Population of Muslim Rajput Clans of British Punjab According to the 1891 Census of India

In 1891 the total Rajput population was 1,983,299 of which Muslims were 1,559,977. I would also ask the reader to look at my other posts such as Muslim Rajput clans of British Punjab according to the 1901 Census of India.

 

Tribe

Population Distribution
Bhatti 297,343 throughout Punjab, but special concentrations in Bhatiana (Firuzpur/Hissar/Sirsa), Bhatiore (Jhang/Chiniot), Gujranwala and Rawalpindi
Khokhar 137,883 Jhang, Jhelum, Hoshiarpur, Sialkot, Hoshiarpur, Jallandhar and Gurdaspur
Chauhan 132,116 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and central Punjab – the Karnal, Rohtak and Rewari Chauhan are a Ranghar tribe, in central found mainly in Lahore, Amritsar and Jallandhar
Sial 106,146 Jhang, Multan and other parts of South Punjab
Gondal 62,071 Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Shahpur
Panwar 54,892 Rohtak, Karnal, Jind and Hissar (the eastern group); Bahawalpur, Multan and Muzaffargarh (the western group) – the eastern group are a Ranghar tribe; a smaller grouo also found in Jhelum
Kharal 51,586 Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Joiya 47,773 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Janjua 36,970 a western group in Rawalpindi and Jhelum and eastern group in Hoshiarpur
Ghorewaha 34,192 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Manj 26,983 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Wattu 24,150 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Bahawalpur to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Sulehri / Sulehria 24,345 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Naru 22,680 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana – by early 20th Century, several Naru were settled in Faisalabad and Sahiwal in the canal colonies
Tomar / Tonwar 21,691 Modern Haryana (especially Rohtak and Panipat), Ambala, and in the Bahawalpur Stater
Bariah also pronounced as Varya 19,463 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Ranjha 18,490 Jhelum / Chakwal
Taoni 17,730 Ambala – a Ranghar grouping
Manhas / Minhas 16,026 From Rawalpindi to Hoshiarpur – a Muslim Dogra grouping
Dhudhi 11,286 Sargodha, Jhang, Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Bhakral 11,207 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Jatu 10,837 Modern Haryana (especially Hissar and Gurgaon), Ambala, and Rohtak. They are a Ranghar tribe
Satti 10,799 Rawalpindi
Dhanyal 8,524 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Khichi 7,845 Sargodha, Jhang and Sahiwal
Mekan 7,733 Sargodha (Shahpur District), Jhang and Rawalpindi
Chib 6,673 Gujrat, a Muslim Dogra clan
Mandahar 4,022 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and Hissar. They are a Ranghar tribe
Khanzada 3,471 Gurgaon – a branch of the Jadaun clan
Tiwana 3,120 a western group in Kushab and eastern group in Patiala
Raghubansi / Raghuvanshi 3,060 Ambala – a Ranghar clan
Kanial 2,725 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Katil 2,461 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Pundir 2,117 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar group with villages near the Yamuna river
Bargujar 2,046 Gurgaon – a Ranghar tribe found in Rewari
Kethwal 1,849 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Jadaun 1,353 Gurgaon and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Bagri 1,186 Hissar and Firuzpur, in areas bordering Bikaner. Rajasthani immigrants
Rathore 1,067 Hissar, Firuzpur and Bahawalpur, in areas bordering Bikaner. Rajasthani immigrants
Chandel 912 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana
Khoja 841 Multan and Bahawalpur State
Jaswal 558 Hoshiarpur
Gaurwa 546 Gurgaon – Ranghar group
Atiras 477 Patiala State
Pathial 470 Kangra and Hoshiarpur
Luddu 258 Hoshiarpur
Guleria 248 Hoshiarpur
Dhanwal 214 Sahiwal and Okara
Dadwal 147 Hoshiarpur
Pathania 138 Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Katoch 101 Hoshiarpur
Miscellaneous clans 299,166 throughout Punjab

 

Description of Major Muslim Communities in India: Muslim Bhumihar / Kamsar Pathan

In this post, I look another major Indian Muslim community, found mainly in eastern Uttar Pradesh and parts of north western Bihar. There preferred self-designation now is Kamsari Pathan, although history they were known as Muslim Babhan, or Muslim Bhumihar. The Kamsari are a community of rural Muslims, who are descended from the Hindu Bhumihar community.

To start off with, I will briefly discuss the origin of the Bhumihar community, from whom the Kamsar trace their descent. The Bhumihars claim Brahmin status, and are also referred to as Bhumihar Brahmin. In Bihar, they are also known as Babhan and they have also been called Bhuinhar. The word Bhumihar is itself of relatively recent origin, first used in the records of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in 1865. It derives from the word bhoomi (“land”), referring to the caste’s landowner status. The term Bhumihar Brahmin was adopted by the community in the late-19th century to emphasize their claim of belonging to the priestly Brahmin class. The alternate name “Babhan” has been described as a distorted colloquial term for “Brahmin. As with many castes in India, there are numerous myths regarding the origins of the Bhumihar community. One legend claims that their ancestors were Brahmins who were set up to take the place of the Kshatriyas slain by Parashurama but some non-Bhumihars have implied that they are the mixed-race offspring of Brahmin men and Kshatriya women. Other legends state that they are the offspring of a union between Rajput men and Brahmin women, or that they derive from Brahman-Buddhists who lost their high position in Hindu society.

With regards to Ghazipur District, the terms Bhumihar and Rajput are somewhat elastic, since the line of demarcation between these two communities is often extremely vague, both claiming a common origin in several instances, such as the case of the Kamsar Pathans. The Kamsar Pathans, who are found mainly in the Ghazipur District of eastern Uttar Pradesh. According to tribal traditions, they ancestor was a Kam Deo, a Sikarwar Rajput who came from the region of Agra. According to tribal traditions, Kam Deo served in force led by his brother Dham Deo, a leader of four thousand troops and fought alongside Rana Sanga of Mewar, who led a large Rajput alliance against the Mughal Emperor in the battle of Khanwa, a place near Agra in 1527. The Mughals were victorious and the Rajput army was scattered. Dham Deo and his elder brother Kam Deo came down to Ghazipur with their families and followers. The refuges are said to have settled in a territory between Karmnasha and Ganges in what is now Ghazipur district, Dham Deo and his followers settled in Gahmar, while Kam Deo settled in Zamania. Kam Deo’s descendants intermarried with other settled Bhumihars in the region, and founded the clan of Kinwar Bhumihars.
Subsequent to their arrival, both brothers and their followers entered into the service of Tikam Deo, the Cheru tribal chieftain of Birpur and eventually overthrew him, seizing his capital and occupying his estate At the time of the arrival of the refugees, the Cheru were said to be the rulers of most of Ghazipur. After a couple of generation, the community split into three main branches; after the founders Rajdhar Rai, Mukund Rai, and Pithaur Rai. Rajdhar Rai captured Birpur and one of his subdivisions settled in the Bara taluka of Zamania, and converted to Islam. There is however some dispute as to when the conversion to Islam. According to some traditions, the conversion occurred during the period of Lodhi rule over Ghazipur district, while others traditions point to a much later date during the rule of Sher Shah Suri. The first to convert to Islam was a Narhar Dev, later called Narhar Khan after his accepting of Islam.

