Khatri (Muslim traditions) in India

Khatri (Muslim traditions)
Photo Source:  Naveed Akhtar 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Khatri (Muslim traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 59,000
World Population: 1,240,000
Primary Language: Gujarati
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
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 Khatri are a trading and business caste, which originated in Punjab. Their name comes from the Sanskrit word "Kshatriya" which is the second of the four castes of Hinduism. In the early 19th century, they almost had a monopoly on trade in Punjab and Afghanistan. During the British times, they were the chief civil administrators.

Traditionally, they specialized in trading in cloth but now have expanded to spectacles, flour grinding mills, grain shops and work as painters and tailors. Many members belong to the middle class and have entered teaching and civil service professions. They are found largely in Punjab of India and Pakistan, but they are little known outside Punjab. They are one of the most advanced and progressive communities in India and value education. They will only eat food cooked by Brahmins or caste members.

Saraswat Brahmins and Khatris still eat together giving credence to this story. Another more recent legend, has Khatris serving as soldiers in the Dakshin wars over a thousand years ago. Many died in the war and out of pity the council of the most respected Khatri in Delhi proposed widow remarriage. The clan headmen Lallu and Jaghdar opposed the concept and the council dissolved without a decision. The emperor dismissed Khatri soldiers from military service and asked them to take up being Dalals (brokers). They proved to be excellent soldiers and governors of many states.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Men and women marry within the community. Marriage is between adults. The elders of the family negotiate marriage alliance and both families exchange gifts.

Divorce is traditionally not allowed, but due to modernization, divorce is allowed under extreme maladjustment. Both nuclear and extended family types are found. The elders command respect and authority while the younger members receive love and affection from elders. Khatri women have a reputation for outstanding beauty. Women in the north generally wear salwar-khameez.

They are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Khatris take their religion seriously. They celebrate traditional Muslim, Hindu and Sikh festivals and fasts depending on their religious community. Muslims will go to Masjid and for Haj pilgrimage. Sikhism was founded by Khatris and some of their well known leaders, Guru Nanak and Guru Govind, were Khatris.

What Are Their Needs?

Like all other peoples of the world, Muslim Khatris needs the blessings and guidance that only Jesus Christ can offer.

Prayer Points

Ask God to raise up Muslim Khatris who are more desirous to know the truth than to stay in good standing with their neighbors.

Ask God to send loving, committed workers to the Khatris in the near future.

Pray the Muslim Khatris would no longer be hidden away from the influence of Christ.

Pray for dreams and visions of the risen Christ to affect Khatri elders and leaders.

Text Source:   Joshua Project