Shah Abdul Karim

This article is about a Bangladeshi musician. For the Sindhi Sufi poet, see Shah Abdul Karim Bulri.
Shah Abdul Karim

Shah Abdul Karim in his later life
Background information
Native name শাহ আবদুল করিম
Born (1916-02-15)February 15, 1916[1]
Origin Ujan Dhol, Derai, Sunamganj,
Sylhet, Bangladesh
Died September 12, 2009(2009-09-12) (aged 93)
Genres Baul, folk
Instruments Ektara

Shah Abdul Karim (February 15, 1916 September 12, 2009) was a Baul musician from Bangladesh. He was awarded the 2001 Ekushey Padak for his outstanding musical achievements. He also received the Drouhee Kotha-Shahitayk Abdur Rouf Choudhury Award in 2000. He died in Sylhet on 12 September 2009 due to respiratory problems.[2]

Early life

Karim was born on February 15, 1916 in Ujan Dhol village, Derai Thana, in Sunamganj District in Sylhet Division. Growing up in poverty and facing hardship, he started expressing his thoughts and emotions musically from a very early age. Ektara, a traditional single string instrument has been his constant companion. However, poverty forced him to seek work in agricultural labour. As he was growing up, he received training on spiritual and Baul music from Shah Ibrahim Mastan Baksh. Mastan was from Sreepur Peer Mohol.

Personal life

Shah Abdul Karim he had a son named Shah Nur Jalal.[1]


Karim wrote and composed over 1500 songs.[3] These songs are organized in six books: Aftab Sangeet, Gano Sangeet, Kalnir Dheu, Dholmela, Bhatir Chithi and Kalnir Kooley. The Bangla Academy has translated ten of his songs into the English language.

Notable songs


  1. 1 2 "Shah Abdul Karim's 97th birth anniversary celebrated". The Daily Star. 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  2. "'Baul Samrat' Abdul Karim laid to rest". The Daily Star. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  3. Karim Waheed (2006-05-18). "Musical tribute to a living legend -- Shah Abdul Karim". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
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