Sayyid in India

Sayyid
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Sayyid
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 9,418,000
World Population: 18,156,000
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 - Sayyid
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Sayyid ancestors migrated to India from different parts of Iran. The Sayyid are one of the larger segments of Muslims in India. The word literally means master; the closest English equivalent would be sir or lord. Some Muslims use the term sayyid for the descendants of Abu Talib, uncle of Mohammad.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sayyid occupy the highest of social class among Muslims. They are traditionally the priests and religious teachers of the Muslim communities. More recently they can be found in a host of government service, teaching and business occupations. They marry mainly among their own clans and other Ashraf category Muslims.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Sayyid can be found in both major sect divisions of the Shia and the Sunni. Many of them adhere to the more emotional and mystical Sufi form of Sunni Islam. Because of their position as religious teachers and priests they are considered 100% Muslim in each of the countries where their live.
As Muslims they 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.
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.

What Are Their Needs?

The Sayyid may have an inadequate understanding of who Jesus truly is. However, because of the religious and political weight the Sayyid carry in their respective communities, a transformed Sayyid leader for Christ could have influence like that of Paul in his day. Whole districts could become followers of Jesus (whom Muslims call Isa al-Masih) if Sayyid leaders came to know and trust Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray the followers of Christ that will soon be found in the Sayyid community will become well established in the faith, fully trusting in Christ for their eternal life and for power to live the present life. Pray they will live holy lives.
Pray for God's blessing, strengthening and healing of families and communities within the Sayyid people through the abundant life Jesus offers to all who call on his name.
Pray they will increasingly hunger to truly know and follow Jesus (whom Muslims call Isa al-Masih).
Pray for Christian workers to build good relationships with the Sayyid people, friendships based upon trust.

Text Source:   Joshua Project