Introduction / History
The Abdul people originated from the Abdal Muslims. The term Abdal means lieutenant. Little other information is known of the origin of this group that has a strong tradition in the music, singing and particularly the playing of percussion instruments. In many parts of India they are known by the name Dafali. This majority of the Abduls are found in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal India as well as Bangladesh and Nepal.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Being of a lower social status has caused many Abdul families to survive on charity. In some communities they are alms gatherers while singing and drumming or selling perfume. During Ramadan some Abdul wake up early and go village to village playing their dafali (instrument) and singing the names of Allah. Traditions like this have given them the title "wandering singers" or "a class of wandering Muslim saints" in some places.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They are not vegetarians. They include wheat, rice and maize in their diet.
The Abdul 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.
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.
Sunni religious practices are staid and simple. They believe that Allah has pre-determined our fates; they minimize free will.
In most of the Muslim world, 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 we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them with spiritual forces.
Because of the Abduls tradition of being able to share food and water with most Hindu communities, this group is likely easier to reach than some Muslim people. Their community is small and hidden in many ways.
Pray the Abdul would see they can enjoy abundant life if they put their trust in Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side and blessing them in every way.
Pray for loving workers.
Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.
Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.
Scripture Prayers for the Abdul in India.