The Kamsari are now mainly a community of peasant cultivators, but historically were in possession of most of the Bara of Ghazipur District. They speak Bhojpuri, although most also understand Urdu. The Kamsar now occupy a compact territory near the town of Bara, between the Ganges river and the Bihar state border. The most important settlement in Kamsar region of Dildarnagar Kamsar. Each of their settlement contains an informal caste council known as a panchayat, which enforces communal norms as well as resolving intra-community disputes. This region is also known as Kamsar-O-Bar, and the following villages Usia, Rakasaha, Tajpur Kurrah, Gorasara, Mania, Khajuri, Kusi, Bhaksi, Jaburna, Dewaitha, Fufuao, Bahuara, Saraila, Chitarkoni, Akhini come in the Bar sub region. Other then the Kamsar, there are several lineages of Muslim Bhumihar found in Munger and Muzaffarpur of Bihar, where they are called as Diwani Pathan.

Hoteel and Janhal tribes of Azad Kashmir

In this post I intend to look at two tribes, namely the Janhal and Hoteel, who both claim to be Mughals and are found in the Poonch Jagir. The word Mughal is simply the Farsi and Urdu version of the word Mongol, for the two words are only different forms of the same name, probably either entered the Punjab with Ẓahīr-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Babur (14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530), or were attracted to India during the period of Mughal rule (circa 16th Century to 18 Century). For this article, I have relied heavily on Munshi Muhammad Din Fauq’s Tareekh Aqwam Poonch as my main source.

Hoteel

We now take a look at the Hoteel, a fairly compact tribe found only within the historic Poonch Jageer, in the region which is now Bagh District. Like the Douli, the Hoteel claim a Mughal origin, descended from Taimurlane or Amir Timur, the Barlas ruler of Central Asia. There ancestor was a Sultan Khalil Mirza, an uncle of the first Mughal Emperor Babar (14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530). Fourth in descend from Sultan Khalil was a Hot Yar Khan, who is said to have given the tribe its name. He is said of settled in the Poonch region during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, while his son Sanjar Khan, the first two be given the surname Hoteel established a principality in the Poonch region, around the settlemet of Bngion. The present Hoteel tribe claims descent from Buj Khan and Bunga Khan, Sanjar Khan’s sons. Their main settlement is Bangion, in present Bagh District of Azad Kashmir. This town gets its name from the Bango Khan, who is said to founded the town. This family tree would make the Hoteel to be members of the Barlas, the tribe of the Mughal Dynasty of India. However, despite this pedigree, the Hoteel do not claim to Barlas, but allege a Chagtai ancestry. I shall just briefly to look at who these Chagtai are. Chughtai’s were Turkic or Tatar nomads of Central Asia, who were followers or descendants of Chagatai Khan, the second son of Genghis Khan, who founded the Chagatai Khanate in 1226, which covered an area of most of what are now the five Central Asian republics. The Chagatai language, which the lingua franca in Central Asia for at least eight centuries and Chagatai Turks take their names from him. There is tradition of Chaghtai migration to India, after the Mughal conquest, so it is just about possible that the Hoteel are by origin Chaghtai.

The Hoteel are found mainly in Bagh District, with important villages of Bangion, Jandala, Qamrota, Pachiot, Tahla and Samrota.

Janhal

Looking now at the Juhnal, or sometimes pronounced Janhal or even Janhaal, they too have a number of traditions as to their origin. According to some traditions, the Junhal are Rajputs, however most Janhal oclaim a Barlas Mughal origin. The Junhal are said to be descended from Mughal troopers who were settled in the mountainous region of Kahuta to keep watch over the hill tribes of Murree and the Dogras who inhabited the slopes of Pir Panjal mountains. Most Janhal families claim descent from two sons of Amir Timur, founder of the Timurid / Mughal dynasty of Central Asia and India, namely Ghayasudin Mansour and Mansour Mirza. Mirza Bhakar Khan, the founder of the Janhal tribe was a decendent of Ghayasudin Mansour, arrived in the Kahuta region during the 16th Century. The tribe gets its name from Mirza Jahan Khan, the Jahan aals, or sons of Jahan that was corrupted to Janhaal or Janhal. Sixth in descent from Mirza Jahan were two brothers, Mirza Bhuga Khan and Mirza Kuna Khan. The descendents of Mirza Kuna are found in Kahuta, where they founded an independent state, while Bhuga Khan’s clansmen crossed the Jhelum and settled in what was then the Poonch state. According to tribal tradition, Bugga Khan married into the locally dominant Rai Zada family, and founded the village of Bugga in Kotli. A decendent of Buagga Khan, Noor Khan founded the town of Norsa, which became a centre of another Janhal principality. Norsa gets its name from Noor Khan Janhal.

Up to the 18th Century, the Junhal were a considerably power occupying a tract of the Jhelum River valley that now forms part of Kahuta Tehsil of Rawalpindi District, and a part of Bagh District. However, their independence was destroyed by the Gakhars, and the tribe was reduced to cluster of villages near the town of Beor in Kahuta Tehsil, where they are still found. The Junhal are now one of a number of agrarian tribes, such as Maldiyal and Douli who claim a Mughal ancestry, and are found in the hill country covering parts of Rawalpindi District and Azad Kashmir.

In terms of the settlements, outside the town of Beor itself, which is still largely Janhal, important villages in Kahuta Tehsil include Bharuthi, Chanor, Janhatal, Khalol, Sail, Sanj, Seri and Sweri. Across the Jhelum river in Sudhanoti District, their villages stretch from a cluster of villages near the river bank such Bloch, Bethok Thalyan, Sahar, Janga Bagla, Kalar, Kharand, Norsa, Gallah, Janhal Chawkian, Pakhonar, Gaam Kotli, Chana Gali, and Poti Chaharian. In Kotli District, there villages include Pooral, Noi, Nigai, Sersawa, Bugga and Bandhoor. Near the line of Control, there are number of Janhal villages such an Manarhol and Tahi, and Tattapani town contains several Janhal families.

Population of Muslim Rajput clans of Jammu and Kashmir State according to the 1911, 1921 and 1931 Census of India

In this post I set out the results of the 1911, 1921 and 1931 Census of the Jammu and Kashmir Princely State for the various Rajput clans. Around 60% of the population was Muslim, divided into as much as a hundred clans. In terms of Administration, the state was divided into four regions, Kashmir (including Muzaffarabad), Jammu (including Mirpur), Poonch and the Frontier regions. The administration set up was as follows:

Jammu Province: Districts of Jammu, Jasrota (Kathua), Udhampur, Reasi and Mirpur.

Kashmir Province: Districts of Kashmir South (Anantnag), Kashmir North (Baramulla) and Muzaffarabad.

Frontier districts: Wazarats of Ladakh and Gilgit.

Internal jagirs: Poonch, Bhaderwah and Chenani.

In the 1941 census, further details of the frontier districts were given:[28]

Ladakh wazarat: Tehsils of Leh, Skardu and Kargil.
Gilgit wazarat: Tehsils of Gilgit and Astore
Frontier illaqas: Punial, Ishkoman, Yasin, Kuh-Ghizer, Hunza, Nagar, Chilas.

The Muslim Rajput population was found mainly in Jammu, Poonch and Muzaffarabad region of Kashmir. They spoke Punjabi and related dialects.

