The following paper aims at discussing aspects of religious authority in Sufism as they are negotiated and expressed in the context of perceptions of the sacred character of a saint and his worship by focusing on the shrine (dargāh) of Badīʿ al-Dīn Shāh Madār (d. 1434) in Makanpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh, India. 1 The shrine's history as a sacred place extends back for more than 500 hundred years, and it is a major centre of pilgrimage in the region. The saint's title is often complemented with the epithet “zinda” (alive) that can be attributed in South Asia to Sufi saints to refer to baraka, the beneficent power, that God bestows on prophets and saints, and that is understood to be permanently present at the shrine. In this sense, it draws upon the concept of the “walī”, the friend of God in Sufism, a status that is ascribed to mystics of a high spiritual state and charismatic characteristics. Existing in close proximity to God, the walī lives in the divine sphere eternally. However, in the context of shrine worship, the notion of “zinda” is open to interpretation and can also have a literal signification, as is the case with Shāh Madār. Legends speak of perceptions of the saint virtually residing in his tomb, and the inherent spiritual powers these perceptions imply are one of the factors to which the shrine of Shāh Madār owes its attraction as a centre of pilgrimage.