Teli, Muslim traditions in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The word 'Teli' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'tailika' or 'tails', which means oil pressed from seeds. The community are traditional manufacturers of mustard or sesame oil.

Muslim Teli can be found in Pakistan and North India. In India, the term Teli is a business caste among Hindus. Hindus who convert to Islam are called Roshandaar or Muslim Teli. Hindu Teli are named Teli Sahu and Muslim Teli are called Teli Malik.

The Muslim Teli of Punjab say that they have descended from Baba Hasu, who is said to have invented the oil press. According to their tradition, their ancestor Luqman was apprenticed to the Biblical King David. Luqman is said to have first started the oil extraction profession. It is said that Luqman's ancestor was the Prophet Ayoub (Biblical Job). Baba Hasu is said to be a descendant of Luqman.

Where Are they Located?

In North India, the Muslim Teli community is also known by the name Shaikh Mansuri. The Muslim Banjara is a Muslim community found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Many members of this community migrated to Pakistan in 1947 and have settled in Karachi and Sindh.

In Delhi, the Teli can be sub-divided into two communities, the Teli proper and the Teli Dhuniya. They live in the neighbourhoods of Phatak Teliya, Phatak Habash Khan, Khirwala Phatak and Borhaiya in Old Delhi. The Delhi Teli are also known as Shaikh Mansuri, and this name has replaced Teli as a self-description. Many of the Delhi Teli emigrated to Pakistan, at partition, and are now found in Karachi.

In Pakistan, three distinct Teli communities can be identified. Shaikh Mansoori based in Karachi and Teli Malik and Teli Rajput who are largely in the province of Punjab.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Muslim Teli depend on the land for their living. Their traditional occupation of oil pressing is now being replaced with cash crops and other private business. The Teli now have many small businessman and traders amongst them, although many are still engaged in oil pressing.

In the province of Punjab, many Teli are landless and earn a living working in cash crop farms (wheat or maize farms). Significant changes, however, have occurred in the cities of central Punjab, such as Faisalabad,Sahiwal, Sialkot and Gujranwala where the urban Teli have started small industries. The Teli Malik of Faisalabad have been particularly successful in small business. Teli Rajputs have also taken up into other professions besides oil pressing.

The Teli have traditional community councils and also formal community associations. Their traditional councils or panchayats are sub-divided into circles made up of 10 to 20 villages.

In Pakistan, the Muslim Teli speak mainly Punjabi. They were among a number of artisan communities that were converted to Islam. Shaikh Mansoori speak Urdu.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Teli belong to the Sunni sect of Islam, and offerings are also made to Ghazi Mian.

What Are Their Needs?

The Teli have little concept of a loving creator God who is willing to forgive their sins and give them an abundant life. There are a few followers of Christ among the Teli. They need to adequately provide for their families and educate all their children. The Teli need to have their material and spiritual needs met. The Teli community is large and speak several languages.

The Muslim Teli traditionally identify with oil. Oil is a particularly useful connection point between Christians and the Teli. The physical and spiritual significance of oil in the Bible can be a key point for sharing the gospel with them.

Prayer Points

* The Teli need to understand that they have a loving creator God who wants to forgive them and offers an abundant life.
* The Teli need to learn about Jesus Christ, and follow Him wholeheartedly.
* The Teli need to provide for their families
* They need good schools for their children.
* Pray for teams of workers to preach the good news to the Teli communities in their many languages
* Pray that a strong church planting movement would take root among the Teli.



Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-10-29
Video Links:
The Greatest Sacrifice
People Name General Teli, Muslim traditions
People Name in Country Teli, Muslim traditions
Population in India 1,693,000
World Population 4,357,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chakani, Chakee, Chaki, Gachhi, Ganiga, Harsolia, Malik, Maliks, Sahu, Sahu Samaj, Teli Muslim, Telwain, Tili
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Punjabi
People Name General Teli, Muslim traditions
Ethnic Code CNN25r
People ID 17692
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:  13  (up to 20 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh (1,241,000) Gujarat (163,000) Uttarakhand (148,000) Maharashtra (36,000)
Haryana (36,000) Jammu and Kashmir (27,000) Madhya Pradesh (14,000) Punjab (12,000)
Delhi (9,500) Himachal Pradesh (5,300) Rajasthan (1,700) Chandigarh (300)
Daman and Diu (40)
Total States on file:  13  (up to 20 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh (1,241,000) Gujarat (163,000)
Uttarakhand (148,000) Maharashtra (36,000)
Haryana (36,000) Jammu and Kashmir (27,000)
Madhya Pradesh (14,000) Punjab (12,000)
Delhi (9,500) Himachal Pradesh (5,300)
Rajasthan (1,700) Chandigarh (300)
Daman and Diu (40)
Languages & Dialects on file:  25  (up to 20 largest shown)
Urdu (1,403,000) Gujarati (125,000) Bhojpuri (23,000) Panjabi, Eastern (21,000)
Awadhi (18,000) Kashmiri (15,000) Garhwali (13,000) Marathi (11,000)
Kachchi (9,200) Dogri (4,900) Braj Bhasha (2,800) Kanauji (2,600)
Merwari (1,200) Tulu (1,000) Hindi (1,000) Konkani (1,000)
Kumaoni (800) Haryanvi (800) Bundeli (700) Marwari (500)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Urdu 1,403,000 Gujarati 125,000
Bhojpuri 23,000 Panjabi, Eastern 21,000
Awadhi 18,000 Kashmiri 15,000
Garhwali 13,000 Marathi 11,000
Kachchi 9,200 Dogri 4,900
Braj Bhasha 2,800 Kanauji 2,600
Merwari 1,200 Tulu 1,000
Hindi 1,000 Konkani 1,000
Kumaoni 800 Haryanvi 800
Bundeli 700 Marwari 500
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 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
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: 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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