A very interesting story out of Bangladesh about the possible unearthing of an ancient mosque from northern Bangladesh. This is an interesting find and a story that also reveals a lot about the state of how antiquities and archeology into early Islamic history is treated by some governments.
Another aspect of this story that is intriguing is that if true this would affirm speculation of the very early presence of Muslim in this region of the world. Indeed, it is true that Muslim traders were key in the early spread of Islam, and this would likely reaffirm this point. As Prof. Jonathan Brown notes in his lecture on the Abiding Stereotypes About the Prophet Muhammad in the Medieval and Modern West (6:30), ‘you will not find a single forced conversion in the first 300 years of Islam.’
In a remote village in northern Bangladesh, an amateur archaeologist has discovered the remains of a mosque believed to be built in the 7th century.
Villagers initially stumbled on the site where they found ancient treasures and artifacts of Islamic history, including a stone with Quranic scripture, buried underground.
Further investigation into the findings could prove the site to be the earliest mosque built in South Asia.
Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Rangpur in northern Bangladesh.