Introduction / History
One of the Harni descendants was Najaf Khan, a Pashtun military leader who had eight sons. The sons married Rajput women, and became Rajputs. They left their homeland either after a dispute or a famine and became mercenaries of Rai Kalla Khan. They destroyed villages for him then were banished from their land.
In the 19th century they appealed to the colonial British to have their land re-established, but the British gave them a wasteland instead. They began a life of crime, especially burglary. They have had a reputation as clever burglars ever since. Some of their women would work as domestic servants for wealthy clients, then burglarize the home. Crime was attributed to them, even if they were not guilty. They had lost trust with other Indian communities, and this can haunt them even today.
Where are they located?
Most of the Muslim Harni people live in Pakistan, but a smaller number live in Jammu and Kashmir.
What are their lives like?
The Harni people probably struggle with their traditional bad reputation that can hamper their ability to move forward socially and economically. This can make it difficult for them to earn an honest living.
What are their beliefs?
The Harni 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 Harni people are noted for visiting shrines to Muslim saints whom they believe will intercede for them and help them gain favor with Allah.
What are their needs?
The Harni people need to find ways to earn a good, constructive living. They need to be able to support their families.
Pray for the Harni culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Harni family and community leaders in India and Pakistan to seek His face and enjoy His blessings.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Harni people.
Pray that soon the Harni people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the Savior.
ReferencesView Harni in all countries.