Islamic Foundation Bangladesh

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Islamic Foundation
Islamic Foundation Bangladesh Logo.jpeg
Formation 1975
Type Islamic education, research and activities
Headquarters Baitul Mukarram, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, Baitul Mukarram, Dhaka,Bangladesh
Official language
Director General
Shamim Mohammad Afzal (22 January 2009 - current)[1]
Website website

Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (Bengali: ইসলামিক ফাউন্ডেশন বাংলাদেশ) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Bangladesh working to disseminate values and ideals of Islam and carry out activities related to those values and ideals.[2][3] The Head Office of the Foundation is in Dhaka, which is supported by 6 divisional offices and 64 district offices, as well as 7 Imam Training Academy Centers and 29 Islamic Mission Centers.[3] The Director General is the Chief Executive of the Foundation.[3]


Baitul Mukarram Mosque, headquarters of the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh

In 1959, two organizations were formed in Dhaka, Bangladesh to propagate the teachings and following of Islam. The Baitul Mukarram Society built the Baitul Mukarram (Arabic: بيت المكرّم‎; the holy house) mosque and Islamic scholars formed a Darul Ulum (Arabic: دار العلوم‎; house of knowledge) to popularize and research on Islamic philosophy, culture and way of life.[2] In 1960, the Darul Ulum was renamed as Islamic Academy and was made a branch of Central Institute of Islamic Research based in Karachi.[2]

On 20–22 March 1978, the Foundation organized a seminar sponsored by the OIC and attended by representatives of 16 countries including Bangladesh.[2] In 1979-80, development of the Foundation got a new momentum.[2]


In 2015, Islamic Foundation Bangladesh issued a fatwa banning the use of chairs for elderly worshipers in mosques. The head of the Foundation, Shamim Afzal told AFP: “There are no instances of the Prophet (pbuh) praying while sitting on a chair,” despite numerous hadiths contradicting this claim.[4] He added that "chairs spoiled the beauty of the mosques."[4]

This led to outrage and protest from more erudite ulema, who termed it "an incorrect and exaggerated decision."[5][4] The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued a statement that she was "stunned" by such a fatwa, terming it incorrect. She added that she herself offered prayers in chairs during flights.[6]


  1. ^ "Islamic Foundation: Director Generals". Islamic Foundation Bangladesh Official Website. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Syed Mohammed Shah Amran and Syed Ashraf Ali, Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, Banglapedia: The National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka; Retrieved: 2007-12-25
  3. ^ a b c Islamic Foundation, Bangladesh Directory; Retrieved: 2007-12-25
  4. ^ a b c "Prayers on chairs ban sparks outrage in Bangladesh". The Express Tribune. AFP. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Bangladeshis Decry Chairs Ban in Mosques". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Tusher, Hasan Jahid (2 June 2015). "Islamic Foundation fatwa incorrect: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tells cabinet meeting, says she herself offers prayers in chairs during flights". The Daily Star. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 

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