Introduction / History
Ansari is Arabic and is derived from Ansar (also Arabic) which has a literal meaning of "those who support". It is considered to be primarily a nisbat which is a second or suffix name used as a specifier. The Ansar community originated from the Medinan people who assisted the prophet Muhammed as he migrated from Mecca to Medina. These people later became his emissaries and soldiers.
Where Are they Located?
The Ansari people live in the countries in South Asia including a small number in Sri Lanka.
What Are Their Lives Like?
They are predominately artisans by trade and are mostly poor and illiterate. The weaving of silk is a common trade skill of these people. Although traditionally weavers and textile sellers, the Ansaris are now involved in a wide range of small business in towns like Janakpur or Lumbini. Predominately in the Maithili language, though also in Nepali or Bhojpuri, these textile artisans trade with Darzi tailors and other Muslim merchants.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Ansaris are not vegetarian and widely accepting of drink and food from other communities. They tend, however, to be rather clannish and guarded about marriage within the group. Bangles and beads are commonly worn, and glass bangles are a symbol of married women in some communities.
The Ansaris are Muslim who practice Islamic laws for life and living, though folk Islam practices are also common among them. There are almost no followers of Christ among the Ansaris.
What Are Their Needs?
The friendliness of the Ansaris can open doors for believers to develop closeness and opportunities to share the gospel. In recent years numerous teams have begun working in north India among the Ansaris but almost no work has begun in Nepal or Sri Lanka.
* Scripture Prayers for the Ansari in Sri Lanka.
* Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Ansari people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
* Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
* Pray for the spiritual lives of the Ansari people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
* Pray for the lives and culture of the Ansari people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.