Introduction / History
Mewati, also known as "Meo" people are of the Rajput caste. They are Muslims but have their ethnic roots in Hinduism. It is believed they turned to Islam in the 1600s and more became Muslims at about the beginning of the 1900s.
Where Are they Located?
They live in the Mewat district of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
For a long time Mewati have been livestock farmers, raising cattle. They are well known in India. Some have trucking businesses. Others work for the government, army, or police, electricians, plumbers, money lenders, or laborers. Those who live in Haryana do basket work.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They value education.
They see medical doctors as well as traditional ones. They are now beginning to use family planning.
They eat wheat, rice, maize, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. They accept cooked foods only from high castes and to those linked to high castes.
Property is inherited only by the sons and the oldest son is head of the home after the death of the father. While they marry within the group, spouses are selected from other clans or villages. They are not allowed to take a bride from the village of their mother. Marriage is allowed with the widow of the elder brother and with the younger sister of a dead wife. A single spouse is normal, although additional spouses are permitted in cases of infertility. A gift is given for a dowry. Parents arrange marriages and engagement takes place at an early age. The marriage is at the home of the bride and is performed by a Muslim priest. Divorce is allowed and divorcees are allowed to re-marry.
Mewati have traditional clan assemblies who judge and make decisions. Punishments are given by fines or excommunications.
Mewati are considered a Muslim people, although they have had a mixed history of Islam and Hinduism. Attempts to return Mewati people to Hinduism again have failed.
What Are Their Needs?
They go on pilgrimages to Muslim shrines and take part in Muslim festivals. They visit and do homage at the tombs of their dead saints. They pray for their wishes to come about by the intercession of these saints. Under the leading of the Tablighi Movement (an Islamic reform movement), they stopped taking part in Hindu festivals and have become devout Muslims. They perform circumcision and bury the dead in their own cemeteries.
The most important need of Mewati people is to understand that their good works and worship of false gods will never pay the penalty for their sins, and that Almighty Creator God has made the provision for them.
Bible resources, written, audio, and visual exist in Urdu, the language spoken by Mewati people, however they are very resistant to exposure to them within their strict Muslim traditions, consequently they remain unreached with the gospel.
* Pray that Mewati people will see that their old systems of ethics and religio are not working, and that their only hope is in Jesus Christ.
* Pray that intercessors worldwide will regularly pray for salvation of Mewati people.
* Pray for servants to reach them with the gospel.
* Pray that many Mewati people who are reached will disciple others until this people group knows that Jesus Christ is Lord.