>400 yrs: Golden past of olden Dhaka

>MD Sharifuddin is too old to do any hard work. He spends most of his time sitting at a quilt shop just opposite the Binat Bibi Mosque in Narinda. He was born and brought up at a house behind the oldest mosque of Dhaka. Pinaki Roy writes on Dhaka’s 400-year celebration.
“Do you know the history of Binat Bibi? I heard it from my grandfather,” Sharifuddin started.
“It was around 600 years ago. Binat Bibi came to Dhaka with her father, a businessman from a faraway land, probably from Persia. She died here. In memory of Binat, her father built a mosque by the Dolai river in Hizri 861 and named it after her,” he said.

The Binat Bibi Mosque is considered as the oldest mosque in Dhaka. This proves that around 600 years ago Dhaka was already an urban settlement and a trade centre and businessmen from abroad used to come here.

The epigraph of the mosque reads, “… Hayyah-al-falah at night and morning in the name of the Humble One. Musammat Bakhat Binat, daughter of Marhamat. In the year 861 AH (1456 AD).”
Akbarnama mentions that during the reign of Sutha Babak Shah dated 1460 Dahakha (Arabic for Dhaka) was a revenue collection centre and there was qazi in this town. Now the Dolai river is dead.
First it turned into a narrow canal and later disappeared totally due to human aggression.
But still the structure of Binat Bibi Mosque is standing there as a witness to how a small-urbanised settlement became a capital and later turned one of the densely populated mega cities in the world.


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