Byari (Beary) in India

Byari (Beary)
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Byari (Beary)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 539,000
World Population: 539,000
Primary Language: Konkani
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

Beary is a Dravidian language spoken by the Muslim communities in Karnataka and northern Kerala. This language is similar to Mappila, a common language for Muslims in Kerala. This is not the only language spoken by Muslim groups in this part of southern India.
Beary speakers trace their roots to Arab sailors and traders who arrived in South India 1400 years ago. There was intermarriage with the visiting Muslim Arabs. This group became one of India's first Muslim communities.
Through the centuries they had to fight off Portuguese and British invaders. We now call them the Byari people.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Byari people are devoted to Islam. They have their own schools called madrasas where they learn the ways of Islam. Thanks to these madrasas the Byari people have a high literacy rate.
Byari women loved to wear gold and silver colored ornaments. This love for ornaments came from imitating the Jains. Though they wear the Islamic burqa or Abaya when they are in public, they still wear ornaments.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Byari people are Sunni Muslims who believe that the supreme God, Allah, spoke 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.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, common people 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 they live on a daily basis. For that reason, some Muslims appease spirits using charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces. More orthodox Muslims consider these practices heretical and un-Islamic.

What Are Their Needs?

The Byari people need the Holy Spirit to direct them into a loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for Byari culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among their 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 Byari people.
Pray that soon the Byari people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the savior.

Text Source:   Joshua Project