Introduction / History
The Miana is a small Islamic people group that lives in India’s western states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. A small number live in central Uttar Pradesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Miana mostly subsist on agriculture and fishing while the landless depend on wage-labor. Some are marginal farmers. Only sons inherit property among them.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They have their own traditional council and the headman or mukhi presides over it. They maintain cordial relations with the Bania, Lohana and other Hindu communities living in the region.
The people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the 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.
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.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
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. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
The people of the Miana community may not fully understand who Jesus is, and possibly may not have known disciples of Christ who follow him with a whole heart. Pray for understanding.
Christians can bring the good news of Jesus to the Miana community by using stories from Scripture, and also use Gospel recordings and films. Much prayer is needed to prepare hearts.
Pray for committed disciples of Christ to live among the Miana community and help them build a disciple making movement.
Pray Miana people who love the Lord will find each other, and fellowship together, building his church.
Pray for the Miana community to be able to provide adequately for their families, and for employment opportunities.
Pray they will have good schools available for their children.
Scripture Prayers for the Miana in India.