Introduction / History
The Deshwali are a Rajput subcaste that lives in Punjab and Rajasthan. Their name is a combination of two Persian words which combined mean "land lord" or "feudal lord." At one time they were members of the private army of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. They were among the first peoples to adopt Islam in India which came to them from the preaching of Mainuddin Chishti, a Sufi saint.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Deshwali people have no system of gotras. They often marry their cousins. Today they are medium to large scale farmers, though there are a small number of sharecroppers and landless farmers among them. Some own small businesses, and more of them are getting advanced education.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Deshwali people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoke through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship. 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. In most of the Muslim world, people depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
What Are Their Needs?
The Deshwali people need to submit to Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life He offers them in John 10:10.
Pray that Deshwali people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driving by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among them to begin this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Deshwali (Muslim traditions) in India.