Assam highway tomb of freedom fighter Baga Maulvi is shrine of harmony

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 25-06-2024
Inside the shrine of Baga Baba
Inside the shrine of Baga Baba


Ariful Islam/Sipajhar

As National Highway-15 traverses through the village Marai of the Darang district in northern Assam, travellers see a shrine that commands the devotion and reverence of both Hindus and Muslims.

This is the shrine of Baba Baga which is visited by people of all faiths, and is especially popular among travelers who have taken the NH-15. Trucks and buses that come from far and wide stop here to offer prayers and make donations. All passenger buses and goods trucks stop here as the shrine management has kept drinking water available.

Baga Baba was born as Abdul Khaleque. He came to Assam in 1916 from the then Sylhet district (now in Bangladesh). Initially, he lived in Gog, Satsali, and Badalguri and finally settled down in Marai village of Sipajhar in 1919.

The shrine of Baga Baba in village Marai 

From there, he launched his mission of spreading Islam in the greater Darang district.  The Sufi cleric also joined the Indian freedom movement; he was also jailed.

Baga Baba died in 1933 and the locals raised a mausoleum (mazar) on his grave.

Speaking with Awaz-The Voice, Hafiz Ali, secretary of Baga Baba Mazar, said: "The cleric lit the torch of Islam here. Along with preaching the religion, he also spread the message of peace, harmony, and brotherhood. Then he sent Maulana Didaruddin Saheb to be educated as a maulana. Everybody believes Baga Baba to be an Auliya (master of some divine power) of Allah. Hindus and Muslims alike come here and pray.

"At present, people from all over Assam and India who travel through this highway donate at this mazar. Today the village has nine mosques. The inflow of people and pilgrims has increased over the years. Hindus and Muslims have equally contributed to it.

Drinking water facility at the shrine for travellers

The construction work of the mazar was initiated by former president Jiban Baruah. There are still many non-Muslims, such as Bhumidhar Saharia, Himanshu Kalita, and others, in the management committee of the Mazar," he said.

The shrine hosts Milad sharif every Thursday of the week. In addition, a Urs is held every year on 12 of Magh (late January), the death anniversary of Baga Baba. People from different parts of India participate in the Urs. Although the Baga Baba Mazar is located on the northern side of NH 15, there is also a premises of the Mazar on the southern side of the road.

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It is worth mentioning that the Baga Baba Mazar has played a significant role in maintaining Hindu-Muslim unity and harmony in the entire Darang district as well as in the greater Marai Bijulibari area.