Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury

Life and Works in Brief : A man of versatile genius, Zemindar Alhaj Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury is a
researcher, Islamic thinker, columnist, social activist, organiser, patron of learning and academic personality. He is a descendent of Hazrat Syed Abdur Rahman Siddiqi (R.) who arrived in the Indian Sub-continent from the holy land of Arabia with a mission to preach Islam in the 16th century, and settled in the then Gour of Bengal.

Birth: Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury was born at 5 PM on Wednesday, the 18th of January 1950. The day was 28th of Rabiul Awal of Hijri 1369 and 4th Magh of Bangla 1356. He was the second son among seven sons and

daughters of Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury and his second wife.
Although his father Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury was busy with
politics and looking after his zemindary he was renowned for his social
welfare activities and well-being of the common people. His mother was
mistress of the household of his influential lemindar father. Ahmadul
Islam was brought up in an austere family environment of his
strong-minded mother. Yet he was so faithful to his beloved mother.

Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury is said to have been born with a silver-spoon in
his mouth. Months before his birth both his mother and father dreamt a
sweet dream of Rasul Allah Hazrat Mohammad Mostafa (Sm). Till today, his
plain and candid living filled with day-to-day activities has brought
him fortune that he sees as the endless blessing of Allah.

Place of Birth: Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury was born in the aristocratic
Khan Bahadur family at Boilchari village of Banskhali upazila
(sub-district), 36 kilometres south from the heart of Chattogram
(Chittagong) city.

The Khan Bahadur Bari dwelling house is encircled on
all sides by a 20-feet wide trench. At the very entrance of the house
one will find a big pond, as old as over 100 years, with a huge bungalow
from the pond bank. The bungalow faces a spacious lounge called Khan
Bahadur’s Boithak Khana (assembly hall), guests’ room and separate rooms
for teachers and Hujurs (Arabic teachers), followed by a wide internal
courtyard and a huge granary (paddy godown). Thereafter stands the
three-storey traditional old massive building wherein Ahmadul Islam
Chowdhury was born.
Boundary area of the Khan Bahadur Bari starts right from the main road
of Boilchari Khan Bahadur Bazaar. Alongside the Bazaar, there is a
telephone exchange, school field, a school established by his father
Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury and the mosque, and thereafter the
family graveyard within the inner compound of the house. Geographically,
Boilchari village lies in the middle of the upazila.

Our forefathers
arrived and settled here from Mallick Sobhan area of neighbouring
Satkania upazila some 300 years ago. Formerly, this house was known as
Uzir Bari, meaning the house of a minister or advisor. Thereafter, they
called it Meah Bari. Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury, owner of a huge
estate, or zemindary, enlightened the locality through his impeccable
political activities, social services, health services,
telecommunication services, agricultural development and academic
advancement. He was the first man to construct the union council
building on his family land in the southern region across the Karnaphuli
River in the year 1922. And all these social welfare activities brought
extensive popularity, name and fame to the Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad
Chowdhury Bari in the southern Chattogram region.
Childhood and Early

Youth: Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury passed his childhood
and adolescence in the Khan Bahadur Bari and completed his schooling up
to the secondary education level in the school established by his father
under the guidance of Arabic and General Education house tutors. He
grew up in a family environment blended with stringent and watchful
monitoring of his father and ardent love and fondness of his mother.
There were playing and sporting facilities along with the school ground
attached to their house. But he was rather less interested in sporting.
He loved to be somewhere around his mother. Yet he loved to play
badminton and riding bicycle in his childhood.

Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury was barely a school student when his
father died. And his mother died when he was studying in the Satkania
Government College. As soon as he completed his study he had to shoulder
the responsibility of looking after and managing the paternal property
and zemindary. It brought him a chance to get closer to the local
people, and in this way he started working for welfare of the people
alongside continuing religious activities. During his college life he
was associated with setting up a religious welfare organisation called
Darbar-E-Mohammadi (Sm). Initially, he was Joint Secretary of the
organisation and later became General Secretary of the same. This was
one of the most popular organisations, drawing huge support from the
people of Banskhali. By the end of the Sixties of the 20th century
people of the region started organising Milad-un-Nabi (Sm) processions
in larger grounds. During those occasions Mr Chowdhury drafted and
finalised the constitution of his organisation under the title “Kanun”
and got it printed.
Family Lineage: The family lineage of Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury came down
from his 13th forefather Hazrat Syed Abdur Rahman Siddiqi (R). He came
to Gour of India from the holy Arabia to preach Islam and settled there.
His descendant was Hazrat Syed Abdul Karim Siddiqi (R) and Karim’s
descendants were Hazrat Syed Ahmad Khan Siddiqi and Syed Mohammad Khan

Hazrat Syed Ahmad Khan Siddiqi settled in village Mallick Sobhan of
Satkania (now Lohagara upazila). He was ‘Deputy Advisor’ to Nawab
Shayestha Khan. Till today, his three-dome Mughal style Jam-E-Mosjid,
graveyard attached to the mosque and a big pond at Mallick Sobhan
village still bear the tradition of the Mughal era. Naming of Uzir Bari
of Boilchari also bears testimony of that history.
Syed Mohammad Khan Siddiqi had six sons and daughters. The eldest of
them was Syed Abdur Razzak Siddiqi. He had five sons and daughters. The
third son was Noor Mohammad. Noor Mohammad had four offsprings. His
first son was Mohammad Rafi. Rafi had six sons and daughters and the
fifth son was Mohammad Toki. Toki’s younger son was Mohammad Hussain
Chowdhury, better known as Ahmad Hussain Chowdhury.
The then zemindars of Chattogram region maintained a family title ‘Syed’
in the beginning of the name and ‘Siddiqi’ at the end of the name.
Later on, the titles ‘Syed’ and ‘Siddiqi’ were dropped and replaced by
‘Chowdhury’ which is treated as a title of an aristocratic and wealthy
family in the society.
Mohammad Hussain Chowdhury, popularly known as Ahmad Hussain Chowdhury,
living in the 16th century, settled at Boilchari village of Banskhali
from Mallick Sobhan village of Satkania (now Lohagara upazila).
Boilchari village is located just in the middle of Banskhali upazila.

Ahmad Hussain Chowdhury had two sons: Zafar Ali Chowdhury and Mohammad
Ali Chowdhury. Mohammad Ali Chowdhury was a highly educated person and a
pleader practising in the court in the Persian language. He established
the family mosque which is still standing in front of the house. His
elder brother Zafar Ali Chowdhury had one son named Mohammad Akmal
Chowdhury. Akmal’s son was Muzaherun Nabi Chowdhury. Muzaherun Nabi
Chowdhury had three sons and two daughters. They were Mossammat Achiya
Khatun Chowdhury, Amirrul Hajj Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury, Alhaj
Khan Saheb Rafiq Ahmad Chowdhury, Alhaj Kazi Aziz Ahmad Chowdhury and
Mossammat Abeda Khatun Chowdhury.
Amirrul Hajj Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury had two wives. They had
six sons and four daughters. The first wife was Mosammat Nazmunnesa
Begum Chowdhury who has a son and two daughters. They are Ayesha
Siddiqua, Alhaj Nurul Islam Chowdhury and Rabeya Begum Chowdhury.
Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury’s second wife was Mosammat Rahima
Begum Chowdhury. They have five sons and two daughters. They are Oliul
Islam Chowdhury Sukku Meah, Alhaj Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury, Alhaj
Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, Alhaj Yasinul Islam Chowdhury (Manik Meah),
Alhaj Raihanul Islam Chowdhury, Alhaj Ummul Khayer Begum Chowdhury and
Alhaj Umme Safa Begum Chowdhury.

