Bengali Muslim Shaikh in Bangladesh


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Subgroups: 2

Subgroup Name Population
Karigar 167,000
Bej 300

Introduction / History

The term Shaikh is used here for a sociocultural group that originated with Arab settlers in South Asia which now includes many subgroups, some of which intermarry in Bangladesh with non-Shaikh Bengali Muslims and some of which don't.

Islam arrived in the area now known as Pakistan in 711 AD when a Muslim Arab army conquered the northwestern part of the Indus Valley from Jammu and Kashmir to the Arabian Sea. Technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and sufis flocked from the rest of the Arab and Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in South Asia, and settled permanently.

The descendants of these Arabs usually go by the title of Shaikh and are also known in Pakistan as Muslim Khatri. The Shaikhs of Pakistan, however, claim pre-islamic ancestry. They are a sub-group of the Zamindar group or qoum, traditionally associated with farming, which is one of the two groups making up the Pakistani Punjabis (the other group is the Moeens group or quom, who are traditionally artisans). Shaikh is also a term that is usually attributed to the leaders or elders of Arabian social groups. Other variants of this term are Sheik, Shaykh, Shaikh, Cheikh, Šeih, Šejh, Seyh.

After the advent of Islam in South Asia, some high caste (Brahmins, Muslim Rajputs and Khatris) converted to Islam in the Punjab region and adopted this title. They are known as Punjabi Shaikh (Punjabi). The majority of the Punjabi Shaikhs are urbanized and detached from their traditional agricultural ancestry. However, a few families also cultivate their own land in the western districts of Punjab. The main professions of the urban Punjabi Shaikhs are business and public service, and are stereotyped for their reputation for business acumen. The Khawaja Shaikh, with their sub-division the Chiniotis and the Qanungoh Shaikh are two such communities.

The Sikh Shaikhs living in villages at the Indian border adjoining Pakistan were remnants of the Shaihks who chose to stay after the independence of of Pakistan in 1947, embracing Sikhism as their religion. They are famous for their lori and dhool, a traditional Indian drum.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Shaikhs are not bound by one particular profession. The Shaikh can be broadly grouped into five communities. Three of these communities are the Siddiks, Farukis and Abbasi who are often descendents of Arab immigrants. The other two are the Chistis and Kuraishis communities who tend to be mainly from converts to Islam. Consequently, the Shaikhs profess Islam and have both Sunni and Shia traditions among them. In Nepal they speak Nepali and either Urdu, Bhojpuri or Maithili in their communities. They are not vegetarian and their common food is rice, mutton and vegetables. Common surnames are Mondal, Siddiqui, Usmani, Faroqui and Sheikh.


What Are Their Needs?

There has been much ministry activity among the Shaikh in India but few works in Nepal. Pray that this largest group of Nepali Muslims will find the truth of the Prophet Isa! There is a lot of potential for gospel growth within the Shaikh community because of relatively few social divisions.


Prayer Points

Scripture Prayers for the Bengali Muslim Shaikh in Bangladesh.


References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi_Shaikh


Profile Source:   Toni Tagimacruz  

The Waiting World - The Bengali
Source:  The Waiting World      Download

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-10-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-08-19
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-10-01
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-10-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-10-08
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-17
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-04-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2019-05-27
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-07-29
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-09-19
People Name General Shaikh
People Name in Country Bengali Muslim Shaikh
Pronunciation shayk
Population this Country 130,310,000
Population all Countries 214,261,000
Total Countries 9
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 2606
Alternate Names Bengali Muslim (in Bangladesh); Faraji; Jhiwar; Shaik; Sheikh; Shekhzade; शैख़
People ID 18084
ROP3 Code 113585
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 7
Largest States
Dhaka
46,700,000
Chittagong
28,328,000
Rajshahi
18,094,000
Rangpur
14,869,000
Khulna
14,059,000
Barisal
7,917,000
Sylhet
343,000
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 7
  Dhaka 46,700,000
  Chittagong 28,328,000
  Rajshahi 18,094,000
  Rangpur 14,869,000
  Khulna 14,059,000
  Barisal 7,917,000
  Sylhet 343,000
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Bengali (124,490,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
Chittagonian
9,667,000
Urdu
1,235,000
Sylheti
143,000
Kok Borok
6,700
Bhojpuri
1,600
Punjabi, Western
200
Marwari
60
Primary Language Bengali (124,490,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
  Chittagonian 9,667,000
  Urdu 1,235,000
  Sylheti 143,000
  Kok Borok 6,700
  Bhojpuri 1,600
  Punjabi, Western 200
  Marwari 60
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime
Film / Video Rivka video
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
General Biblical answers to your questions
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Altaf Shaikh - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Video Source The Waiting World
Profile Source Toni Tagimacruz  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more