The 1911 Census recorded 22 clans, whie the 1931 recorded 23 clans. Jammu District, which included most of the southern part of the State, had prior to 1947 a large Muslim population, most of whom moved to Pakistan as the result of partition. Like neighbouring Sialkot in Punjab, most Jammu Rajputs belonged to the Agan, Awan, Bhao, Bhatti, Khokhar, Minhas and Sulehria tribes. These tribes spoke Punjabi, and had much in common with clans found in Sialkot and Gurdaspur. West of Jammu tribes, we find those of Mirpur, roughly covering the southern third of modern day Azad Kashmir. The Chibs were the largest tribe in this region, concentrated in and near Bhimber, and other areas east of the Chenab. Around Mirpur town, we find the Awan, Bains, Gakhar, Sahu and Minhas, and while a large number of Jaral were found in near Bhimber. In the mid Himalayas, roughly comprising the modern districts of Rajouri and Reasi we find the Domaal, Jaral, Kamlak and Thakkar tribes. Most of these tribes spoke dialects of Pahari. Finally, in the Poonch Jagir now divided in half by the line of control, we find the Badhan, Dhund, Douli, Janjua Janhal, Maldial, Mangral and Minhas tribes. The edges of the Kashmir valley were home to the Bomba and Khakha tribes.


1911 Census

The total Muslim population was 196,817  (58%) out of a total population of 341,665. The rest were entirely Hindu.

Tribe Jammu District (including city) Jasrota Udhampur District Reasi District Mirpur District Poonch Jagir Muzaffarabad District Kashmir North Total
Awan 1,978 127 108 324 6,280 6,171 11,642 580 27,558
Badhan 79 1,393  4,007  505 6,586
Bains  167 5,802 59 97 6,193
Bhao 66 2 51 437 16 592
Bhatti 502 1,900 347 543  1,111 4,451
Bomba  4 1,190 1,462
Chauhan  147  24  4 6  46 32  2,219  368  3,646
Chib  198  2  13  336  8,659  270  100  8  9,665
Dhund 9,611 6,225 15,858
Domaal  9 2,599 1,035 2,992  308 6,953
Douli  248 2,820  23  3,099
Gakhar  121 5 170  357  4,095  8,186  759  13,825
Janhal  236  944  1,180
Janjua  186  2  11  1,404  427  4,460  1,343 8,062
Jaral  214  29  52  3,893  3,434  569  172  8,566
Khakha  1  4  1,206  179  1,391
Khokhar  486  72  23  1,115  949  2,537  2,305  7,736
Maldial  8  11,492  123  11,643
Mangral 17  2 429 5,937 539 76 7,027
Manhas/ Minhas 1,000 42 110 403 490 3,630 1,024 6,797
Narma 2 127 1,970 4,495  14 6,617
Sau / Sahoo  26 2,934 2,961
Thakkar 5 9 66 4,038 16 728 359 6,103 10,451
Others 8,150 372 949 2,833 3,081 4,106 596 24,497

1921 Census

In 1921 Census, seperate clans other then the Basdhan, Bhatti, Dhund and Domaal were not seperately enumerated.

 

Tribe Jammu District (including city) Kathua District Udhampur District Reasi District Mirpur District Poonch Jagir Muzaffarabad District Kashmir North Total
Badhan 17  8 371 260  2,865  469 3,992
Bhatti 1,203  65 2,144 464 1,236  957 6,246
Bomba 48 11 2,327 366 3,609
Dhund 15 9,896 5,180 15,430
Domaal 2,682 310 4,657 7,670
Others 2,263 228 6,751 4,298 14,776 16,683 863 46,290

1931 Census

The total Rajput population was 391,888 of which Muslim Rajputs numbered 233,441 (60%)

 

Tribe Jammu District (including city) Kathua District Udhampur District Reasi District Mirpur District  Poonch Jagir  Muzaffarabad District Baramula District Total
Awan  2,140  33  17  562  5,817  9,674  12,481  701  33,600
Badhan 7 142 532 5,211
Bains  678  3,832  442  678
Bhao  53  4  83  569  21  30  761
Bhatti 1,355 16 2,312 1,664 2,893 8,240
Bomba  48  11  2,327  366  3,609
Chauhan  241  32  207  69  279  193  127  1,275  3,947
Chib  971  14  63  452 7,378  392  253  8,073
Dhund 5 43 1 12,105  5,360 17,523
Domaal 32 2,769 97 3,458 6,856
Douli  11  27
 Gakhar  98  17  102  776  5,076  6,608  3,723  16,726
 Janhal  14  62  78
 Janjua  198  20 10  1,364 220  2,112  1,709  186  6,022
 Jaral  1,068  8  152  6,094  3,480  566  144  11,627
 Khakha  11  11  9  1,010  6,627  10  7,739
 Khokhar  1,156  47  48  1,162 943  921  1,698  6,700
 Maldial  112  13,985  1,390  15,630
 Mangral  7  10  545  6,827  1,101  956  37  9,509
 Manhas/ Minhas  1,425  15  109  1,043  1,162  3,760  1,159 8,682
 Narma  12  75  2,078  4,684  6,857
Sulehria/ Sulehri  7,733  45  37  203  45  98  8,162
Sau / Sahoo 834 894
Others 2,263 228 6,751 4,298 14,776 16,683 863 46,290

Mahra, Naich and Waiha tribes of South Punjab

In this post I shall look at three tribes, namely the Mahra, Naich and Waiha or Vehas, that are found mainly in South Punjab. They all have traditions of migration from Rajasthan, leaving the desert of the Thar and settling in the valley of the Indus or Sutlej. The Jats and Rajputs of this region are said to have came from Rajputana and Jaisalmer and converted to Islam in the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlak (ruler 1351 to 1388). According to tribal traditions, as the Bhati rulers of Jaiselmer extended their control, they extinguished the independence of the various Jat of the what was then known as the Jangal Desh. As the tribes moved west towards the valley of the Sutlej, they encountered a Sufi saint who converted them to Islam. One of the Sufi often referred to in the conversion story was Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari (1199–1291), which conflicts with the migration story under Tughlak. In Punjab, a claim of conversion at the hands of Sufi often adds prestige, therefore it is possible the migration occured latter under Tughlak, but the Sufi story was added later. One more point I wish to make that in Southern Punjab, the word Jat refers to any tribe that does not claim to be Saiyads, Baloch, Pathan and Qureshis and is somehow connected with agriculture. Therefore, according this definition, all these tribes are Jat.

Mahra

I start off by looking at the Mahra. According to tribal traditions, the Mahra were descended from a group of Chaghtai Mughals who were orignally settled in Delhi. However misfortune struck these group of Chaghtais, and in a feud, the entire tribe was slain, save a young boy. As he was found lying among the corpses, he was named Mars or Mehra, literally the dead one in Sindhi. He and his descendants migrated to the banks of the Indus. Here they contracted marriages with locally settled Jat tribes, and became Jat. However, despite this claim of Mughal origin, its worth mentioning that there are still several communities of Hindu Mahra Jats in Nagaur district such as Silanwad suggesting that the Mahra like the Naich and Waiha are also immigrants from the Jangal Desh.

They are still found along the banks of the Indus in Rajanpur District on the west bank and also in larger numbers in Alipur tehsil of Muzaffargarh District.Their main villages include Kot Mahra in Multan District, Bahadur Mahra, Mahra Faraz and Mahra Sharqi in Muzaffargarh District, Hazrat Wala in Rajanpur District, and Shaidani Sharif in Rahim Yar Khan District. A small number of Mahra are also found in northern Sindh.

