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Mazar


Mazar an Arabic word synonymous to dargah. Mazar literally means 'a place for visit' and usually the tomb of a saint and dervish is called a mazar. Mazar is also called the grave or rauza. Usually, mosques and madrasahs are built in the vicinity of mazars. Prophet muhammad (Sm) used to visit the graveyard of Jannat-al Baki in Madina and the graves of his companions who were martyred in various battles and prayed for the salvation of the souls of the departed.'

The tendency to show special respect for mazars developed among common Muslims under the influence of the Sufi tariqas. It was a custom among the followers of sufism to visit the graves of sufis and dervishes to pray for the salvation of their souls.

In the premises of many mazars, urs ie, the birth and death anniversaries (also known as the rituals of esalay sawab or good wishes) are held ceremoniously. For maintenance of important mazars, there are waqf estates and khadims (caretakers) to look after them. In the subcontinent, there are many mazars of the aulias and dervishes who came here from various countries with the mission to propagate Islam. Noted among them are the mazars of Khwaja Main Uddin Chisti (R) in Azmir, Nizamuddin Aulia (R) in Delhi and Farid Uddin Ganj-e-Shakkar (R) in Lahore. Some of the important mazars in Bangladesh are those of Hazrat shah jalal (R) in Sylhet, khan jahan Ali (R) in Bagherhat, makhdum shah (R) in Rajshahi and shah amanat (R) in Chittagong, and Shah Ali Baghdadi (R) in Dhaka. Chittagong, where there are the mazars of twelve saints, is called the city of mazars. [Muhammad Abdur Rashid]