His Father’s Credential Name: Amirrul Hajj Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad
Chowdhury. Birth: 23rd of March, 1886 AD Death: 13th of April, 1962
(Friday). He was Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) of Bengal in
undivided India in 1929. His constituency was Greater Chittagong from
Rangunia in the north to Teknaf in the south, (2) Member of Legislative
Assembly (MLA) of undivided Bengal in India (as Representative of the
Zemindars) from the constituency of Greater Chittagong, Greater
Noakhali, Greater Tripura (now Cumilla) and Greater Sylhet in the year
1943, (3) President of the first Union Board formed by the British
Government in 1922 and continued to be President of the Union Board for
30 years at a stretch, (4) Honoured with the rank of “Amirrul Hajj” by
the British Government in 1935 for successfully leading the Hajj
Pilgrimages in India, (5) Honoured with the title and status of “Khan
Bahadur” by the Governor General of India in 1936 in recognition to his
paramount services rendered to the common people, (6) Member of the
Calcutta Port Hajj Committee for three consecutive terms, (7) Member of
India Road Board Committee. (😎
Member of Assam Bengal Railway Advisory Committee for three consecutive
terms, (9) Member of Bengal Excise Standing Committee, (10) Member of
Bengal Medical Standing Committee, (11) Member of Bengal Irrigation
Standing Committee, (12) Member of Bengal Revenue Standing Committee,
(13) Member of Bengal Agricultural Board, (14) Member of General
Hospital and Medical School, (15) Member of Chittagong District Board
for 15 years, (16) Commissioner of Chittagong Municipality for two
years, (17) Member of School Board, Chittagong, (18) Member of Industry
Board, Chittagong, (19) Managing Director of Patiya Tea Co Ltd,
Calcutta, (20) Director of Deshapriya Sugar Mill, Calcutta, (21)
Director of Cooperative Traders Bank, (22) Director of Indo-Burma
Traders Bank, (23) Director of Mahalaksmi Bank, Chittagong, (24)
Director of United Common Insurance Co Ltd., (25) Vice President of
Bengal Library Association, Calcutta, (26) Secretary of Chittagong
Divisional Zemindars’ Association, (27) Secretary of Anti-Malarial
Society, Chittagong and (28) Patron of Chittagong Moslem Society,
Besides, Khan Bahadur Badi Ahmad Chowdhury performed responsibility as
Jail Visitor, Special Juror and Patron, President, Secretary and Member
of many schools, Madrashas and clubs with utmost sincerity and honesty.
Matrimonial Life of Alhaj Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury: Ahmadul Islam
Chowdhury’s matrimonial life started on 8th April, 1973. He was married
to Arifa khan, daughter of Alhaj Mohammed Yunus Khan of renowned Deputy
Bari, Chunati under Lohagara Upazila of Chattogram.
1st Hajj Pilgrimage: He performed the first Hajj Pilgrimage in 1975.

