This is my third installment, looking at some of the lesser known tribes of the Pothohar region. In this post, I shall look at the Budhal, Dulal, Khatril, and Jasgam tribes. None of these tribes claim either a Jat or Rajput ancestry, but connect themselves either with the the Abbasi (Khatril and Jaskham) or Qureshi (Dulal and Budhal) Arabs, with traditions of settling in the Pothohar Region between 13th and 15th Century. However, reflecting the fluidity of identity, the Khatril in popular estimations are seen as Jat, while Budhal in some areas are considered as Rajput. All these tribes are extremely localized, found only in Rawalpindi District, with the exception of a few Khatril villages in Jhelum District. They all speak Pothwari, and are largely Sunni.
Starting off with the Budhal, they are a small tribe which is supposed to be allied to the Bhakral, both tribes having said to have come across from Jhelum River from the Chibhal territory in Jammu and Kashmir sometime in the 17th Century. According to their traditions, they are a branch of the Awan tribe, and now occupy a block of villages near the town of Daultala in Gujar Khan Tehsil. Very little is known about this tribe, and their customs are very similar to the Bhakral, with whom they intermarry. As Awans, they trace their descent from Ali ibn Abu Talib, who was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet, and the forth Caliph of Islam. The history of the Awan tribe is well known, and I will not spend a lot of time on it. Suffice is to say that the Budhal, like other Awans claim descent from an individual named Qutb Shah, a descendent of Ali, who originally resided in Herat in Afghanistan, and served in the army of Mahmud of Ghazni. The Awans all claim descent from the six sons of Qutab Shah, namely Gauhar Shah or Gorrara, settled near Sakesar, Kalan Shah or Kalgan, settled in Kalabagh, Muzammil Shah colonized the hills close to the Indus, Mohammad Shah (the elder son of Qutab Shah) or Khokhar, settled by the Chenab, and Turi Shah and Jhajh Shah settled in Tirah the descendants of Turi or Tori and Jhajh are also known as Syeds of Tirah. These six clans are further divided sub-clans called muhins, the Budhal claim to be a sub-group of the Khokhar Awans, descended from the great grandson of Mohammad Shah nicknamed Khokhar called Budh Khan. Their customs are similar to other tribes in the vicinity, speaking the Pothohari language and following Sunni Islam.
In terms of distribution, in Guja Khan Tehsil, they are found in Barki Badhal, Bhair Ratial, Bokra, Chak Bagwal, Dhoke Budhal, Dora Budhal, Garmala (near Kountrila), Karnali and Punjgran Khurd, while in Kallar Kahar Tehsil they are found Basanta, Chakrali Budhal and Sahote Budhal . Other villages include Frash and Bura Budhal, located twenty miles south of Islamabad. A separate group of Budhal villages are found near Chountra, on the Attock Rawalpindi borders, such as Bajnial in Rawalpindi Tehsil. Other villages include Bishandour (Tehsil Sohawa) and Khabbal (on GT Road, Tehsil Sohawa).
Dulal or Dulaal
I shall next look at the Dulal, sometimes spelt Dolal or even Dolaal, who are extremely localized tribe, confined entirely Gujarkhan tehsil. They claim to be Qureshi Arabs, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad. Unlike other Qureshi groups found in the Pothohar region, the Dolal have no tradition of claiming descent from a Sufi saint. Their ancestor, according to tribal traditions, was Abu al-Aswad al-Du’ali (ca. 603 – 688), a close companion of Ali ibn Abi Talib and a grammarian, who is said to be the first to place consonant-pointing and vowel-pointing (markings) on Arabic letters to clearly identify them. Abu Aswad is said to have had a son, who accompanied Mohammad Bin Qasin in his conquest of Sindh. The tribe settled initially in Sindh, but when Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the Punjab in the 10th Century, the Ad-Duali settled in what became the Gujar Khan region. Over time Ad-Duali was corrupted to Dolaal or Dulal. The tribe also intermarried with Rajput groups in the Gujar Khan region, and has now much in common with those tribes such as the Bhakral and Kanyal.