Naich

The next tribe I will look at are the Naich, eastern neighbours of the Mahra. They are found largely in the valley of the Sultlej. The Naich claim to be Suryavanshi Rajputs, descended from Rajah Karan of the Mahabharata. Ninth in descent from Karan was a prince called Wadhol, Raja of Nainwal, who is said to have five sons – Langah, Naich, Shajra, Dahir and Bhutta. Naich is said to have a married a Jat, and his descendents became Jat. It is interesting to note the the other four names are all well known Jat tribes of South Punjab. According to their tribal traditions, they were converted to Islam by Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari, the famous saint of Uch Sharif at the same time as their hereditary foes the Bohar. However, despite both groups converting to Islam, their feud continued. The region around Uch Sharif became extremely dangerous as a result of this feud. The Sayyid had enough and arranged that they should intermarry. The Bohars obeyed, but when it came to their turn to give a daughter to the Bohar they not only refused to do so but killed their Bohar son-in-law. As a result of the feud, the Bohar moved to the Cholistan, and the Naich became effective rulers of the territory which is now known as Rahim Yar Khan, until the arrival of the Daudpotras in the 18th Century.

Their clans are :

Dandra.
Nawal.
Tarapa.
Ladhrini
Malhni.
Murani
Budhani
Hajani

Villages

Bahawalpur District

Ahmad Naich

Amin Naich

Basti Fazal Ilahi Naich

Basti Muhammad Naich

Channi Goth

Hamad Naich

Jhok Naich

Kotla Naichan

Mauza Laalo Naich

Mauza Mahand Naich

Naichan Wala

Tahir Wali

Qadra Naich

Rahim Yar Khan District

Allahabad

Ali Haider Naich

Azizpur

Basti Atta Muhammad Naich

Basti Gul Muhammad Naich

Basti Huzoor Bakhsh Naich

Basti Imam Bakhsh Naich

Basti Laala Naich

Basti Malik Ahmad Bakhsh Naich

Basti Malik Bakht Ali Naich

Basti Malik Ghulam Rasool Naich

Basti Muhammad Panah Naich

Basti Muhammad Hussain Naich

Basti Noor Ahmad Naich

Basti Wasaya Naich

Chak No. 15/A

Changni Chowk

Dandli Naich

Dub Naich

Hazary Wala

Janpur Naichan

Kachi Muhammad Khan

Kanjaki Wala

Khan Bela

Naich Wala

Naich

Noorpur

Pakka Laran

Pakka Naich

Patti Naich

Unra Shareef

Wahi Wala

Muzaffargarh_District

Basti Islamabad

Basti Naich

Bhambhoo Sandeela

Jalasar Wala

Khakwani Wala

Khathar Wala

Sabu Wala

Khanewal District

Arry Wala

Basti Allah Yar Naich

Bohar Wala

Chak No. 8/9R Qasba

Dhory Wala

Dilawar Wala

Dinga Naich

Goh Wala

Jallah Naich

Vehari District

Bair Wala

Chah Baqar Khan Naich

Chah Kor Wala

Chak No. 65/KB

Chak No. 200 EB/33

Dingi Pul

Gehli Chak No. 37/WB

Ghara Mor

Karampur Qasba

Kassi Wala

Mauza Khahi Peer

Mauza Mustafa Abad

Bhakkar District

Basti Naich

Bhamban Wala

Dera Naich

Mohallah Naichan Wala Kallar Kot

Mohallah Naichan Wala Kohawar Kalan

Mohallah Naichan Wala Kotla Jam

Layyah District

Jhok Naich

Naich Nagar

Naich Wala

Toba Tek_Singh_District

Baggi Saidpur

Basti Faram

Chak No. 690/32 GB

Rajanpur District

Basti Malik Amanullah Naich

Naich Wala

Lodhran District

Chah Naichan Wala

Dhanot

Jangal Naich

Dera Ghazi Khan District

Chah Qutab Wala

Naich Wala

Multan District

Basti Naich

Naich

Wahi Naich

Other Villages

Chak No. 19 NB (Punjab, Sargodha), Chak No. 99/12L (Chichawatni, Sahiwal), Goth Fateh Muhammad Naich (Pind Dadan Khan, Jehlum), Kassowal (Chichawatni, Sahiwal), Katana (Punjab, Noor Pur Thal, Khushab), Chak No. 52 AMB (Sargodha), Manda Khel (Isa Khel, Mianwali), Naich Naich (Pind Dadan Khan, Jehlum) and Nizamabad Naich (Thathi Muzamil, Shahpur, Sargodha).

Waiha / Veha

The last tribe I will look at this in this post are the Waiha or sometimes written as Veha.

They trace their origin to Jaisalmer and according to tribal traditions that in the 4th century of the Hijra (913 CE – 1009 CE) the Raja of that State gave Rurar, the modern Tajgarh, in dower to his daughter Huran, and that the place was named after her. This region is now part of the arid region of Cholistan, a region that was part of the Bhati state of Jaisalmer until the arrival of the Daudpotras from Sindh in the 18th Century. At the close of the 10th CE, the Sufi saint Sayyid Ahmad Billauri settled in the this part of Cholistan in a place now called Amingarh close to Rurar which is now found in the modern Rahim Yar Khan District. The Sayyid began to preach Islam among the tribes of this desert region. This region was then ruled by Raja Bhunak Bhati who became a convert to Islam. Therefore, by ancestry the Waiha are Bhati Rajputs.

There are a number of traditions as to why these the Raja and his family acquired the name Waiha. One of the tradition point to a change in their name on conversion, for one derives Veha from vih, the Seraiki word for twenty, as it was that leading members of the tribe having been converted with Raja Bhunak. Another derives the name from wahi cultivation, because the Raja of Jaisalmer, Bhunak’s overlord as well as kinsman, confiscated their lands on their conversion, and the Sayyid told them to take to cultivation. A third fanciful etymology derives Veha from wah, because their conversion was applauded by the Sayyid’s followers. The Waiha were largely pastoralist, but most of their homeland now has a network of canals, and they are now settled farmers.

Most Waiha villages are located near the town of Allahabad, in Liaqatpur Tehsil of Rahim Yar Khan District. Two other clusters are found in Tulamba near Multan and in Dera Ismail Khan District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Population of Jat clans of Faisalabad, Multan and South Punjab according 1901 Census of India

The British province of Punjab comprised five administrative divisions — Delhi, Jullunder, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi — and a number of princely states. This post gives a breakdown of the Jat clans enumerated as part of the 1901 Census of India. In 1901, the Multan Division comprised the following districts:

 

Multan District

The total Muslim Jat population in 1901 was 137,718, out of a total of 140,315, therefore almost all of Jat were Muslim.

Tribe Total
Athangal  308
Atwal  386
Aulakh  205
Autrah  2,979
Bachh  175
Bains 2,097
Bajwa  266
Bhangu  134
Bhullar  141
Bhutta  4,872
Buttar  141
Chaj  123
Chadhar 3,734
Channar 1,696
Cheema  311
Chhajra  168
Daha  472
Dhillon  82
Dhudhi  254
Gaun  349
Ghallu 2,761
Gill  536
Hanjra  190
Heer 370
Jakhar  1,822
Kachela 1,010
Kalyar  1,123
Kalru  1,362
Kanju 626
Khaira 467
Khaki  1,465
Lak  303
Lang  1,883
Langah  2,927
Langrial  3,171
Maan  122
Mahe  953
Mahota  271
Maitla  1,751
Naich  108
Nain  21
Nonari  617
Panuhan  268
Pandah 165
Phor 2,019
Raad  616
Rak  432
Rawn  1,813
Randhawa  113
Sahi  127
Sahota / Sahotra  379
Sahu  3,413
Sanda  286
Sandhel  2,118
Sandhu  606
Shajra  539
Sipra  749
Soomra  1,458
Tarar  140
Thaheem  4,540
Warraich  390
Wasir  1,586
Virk  1,571

Chenab Colony

The total Muslim Jat population in 1901 was 150,602 (65%)  out of a total of 230,529. Unlike the other parts of the erstwhile Multan Division, the Chenab Colony was a site a British Imperial colonization scheme, that brought large number of settlers from central Punjab. Among these settlers, the Jat were encouraged to come, and the Chenab Colony latter Lyalpur District had a large presence of Hindu and Sikh Jats. The Muslim Jat population included both long settled Jats such as the Bhutta, Khichi, Wagha and Wasir, and settlers from East Punjab such as the Bal, Dhariwal and Sandhu.

