The Dhaiso live in the lush, tropical foothills of the Usambara Mountains in the northeastern corner of Tanzania. Most are farmers and are able to grow a wide variety of foods and spices such as cocoa beans, coconut, cassava, black pepper, and cinnamon.
The Dhaiso are small in number and live peacefully in close proximity to many other people groups. A number have intermarried with people of other languages. Due to this need for a language of wider communication, the Dhaiso are very fluent in Swahili, the national language and the language of trade along the coast. They use Swahili almost to the exclusion of Dhaiso, their mother tongue. In fact for many, Swahili is their mother tongue. This is all to say that the Dhaiso are in the process of losing their original language and much of the accompanying culture and traditions. Their unique cultural identity is being lost.
The Dhaiso 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 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.
The Dhaiso people need the chance to find the only Savior, the one who offers life to the full.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Dhaiso people. Pray that the Dhaiso people will have a spiritual hunger that will open their hearts to the King of kings. Pray for workers who are driven by the love and boldness of the Holy Spirit to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ among them to begin this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Dhaiso in Tanzania.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|Expanded PDF Profile|
|Region||Africa, East and Southern|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Tanga region: Muheza district, east Usambara mountains, Bwiti and Magati villages. Source: Ethnologue 2016|