Introduction / History
Most Saryara people of India are Hindus by faith. A small group of the Saryara converted to Islam during the days of the Muslim based Mughal Empire. The Saryara claim Rajput status. Yet at the same time they have been granted a Scheduled Caste designation. This allows them to obtain public jobs and special university admission.
The primary language of the Muslim Saryara is Kashmiri. Many also speak Urdu, which allows them to communicate with millions of Indians and Pakistani.
Where are they located?
Unlike their Hindu counterpart, the Muslim Saryara live in both Pakistan and India. Most live in Jammu and Kashmir, in northern India.
What are their lives like?
The Saryara were traditionally a community of agricultural laborers, and many are still involved in their traditional occupation. Many more are now employed in the construction industry.
The Muslim Saryara marry within their group but not within their particular clan. Families arrange marriages. A man may have up to four wives if he can support them.
Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. Most Saryara live in multi-caste villages in their own sections.
The main foods of the Saryara are wheat, lentils, vegetables, maize and dairy products. As Muslims, they will not eat pork.
What are their beliefs?
Muslim Saryara people are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. They believe that the One, 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.
What are their needs?
The Saryara need to see people living out their faith in Christ in practical ways. They need access to modern medicine. Illiteracy is high among Saryara women. The Saryara would benefit by learning new job skills. Most of all, the Muslim Saryara need to hear and respond to the message of Isa or Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and get them right with the one, true God.
Pray for networks of believing Saryara families and fellowships that will throw the doors open for others to follow Jesus.
Pray for the Lord to bless the families among the Saryara people with his presence and mercy.
Pray for believers among this people group to disciple others who will disciple still others.
Pray for Bible believing fellowships and churches among the Saryara people.
ReferencesView Saryara (Muslim traditions) in all countries.