Introduction / History
The Muslim Rajput Ponwar or Panwar live in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Rajput means "son of a ruler" in Sanskrit. Ponwar means "descendants of the Paramara" dynasty. This middle-sized kingdom flourished in the late medieval period in north central India and Pakistan. All Rajput Ponwar were originally Hindus. With the coming of the Muslim sultanates, some Ponwar converted to Islam for spiritual and political reasons. They converted to Islam by clans not as individuals.
The Ponwar take pride in their warrior history. The British recruited them as soldiers during the colonial period. The Ponwar became landholders of large estates. Some Rajput Ponwar are wealthy landowners who have other castes work their land. Some are less wealthy and till the soil themselves. Their military tradition continues in the Pakistani Army. They hold positions of leadership in government.
The primary languages of the Pakistani Ponwar are Western Punjabi and Urdu. They also speak other regional Pakistani languages.
Where are they located?
The Muslim Ponwar live in the Pakistani states of Punjab and Sindh.
What are their lives like?
The Rajput Ponwar enjoy a high status in Pakistani society. They encourage their sons to pursue higher education. As Muslims, their women are often secluded in the home. When the women go out, they wear very modest clothing that covers their heads and bodies. Families arrange marriages within the Rajput caste but not within the near clan members. The ancient practice of child marriage is no longer followed. Sons inherit property. They are non-vegetarians but as Muslims they do not eat pork.
What are their beliefs?
The Rajput Ponwar lives revolve around the five daily prayers. They attend services at their local mosque on Fridays where they mingle with other groups of Muslims.
What are their needs?
The Muslim Ponwar need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They must see that Isa or Jesus is much more than a prophet and that only through Isa can their sins be forgiven.
Pray the Lord sends Christians to befriend the Rajput Ponwar and show them the love and mercy of God.
Pray that Rajputs living outside of Pakistan would become Christians and return to Pakistan to share the gospel with their people.
Pray that the Holy Spirit leads many Rajputs to Christ and that growing
churches are planted among them.
Text source: David Kugel