Behlim in India

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Behlim
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 9,800
World Population: 9,800
Primary Language: Gujarati
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Behlim are a Muslim people who live in north India. They are a sub-caste of the Rajputs. The word Rajput means "son of a king." The Behlim trace their origin back to a Sufi master who lived a thousand years ago. Behlim is a word meaning "those who know" in Arabic.

There are two distinct groups of Behlim in India. The western Behlim live in Gujarat. They speak Gujarati as their primary language. The smaller group of eastern Behlim lives in Uttar Pradesh. Their main language is Urdu.

The principal occupation of both groups of Behlim is working in agriculture. Some Behlim own the land they farm. Other Behlim work on land owned by other castes.
Some Behlim serve in the military forces of India. As Rajputs they are proud of their history of conquest, bravery and military might.

Where Are they Located?

The majority of the Behlim live in Gujarati while a smaller number lives in Uttar Pradesh.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Islam and the planting and harvesting cycles of the yearly monsoon dominate the lives of the Behlim.

The Behlim are not vegetarian but will not eat pork. Their main foods are rice, wheat, lentils and vegetables.

Families arrange the marriages of young people. The Behlim are open to marrying any similar caste Muslim. The newly married couple usually lives near the parents of the groom. Sons inherit property upon the death of the father. Important life rituals like births weddings and funerals are officiated by Muslims priests. The dead of the Behlim are buried.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Behlim are Sunni Muslims. Muslims attempt to follow he teachings of the Qur 'an and the prophet Muhammad. They believe that they will gain entrance into heaven by practicing the Five Pillars of Islam. These include praying towards Mecca five times a day, attending Friday services at mosques, giving alms to the poor, fasting during the month of Ramadan and a pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime.

The two most significant holidays of the Behlim are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the holiday that recalls Abraham's wiliness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Behlim need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They must come to see that Jesus is much more than a human prophet. The Behlim would benefit by seeing the love and grace of Christ lived out in practical ways before them. Since many Behlim live in rural villages, they need help in educating their children and in receiving the blessings of modern medicine.

Prayer Points

Pray the Lord opens the spiritual eyes of the Behlim to see Jesus or Isa is the Son of God.
Pray for workers needed to sow God's Word into Behlim families, healing and strengthening households with God's blessings.
Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness opposing His gospel among the Behlim.

Text Source:   David Kugel