South Asian, Bengali-speaking in United Arab Emirates

South Asian, Bengali-speaking
Photo Source:  COMIBAM / Sepal 
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People Name: South Asian, Bengali-speaking
Country: United Arab Emirates
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 77,000
World Population: 1,900,600
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Bengali are considered to be the original inhabitants of the Bengal region of southwest Asia. This territory is divided politically between Bangladesh and West Bengal, a state in India. Bengali is the native language spoken by most of the groups in this region. Most of the Bengali diaspora are from Bangladesh, and they are commonly called Bangladeshis.
Although the Bengalis are primarily classified according to language, their culture remains very diversified. In general, the Bengalis are a proud people, highly ambitious, and always striving for excellence. Although outside influences are being incorporated into their culture, the Bengalis remain very proud of their cultural heritage. They are noted in South Asia for their great literature.
While the vast majority of Bengalis live in Bangladesh and northeast India, there are significant communities in a number of other countries and other parts of India as well. There are Bengali diaspora communities in Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Myanmar, Singapore, and Japan.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Though South Asian migrants are common in the UAE, the Bengalis are most prevalent. There are a large number of migrant workers from Bangladesh. They mainly live in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These Bengalis have their own school so their children can continue to learn their parent's language and culture. Most marriages in Bengali society are arranged, so the Bengalis in the UAE have their own matrimonial website in hopes of marrying someone from the same language and community. Inheritance is governed by the dayabhaga system of customary law. Under such a system, a man has sole rites in all ancestral property. Before he dies, he may then pass it on to his survivors any way he chooses.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Bengali 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. 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 these spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bengali are one of the most significant people groups in South Asia, and their diaspora is felt around the world. Although there have been reports of real progress among the Muslims in Bangladesh, there is a great need for others to reach the Bengalis in Muslim countries in the Middle East like the UAE.
They are trying to earn enough money to support families in Bangladesh.

Prayer Points

Pray for the physical and spiritual needs of the Bengalis to be met wherever they live.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Bengali-speaking communities all over the world so that they will hunger for truth and righteousness.
Pray for Bengali Muslims in the UAE to have the chance to hear and respond to Jesus Christ.
Pray for a Disciple Making Movement among Bengalis wherever they live.

Text Source:   Joshua Project