[T]his series of photos tells us the story of the Mazar of Hazrat Shahjalal (Rd) and the mysticism related to it. Hazrat Shahjalal’s name is associated with the Muslim conquest in Sylhet. He was a major Sufi saint and one of the most celebrated figures in Sylhet. And even though he passed away 800 years ago, he still has a remarkable influence on the lives of the people of this region.
The Mazar or shrine of Shahjalal is visited daily by thousands of devotees from different parts of the country. Though the Mazar is related to Muslim religious culture, people from other religions visit it as well. The words that associate with the Mazar most are the words belief and spirituality. People from different parts of the country, even from different parts of the world visit this place with a hope that their desires might be fulfilled, their problems might be solved. Coming here and taking vows for the fulfillment of a wish is a common phenomenon. The Mazar covers itself up with a fog of mystery. There are several stories and myths related to the place that makes it appear to be mysterious. There are flocks of pigeons that live in the Mazar area and the first breeds of these pigeons are thought to have come with Hazrat Shahjalaj himself. Even the fishes in the ponds are thought to be holy. For hundreds of years they have been living there, and it can only be guessed that for thousands of years they will be.
This Mazar influences not only the spiritual but also the sociopolitical situation of the region. Every politician goes there before election, and also every other time they visit Sylhet for any reason. The Mazar and activities related to it enriches the cultural assets of the region. Every Thursday and Friday nights devotees sing Marfoti songs all night long. The Mazar is one of the most visited places in Sylhet. Stepping in here one can easily feel the blended emotions attached to it. And this photo story takes an attempt to portray the enigma of the Mazar of Shahjalal.