Introduction / History
The Bawaria people of the Indian subcontinent were originally all Hindus. With the coming of Islam starting in the ninth century some Bawaria converted to Islam. These Muslim Bawaria live in west Pakistan next to the Punjab region of India. Many of these Muslims left India and moved to Pakistan in 1947. They were known to use a noose or net for hunting, so their name is derived from a word for noose. Some of them still make ropes, but they are much more likely to be farmers.
Where Are they Located?
The Muslim Bawaria cultivate land own by themselves and land owned by others. They grow wheat, millet, vegetables, fruit and sugarcane. They also raise animals for meat, leather and dairy products. Many Bawaria are illiterate. Some educated Bawaria work as administrators, teachers, attorneys and businessmen. The primary language of the Muslim Bawaria is Western Punjabi. Many also speak Urdu, which enables them to speak to many Pakistani and Indians.
The Muslim Bawaria live in the Pakistani states of Punjab and Sindh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Some Bawaria live a seminomadic lifestyle. They harvest products and animals from the land and move on to another place.
What Are Their Beliefs?
A Muslim Bawari eat meat but not pork.
The Muslim Bawaria generally marry only within their group but they will not marry someone in their particular clan or family. Bawaria may live in multi-caste villages where they will live in their own section.
A caste council promotes their interests and settles legal disputes among Muslim Bawaria.
The Bawaria people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They attempt to obey the teachings of the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad. They believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime.
What Are Their Needs?
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
The Muslim Bawaria must come to see that the true God is found in Jesus Christ and the Bible not in the teachings of Muhammad. The Bawaria need to see Christ lived out before them in practical ways. They would benefit by workers coming to them to help their children learn how to read and write. Since some of the Bawaria are illiterate, the gospel will have to be presented to them in oral form.
* Pray that God creates a hunger for the true Word of God among the Bawaria.
* Pray that the Lord starts a movement of Muslim Bawaria families experiencing God's blessings.
* Ask God to deliver families and communities within the Bawaria people from fears that hinder them from embracing His blessings.