Introduction / History
The Muslim Bhangi, a Scheduled Tribal group in Nepal, are traditionally associated with scavenging, sweeping, basket-making, and cleaning latrines. They are among the lowest caste of Dalits or Untouchables in India. In the colonial period they were brought into urban areas to perform roles that other castes would not do. They take care of dead animals and human corpses. In addition, they also prepare bamboo articles and work as drumbeaters.
Where Are they Located?
The Muslim Bhangi people live mainly in India and Pakistan, but a small number are in Nepal.
What Are Their Lives Like?
How many people would clean out clogged sewer pipes for a living? That is what the Bhangi do. Because of their distasteful jobs, they are excluded from many parts of Indian and Muslim society. Many of their children do not attend school because of the roles their group performs. Only a few of the Bhangi living in cities are educated. Not being able to read or write perpetuates the tragic condition of Bhangi lives. They are endogamous meaning that they marry within their own group. Few if any Indian Muslims would want their son or daughter to marry into a Bhangi family.
What Are Their Beliefs?
As Muslims, the Bhangi do not eat pork. Meat is reserved for holidays. Their main foods are rice, wheat and vegetables.
Bhangi caste councils do try to promote their interests and settle legal disputes among them.
The Bhangi 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, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
What Are Their Needs?
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.
This Muslim Bhangi people group has many needs. Most of all they need to hear the life-changing message about Isa or Jesus. The Bhangi need help in educating their children so that the cycle of poverty may be broken. They need to learn new job skills so they can make enough money to support their families. Rural Bhangi need access to clean water, electricity and modern medicine.
* Scripture Prayers for the Bhangi (Muslim traditions) in Nepal.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Muslim Bhangi 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 Bhangi people.
* Pray that soon the Bhangi people will have faith that is more precious and durable than gold.