Introduction / History
The Nalband were originally Hindu blacksmiths in north India. Some of these tradesmen converted to Sunni Islam during the Mughal period. Nalband means "maker of horseshoes." At the time of the Partition in 1947 many Nalband migrated to Pakistan. With the reduction of their traditional occupation, many of the Nalband have become landless agricultural workers and small business persons. Some continue their trade of metalworker to produce swords, knives and other items of iron and steel.
The main language of the Nalband is Urdu. The Nalband also speak other regional languages.
Where are they located?
Most Nalband today live in the Indian state of Bihar. Others live in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. There are a small number in Bangladesh.
What are their lives like?
The Nalband, as Muslims, often marry outside of their caste or clan with other Saifi Muslims. All that is necessary is that the potential spouse be a Muslim. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Local imams officiate at weddings. Sons inherit property upon the death of the father. Monogamy is the general rule among the Nalband although having more than one wife is permitted.
The Nalband eat meat except for pork. Their main foods are rice, wheat, lentils and seasonal vegetables.
What are their beliefs?
The Nalband are Sunni Muslims, the largest group within Islam. They follow the teaching of the Koran and the prophet Muhammad. They pray five times a day facing Mecca. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours), and Muslims usually give zakat (charity) on the occasion. Eid Al-Adha, the feast of the sacrifice, is celebrated on the tenth day the twelfth month and lasts for four days, during which Muslims usually slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat to family, friends, and the poor.
What are their needs?
The Nalband need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. They need to see the love and mercy of Christ lived out before them by serious Christ followers. They could use help in educating their children and obtaining job training so that they can make a decent living. The Nalband need to realize that the teachings of Muhammad will not save them from their sins; they need a sinless savior.
* Pray that the Lord leads the Nalband to investigate the claims of Isa, the Arabic name for Jesus.
* Pray that the Nalband come to see that Isa is much more than a human prophet and that He is the Savior of all.
* Pray God leads Indian Muslim Background Believers in Christ to reach out and share the gospel with the Nalband.
* Pray a disciple-making Movement will soon flourish among the Nalband people in Bangladesh.
Text source: Keith Carey