Shah Jalal is one of the most revered legendary Islamic heroes of Bangladesh and one of the key founding fathers of Islam in the country. He was a great saint and a great warrior. Along with his disciples, he made a unique contribution in liberating the people of Sylhet region.
His full full name is Shaykh-ul Mashaek Mokhdum Shaykh Shah Jalal Mozorrodh Bin Muhammed. His father was the contemporary of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. Losing his parents early in his life he was brought up by his maternal uncle who was also a pious saint. After completing his education, his uncle gave him a handful of earth and told him to travel to a land, in Hindustan, where earth of the same colour can be found. There he should settle down and establish the religion of Islam.
In the course of his journey he met Khwaja Gharibnawaz Moinuddin Hasan Chisty and Shaykh Nizam ud din Auliya. After a while he reached Sylhet, Bengal where he found a Shaykh, Burhan ud din was being persecuted by Raja Gaur Govinda, the king of the Sylhet. Shaykh Shah Jalal and his travelling party of 300 plus auliyas joined the army which had been sent by the Sultan of Gaur against the King. Alhumdulillah, they were able to defeat the King despite two previous failed attempts.
After the conquest Shaykh Shah Jalal found a match for the earth his uncle had given him and he settled in Sylhet and remained there until his death. He and his disciples travelled as far as Mymensingh and Dhaka to preach the message of Islam.
Ibn Battutah who met Shaykh Shah Jalal in Sylhet says of him:
‘he was numbered among the principal saints, and was one of the most singular of men. He had done many noteworthy acts, and wrought many celebrated miracles. He used to remain standing (in prayer) all night. The inhabitants of these mountains received Islam from his hands, and it was for this reason that he stayed among them.’
Ibn Battutah also narrates several miracles of the saint, and reports the date of his death as 1347.
May Allah swt accept the efforts of Shaykh Shah Jalal for the cause of Islam, Ameen.