Introduction / History
The Mallah are a traditional boatmen caste. 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 north India. In Pakistan, many have seen their traditional areas of habitation washed away by the sea. An important subsidiary occupation is animal husbandry, with the Mallaah raising cattle. The Mallaah community consists of a number of clans, referred to as nukh, the largest Mallaah nukh being the Dablo.
Most Mallah individuals live in India, but there are also sizable communities in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
What are their lives like?
Mallah people are usually poor and often illiterate. They are involved in boating and some fishing and sometimes in farming. They are strict about marrying within their own caste. The women are not often seen in public, although at times in Hindu pilgrimage areas such as Allahabad or Benares, you will see children and women of this caste selling flowers and incense for river worship purposes.
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?
They have lacks in literacy, education, health, family planning, and economic advancement. All Mallah people need the chance to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and to become part of his holy family.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Mallah families and community leaders to seek His face and enjoy His blessings.
Pray for the Lord to raise up workers who will be led to nurture disciple making movement within Mallah communities througout South Asia.
Pray that soon Mallah people will have joy and faith that will be contagious; giving their neighbors a desire to follow Christ.
ReferencesView Mallah (Muslim traditions) in all countries.