Tribe Total
Atwal  1,361
Aulakh  635
Bains  2,599
Bajwa  4,229
Bal  189
Balani  167
Bar  628
Bhangu  330
Bhatti 4,594
Bhullar 80
Bhutta 351
Buttar 247
Butta 563
Chahal 355
Chadhar 8,678
Chatha 692
Cheema 4,755
Chhina 1,054
Deo or Dev 492
Dhariwal 479
Dhillon 1,159
Gawanis 262
Ghumman 1,372
Gill 3,430
Gondal 768
Goraya 2,132
Hanjra 1,505
Harral 2,671
Heer 266
Jaj  382
Jakhar  248
Kahlon  594
Kahu  1,331
Kajla  364
Khake  120
Kang  308
Kathia  199
Khichi  120
Lak  609
Lali  207
Langah  214
Lidhar  132
Maan  190
Mahe  332
Mahil  97
Mangat  139
Naul  438
Noon  172
Pannu  352
Pawania  113
Rajoka  667
Randhawa  1,999
Sahi  699
Sahmal  778
Sandhu  2,467
Sarai  467
Sidhu  499
Sian  131
Sipra  3,385
Siroha  144
Sohal  67
Tatla  117
Tarar 1,154
Thaheem  158
Virk  1,683
Wagha  616
Wahla  756
Warraich  3,708
Wasir  1,112
Wattu  411

Jhang District

The total Muslim Jat population in 1901 was 50,596, out of a total of 50,769, therefore almost all of Jat were Muslim.

Tribe Total
Aura  437
Bains  257
Bar 271
Batth  145
Bhangu  179
Bhutta  477
Chadhar  6,345
Dab  805
Gil 539
Gilotar 1,393
Hanjra 370
Harral 3,491
Hasnana  104
Hidan  426
Jappa  706
Kalasan  252
Kasra  204
Kathia  119
Kudhan  216
Lak  394
Lali  1,932
Langah  112
Mahe  97
Maitla  238
Mangon  204
Matmal  149
Murali  526
Naul  616
Noon  181
Sahmal  641
Sipra  1,945
Suddle  221
Tarar  158
Targar  150
Thaheem  469
Virk  234
Wagha  200
Waiha  314

Muzzafargarh District

In 1901 the entire Jat population of was Muslim and numbered 117,362.

Tribe Total
Aulakh  122
Autrah  843
Babbar  2,363
Bhullar  116
Bhutta  2,803
Chadhar 525
Chan  479
Chatha  544
Daha 1,454
Dhal 368
Dhotar  138
Dona  205
Ghallu 1,327
Hanjra  402
Hans 395
Heer 395
Jakhar  104
Janjua 778
Jatal  144
Kalasra  1,281
Kalru  1,488
Kang 629
Khaira 2,085
Khaki  1,822
Lakaul  1,518
Langah  700
Lar  778
Mallana  1,797
Naul  118
Nonari  1,454
Panuhan  455
Parhar  2,610
Sahota / Sahotra  630
Sahu  870
Sandhel  2,477
Sipra  123
Soomra  611
Thaheem  1,748

Dera Ghazi Khan District

The total Muslim Jat population in 1901 was 118,701, out of a total of 118,843, therefore almost all of the Jat were Muslim.

 

Tribe Total
Atra  493
Babbar  4,294
Bains /Waince
123
Barra  1,597
Batwani  895
Bhatti  700
Bhutta  1,835
Buttar  1,292
Chachar  1,156
Chadhar 181
Channar 263
Chhajra  913
Chhina  545
Dahya  436
Dhandla  643
Dumra  778
Hanbi 871
Heer 372
Jakhar  273
Janjua 3,861
Jehlan 1,584
Jhar 402
Kahlon  416
Kajla 558
Kalru  106
Kanera  765
Kang 978
Khaira 200
Khati  612
Kohawer  467
Lakaul  1,157
Lak  547
Langah  1,967
Mahar  773
Mahesar  648
Maitla  776
Mallana  1,358
Mohana  3,591
Panwar  189
Parhar  579
Phor  719
Sahota / Sahotra  994
Sandhel 916
Sangi  1,244
Sial  231
Soomra  2,508
Thaheem  1,234
Virk  548
Wagha  456

Bahawalpur State

The total Muslim Jat population in 1901 was 175,370, out of a total of 192,146, therefore almost all of Jat were Muslim.

Tribe Total
Atwal  351
Bains / Waince
177
Bhaya  923
Bhutt  475
Bhullar  43
Buttar 447
Bipar  508
Bohar  3,833
Burara  498
Chachar  8,923
Chadhar 334
Chaudhary 1,162
Chhlar 7,529
Chhina  159
Dahar / Dahiri  1,307
Daha  148
Dahya  1,508
Dala  1,364
Dakah  823
Dasa 459
Dhandu  643
Duran 977
Gabora 352
Ganja  1,047
Hamshira – Chauhan 233
Jaam  448
Jhak  246
Jhullan 1,285
Kahka 1,453
Kalhora 745
Kalwar 1,584
Khaki  514
Khalne  412
Kheri  219
Khal  512
Khombra  637
Kohadar  493
Kolar  661
Kont  288
Langah  2,474
Lodhra  446
Makwal  473
Malak  3,264
Manela  628
Markhand  155
Marral  880
Masson 563
Mohal  373
Naich  3,786
Nanwai 1,833
Nehon  184
Parhar  7,960
Panwar /Puar  7,702
Samma  3,084
Sangah  123
Sangi  1,094
Sanda  139
Shajra  259
Sipra  611
Soomra  4,393
Sutera  468
Thaheem  1,653
Tonwar / Tomar  1,038
Unnar  327
Uttera  1,817
Waraich 287

Basra, Goraya and Nagra tribes

In this post, I intend to look at three tribes, namely the Basra, Goraya and Nagra, who are found mainly in the northern half of the Ravi Chenab (Rechna Doab) Doab, mainly now the districts of Hafizabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Narowal. Historically, these tribes also had a presence in Gurdaspur, but like other Punjabi Muslims they had to migrate to Pakistan at the time of partition. All these tribes are Jat clans, and this region of Pakistan perhaps has the clearest boundary between Rajput and Jat. Jats are found all over this region and form the backbone of the agricultural community. They are divided into numerous clans and historically belonged to different religions. It was not uncommon to find in a village a few Jat families practicing Sikhism while others Islam. Along the border with the Jammu and Kashmir state, many Jats had remained Hindu, and many Hindu Nagra Jats are still found in the Jammu Jammu Region. Therefore, we find among the Basra, Goraya and Nagra groups following Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. The Gazetteer of the Sialkot District (1920, Part A) gave the following description:

profess different religions, but a strong family likeness pervades the whole tribe. The Muhammadan is sometimes said to be less energetic than his Hindu or Sikh brother, but it is very doubtful whether any such distinction exists. The Sikh sometimes indulges a taste for liquor and a certain amount of illicit distilling occurs in the district. All are patient, hardworking cultivators without much enterprise but tenacious of their rights and proud of their position as zamindars or landowners, even if their holding be but an acre or two.

