In the beautiful state of Kerala, you’ll see something you don’t see in some other rural parts of India: Girls walking to school with boys. Middle-class villages along the coast boast their own colorful mosques and madrasas, where children—both boys and girls—are taught to read, write, and recite the Quran in a moderate brand of Islam. With a 90 percent literacy rate, most of the almost ten million Mappila in this region are educated and have often traveled. Increasingly, they represent a growing movement to increase the value and rights of women.
In January 2019, Ayisha cupped her daughter’s face in her hand and bent to look her in the eye, saying, “Today, I will have a voice as a woman. Because of what I will do today, I will say that women, Muslim women, Mappila women, women in Kerala and in all of India, are just as valuable as men, and should be treated equally.” That day, Ayisha joined up to five million other women who formed a “Women’s Wall” that stretched 385 miles long. They stood, face out to the road, right hands outstretched, to silently spread the message that women have value, rights, and worth in the eyes of God and man.
Perhaps it is Mappila women who will have the same courage and faith to lead their family into the kingdom of God.
WAYS TO PRAY
- Pray for Mappila families often living apart because the husband works in a Gulf country to support the family. (Psalm 68:5–6b)
- Pray for Mappila women to know the truth about who they are in Christ and to continue to champion the value of every person. (Galatians 4:7)
- Pray that the almost ten million Mappila, the first Indians to embrace Islam a thousand years ago, would embrace and then share the good news of the kingdom of God. (Isaiah 61:4)