Izarguien in Western Sahara

Izarguien
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2022
Imeduard - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Izarguien
Country: Western Sahara
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 34,000
World Population: 52,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Hassaniyya
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Berber-Shilha
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Izarguien are Saharan Arabs, a sub-group of the Tekna tribe. The Tekna is a tribal confederation of Berber and Arab origins in southern Morocco and parts of northern Western Sahara. The Tekna tribes speak the Hassaniya Arabic and Berber Tamazight languages. Their traditional lifestyle was partly nomadic, based on camel and goat herding, and partly sedentary, controlling important routes of the Saharan caravan trade.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Izarguien people in Western Sahara are in a state of transition. Their nomadic past is in jeopardy, but they do not have a clear path before them. What will be their livelihood in the future? Tight knit clans dominate their social lives. Their family structure is patriarchal; inheritance and most of the decision-making power comes from the father’s side of each family. It would be very dangerous for an Izarguien to become a follower of Jesus Christ; such a person would probably be ostracized by his clan, leaving them isolated and vulnerable.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Izarguien 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.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Izarguien tribe to be able to provide adequately for their needs. Pray for the widow, the orphan and the elderly to have their needs met. Pray these people will be able to adjust to the changing requirements of the modern era. Pray Izarguien believers will be firmly grounded on the truths of Scripture, not mixing the grace offered through Christ with a religion of good works. Pray they will understand the priority of living a life obedient to Christ as an expression of thanksgiving.

Text Source:   Joshua Project