PER WEEN HASAN The large number of mosques built in Bengal during the independent Sultanate (1338-1538)1 indicates the rapidity with wh ich the local population converted to Islam, and within this period, the years 1450-1550 can be identified as the time of most intensive mosquebuilding. Of the total number of dated mosques constructed in Bengal du ring the entire Muslim period (1203-ca.1800) almost three-quarters were built between the mid fifteenth and the mid sixteenth century.2 The mosques that dotted the countryside ranged from small to medium size, and were used for daily devotion. This intensive mosque-building during a critical onehundred-year period indicates that profound changes were taking pI ace in Bengali society and much of it was due to rapid conversion. Richard Eaton has described how the local Muslim culture flowered during the years when the Ilyas Shahi and Husain Shahi dynasties ruled the country. In the flourishing Bengali Islamic literature of the time, Islam is presented in idioms familiar to the common folk. Similarly, the architecture for mosques-the new building type-was not imported; it combined and adapted elements found in the tradition. Before launehing into adescription of the major mosque types of BengaI, the Adina Mosque of
Muqarnas Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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