Gujarati in Malaysia






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

It is believed that Gujarati missionaries from Indian introduced Islam to Malaysia prior to the establishment of the Malacca Sultanate in 1402. Gujarati traders from Cambay also frequently visited the port of Malacca but did not settle there. Only in the late 19th century did the Gujarati who are mostly businessmen in textile trade, travel to Malacca to settle in Malaysia. This new community grew as more Gujarati came after the 2nd World War.

What Are Their Lives Like?

There are approximately three thousand Gujarati living in Malaysia. Their trading broadly covers textiles to tea, palm oil, tin, rubber, cocoa, timber, and coffee. They can be found in other professions as well.

The Gujarati remain community oriented and are interrelated through marriage and families. Marriages are still arranged by parents, with the consent of the potential couple. Marriages are often arranged with Gujarati from other countries.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Gujarati of Malaysia are mainly adherents of Jainism and Hinduism with a small minority of Muslim. Jainism strives for realization of the highest perfection of man, free from all pain and the bondage of birth and death. They do not recognize a god or any being higher than the perfect man. Jainism teaches that souls are without beginning, endless and eternally individual. There are three broad categories of souls: not yet evolved, evolving, and liberated (free from rebirth). Jains live a monastic-ascetic lifestyle, show kindness to all, and display great reverence for all life (strict codes of vegetarianism, asceticism, nonviolence even in self-defense, and opposition to war). Jainism is a religion of love and compassion. The ultimate goal is to become a Paramatman (a perfected soul). This is only accomplished when all layers of Karma (this law teaches that for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first may it be pleasant or unpleasant) are removed. Once removed the soul will rise to the ceiling of the universe, where the soul will abide forever in the solitary bliss of Moksha (pure solitude and endless peace) fulfilling one's destiny as the man-god attainable in this world at the time of death. The nature of the soul is pure consciousness, power, bliss, and omniscience.

Though the Jain follow their spiritual teachings, Hinduism influences many of the social rituals. Hindus celebrate Navarathri (a nine day festival dedicated to the three main deities Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati). However, the Gujarati Jains have celebrated it every year since 1965. They also join the Punjabi and Sindhi communities who adhere to Hinduism in this grand celebration. Most Gujarati celebrate Deepavali (the festival of lights) in November. The day after Deepavali is the Gujarati New Year, where prayers are offered to Lakshmi or Saraswati (Hindu deity) to usher in prosperity for the New Year.

What Are Their Needs?

There are Gujarati who feel that they have to strive to do good works in their lives in order to attain Moksha (perfect peace and solitude). Some feel that there is no hope for them to get to Moksha. Pray for believers to encourage these people by being a friend and by showing them that there is a place of hope that is not dependent on their good works.

Profile Source:   Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-07-31
People Name General Gujarati
People Name in Country Gujarati
Population in Malaysia 28,000
World Population 1,522,000
Countries 24
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bajania, Gujarani, Indo-Pakistani, Karana, Parsi, Shahinshahi, Zarabe, Zardasht, Zarushti
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Gujarati
People Name General Gujarati
Ethnic Code CNN25e
People ID 11982
Country Malaysia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gujarati (28,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gujarati 28,000
For Primary Language: Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1809-1965)
New Testament Yes   (1820-1985)
Complete Bible Yes   (1823-2005)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Text / Printed Matter
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Gujarati Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture / Bible Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
80.00 %
20.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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