Malay in Comoros

Malay
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Faiz Zaki - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Malay
Country: Comoros
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,100
World Population: 17,557,300
Primary Language: Malay
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.90 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Malay
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Hundreds of years ago, Malays came to the Comoro Islands from Malaysia. They came, they worked hard, they traded. Some grew spices so people all over the world could enjoy tasty food. Some Malays came as traders and merchants, but others came as slaves to do the hardest work with almost no benefit.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Malay Muslims have risen from their humble beginnings to become business leaders in the Comoros. Because of their high status and ability to gain wealth, they are among the Malay Diaspora that will not be likely to return to Malaysia. In general, courtesy is a very important aspect of Malay society. Most of their groups are loosely structured, their commitments are not strong, and loyalty to a group is not as important as being courteous. The "pure Malay" is considered to be kind towards women, children and animals; introspective, polite, slow to speak, passive, and indolent. Of course, there are many variations of what a "true Malay" is, depending on the countries in which they now live. Cleanliness is typically a feature of most Malay homes. As Muslims, they generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol. Most Malay families consist of a husband, his wife, and their children. In Malay society, marriage is expected of every person. According to Islamic law, a man may have as many as four wives. However, most marriages are monogamous (having only one wife). Although many marriages are arranged, the consent of both parties is required. There are no descent or kinship groups among the Malay.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Islam was brought to Malaysia by Arabic and Indian traders many centuries ago, and the Malay people have come to embrace and ardently follow the Islamic faith. All Malay people are considered Islamic though levels of devotion to the religion are varied. Even those who half-heartedly follow Islam participate in the fasting month, and the Malay people of affluence will go on the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once if not many times during their lifetime. The Malay have early roots in Hinduism and traces of this can still be seen in certain aspects of their culture such as weddings. For instance, the bride and groom sit upon a platform for hours for the guests to admire like they do in Hindu weddings. A more important divergence from Islam is the use of the bomoh, a witchdoctor. Although Islam forbids the use of such a person some will seek the services of a bomoh when they are experiencing a difficult situation or when they believe they need some magic. Also, they use bomohs for honorable or ignoble purposes. Furthermore, they consult bomohs in order to receive a blessing or a cure; or, on the other hand, in order to curse someone or get revenge.

What Are Their Needs?

Although tools such as the Bible, evangelistic literature, the JESUS Film, and Christian broadcasts are available in the Malay language, few have accepted Jesus as Savior. The Malay living in Western countries have freedom of religion. Christ followers in these countries must seize the opportunity to share Christ with the Malay. There is a need for increased intercession and missionary efforts to see the Malay reached with the gospel. Perhaps Christian teachers and businessmen will have the most opportunities to share the love of Jesus with them.

Prayer Points

*Pray for spiritual hunger among Malay Muslims in the Comoro Islands that will lead them to seek and find the eternal blessings of Jesus Christ.*Pray for believers who are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit to go to them and share Christ until He is exalted among Malay Muslim families.*Pray for a movement to Christ among Malay Muslims this decade.

Text Source:   Joshua Project