Syed Sultan

Syed Sultan (c 1550-1648) poet of medieval bangla literature, was a resident of Patiya village under Chakrashala Chakla in chittagong. He lived in Laskarpur (Paragalpur), Chittagong for some time. The name of his pir was Syed Hasan. The poet himself later reached the status of a pir. Muhammad Khan, author of the poetical work called Maktul Hussain, was his disciple.

Sultan was noted as a composer of poems based on oral narratives or scriptures. He wrote several books, including nabi bangsha (Family of the Prophet), Jvanpradip (Light of knowledge), Jvanchautisha, and Jaikum Rajar Ladai (Battle of King Jaikum). He composed some poems in couplets. His Jnanchautisa is primarily an abridged version of Jnanpradip; both works deal with yoga and sufism. Jaikum Rajar Ladai is based on the battle of a king.

His most noted work is Nabi Bangsha and is based on Kasasul Ambiya in Persian, and covers the entire range religions of history from genesis and is to the work and life of all the prophets till hazrat muhammad (Sm). The work also includes some mythological deities in the lineage of prophets. But it professes the glory and greatness of islam and is a work of epic stature.

Rasulcharita, the second part of the Nabi Bangsha, is considered a separate work. It begins beginning with the doctrine of creation, moves on to the birth of Abdullah, his marriage, Amina's pregnancy, attempt of abortion by Abu Jehel, and the birth and life of Hazrat Muhammad (Sm). The work contains both historical elements and writer's own imaginings, being influenced by the society and culture of Bengal. rasulbijay (15th century) by Jainuddin is the first work of this genre, followed by Rasulcharita. Rasulcharita is the best work of biographical nature written in verse in the middle age. Although Shab-e-Miraj (The night of travel) and Ofat-e-Rasul (The death of the Prophet) are popularly known as two separate works, they are in fact part of Rasulcharita.

Sultan had a good command over Bangla and he could explain many difficult-to-understand aspects of Sufism and Islam lucidly. Edited by ahmed sharif, all his works including Rasulcharita had been published in a book form (1978) by the bangla academy. [Khandker Muzammil Haq]