Another interesting factor is that both the Basra and Goraya claim descent from the Saroha Rajputs, a tribe of which little is known. The quote makes reference to the word zamindar, literally landowner, and almost Jats in this region interchangeably describe themselves as zamindar and Jat.

Basra

I start of by looking at the Basra, a clan found mainly in the northern part of the Rechna Doab. Like many of other Jat tribes in the Sialkot region, they claim descent from the mysterious Saroha tribe. There are currently very Saroha Rajputs, but most claim to be Chandravanshi Rajputs. Many Basra also connect themselves with the mythical Rajah Salvahan, who is said to founded the city of Sialkot. According to this tradition, Raja Salvahan has two sons named as Basra and Sarra. From Basra descend the Basra tribe of Jats and from Sarra the Sarai, another well known Jat tribe. Basra is said to have migrated to Phagwara, now located in the Kapurthala district of Indian Punjab. There original settlement was the village of Mehli, located near the town of Phagawara. Incidentally, almost all Basra of the Sialkot / Narowal region claim Mehli to be their village of origin. Melhi is also still home to Basra Jat families who follow the Sikh faith. Some five centuries ago, a famine drove the Basra from Phagwara, and they established their first settlement at the village of Gharial Kalan, south of the town of Pasrur. They then founded the village of Gharial Khurd , due to the unavailability of land in Gharial Kalan. It is unclear when the Basra began converting to Islam, but the majority were Muslim at the time of the arrival of the British in the Punjab 1849. Most Basra are now found mainly near the city of Daska.

In terms of distribution, most Basra are still found in Raya Tehsil of Narowal District, and Daska Tehsil of Sialkot District. There are a second cluster of Basra villages in the Kali Subha region of north eastern Gujranwala. In the district Sheikhupura, they are found in the villagers of Bule Chak, Akbarian-Bhagian, Hamidpur and Gundowal. Outside their historic area, the Basra Jats have settled in the Canal Colony districts of Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh, where there are now several Basra villages.

Goraya

The next tribe I will look at are the Goraya. There are several origins myths for the Goraya, which is not uncommon among Punjabi tribes. But most agree that sometime in the past they were once pastoral. Like the Basra, the Goraya are said to be descended from the Saroha Rajputs, and to have come to Gujranwala as a nomadic and pastoral. tribe from Sirsa, in what is now Haryana. According to another tradition,t he tribe is descended from a Sombansi Rajput called Goraya whose grandson Mai came from the Lakki Thal, in what is now Bhakkar District. A third tradition is that Rana their founder, came from the Jammu hills during the period of Mughal rule over Punjab (circa 15 -17 AD). Interestingly, the word goraya is also used for the nilgai, a type of a large antelope. Therefore, it is possible that Goraya could have been a nickname for their ancestor. Finally, it is sometimes said that they are a clan of the Dhillon tribe, descended from Budh who had
twenty sons, one of whom was Goraya.

They are now found in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal and Gurdraspur. They own 31 villages in Gujranwala. In Sialkot, there villages are located ibn the north-east of the Pasrur Tehsil.

Nagra

The last tribe I will look at are the Nagra. According to tribal traditions, the clan claim descent from Nagra, who is said to be a Chauhan Rajput, and the tribe also claim a common origin with the Cheema. They are said to have left Delhi during the rule of Alauddin Khilji (rule 1296 to 1316), and settled initially in Jalandhar, and them moved to Pasrur, near Sialkot. The Sikh Nagra consider the Sikh Cheema to be their collaterals, and as such these two clans do not intermarry. After the partition of India in 1947, the Sikh Nagra of Sialkot District moved to India, while the Muslim Nagra undertook a similar migration from Gurdaspur District

Nagra tribal territory stretched from Pasrur in the west to Gurdaspur in the east. Like many Jat clans in this region, they are partly Muslim and partly Sikh. Many Nagras, like other Jat clans were settled in the Canal Colonies of Lyalpur and Montgomery in the 19th and early 20th Century. One such Nagra village in the canal colonies is Chak 351 GB Nagra in Toba Tek Singh District.

Naipal and Wattu tribes

In this post, I will look at two communities of Punjabi Muslims, namely the Naipal and Wattu, that were found along the banks of the Sutlej, in what is now Okara, Kasur and Bahawalnagar districts in Pakistan, and Ferozepur in India. After the partition of Punjab in 1947, the Wattu and Naipal of Ferozepur immigrated to Pakistan. Both these tribes connect themselves to the Bhatti, and like them were largely pastoral until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century.

Naipal

I start with the very localized tribe of the Naipal, who were found entirely Ferozepur District. The Naipal clan get their name from Naipal, son of Bhuni, who belonged to the Bhatti tribe, were historically found on the Sutlej just north of the city Ferozepur. They came from Sirsa in the reign of Muhammad Shah (ruler 1719-1748), and once held the river valley as far down as that town, but were driven higher up by the Dogars, and in the Naipal in turn expelled the Gujars. Sometime during the middle of the 18th Century, the Naipals occupied the Makhu ilaqa, then probably a complete waste. It is said to have been named Makkah by a faqir, one Muhammad, who had been there, but its name was corrupted into Makhu. Like their neighbours, the Dogar, Gujjar and Wattu, they were largely pastoral.

By middle of the 18th Century, Mugha1 authority had collapsed in the Sutlej valley and the Naipals became independent until Jassa Singh, the Ahluwalia (1718-1783), chief of Kapurthala took possession of their territory around 1770, and established a thana at Makhu and created the ilaqa of that name. By the early 19th Century, Ahluwalia rule was replaced by the British. Groups of the Naipal began to immigrate to the Ahluwalia ruled Kapurthala State, establishing their settlement in 1857. The Naipal were almost independent under the Ahluwalia rulers, and to have paid a small rent in kind only when the kardar was strong enough to compel them to it, which has not often the case.

By the mid 19th Century, the Naipal were settled as farmers, and began to intermarry neighbouring Muslim Jat tribes such as the Sidhu. They have lost more of their Hindu origin than either the Dogars or Gujars, and in their marriage connections they follow the Muslim law, near blood relations being permitted to enter into the marriage. Most Naipals were owner cultivators, almost every member of the tribe holding land in ownership, and not cultivating it under a few tribal chiefs as tenants, like their neighbours the Dogars.
At the time of partition in 1947, the Naipal territory was allocated to India, leading to the migration of the entire tribe to Pakistan Punjab.


Wattoo

The Wattoo, sometines writen as Wattu, are one of the main Rajput tribes of the Sutlej valley, who are closely connected to the Bhatti. Their historic homeland lay adjacent to Bhattiana, the region that now forms parts of Hissar, Sirsa and Ferozpur. Like other Punjabi tribes, the Watto have several origin myths.

