Introduction / History
The Thathera community claims that they are descendants of Haihay kings that reigned during the Middle Ages. They claim royalty in their blood, but their jobs have always had to do with being artisans, especially metal work. They have 47 clans, which is fairly large even by South Asian standards. Though most are Hindu, some converted to Islam hundreds of years ago during invasions. Today there is a small Muslim community among the Thathera people.
Where are they located?
The Muslim Thathera people live either in Pakistan or India’s Punjab state.
What are their lives like?
Most of the Thathera people produce and repair metal household utensils. They work with brass, bronze, aluminum, and copper goods. A smaller number of them are either farmers or jewelers.
What are their beliefs?
The Thathera 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 Thathera 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 Thathera 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 his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Muslim Thathera people in both India and Pakistan.
* Pray for a movement of Thathera households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive Muslim Thathera people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Muslim Thathera people in India and Pakistan.
Text source: Keith Carey