Dargah a Persian word referring to the grave of a wali or Sufi. In the subcontinent, buildings have been erected upon the graves of sufis and dervishes. Building houses or tombs upon graves is considered a haram or strictly prohibited act according to Islamic shariah. The use of lighting at a dargah is also not permitted under Shariah. Some schools, however, allow the construction of a grave ten inches above the ground for the purpose of identification. Though venerating a dead person is forbidden, paying visits to a dargah and a graveyard are allowed in order to pray for the departed soul. Prophet MUHAMMAD (Sm) used to visit the graveyard of Jannatu'l-Baqi to pray for the departed souls. His daughter, Bibi Fatima (R), also used to visit the grave of Hamza (R) every Friday.
There are many dargahs in Bangladesh. Noted among them are those of shah jalal (r) at SYLHET, of Shah Amanat (R) in chittagong, of sharfuddin abu tawwama(R) at sonargaon, of shah Ali (R) at Mirpur, of khan jahan ali (R) at bagerhat and of Shah Ali Baghdadi (R) at Dhaka. Devotees often visit dargahs to ask boons of the dead Sufis.
Visiting dargah and praying for earthly gains and otherworldly benefits is an integral part of the traditional culture of Bangladesh Muslim society. [Muhammad Shafiqullah]