In the old Sirsa territory, modern day western Haryana, the Wattoo traditions refer to a Raja Junher, a descendant of the Bhatti Raja Salvahan of Sialkot, was settled in Bhatner, wher he had two sons Achal and Batera, who were.was settled in Bhatner. The descendants of Batera include the Sidhu and Barar Jats. The former again had two sons Jaipal and Raipal, of whom Jaipal was the ancestor of the Bhatti proper, and Raipal of the Wattoo. The Wattoo are said to have been converted to Islam by Baba Farid, during the rule of their chief Khiwa, who ruled at Haveli in Okara, and was succeeded by the famous Wattu chief, Lakhe Khan. Wattoo territory at the beginning of the 19th Century included lands on both banks of the Sutlej in the Sirsa district, and the adjoining parts of Montgomery and Bahawalpur state, from Baggehi 16 miles above Fazilka, to Phulahi 70 miles below it. Above them was the territory of the Dogars, below them the Joiya. In the late 18th Century, after the Chalissa famine, the Wattoo left what is now Okara and settled in the lands of Sirsa and Rania, which was ruled by Bhatti Nawabs. This migration occurred under the leadership Fazil Dalel Rana. Another branch moved into what is Bahawalnagar District. In the Sutlej valley, the Wattoo were the most important group of Hitharis. Other groups also began to move into the Ravi river valley clashing with both the Kharals and Bhattis of the Bhatiore.

Another Wattoo traditions makes them descendants of Rajah Salvahan son Pital, who quarrelled with hie brothers and went th Bhatner (now known as Hanumangarh) in Rajasthan. Twelve generatione later Adham, owing to a feud with tho Panwar Rajputs, immigrated into the
Punjab and earned his title of Wattoo by subduing the pride of that race.The word watt or vat has various meanings, and Wattoo very likely meens a borderer. The Wattoos have a number of clans (muhins), e.g. Ladhoka, Bazidke,
Salim-Shahi, etc, all named after a particular ancestor.The principal clans of the Wattoos in Bahawalpur are:

i) Salim-ke (I) Qaim-ke, (2) Amruke, (3) Bare-ke.
ii. Sahru, with a sub-sept Darweshke.
iii. Gaddhoke, (1) Ratte-ke, (2) Bithe-ke, (3) Dhaddi-ke, (4) Daddd-ke.
iv. Rahmanke
v. Malike
vi. Miana
viii Jasoke
ix. Ahloke

The Wattoo were pastoralist par excellence, and this shown by a quote by the colonial ethnographer W.E. Purser:

priding themselves upon their politeness and hospitality. They are of only moderate industry, profuse in expenditure on special occasions, indifferent to education and exceedingly fond of cattle

In Bahhwalpur they have a different origin, with the Wattoos originally coming from Jaisalmeer and settled in the Punjab, advancing as far as Batala, which according to this tradition they founded. They then dispersed along both banks of the Sutlej. Their conversion to Islam occurred during the rule of Firoz Shah Tughlak (1351 to 1388) after which period they were incorporated into the Sultanate of Delhi. With the collapse of Muslim rule, the Wattoo suffered greatly at the hands of Sidhu-Bar Sikhs to whom they remained tributary until Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan II (4 June 1772 – 13 August 1809) expelled the Sidhu-Barars from the Wattu territory and annexed it to Bahawalpur.

Prior to the partition of India, there were sizeable colonies in Fazilka in what is now Punjab, India and Sirsa in what is now Haryana. All of these communities migrated to Pakistan in 1947.

The Wattoo tribe is now found in the following districts; Okara District, Pakpattan District, Bahawalnagar District, Shekhupura District, Multan District, and Nankana Sahib District.

Description of Major Muslim Communities in India: Bhale Sultan

In this post, I stick with the state of Uttar Pradesh, and look at the Bhale Sultans, a community of Khanzadas found in Uttar Pradesh. There name is a combinationation of the Sanskrit, Bhala, a kind of arrow or spear and the Arabic word Sultan meaning lord. The Bhala in medieval India was a type of spear given only to army commanders, and possession signified leadership. So technically, any army commander was a Bhale Sultan, but the title is now restricted to a specific community of Hindu Thakurs and Muslim Khanzadas found in the Awadh region and Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. In fact, when we talk of the Bhale Sultan, we are really talking about two distinct communities, those of Bulandshahr and those of Awadh, each with their own origin myths. In the introduction to my article on the Ahbans, I discuss the exact meaning of the word Khanzada, and I ask the reader to look at that post.

Bhale Sultan of Bulandshahr

In Bulandshahr, the Bhale Sultans are found mainly in villages around the ancient town of Khurja. According to tribal traditions, there ancestor was Sidhrao Jai Sinh, a Solanki Rajput of Anhilwada Pattan in what is now Gujarat. A descendent of Sidhrao, Sarang Deo, a nephew of the then Solanki Raja of Gujarat, settled in the ancient city of Baran (now known as Bulandshahr), which was then part of a principality ruled by the Dor clan of Rajputs. These Solanki were then granted an estate of eight villages by Prithvi Raj Chauhan, as a reward for services rendered during the Mahoba war. Most of the country was inhabited by the Meo community, who Sarang Deo and his followers conquered. His grandson, Hamir Singh, obtained from Shah ab-ud-din Ghori the title of Bhala Sultan or lord of the lance.” From then on the clan became known as Bhale Sultan. Kirat Singh was seventh in descent from Hamir Singh, and his descendant, Khan Chand, seven generations later, converted to Islam during the rule of Khizr Khan and took the name of Malha Khan. His son, Lad Khan and his nephew, Narpat Singh, who divided the property between them, moved from their homes at Arniyan and Kakaur to Khurja during the reign of Akbar and received the office of Chaudhri. Over time, the Bhale Sultan, both the Muslim branch descended from Lad Khan and Hindu branch descended from Narpat Singh became effective rulers of Khurja. At their height, the Muslim branch owned forty-four villages and the Hindus of the same clan thirty-two villages and-a-half. However, with rise of Kheshgi Pathans of Khurja, the Bhale Sultan power declined, with further losses when the British conquered the Doab in the early 19th Century.

Bhale Sultan of Awadh

In Awadh, there are several communities of Bhale Sultans, each with their own origin myths. The most important are those communities found in Faizabad and Sultanpur.

Among the Bhala Sultan of Sultanpur, there is a tradition that four hundred years ago Rai Barar, son of Amba Rai, brother of the then Raja of Morarmau, commanded a troop of cavalry recruited entirely from the Bais clan in the service of the Mughals, and was deputed to exterminate the trouble sum Bhars (an indigenous community) in the Isauli Pargana in present day Sultanpur District. Having accomplished his task, he returned to Delhi and presented himself at the head of his troop before the Emperor, who, struck with their manly bearing, exclaimed, “Aao, Bhale Sultan” meaning “come, spear of the Sultan”. Palhan Deo, great grandson of Rai Barar, is said to have been converted to Islam during the rule of Sher Shah Suri. From this branch of the Bhale Sultan descended the taluqdar families of Deogaon, Mahona and Unchgaon. In addition, the more minor Muslim Bhale Sultan formed the main landowning group in the north-west corner of Sultanpur district, then forming the parganas of Isauli, Musafirkhana and Jagdispur

In Faizabad, the Bhale Sultan claim descent from Rao Mardan Sinh, who is said to be a Bais Rajput, of Dundiya Khera, who was a horse-dealer by profession. During a visit Gajanpur, in Isauli Pargana, of the Sultanpur District, where there was a fort of the Rajbhars, which the Thakur is said to have captured. His son, Rao Barar, entered the service of the Sultan of Delhi, and as he was a good horseman and clever spearman, he obtained the title of Bhale Sultan. One of his descendants, Baram Deo, obtained the title Khanzada from a Sultan of Delhi, and from that period his descendants have been called Khanzada.