Professional Life: Chowdhury Sahab in his long professional and
practical life came forward with his helping hands to the assistance of
the poor, welfare of the common people and established different
religious, educational and voluntary organisations. Some of them are
stated below: (1) Uzantia Khan Bahadur Road, Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar (1973),
(2) Banskhali Central Khankay-E-Hamidia Majidia, Chattogram (1974), (3)
Chechuria Majidia Forkania Madrasha, Banskhali (1975), (4) Banskhali
Hamidia Rahima Fazil Madrasha, Chattogram (1976), (5) Chechuria Rashidia
Hefazkhana, Banskhali, Chattogram (1977), (6) Hamidia Rahima Etimkhana
(Orphanage), Banskhali, Chattogram (1978), (7) Banskhali Jame Mosjid,
Chattogram (1978), (😎
Ujantia Khan Bahadur Jame Mosjid, Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar (1979), (9)
Banskhali Kathoria (Haliapara) Ebtedayi Madrasha, Chattogram (1979),
(10) Boilchari Khan Bahadur Bazaar Jame Mosjid, Banskhali, Chattogram
(1980), (11) Uzantia Khan Bahadur Ebtedayi Madrasha, Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar
(1981), (12) Rajakhali Rahima Begum Road, Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar (2002),
(13) Banskhali Khan Bahadur Library, Chattogram (2003), (14) Banskhali
Rahima Academy, Chattogram (2005), (15) Shishu O Ganoshikhkha Kendra,
Chechuria, Banskhali, Chattogram (2007), (16) Mohila Mosjid, Chechuria,
Banskhali, Chattogram (2007), (17) Ujantia Khan Bahadur High School,
Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar (2013) and (18) Ujantia Khan Bahadur Primary School,
Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar (2017).
Alongside managing the family estate and zemindary he engaged himself in
expanding religious, educational and benevolent services. Through these
activities he got deeply involved in the development of religious and
academic institutions.
He is a Life Member of some renowned Madrashas in Chattogram as per
government rules and regulations. Some of them are: (1) Garangia Islamia
Kamil Madrasha, Satkania, Chattogram, (2) Chattogram Darul Ulum Kamil
Madrasha, (3) Chunati Hakimia Kamil Madrasha, Chattogram, (4) Garangia
Islamia Rabbani Mohila Fazil Madrasha, Chattogram, (5) Mallick Sobhan
Sufi Fateh Ali Waisi Mohila Madrasha, Lohagara, Chattogram, (6) Ujantia
Ahmadia Sunniya Senior Alim Madrasha, Pekua, Cox’s Bazaar and (7) Kamal S
K Mostafa (Sm) Alim Madrasha, Bakolia, Chattogram.
He is the Founder Member of Boilchari Nazmunnesa High School established
by his father in front of their house. He performed responsibility as
President of the High School for long 25 years from 1988 and contributed
a lot for development and smooth running of the school; especially
taking initiatives to increase the number of the teaching staff by
almost double during his tenure as President of the school. Considering
the growing number of students rapidly in the school he took initiatives
to purchase a land measuring 27 decimals (13.5 Ganda) adjacent to the
school, which was very essential for extension of the co-education
school. On the purchased land he initiated construction of the
south-facing three-storey building to the north of the original school
building with finance from the school fund and another two-storey
west-facing building to the east with financial support of the
government. The school now provides education to hundreds of students,
both male and female, of the locality every year as its teaching staff
and enrolment of students have multiplied by now.

