Daily Topic for July 17, 2012
Today we are praying for Muslim elders who are noted for their wisdom. Their reputation and high status attracted even high caste Hindus and Sikhs at one time. They offer Muslim communities wisdom, but it is wisdom without salvation and wisdom without Christ. It will take intervention from the Holy Spirit to draw them to the only One who offers what every man, woman, and child needs.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to draw Shaikhs to Jesus Christ, so that they can enjoy true wisdom and salvation.
“Yes, Shaikh is the name of a people group,” replied the visiting missionary from Bangladesh. He was answering a question that Sunday evening put forth by someone in the congregation. “Yet,” he continued, “the name can also refer to a community, family, or individual. And the word Shaikh means ‘elder’ or ‘venerable old man.’ Muslim men will even sometimes use Shaikh before their own names to signify their wisdom,” he paused. Continuing, the missionary stated, “So you see it is actually difficult to identify those who belong to the Shaikh people group. To add to the difficulty, they intermarry with other Muslim groups.”
“Muslim Arabs brought Islam to what is now Pakistan in 711 AD. Yet, Shaikhs of Pakistan claim pre-Islamic ancestry. With the coming of Islam to South Asia, some of the high caste Hindus converted to Islam and adopted the Shaikh title.”
“Then there are Sikh Shaikhs, those who embrace Sikhism as their religion. They live in villages on the Indian border adjoining Pakistan, and they are famous for playing the lori and the dhool, traditional Indian drums. Their particular profession does not bind Shaikhs. Urban Punjabi Shaikhs work in business and public service, and they have a reputation for business expertise.”
The missionary concludes with a call to prayer: “Pray for the Shaikhs of Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Much ministry activity is occurring in India, but little is happening concerning this tribe in Nepal. Pray that the Shaikhs will find true wisdom through the Prophet Isa (Jesus).”