Sonar (Muslim traditions) in India

Sonar (Muslim traditions)
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2023
Kalcutta - Shutterstock  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Sonar (Muslim traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 37,000
World Population: 409,000
Primary Language: Urdu
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Muslim - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Muslim Sonar people have their roots in Hindu mythology. According to the legend, Sonars are the descendants of the youngest of five sons created by the Hindu god Vishnu's incarnation, Vishwakarama. The first Sonar was used by the goddess Devi to destroy a giant demon who was made of gold. This Sonar convinced this vain demon that he would look better if he were polished, a process which involved being melted down, and ultimately destroyed.

Most of the Sonar are Hindu, but they also have a sizable Muslim community, especially in Pakistan. There is also a Sikh Sonar community. In total they have 52 clans or gotras.

Where Are they Located?

Most Muslim Sonars are in Pakistan, though there are some in India. There are far more Hindu Sonars than Muslim ones.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Sonars are either goldsmiths, which makes them artisans, or gold merchants, which is even more lucrative. It is very common in South Asia for a bride to be given a large amount of gold jewelry as part of the dowry. This ensures a regular market for these goods. Yet every merchant, even those who sell goods that everyone wants, must be able to run a business well, or they can lose everything they invested. Though they are associated with the gold trade, the Sonars also deal with silver and diamonds. Others are money-lenders who are noted for lending to the poorer communities.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Muslim Sonar 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 Sonar 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 Sonar 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.

Prayer Points

Pray for workers to go to the Sonar Muslims, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their Savior.
Pray for networks of believing families and fellowships that will throw the doors open for others to follow Jesus.
Pray for the Lord to bless the families among the Sonar people with His presence and mercy.
Pray for believers among this people group to disciple others who will disciple still others.
Pray for Bible believing fellowships and churches among the Sonar people.

Text Source:   Keith Carey