Shrines on the Name of Religion


The aim of this paper to clarify the significance of offering rituals on shrines on the name of religion. Some of them are Clearfield in the light of Quranic verses and Hadith, some of them need clarification. One’s belief can be just a matter of believe but when it comes in terms of not matching with the teaching of Islam, It should be questioned. The Contributions of Sufi Personalities to preach the teaching of Islam is a study itself. Historically, Sufis have often belonged to various Uruq or ‘order’ assemblies created around a grand master called a Wali who traces back to the Prophet Muhammad’s direct chain of successive educators. Their shrines are a symbol of respect and their contributions. The ritual being performed there have their ground realities. This paper will find the logic behind them.


A Mazar or Dargah is a Sufi Islamic shrine constructed over a respected and holy religious figure’s Grave. In Pakistan, there are numerous shrines of Sufis and is believed by ‘faqeers’ that every city has a Wali as guard, no matter alive or not, but the city possesses his blessings. (MachLagan n.d.). The majority of people believe in the miracles of these Sufi saints and offer numerous rituals. Some of them associated with those saints specifically even in their life, and some people assumed with the passage of time. Although there is no connection of these rituals to religion. People perform them on them name of their faith and association. A Dargah remains a center to fulfil people’s Mannat. A man of deeds or from the family of Sufi supervise the system of Dargah.

Historically, Sufis have often belonged to various uruq or ‘order’ assemblies created around a grand master called a Wali who traces back to the Prophet Muhammad’s direct chain of successive educators. These orders meet for spiritual sessions (majalis) in meeting places known as, khanqahs They strive for Ihsan (perfection of worship), as detailed in a hadith: ‘Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him ; if you cannot see Him, certainly He sees you.’ Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the main ideal person who exemplifies God’s ethics, and see him as Peer-e-kamil.

In the case study of Sufia, they are divided into 14 Sections.9 of them are Qadri and 5 are Chishti. Qadri section has Sahrwardi in its sub branches. Along with Naqshbandi and Noshahiya sects these three sections spread all over the India and Pakistan. There are also conflicts when it comes to the history of these sects.

The Ahle-Sunnat Ulama rules that it is permissible to put flowers on each Mu’min’s tomb, regardless of whether he is a Friend of Allah (Wali) or a sinner. They are admired and, as a consequence, permitted to place flowers and sheets (ghilaafs) on their tombs, as well as illuminate their Mazar. Fresh flowers have life, making tasbeeh and tahleel. Through this tasbeeh reward is obtained or penalty for any normal Muslim tomb is diminished, and the visitors to a Mazar achieve a pleasant aroma.(Plate 2)

It is therefore permissible to place them on any Muslim tomb. Even though the deceased experiences punishment, it is lessened through the tasbeeh’s blessings. The source for this is the Hadith in which the Holy Prophet has gone through two tombs whose prisoners have been punished. One of them never saved from urine falls and the other was a backbiter. Taking a tree branch, Holy Prophet broke into two sections, putting one on each tomb. He answered when he was questioned about this. “As long as they aren’t dry, their punishment will be decreased.”

Imam Nawawi wrote in this hadith’s annotation, ‘It has been said that the penalty will be reduced because, as soon as they are fresh, they will make tasbeeh. On the basis of this hadith, Ulama held that reciting the Holy Quran close the tomb is Mustahab (preferred because it is more suitable to lessen penalty than a branch’s tasbeeh).

Under this Hadith, Mirqaat states, ‘We can deduce that putting new flowers on the Mazar is Sunnah.’ 13.5 Tahtaawi alal-Maraaqil-Falaah states, ‘Based on this Hadith, some of our latter-time friends have ruled that Sunnah is the practice of laying flowers and scent.’

In these extracts, the term ‘ some ‘ does not imply that other Ulama ruled that this was unacceptable. Rather, it means some people agree to be Sunnah. All Ulama agree that it is permissible, although there is a distinction between them as to the practice of the holy prophet states, “To place flowers and fragrance on graves is good.” 13.7 – Kitaabul-Karaahiyat, Vol. 5, Baabu Ziyaaratil-Quboor.

It says more. ‘The reason why the punishment decreases is that the branches don’t get dry. In other words, the punishment of the grave is lessened by the blessings of them making tasbeeh, as a fresh branch’s tasbeeh is more complete than a dry one. This is because the former has a kind of existence. Maulwi Ashraf Ali Thanwi writes that flowers should be put on the tombs of Faasiqs (open transgressors of the Shariah), not on the tombs and the Saint’s Mazar because there is no penalty to be reduced by putting flowers, etc.

It should be taken into consideration, however, that the action that removes hardship for sinner’s causes an increase in the rank of the godly, e.g. walking towards the Masjid erases our sins but increases the rank of the virtuous. Similarly, some duas eradicate the sins of criminals like us, but make the difference between the righteous. The opposition’s logic requires the faithful not to come to the Masjids or to create Astaghfar because they are cleansed of sin. Through the tasbeeh of these flowers, Allah’s mercy will drop more on their tombs just as it rises with the Holy Quran’s recitation.

Regarding to put sheets on tombs, the Jurists state that doing so is permissible for the tombs of the Saints, Learned and Pious, but it is unacceptable for the tombs of particular Muslims because there is no advantage in this. So it is permissible to place sheets (ghilaafs / chaadars) on the tombs of the Friends of Allah, since the greatness of the grave prisoner (who is a Wali) becomes evident to the general public visiting. Allama Shaami writes, ‘Fatawa Hujja said Makrooh (hated) is putting mantles on the tombs.

However, we conclude that if today, creating respect within the general public is meant to do so (so that the prisoner of the tomb may not be regarded with disdain, but rather that respect, admiration and awe are instilled among those unaware through these shrouds), then placing plates is allowed. This is because there are intentions based on behavior.

This extract has chosen that whatever action is permitted to prove the greatness of Allah’s Auliya is permitted. The origin of the sheets is that the Kaaba was covered with the Ghilaafs even in the time of Holy Prophet. He did not prohibit this. There have been very costly green silk covers over the Holy Prophet’s Rauza Sharif (shrine) for millennia. Even today, no one has disallowed this. The Maqaam-e-Ibrahim (the stone on which Hazrat Ibrahim stood to construct the Holy Kaaba) is even covered (and a building constructed over it).

Thus, it is preferred (Mustahab) to put sheets, etc. above their tombs for the reverence of Allah’s Friends. Under the ayah, “ writes, “Building shelters over the graves of the Learned, Saints and Pious or placing sheets {ghilaafs), mantles and turbans on them are all permissible actions when establishing their respect amongst the masses is intended (so that they don’t hold them in contempt).”