While a little known tradition, in Rae Bareli claims that they were Ahirs who were raised to the rank of Rajputs by Tilok Chand, a legendary figure in Awadh history.

Distribution of Bhale Sultans by District According to 1891 Census of India

District Hindu Muslim
 Saharanpur  17  27
 Meerut  20
 Bulandshahr  6,370  4,790
 Agra  59  3
 Farrukhabad  9  6
 Mainpuri  36
 Badaun  11
 Shahjahanpur  9
 Pilibhit  19  4
 Kanpur  11  75
 Fatehpur  3
 Banda  1
 Allahabad  824 18
 Lalitpur  2  2
 Benaras  15  86
 Jaunpur  25  3
 Ghazipur  7
 Gorakhpur  35  64
 Basti  155  53
 Azamgarh  122  29
 Lucknow  17  283
 Unnao  5  38
 Rae Bareli  377  372
Sitapur 20 23
 Lakhimpur Kheri  3  108
 Faizabad  757  687
 Gonda  406  352
 Bahraich  108  271
 Sultanpur  8,016  4,607
 Partapgarh  49  17
 Barabanki  329  735
Total Population in UP  17,320  12,670

 

Description of Major Muslim Communities in India : Behlim and Nagar

In this post, I return to the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), and the Muslim communities that inhabit it. In particular, I will look at the Behlim and Nagar Muslims, both of whom fall within the category of Shaikh. Briefly, the word sheikh is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means “elder.” It is commonly used to designate an elder of a tribe, a revered wise man, or an Islamic scholar. In the South asian context, Shaikh is a title used by the descendants of Arab and other Muslim immigrants who were said to have arrived from the Middle East or Central Asia, although it was also extended to converts from Hinduism, generally those who came from the Brahman or Vaishya category. What I want to make clear about the term Shaikh, it does not denote a single identity, but contains within a multiple and complex groupings. In some parts such as Bihar and West Bengal/ Bangladesh, the term Shaikh refers to Muslim who practices farming, while in UP Shaikh is invariably an urban group. The two groups I am looking at in this post, namely the Behlim and Nagar display this diversity of origin, with former claiming a Central Asian origin, while the Nagars claiming to be a Muslim branch of the Nagar Brahman caste.

Behlim

I will start off by looking at the Behlim, who are actually two distinct communities. We have infact two distinct communities of Behlim, those of UP and those of Gujarat. I shall start of by looking at the UP Behlims.

According to tribal tradition, the Behlim trace their descent the Sufi Salar Masud Ghaz (1015 –1032 AD), and the word is said to be a corruption of the word ba-ilm, meaning those who are knowledgeable in Arabic. Masud was a Ghaznavid army general and the nephew of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. Masud was son of Ghazi Salar Sahu, a descendant of Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, son of Hazrat Ali, and Sitr-i-Mu’alla, who was sister of Ghaznavi. Salar Masud came along with his uncle Salar Saifudin and teacher Syed Ibrahim Mashadi Bara Hazari (Salar-i-Azam of Ghaznavi) in early 11th century to the South Asia for propagation of Islam. According Sufi traditions associated with Salar Masud, he was killed in battle fighting local Hindu forces in what is now the Awadh region of UP. As Ghazna dynasty were of Central Asian Turk origin, this would make the Behlim to be partly of Turkish origin. In another origin story, the Behlim claim to be descended from Central Asian Turkish troopers, having arrived in India during the time Iltutmish (reigned: 1211–36). This would mean there arrival was a good two centuries after the Salar Masud. What does seem to be certain is that Behlim have been in UP for fairly long time, and are likely to of Central Asian Turkish origin.

The Behlim families of the city of Bulandshahr played an important role in the history of that city. Other Behlim are found mainly in the neighbouring districts of Meerut and Muzaffarnagar. In addition of the Behlim of the Doab, there are two other settlements in Gonda District and Basti District in eastern Uttar Pradesh. These Behlim have little or no connection with those of western Uttar Pradesh. Both the Behlim communities speak Urdu, and as a largely urban community very rarely speak any of the local dialects of Hindi. They are largely Sunni, although there is a small Shia minority.

Separate from the UP Behlims, are those of Gujarat, who are found mainly in Mehsana and Banaskantha districts. These Behlim are an agrarian community, found mostly in north Gujarat. According to some traditions, they were once Rajputs, and their customs are similar to other Muslim Rajput communities, such as the Maliks. The Behlim intermarry with other Gujarati Muslim communities of similar status such as Pathan, Shaikh and Molesalam Rajputs. Unlike other Gujarati Muslims, they have no caste association, and generally are allied to other Rajput landholding classes. They speak Gujarati and are Sunni Muslims.


Nagar

I now look at the Nagar, who are now found entirely in Bulandshahr District, who particular in and around the town of Ahar.

The Nagar are Muslim converts from the larger Nagar Brahmin community who were said to have ruled the Ahar pargana of Bulandshahr District, prior to the Muslim conquest of the region in the 11th Century. These Nagar are widespread Brahmin sub-caste, who have always been connected with the Doab, the region in which Bulandshahr District is situated. The town of Ahar lies along the banks of the Ganges river, a site which also considered sacred to Hindus.

Before the Muslim invasion this part of the country was known as the Chaurasi of the Nagar Brahmans, who still hold a few villages. According to local folklore, the name Ahar is locally derived from’ ahi’ and ‘har,’ the killing of the serpent, and the present town is said to be the place where Janamejaiya performed the great snake sacrifice, and rewarded the Nagar Brahmans who assisted him with. Janamejaiya, in Hindu mythology, was a Kuru king who reigned during the Middle Vedic period (12th or 11th century BCE). Along with his predecessor Parikshit, he played a decisive role in the consolidation of the Kuru state, the arrangement of Vedic hymns into collections, and the development of the orthodox srauta ritual, transforming the Kuru realm into the dominant political and cultural center of northern /Iron_Age_India. From these legends and myths, we can ascertain that the Nagar have long been established in this region, were the effective local rulers.

The Nagars were said to have converted during the period of rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (reign 1658-1707). Aurangzeb is said to have begun a campaign in the hinterland of Delhi to suppress all the minor principalities that had maintained their autonomy. When he decided to end the Nagar control of Ahar, one of his advisors convinced him that it was inexpedient to allow all of the members of the Chaudhri’s family of that town to exercise the functions of their hereditary office. Aurangzeb is said to have agreed but on the condition that only two of them should be recognised as Chaudhri He them chose two members of the clan that had just been converted to Islam to the Chaudhri’s position. The principality of Ahar thus passed into the control of the Muslim Nagars, and town itself also converted, with the Muslims presently making 70% of the population.

As Mughal authority declined, the Nagar Muslim became important power in the Doab region, in particular in Bulandhshar District. With the arrival of the British in beginning of the 19th Century, the Nagar Muslims were confirmed their estates. In 1857, during the War of Independence, the Nagars were led by their Chaudri Sohrab Khan, who set himself up as the independent ruler, taking advantage of the collapse of British authority. However when British authority was re-established, the Nagars lost all their estates

The Nagar are Sunni Muslims, and largely Barelvi. Their customs are similar to other Shaikh communities in the Doab region. The Nagar generally speak standard Urdu. Most Nagar stil;l reside in Ahar and four villages nearby.