Faqir in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Faqir (or Fakir) of India are beggars by tradition. They are Sunni Muslim by religion. Fakir comes from the Arabic word meaning poverty. Some of them live in Muslim cemeteries. The mourning period for a death is forty days and then food is given to the poor. The birth pollution period is for forty days too.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In Uttar Pradesh, most of the Faqir are landowners and work in cultivation. Poultry work is a second occupation for them. Only a few do begging at Islamic shrines now but they have been discriminated against. They speak Urdu and a local dialect of Hindi. Most of them are living in multi caste villages where there are many religions. Every sub division has a caste council that judges local problems and matters. They are endogamous, which means they do not marry outside their group and also have a caste association that covers India.

In Gujarat, the Faqir are endogamous and marriages usually happen in their community. Parallel cousin marriages and cross cousin marriages are favored. They traditionally beg and some work at Sufi shrines. Most now work as laborers. They are a marginalized people group. Though Sunni Muslims, they have folk beliefs.

In Maharashtra, the Faqir speak Urdu and Marathi. They live in the regions of Amravati and Nagpur. They are endogamous and do parallel cousin and cross cousin marriages. They do begging but there is a slow change towards work such as selling baskets, crockery and also craft items. Most are laborers, particularly in Nagpur. They have been given the Other Backward Classes position which means they have a part in education and work. They are marginalized though.

In West Bengal, the Faqir are also called Sahajia and were beggars. They are supposed to be called by that name as they were followers of Sher Ali Sahaji who is classed as a Sufi saint. They are an endogamous caste. Most who work in cultivation live in the regions of Nadia, Howrah, Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia, Murshidabad and Malda. They cultivate jute and mustard seeds for example and produce cooking oil. A few are agricultural laborers but with no land. They speak Bengali and are Sunni Muslims. They have folk beliefs too.

What Are Their Needs?

The Faqir speak Urdu, Hindu and Bengali. They have a low literacy level so the gospel will probably have to be presented in oral form.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the Faqir though beggars by tradition will realize that Jesus Christ does not look down on them and that they will give their lives to Him.



Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-10-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-09-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-08-26
Video Links:
The Greatest Sacrifice
People Name General Faqir
People Name in Country Faqir
Population in India 96,000
World Population 128,000
Countries 4
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bava, Bhenrihar, Darvesh, Fakir, Faqirani, Fhakir Budbudki, Gareri, Ghanta Fhakirlu, Ghanti Fhakir, Pir, Sai, Sain, Sayee, Shah, Turaka Budbudiki
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Punjabi
People Name General Faqir
Ethnic Code CNN23r
People ID 16762
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  22  (up to 20 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh (28,000) Haryana (12,000) Madhya Pradesh (9,000) Punjab (8,000)
Delhi (7,900) Rajasthan (7,300) Bihar (5,400) West Bengal (3,400)
Jharkhand (2,800) Gujarat (2,700) Maharashtra (1,900) Himachal Pradesh (1,900)
Uttarakhand (1,800) Chandigarh (1,800) Jammu and Kashmir (800) Odisha (400)
Chhattisgarh (400) Telangana (200) Karnataka (50) Assam (40)
Total States on file:  22  (up to 20 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh (28,000) Haryana (12,000)
Madhya Pradesh (9,000) Punjab (8,000)
Delhi (7,900) Rajasthan (7,300)
Bihar (5,400) West Bengal (3,400)
Jharkhand (2,800) Gujarat (2,700)
Maharashtra (1,900) Himachal Pradesh (1,900)
Uttarakhand (1,800) Chandigarh (1,800)
Jammu and Kashmir (800) Odisha (400)
Chhattisgarh (400) Telangana (200)
Karnataka (50) Assam (40)
Languages & Dialects on file:  20  (up to 20 largest shown)
Urdu (45,000) Hindi (32,000) Panjabi, Eastern (9,900) Bhojpuri (2,300)
Bengali (2,000) Gujarati (1,100) Marwari (1,000) Awadhi (400)
Haryanvi (300) Merwari (200) Kanauji (200) Dogri (100)
Mewari (100) Maithili (90) Bilaspuri (70) Kashmiri (40)
Bagri (40) Malayalam (20) Dhundari (20) Balti
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Urdu 45,000 Hindi 32,000
Panjabi, Eastern 9,900 Bhojpuri 2,300
Bengali 2,000 Gujarati 1,100
Marwari 1,000 Awadhi 400
Haryanvi 300 Merwari 200
Kanauji 200 Dogri 100
Mewari 100 Maithili 90
Bilaspuri 70 Kashmiri 40
Bagri 40 Malayalam 20
Dhundari 20 Balti 10
For Primary Language: Urdu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1747-1894)
New Testament Yes   (1758-2000)
Complete Bible Yes   (1843-1998)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised Urdu Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: UGV Devanagari Text / Printed Matter
Bible: اردو جیو ورژن Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Text / Printed Matter
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Urdu Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament - Easy to Read (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online New Testament - Pakistan Bible Society (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
32.86 %
60.31 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
6.83 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Isudas   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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