The Dolal are now farmers and soldiers , and therefore have much in common with Abbasi groups such as the Jasgam and Khatril, who I will look at latter in this blog. They now occupy a number of villages near the town of Mandrah, the main ones being Hachari Dulal, Karnali (especially in village Mohra Manjia), Mohra Dhamial, Nathu Dulal, Noor Dulal (Dhoke Qureshian / Lamian), Pharwal Dulal, Narali, Bhattian and Kuri Dolal. The Dolal should not be confused, by the Dulal branch of the Janjua, who are entirely distinct
We now look at the Khatril, sometime spelt Khatreel, they are a tribe found almost exclusively in Rawalpindi District, with a small number also found in Jhelum. The Khatrils claims descent from Hashim ibn ‘Abd Manaf, a great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad and the progenitor of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe in Mecca, and in particular his grandson Abbas ibn Abul Mutalib. A descendent of Al-Abass, Zarab Khan or Zurab Khan Al-Abbasi is said to have accompanied Mahmood of Ghazni to India, and settled initially in Kashmir, which would therefore be sometime in the late 10th Century. This Zarab Khan is also claimed to be an ancestor by many of the other tribes of the Pothohar plateau and Murree Hills, and is quite likely to be a mythical figure. The Khatril were initially settled in the Kahuta Hills, from where the Khatril were said to have been expelled by the Jasgam, and they ended up settling in Gujar Khan Tehsil, in villages near the town of Mandrah. In claiming an Arab ancestry, the Khatril are not unlike many other tribes in the Pothohar region, where claims to Arab ancestry have become increasingly frequent since the start of the last century. This change in identity is seen by the fact that they were classed as Jats in 1911 census of India, but were included with the Dhund in the 1921 census.
Gayal Khatril make up the bulk of the Khatril in Gujar Khan, who are descendants of Gai Khan.The Gaiyal, descendants of Gai Khan, whose tomb is near Duberan in the Kahuta tehsil. Currently, the Khatril are found mainly in Gujar Khan Tehsil, especially around the town of Mandrah, in the villages of Dhok Luss near Paleena, Dhok Maira near Paleena, Durab Jatal, Kahili Khinger, Sapiali Khinger, Mardial, Mohri Khatril, Dhok Khatril, Dulmi Khatril, Jatal Surkhru, Miana Moda, Rumat and Roungtay. Another cluster of Khatril villages are found near Saeela, such as Hathia Dhamial in Jhelum District.
Like the Khatril, with whom they share many customs and traditions, the Jasgam, sometimes spelt Jaskham, also claim descent from Hashim ibn ‘Abd Manaf, through his grandson Abbas ibn Abul Mutalib. Also like the Dhund and Khatril, the Jasgam claim descent from Zarab Khan, who is said to have arrived in the Pothohar region in the late 10th Century. According to the traditions of the Khatril, the Jasgam are said to have expelled them from the Kahuta Hills, so it is likely their settlement post-dated that of the Khatril. Their own tradition makes their ancestor Jasgam, leaving Murree after quarrelling with his Dhund kinsmen, and founding the town of Panjar in the Kahuta hills. According to another tradition, the Jasgam took possession of the tract they now occupy under Gakkhar rule, when one Hazrat Zubair,nicknamed Jaskamb, a Abbasi Arab came from Arabia and settled near Kahuta. He had four sons, Gulab Khan, Bachu Khan, Bero Khan and Sewo Khan.The Jasgam territory lay between the Janhals and the Gakhars, and by playing one against the other, the Jasgam maintained their independence until the arrival of the Sikhs in the late 18th Century.
In customs and traditions, they still have more in common with the Murree Hill tribes such as the Satti and Kethwal, and less with their neighbours such as the Janhal and Janjuas, including that the fact that still speak the Dhund-Karaili dialect of Pahari. In 1857, when the British faced a rebellion in the Murree Hills, the Jasgam maintained their neutrality, and as such were left largely untouched by the colonial administration. A Jasgam family in the village of Salitta traditionally held the office of chief, but they no longer hold this position.
The Jasgam are mainly found in thirteen villages in Kahuta Tehsil, including Panjar, Bara, Saroha, Duberan, Khowain, Manyand, Phagwari Gala, Salabar, Sartha, Salitha, Sarai Kharbuza and Rajrot, A small number are also found in the town of Mandrah and villages of Soura Khatril and Qazian in the Gujar Khan Tehsil and Chakiala and Mohra Hiran in Kallar Syedan tehsil. Outside Punjab, there are two Jaskam villages in Sudhnoti District of Azad Kashmir, namely Gulkot and Chaloi.