Introduction / History
The Bahna or Behana or Dhunia are a people who live in Pakistan and India. Their name comes a word for "seed." Their traditional occupation was separating the seeds from raw cotton. The Bahna believe they originally came from Persia or Afghanistan. With the coming of the modern technology, the Bahna have gone into different jobs like selling cotton fabric, agriculture, manufacturing and trade. The Bahna were originally all Hindus. Some Bahna became Muslims during the time of the Delhi Sultanate and Moghul Empire. Many of them left India and moved to Pakistan in 1947. Most of the Bahna girls receive little formal education while the boys pursue more schooling. The primary language of the Bahna is Urdu.
Where are they located?
The vast majority of the Muslim Bahna of Pakistan live in the province of Sindh. Some also reside in Punjab.
What are their lives like?
The Bahna marry within their community often their cousins. One spouse is the general rule while having more than one wife is legal. The sons inherit their father's property. Their dead are buried.
The Bahna are not vegetarians but as Muslims do not eat pork. Their main foods are rice, wheat, lentils, vegetables and fruit. Most Bahna live in villages with other castes.
What are their beliefs?
The Bahna people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They attempt to obey the teachings of the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad. They believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the Ramadan fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
What are their needs?
The Muslim Bahna need to hear the good news about Isa or Jesus in a way they can understand. They need to see the love and grace of Christ lived out before them in practical ways. Teachers can come and help Bahna women and girls learn the basics of reading and writing. Workers can help the Bahna gain access to clean water and electricity.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to work powerfully through those believers ministering to the Bahna people.
* Pray for the tiny number of Bahna believers in India to be strengthened in the faith and led by God to share their faith with their people in Pakistan.
* Pray for movements to Jesus to sweep through Bahna families, permeating the group from within.
Text source: David Kugel