Introduction / History
The word sila means stone and they do stone work. Traditionally they were stone masons and builders. The Silawats speak the Marwari form of Rajasthani. Many also speak Urdu, the trade language of Pakistan, which is also commonly spoken by Muslims in India. Though there are Christian resources in their languages, few believers if any have tried to reach them for Christ.
Where are they located?
Muslim Silawat people live in Pakistan, and also in India’s western states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
What are their lives like?
Today the Silawat people are usually either farmers or stone masons. They send their children to school but they have a low literacy level, so the gospel will need to be given in oral form. They do not intermarry with other communities.
What are their beliefs?
Muslim Silawat 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 Silawat 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?
The Silawat 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 workers to go to the Silawat people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their savior.
* Pray for networks of believing families and fellowships that will throw the doors open for others to follow Jesus.
* Pray for the Lord to bless the families among the Silawat people with his presence and mercy.
* Pray for believers among this people group to disciple others who will disciple still others.
* Pray for Bible believing fellowships and churches among the Silawat people.
Text source: Keith Carey