Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Taga are often referred to as the Tyagi people. They might have been Brahmins at one time but have lost their priestly status. Some are Hindu, others are Muslim. As one might expect, there is very little contact between the two religious communities.
Most of the Taga living in India live in Uttar Pradesh, the home of Hinduism, where only one in 1,000 professes Christ. There is a smaller Muslim Taga community in Pakistan.
What are their lives like?
Farming is the main vocation of the Taga people. Property is divided equally among sons.
Tyaga is often used as a surname. They have two sub-groups, Dasa (or Daswan) and Bisa (or Biswan). The Dasa allow widows to re-marry, and the Bisa forbid it. Marriages generally occur only within the Dasa and Bisa sub-groups. Each sub-group includes a number of clans, or gotras.
What are their beliefs?
The people 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?
The Taga people need to put their hope in the King of kings, realizing that he is the one who gives them worth and dignity.
Please pray the Lord will open the eyes of the Muslim Taga so they will see Jesus (or Isa, as he is known in the Koran) as he truly is, the only way to salvation.
Pray that indigenous evangelists and church planters working in Uttar Pradesh will be made aware of the Muslim Taga people.
Pray that Taga believes will be devoted to one another in brotherly love, honoring one another above themselves, not lacking in spiritual fervor, serving the Lord joyfully.
ReferencesView Taga (Muslim traditions) in all countries.