Introduction / History
The Bayad are a small indigenous group of Sunni Muslims who live in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Most live in or near to a town in Gujarat named Bayad. The Bayad were originally Rajput Hindus. They converted to Islam during the time of the Muslim conquest of west India. The Bayad first lived in Rajastan and moved to Gujarat about 500 years ago. During the Partition of 1947 many Bayad moved to Pakistan and are settled in the districts of Sanghar and Badn.
The primary occupation of the Bayad men was military service in the army of the princely state of Kutch. Most of the men who do not join the military work in agriculture. The men along with many women work on small to medium size farms which they own.
The primary language of the Bayad is Kacchi. Many Bayad also speak Gujarati so they can communicate with others. Few Christian resources exist in Kacchi while many are available in Gujarati.
Where are they located?
The Bayad people live in India's western state of Gujarat near the towns of Bayad and Ansar.
What are their lives like?
The Bayad tend to marry within their group but sometimes they will marry someone within the larger Muslim Samma peoples.
The Bayad earn their living by selling their crops and milk from their goats, buffalo and cattle. A caste council promotes their interests and settles any legal disputes within the community. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Sons inherit property with the eldest son becoming the head of the family upon his father's death. Most marriages are to one spouse even though a Muslim man can have up to four wives if he can afford them. The Bayad eat meat except for pork. Their main foods are rice, wheat, vegetables and dairy products.
What are their beliefs?
The Bayad 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 Bayad 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 Bayad would benefit by learning new job skills. Most Bayad have access to modern medicine but not all. The Bayad need most of all to hear and understand the message of Isa, Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and get them right with the one, true God.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Bayad 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 Bayad people.
Pray that soon the Bayad people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the Savior.
ReferencesView Bayad in all countries.