Muhamasheen, Akhdam in Libya

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Muhamasheen, Akhdam
Country: Libya
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 127,000
World Population: 2,175,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Libyan
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.50 %
Evangelicals: 0.10 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Akhdam are descendants of Ethiopian soldiers in the sixth century who moved into the Middle East intending to conquer. Unsuccessful, they were expelled at the start of the Islamic era in the seventh century. Those who stayed behind became slaves, hence their name, Akhdam. There are Muhamaseen people in Libya, Kuwait and Qatar. Most live in Yemen.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They live in fierce poverty, discriminated against and helped by only a handful. Many of the men work as street sweepers when they can find work. The women and children collect cans and bottles for income or beg. Almost none of the children attend school. Most of the Akhdam have internalized their low status and do not try to better themselves, find real jobs or seek an education. Much of their meager income goes to buy qat. There is no justice for them, nor education for their children.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Muhamaseen 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. 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.

What Are Their Needs?

Few if any from this Muslim people group will ever hear that the only way to be in fellowship with God is through the blood of Jesus Christ. They depend on the teachings of the Koran and works righteousness.

Prayer Points

Pray for many Akhdam families to be blessed spiritually and financially as they allow Christ to transform their community. Pray for signs and wonders to confirm His word, leading Muhamaseen families to give their lives to the King of kings. Pray for workers. Pray for spiritual hunger.

Text Source:   Joshua Project