Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
Biswas is both a surname and a title in Bangladesh, and the title is very flattering. It means "reliable," "trustworthy" or "faith." This honorable title was given to them by Muslim rulers in a time that predates British rule. Many of them were administrators at that time.
What are their lives like?
Today there is a long list of famous and prominent people in Bangladesh with the surname of Biswas.
What are their beliefs?
The Biswas 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 that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will. In most of the Muslim world, 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 we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
What are their needs?
Pride in their past can easily keep many from seeing that they need a Savior, especially since Islam does not point to a savior. It will take much prayer before the Biswas community is ready to accept that they need a sinless Savior. Before anyone attempts to reach out to them, they should have a strong prayer covering.
Prayer PointsView Biswas (Muslim traditions) in all countries.
Pray for the Lord to orchestrate efforts to reach Biswas families. Pray for the Holy Spirit to raise up Biswas family leaders who will open the door to believers, taking Christ to their families and clans. Pray for a massive movement to Christ among the Biswas people that will affect other communities in Bangladesh. Pray for the Lord to bring Biswas families to himself by blessing them abundantly.