Introduction / History
The Kahar or Kahal people have several stories about the deriving of their name. It is said, by some anthropologists, that the name comes from the combination of the words kandh, meaning 'shoulder' and ahar, meaning 'food.' Their traditional work has been as palanquin (a seat carried between poles on the shoulder) or water carriers.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Today many of the Kahar can be found to have many occupations. Some are small businessman, shop keepers or food vendors. In the rural areas they can be found as cultivators, laborers or rickshaw-pullers. There primary language in Pakistan is Western Punjabi. Prasad, Singh and Verma are common surnames.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The majority of Kahar clans are Hindu but there are many Sunni Muslim Kahar as well. Those who are Sunni Muslims 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.
In general, that Kahar are favorable to having their children attend school and this may be an avenue of ministry and assistance to the community. Pray that some from the Kahar would hear and come to know the name of Jesus. There are no known workers among this Muslim group in Pakistan.
Pray for the Kahar people to understand the gospel and respond to Christ’s offer of abundant life.
Pray God will do whatever it takes to put the Kahar people in a position to receive him.
Ask God to open the hearts of the Kahar to the gospel.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
Scripture Prayers for the Kahar (Muslim traditions) in Pakistan.