Introduction / History
The Muslim Dharhi were traditionally singers and musicians by trade. They play music at significant family events and on Muslim holidays. The Dharhi often receive their money by donations so some people see them as beggars. The word Dharhi comes from a Sanskrit word meaning, "showing no respect."
Where Are they Located?
Today, most Dharhi work as landless farm laborers. They live in multi-caste villages. Other Dharhi work in government service and in small businesses.
The primary language of the Dharhi is Urdu. They also speak other regional Indian languages.
Most Dharhi live in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. A small group of Muslim Dharhi lives in the nation of Pakistan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Dharhi are endogamous, that is they marry within their caste and clan. Monogamy or marriage to one wife is the general rule but marrying more than one wife is not illegal. Families arrange their marriages. Sons inherit their father's property. The eldest son becomes responsible for his mother and siblings.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Dharhi eat meat except for pork. Their main foods are rice, wheat, lentils and vegetables.
The villages where the Dharhi live are frequently without modern conveniences like electricity, indoor plumbing and access to clean water.
The Dharhi are Sunni Muslims, the largest branch of Islam. They strive to follow the teachings of the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad. They believe that they will receive salvation through obeying the Five Pillars of Islam. These obligations include praying five times a day towards Mecca, giving to the poor and fasting during the month of Ramadan. Most Dharhi attend their local mosque on Friday where they pray and receive instruction.
What Are Their Needs?
The two main holidays that the Dharhi celebrate are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the festival that remembers Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
The Dharhi need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they are able to understand. They need to see the love and grace of Jesus lived out in the practical way before them by Christians. They need help in educating their children and in learning job skills so they can escape their poverty.
* Pray that the Lord would open the hearts to the Dharhi to receive the good news about Christ.
* Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Dharhi families into a rich experience of God's blessings.
* Pray that God brings many Dharhi to Himself and Bible-believing churches are planted among them.