Shidi (Siddi) in Pakistan

Shidi (Siddi)
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Shidi (Siddi)
Country: Pakistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,700
World Population: 4,700
Primary Language: Balochi, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Pakistan’s Shidi people also go by Siddi and Sheedi. They are an African diaspora group that lives throughout Pakistan, but mainly in the western Balochistan province. Many years ago, they were brought from Southeastern Africa as slaves or soldiers by Portuguese and British colonialists. They are most likely to be found in Balochistan’s coastal area of Makran and Karachi.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Shidi have a unique culture that blends African and South Asian elements. Their music is heavily influenced by African drum music, but they also incorporate Pakistani instruments.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Shidi people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the 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 Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.

In most of the Muslim world, common 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 they live on a daily basis. For that reason, some Muslims appease spirits using charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces. More orthodox Muslims consider these practices heretical and un-Islamic.

What Are Their Needs?

The Shidi are often marginalized and excluded from Pakistani society. They are trying to overcome that by preserving their unique cultural ways and to address injustice.

Prayer Points

Pray for Shidi culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among their family and community leaders to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.

Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Shidi people.

Pray that soon the Shidi people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the savior.

Text Source:   Joshua Project