantrik Raja of the area and thus avenged the killing of shah turkan (r) and saved the people from the oppression of the Raja. Shah Makhdum sent his companions to adjacent localities to preach Islam. They set up khanqahs at different places. Their mazars are scattered over different places of Rajshahi. The mazars of Sayyed Shah Abbas, Sayyed Dilal Bukhari, Shah Sultan and Shah Karam Ali are situated at Bagha, Dilalpur, Sultanganj and Biraldah respectably.

Shah Makhdum preached Islam for about a quarter century and died on 27th Rajab 713 AH (1313 AD). His mazar is at Dargapara, adjacent to the Rajshahi Government College. A small one domed square tomb was constructed over his grave in 1054 AH (1635 AD) by some Ali Quli Beg. The inscription fixed above the door of the tomb records the name of the saint as Saiyid Sanad Shah Darwish.

The saint, himself a celibate, left behind a large number of followers. To the present day his Urs is performed on 27 Rajab every year. Devotees from far and near offer shirni in the form of chatis (earthen lamps), candles, rice, sweetmeats, fruits etc. On 10 Muharram every year a fair is held at the dargah of Shah Makhdum. Tazias are brought and lathikhela and fighting with dummy swords are organised. A Hall of the University of Rajshahi has been named after the saint. [Mosharraf Hussain Bhuiyan]