Day 6. Shaikh in India (SHAYK)
Shaikh in India are made up of a number of different clans and trades. While sharing core Muslim beliefs, Sunni and Shi’a branches are very strong and they do not intermarry. Otherwise, the Shaikh freely marry within various Shaikh clans and trades. This is unusual in India, since most Hindus do not marry across caste/trade communities. Shaikhs today are found in many types of businesses and public service jobs. Urban Shaikhs are known for their business acumen, teaching their children mathematical skills and business strategies from a young age.
In India, the government has reserved spots in the universities, and other benefits, for poorer peoples and the lower castes, such as OBC (Other Backward Castes) and outcasts (Dalits) or tribal peoples. Since Shaikh clans historically functioned in the upper caste levels of society and were landowners, they do not receive government reservations. However, following India’s Independence from England in 1947, the zamindari landowner system was abolished, canceling the Shaikh’s hereditary claim to land. The land was redistributed to the Hindu peasant castes who could show records of having worked the land. The way for the Shaikhs to prove their “rights” to land and to citizenship is still a heated and an ongoing issue in India.
Prayers for the Shaikh families in India:
Lord, send whole families to go and live with both Sunni and Shia Shaikhs and learn their ways, share their burdens and bless them. Send your Holy Spirit to work in both the Sunni and Shia Shaikh communities. Move the government officials to grant them citizenship and property rights.
Lord, multiply Your Holy Scriptures in Indian Urdu, using words the Shaikh use in their daily life, not Hindu words, so that they can share Scriptures with their neighbors for Your Glory.
Lord, raise up Shaikh families to receive Your riches that come from repenting and being free from sin and leading their relatives and communities to receive Your Holy blessing of healing, forgiveness, hope and joy.
Proclaim God’s River of Life in and through the Shaikh families to bless other peoples: On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:2)