Bangladesh has a rich historical background of Islamic rulers who built many architecturally enriched mosques and shrines famous to the local people even before the country's birth.
Beyond the architecture, the history and legend behind every mosque and shrine attract people more. One of the many famous mosques in the country is the Pagla Mosque, situated in the heart of the Kishoreganj district.
This mosque stands with a 250-year-old history with all its glory and ancient fervour. However, there is something that makes this mosque unique.
Every year hundreds of thousands of devotees from the country and abroad flock to this mosque and donate to the donation box of the mosque. And the mosque receives a record amount of donations every time the famous donation boxes are opened.
Many people, hence, wonder why this particular mosque gets so many donations while there are many other old and historic mosques in the country.
Anyone who has read a little bit about the history of Islamic rulers of Bangladesh has heard about the 'Baro Bhuiyans.' One of them was the mighty Isha Khan; this mosque was built during his rule.
There is a popular saying that once a mysterious spiritual person came to the shore of the Narashandur river on whose bank the mosque now stands. This extremely spiritually powerful man came to be known by the name 'Jil Kodor Pagla.'
This mosque was built to pay tribute and named after him - 'Pagla Mosque.'
People from all over the country come to visit this mosque earnestly believing that donating here would fulfil all their cherishes.
This is probably the only mosque frequented by not only people from the Muslim community but also people from other religious beliefs. Hindus from around the country, even from the neighbouring country India visit the mosque to offer their devotion and donations.
The donation box of the mosque is opened every three months in the presence of the district's administrative officers and the mosque's administrative members. Then the donated money and jewellery are counted and deposited in a bank by the officials.
The donation box of Pagla Mosque is so famous that every time it is opened, it makes headlines as the donation often exceeds a crore taka.
In August 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak and people were financially struggling due to lockdowns, the donation boxes had a huge collection of Tk 1 crore 74 lakh 83 thousand, along with a huge amount of foreign currency as well as gold jewellery.
Pagla Mosque's donation boxes were opened on 7th January this year, and the collection has broken all previous records with Tk 4.18 crore. It took a whole day for 206 volunteers to finish counting the money. After finishing the count, the money is put in sacks by the mosque committee officials and taken to the bank to deposit.
After counting, the money was put in sacks by the officials of the masjid committee. The donation money is primarily used for Pagla mosque and Islami Complex's expenditures. The rest is donated to different madrasas and mosques of Kishoreganj and for medical treatment of financially insolvent people.
This 250-year-old mosque in Kishorganj has brought people from all over the world under the same roof, with the same belief that their prayers will be heard, their wishes will be fulfilled. While there is no specific reason for such a huge donation the mosque constantly gets, the main reason can be attributed to people's beliefs and the mosque's legacy.