Introduction / History
The Rajbansi people are related to the ancient Koch Dynasty; so much so that they are often called the Koch people even today. The Koch Dynasty was in what is today northeastern India.
Muslim invaders began conquering the Hindu regions of what is now Bangladesh in the twelfth century. When many of the Bengali tribes were overrun in 1600-1700 A.D. by Muslims, they took refuge in the hills. They later returned and settled in the adjoining plains where most have continued to live. A small number of the Rajbansi people converted to Islam in the Bengali speaking regions of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Where are they located?
Muslim Rajbansi people live in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
What are their lives like?
Like many other communities in India, the Rajbansi people are farmers today, though they are becoming increasingly urban. Their homes tend to be rectangular with an inside area where they grow betel nut and fruit trees. This pattern helps them protect themselves against wild animals. It also provides a way to enjoy fresh air, and the chance to grow their own gardens without their food being stolen.
Music is an important part of Rajbansi culture. They enjoy stringed instruments like the dotora, gongs, bells, and wind instruments. An excellent way to reach them for Christ would be through using their form of music for worship tunes.
What are their beliefs?
Muslim Rajbansi 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 Rajbansi 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 Rajbansi 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 the Rajbansi 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 Muslim Rajbansi family and community leaders 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 Rajbansi people.
Pray that soon the Rajbansi people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the Savior.
ReferencesView Rajbansi (Muslim traditions) in all countries.