Introduction / History
The Mallah are the traditional boatmen caste and ethnic group. The word mallaah is said to come from an Arabic word which means "navigation on the sea" or "in the air." They are related to the Kewat community, who form the bulk of the boatmen class of northern India. In Pakistan, many have seen their traditional areas of habitation washed away by the sea.
Where are they located?
There are Muslim Mallah communities in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Their largest community is in Pakistan.
What are their lives like?
Most are boatmen, but an important subsidiary occupation is animal husbandry, especially cattle. The Mallaah community consists of a number of clans, referred to as nukh, the largest Mallaah nukh being the Dablo.
What are their beliefs?
Muslims like the Mallahs believe that Allah is the all-powerful God of creation. He is the center of their dedication, though most, sadly, also put their trust in the power of charms and amulets. Islam is based on the teachings of Mohammed, who founded Islam in the seventh century in what is now Saudi Arabia. They believe that a good Muslim will pray facing Mecca five times a day, give alms to the poor, fast during the month of Ramadan, and go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.
What are their needs?
The Mallah people in Bangladesh have very little opportunity to hear about Christ's redemption of sinners, because there are so few believers in that country.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Mallah people teachable and understanding hearts.
Pray for a strong movement of the Holy Spirit that will bring entire Mallah families into a rich experience of God's blessing.
Pray for Mallah families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness, and to understand the adequacy of Christ's work on the cross.
Pray for teams of believers to do sustained, focused prayer for the Lord to open the hearts of Mallah family leaders to experience God's blessing through a movement of family-based discovery Bible studies.
ReferencesView Mallah (Muslim traditions) in all countries.