Bangladesh Popular,  India,  Muslim Heritage,  Personalities,  Travel

The Suharwardy Family in the Sub continient

Bangladesh Personalities


Intro to write this post

Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy is well known politician in South East Asia, especially IBP region. I heard of him around 97 . At first as a person growing up in Middle East, it did confuse me. This was man was respected and held in high esteem. Those days Google wasn’t there and internet was unreachable.

Later on I find we have Suhrawardy Udyan, a national memorial located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Huh sometimes is this the same guy ‘surname. Much later I find that he is loved and respected by Bangladeshis.

Then he is PM of Pakistan…hold on the Bangladeshis and Pakistanis had a fight but why Bangladeshis love him. He is seen with Gandhi…who is this guy?

Around 2004, In Dhaka I came across a road called Salma Sobhan. An elegant name, asked myself who was she. The interesting thing there was Professor Rehman Sobhan who looked distinguished as well had an important subject that he dealt with: Economics. The other Economist who I got to see from a close distance (since worked near his office) was Abul Borkot. A columnist who wrote interesting and creative stories of life in Italy. I used to really like reading Daily star magazine in the 90’s. I found to be different from other writers in her style and creativity in writing (when compared from other writers of daily star magazine.). Her name was Neeman Sobhan.



Around 12 years ago I come across a name in the internet. Yeah, we have Google! A famous journalist in India named: Nilofar Suhrawardy. The same traits: educated, great English skills, elegant and beautiful. An aristocratic family. But she was in New Delhi. The dots were confusing and I did not have time since they don’t pay me for writing, nor am I from the writing profession. The passion and zeal of writing comes from the fact that my English teachers were all British and I liked reading. (grew up in middle east)

The personalities mentioned above all deserve a post or an article dedicated to them individually. But this post I want to stick to family of Suhrawardy.

Suhrawardy family

The family to which Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy belonged to came from West Bengal, India. (Wow what a surprise it was for me. My roots are from West Bengal or WB for short).

To be exact: Mir bazar, Midnapore (pronounced’ Med ni pur’).

Origins of family.

The family Suhrawardy originated from Iran. A place called Sohrevard. In Arab countries it is common to add the name of city /or village the person is from to the person’s name. It is not just location but also school or university.


Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani well known Muslim saint was from a place called Gilan in Iran. (I used to think Gilani was his name).

Hasan al Basri Another Muslims saint, his last name Basri is not his name actually. It is a place in Iraq, called Basra. He was born in Madina but settled in Basra, Iraq.

The common ancestor of the Suhrawardy was the Shihab al-Din ‘Umar al-Suhrawardi , who belonged to Suhrawardy Sufi order . His uncle, Abū al-Najīb Abd al-Qādir Suhrawardī(1097-1168) found the sufi order. Abu Najib was a disciple of Ahmad Ghazali ,the brother of famous Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad aṭ-Ṭūsiyy al-Ġaz(z)ālīy ;known as Algazel.

He traced his lineage from the 1st Caliph of Islam: Abu Bakr as Siddique (ref:wikipedia). The order was based on the Shafi mazhab of the sunni Muslims.

The descendant of Shihab al-Din ‘Umar al-Suhrawardi came to Delhi,India in times of Khilji Dynasty. It was Shaikh Bahauddin Zakariyya who made popular this order in India.


Fast forward 19th Century

Sir Zahid Suhrwardy (b.1870 -1949) was Indian Muslim jurist who worked in Calcutta High Court from 1921 to 1931. He was born in Midnapore. His father was lawyer r Sardar Maulana Mobarak Ali Suhrawardy who was brother of Ubaidullah Al Ubaidi Suhrawardy.

He had two sons :


Huseyn Shaheed Suhrwady  was born in Midnapore pronounced Mednipur located in West Bengal,India. Midnapore on 1892 . He got his early education from his mother and  uncle Sir Abdullah Al Mamun(who had studied in Oxford).

His education was as follows:

  • Calcutta Aliya Madrasah
  • St. Xavier’s College
  • Calcutta University
  • Oxford University


Husyen  Suhrawardy returned to India .married Naiz Fatima,daughter of Sir Abdur Rahim in 1920(to be continued)

Husyen Shaheed Suhrawardy was a Bengali Politician who was lawyer by profession.

He was the last minister for Bengal (1946-1947)under the British Empire. He was also Prime Minister of Pakistan from (1954-57). Then he was forcibly resigned‘ by Iskander Mirza.

This post writer does not have capacity to criticize a well known politician from South East Asia.   He is negatively seen by the Hindus of West Bengal ,but then there is also minister who has this similar  reputation in India.

It might be that he having Persian roots and well known old family that allowed him to become Prime Minister of Pakistan. Feudalism still exists in Pakistan.


His elder brother Hasan Suhrawardy  ,a name that is known less is also a man of many achievements and qualities.

He was born in 1890 in Midnapore, West Bengal. His uncle was a well known person with similar name: Hassan Suhrawardy.

Education in brief:

  • Scottish Church(BA from University of Calcutta)
  • Oxford University, UK(He became friends with DH Lawrence whilst in Oxford)
  • Moscow University


The daughter of Hassan Shaheed Suhrawardy (uncle), not be confused with nephew Hasan Suhrawardy) was an accomplished women of her times. 

her bio in short:

  • Born In Calcutta:1915
  • First Muslim woman to receive doctorate from University of London

She did write books:

Her daughter Salma Sobhan was married to Rehman Sobhan(well known economist in Bangladesh)

Salma Sobhan is the mother Zafar Sobhan ,who is the editor of Daily Star ,aw ell known newspaper which writes creative stories(Daily Star magazine) as well news for the country.

Now  dots are connected. I saw this name in 2003 in Dhaka,in Mogbazar and was wondering who she was!

The sister of Salma Sobhan(deceased) happens to be Princess Sarvath Al Hassan, married to Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.


Huseyn Shaeed Suhrwardy
Interview with Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy
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A well travelled writer from Indian sub continent.

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