May 3, 2020
“Shabbir looked up from his coffee and explained his dilemma. His college exams were coming, but the Dai, the religious leader of the Daudi Bohra, a sect within the Shia branch of Islam, was in town celebrating a major holiday. Thousands had come to receive the blessing associated with hearing him. Shabbir was expected to go even though it would mean skipping his exams and failing his courses.
“‘I think this is a test,’ he told me. ‘What path am I going to follow? Am I going to do what the world says is important and take my exams, or am I going to follow the Dai and take his exam?’”
There are over a million Bohra worldwide. The majority live in India, though there are significant populations in the USA, Europe, and East Africa. They believe that after a series of imams (descendants of Muhammad who could receive guidance from God) the last imam went into hiding. The Dai is in communication with this hidden imam. For the Bohra, guidance and blessing from the Dai represent the path of success in this world and the next.
Shabbir’s dilemma represents two contrasting movements among the Bohra people. Increasingly, they are encountering opportunities outside of their community and away from the traditions they have always known. Should Shabbir prioritize the demands of school and a career, or will he forsake the world and trust fully in the Dai and the Bohra community?
IDEAS FOR PRAYER
1. PRAY THAT the Bohra people will have wisdom and understanding to adapt to the changes in the world.
2. PRAY THAT more and more Bohra would turn to Jesus as their high priest who is able to save them, according to Hebrews 7:23–26.
3. PRAY THAT God would send Christians to live alongside the Bohra people and walk with them as they seek and discover God.
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