Introduction / History
The Sainis have their origins with royal Rajputs families of old. The pattern for Rajput communities like the Sainis is that they were notable military men whom in times of peace would settle down on landed estates and rule as petty kings. Most remain Hindu even to this day, though a sizeable number converted to Sikhism. A small number became Muslims.
Where are they located?
Muslim Saini people are in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. A smaller number are in Pakistan. These Muslims are greatly outnumbered by the Saini people who remained Hindu or converted to Sikhism.
What are their lives like?
Muslim Saini people speak in the languages of the states where they live. The main work of Saini people is crop farming, and management of farm animals. Most are landowners like their ancestors. More are now becoming shopkeepers while others have small manufacturing businesses or government jobs. Among Muslim Saini people are notable scientists and professors. Saini people enjoy a high literacy level, the product of their own education organizations.
Muslim Saini marry only within their social boundaries. They marry among clans and between villages. Adult marriages with one spouse through agreement by discussion is the usual custom. They allow for an additional spouse if the wife cannot have children. Divorce does not happen often, but it is allowed. Divorcees and the widowed are allowed to remarry.
What are their beliefs?
Muslim Saini people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, spoken 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.
In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Saini 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. The often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
What are their needs?
Saini people, be they Hindu or Muslim, need to put their faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can bless them with abundant life and eternal salvation from sin and death.
* Pray for families of Saini believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
* Pray for a chain reaction of Saini families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
* Pray for grace and truth expanding into the entire Saini society as all believers learn to love others.
* Pray that churches and believers will bless their entire people group in such a way that God’s love will change the Muslim Saini people like yeast changes dough.
Text source: Keith Carey