Abbasuddin Ahmed

Abbasuddin Ahmed (27 October 1901 – 30 December 1959)[1] was a Bengali folk song composer and singer born in the Bengal province of British India. He was known for Bhawaiya folk song which is a style commonly found in Rangpur and Cooch Behar.

Abbasuddin Ahmed
Abbasuddin Ahmed2.jpg
Born(1901-10-27)27 October 1901
Died30 December 1959(1959-12-30) (aged 58)
Occupationsinger, composer
  • Ali Zafar Ahmed (father)
Musical career
GenresBhawaiya (folk)

Early lifeEdit

Ahmed was born in Tufanganj subdivision of Cooch Behar district (now in India). His father, Zafar Ali Ahmed, was a lawyer at Tufanganj court.[2] His early education was from schools and a college of North Bengal. He came closer to music through the cultural programme at schools and colleges. He was largely a self-taught song composer and singer. For a brief period he learned music from Ustad Jamiruddin Khan in Kolkata.


Ahmed (left) with Allauddin Khan and Qazi Motahar Hossain (1955)

Ahmed started his career by singing modern Bangla songs for the HMV studios, followed by modern songs of poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh. He then proposed to Nazrul Islam to write and tune Islamic songs, which he sang in numerous numbers and recorded for the HMV studios. He has a pioneering role in bringing the music to the home of the Indian Muslims and arousing them from a state of backwardness. He was the first Muslim in erstwhile India who used his own name in the record labels. Before Abbassddin Ahmed, Muslim singers would use pseudo names, so that their Muslim identity would be anonymous. He later recorded Bhawaiya, Khirol and Chatka which were famous in Cooch Behar and Rangpur. Later he started to sing other folk songs like jaari, sari, bhatiyali, murshidi, bichchhedi (songs of estrangement), marsiya, dehatattwa, and musical plays. He also collaborated with, Jasimuddin and Golam Mostafa.[3][4]



Ahmed's first son Mustafa Kamal served as the Chief Justice of Bangladesh during June–Dec 1999. His only daughter, Ferdausi Rahman is a classical musician. His youngest son, Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, is a folk researcher, writer, singer and social worker.

Ahmed's granddaughter, Nashid Kamal, daughter of Mustafa Kamal, is a singer, professor of demography and writer.[6][7]


  1. ^ "আব্বাস উদ্দিনের গান" [Songs on Abbasuddin]. Prothom Alo. 27 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Abbasuddin birth anniversary celebrated". The Daily Star. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Old is better than gold". Creative Bangladesh. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. ^ My life in melodies, written by Abbassddin Ahmed, translated by Nashid Kamal, Adorn Publications,2014, Bangladesh
  5. ^ "Homage to folk maestro Abbasuddin". Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  6. ^ Abbasi, Mustafa Zaman (2013). Kazi Nazrul Islam, Man and poet. Independent University, Bangladesh.
  7. ^ Ahmed, Wakil (2012). "Ahmed, Abbasuddin". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.