The school organised
its golden jubilee under a three day programme and published a souvenir
on the occasion of celebrating 50 years in the year 2002. His father
also set up a primary school in front of the house, and Mr Chowdhury and
his four brothers have donated a valuable land by a registered deed for
construction of a government funded building for the school beside
their family pond.
He is the Founder President of seven to eight religious and
service-oriented organisations and also Life Member of multiple
organisations and institutions in Chattogram.
Although Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury demonstrated his organisational
capacity and skill in running and managing different institutions he was
rather less interested in politics. There was no student politics
during his school life in the 1960s. Students’ political activities were
there in practice in colleges at that time but he was away from such
activities. Mr Chowdhury remained away from politics conciously,
although people might consider it unwise of him because his father was a
leading politician during the British rule in India. Till today, he did
not get himself involved in politics, and he thinks he is fortunate for
not doing politics in life.
So far, he has written as many as 32 books. The books on multiple areas
are: (1) Tawaf and Zearah (1996), (16th publication in 2018), (2)
Kalantare Dristipat – 1st and 2nd volume (1999), (3) Kalantare Dristipat
– 3rd and 4th volume (2001), (4) Hajj O Zearah (2002), (5) Garangia
Hazrat Baro Hujur (R) (2003), 3rd publication (2016), (6) Chattogramer
Katha (2004), (7) Kalantare Dristipat (5th and 6th volume) (2004), (😎
Maqtubat-E Hamedi Mojidi (2004), (9) Garangia Hazrat Chhota Hujur (R)
(Seminar Memorial) (2004), (10) Mobarak Smriti (2005), (11) Mobarak
Smriti, (2nd publication 2006), (12) Pak-Bharate Zearah O Bhraman (1st
part 2005), (13) Shan-E Waisi (R) (2005), (14) Hazrat Shah Shaheb (R)
Chunati (2007), (4th publication 2015), (15) Shan-E Waisi (published
from India) (2007), (16) Bishwer Prachin Janapad Safar, 1st part (Egypt,
Jordan, Iraq and Palestine) (2007), (17) Hajj: Omrah: Zearah (2007),
(18) Kalantare Dristipat 7th volume (2009), (19) Dharmakatha 1st part
(2009), (20) Aynay-E-Darbare Garangia (2011), (21) Usmania Shamrajyer
Desh Turkey ((2011), (22) Shan-E Rahmatullil Alamin (published by
Islamic Foundation) (2011), (2nd publication 2014), (23) Parashya Thekey
Iran (2012), (24) Bharate Zearah O Bhraman (2nd part) (2012), (25)
Turkey – An Osmanian Empire (2012), (26) Shan-E Waisi (published by
Islamic Foundation) (2012), (27) Nishpran Bhusarga Kashmir (2012), (28)
Chattogram Thekey Hajj-Jatri Paribahan: Itikatha, Odhikar, Dabi (2013),
(29) Istanbul Konyar Pathey Prantare (2014), (30) In and Around Istanbul
and Konya (2015), (31) Oitijyer Chattogram (2016), (32) Hajj Pilgrimage
Through Chittagong Port (Arabic and English) (2018) and (33) Islamer
Bikash Bishwamoy (2019).
The manuscripts of his other books waiting for publication are (1) Waisi
Hoye Azamgari Silsila, (2) Bharat Mohasagoriyo Deshe Deshe, (3) Bishwer
Prachin Janapad Safar (Yemen), (4) Dharmakatha (2nd part), (5)
Kalantare Dristipat (8th part), (6) Chattogram O 43 Er Durbhikkha, (7)
Manobota, (😎,
Europe Americay 68 Din.
The vastness of his area of writings has been accepted by the readers as
very uncommon and rare. He has been writing different articles and
columns in different regional and national dailies for the last 25
years. His articles and columns published so far are nearly 1400. His
researchful and informative write-ups in simple and plain language
bearing a totally different reading taste have unfolded a new horizon of
food for thought in the mind of the new generation readers and writers,
remarkably in the arena of Islam, morality, humanity and education.
Tours Abroad: He travelled extensively in different countries of Asia,
Europe, America and Africa continents alongside performing Omrah and
Hajj Pilgrimages. He toured Iran and Turkey as a state guest as well.
It may be mentioned here that Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury, along with four
brothers – Oliul Islam Chowdhury, Alhaj Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, Alhaj
Yasinul Islam Chowdhury and Alhaj Raihanul Islam Chowdhury have been
living in a joint family for long 40-45 years since 1972. So, it was
easier for him to exert his whole efforts and capability to the
well-being of the common people apart from looking after the family
estate and zemindary. It was also possible for him to make extensive
tours to different countries of the world with the wholehearted support
of his brothers.

He is the father of two sons and a daughter. They are:
Kafil Uddin Mohammad Zubair Chowdhury
Masters in Business Management
Now living in Canada with his family.

Salma Khanam
Masters in Finance and C.A (Chartered Accountant)
Head of ‘Top of Mind’, Patron of Learning and a social activist.

Ishtiaque Uddin Chowdhury (Rifat)
B. Sc.Engineer (RUET), MBA (North-South University), PMP, CGMA
General Manager, Robi Axiata Ltd, Dhaka.

Mr. Chowdhury loves to travel various historical places home and abroad.
He has extensively traveled many countries of Asia, Europe, Africa and
America. Through traveling he gathered much knowledge about place,
people and their culture.