In this post, I will look at the history and origin of the Hans and Khagga tribes. The homeland of both tribes is located in the Neeli Bar, and I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Arar tribe, which describes the region in greater detail. The Hans are found further east then the Khagga in the Sutlej valley. Both these tribes claim an Arab origin.
The Hans claim to be of Quraishi origin and were one of the many tribes that occupied the upland of the Neeli Bar before the start of colonization of the Punjab by the British Imperial authorities in the 19th century. The Quraishi, or Quraish are the Arab tribe to wich the Prophet belonged too. According to Hans traditions, their ancestors left Arabia and settled in the Bar during the period of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. Their ancestors had initially settled in Afghanistan, and from their moved to Punjab, where they settled in Pukka Sidhar in what is now Pakpattan District. For the next 5 centuries, the Hans were simple land-holders, living a little to the north-west of the city of Pakpattan. However, small numbers of Hans were found as east as Fazilka. They were a classic tribe of Bar nomads, raising cattle, and moving along the Sutlej. During the rule of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (5 January 1592 – 22 January 1666), the town of Malka Hans was founded by Malik Mohammad Hans, and became the most important centre of the tribe, replacing Pakka Sidhar.
The fortune of the Hans changed the during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. A Hans by the name of Shaikh Qutub Hans, a learned men and apparently a teacher of some of the nobility at the court of the Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi, obtained a grant of several villages from the Emperor in what became known the taluka Qutbabad. Shaikh Qutub became powerful, owing to his ability and influence at court, and wealthy, as the Para, Sohag and Dhadder streams flowed through his lands. Aurangzeb, as the gratitude to the Shaikh created a tappa or tract of the Hans which formed the parganas of Kabula and Alamgirpur, the modern Okara District.
Mughal authority began to decline shortly after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, and in the Bar, the local chieftains became independent. Like other Bar nomads, Shaikh Qutub’s descendant made themselves independent and about 1764 Muhammed Azam was chief of the clan. He seized as much of the country round Malika Hans as he could, but in 1766 the Sikhs overran it and took him prisoner by treachery. His brother is said to have called in the Bahrwal Sikhs to assist him, promising them half his territory, but instead of helping him against his rival, the Chishti diwan of Pakpattan, they put down cow-killing and the call to prayer, and so he called in the help Dogars, one of the larger tribes along the Sutlej, who lands lay directly north of the Hans. The combined Dogar and Hans force drove out the Sikhs. But about this time the streams which watered his lands had dried up and he was unable to resist the Sikhs when they returned, and he had to seek refuge with the diwan of Pakpattan. The Hans land fell under Sikh rule, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire seized Pakpattan in 1810, removing the political autonomy of the Chishti Diwan. With the arrival of the British in 1848, the Bar was opened for canal colonization. Most of the Hans land became part of the Montgomery District.
Waris Shah and Heer Ranjha
During the rule of the Muhammad Azam, Waris Shah arrived and lived in Malika Hans. He is said to have written Heer Ranjha in the town. The poem in some way is a tribute to the culture of the Bar nomads, such as the Hans.
Distribution and Villages
They are now found as propritors a few villages in Okara District. There are also isolated settlements of the Hans in Muzaffargarh and Layyah districts.
In Dipalpur Tehsil of Okara District, the villages of Hans Uttar Wali and Hans Hitharwali are important settlements of the tribe.
In Pakpattan District, Pakka Sidhar, Malka Hans, Bakka Hans, Hamma Rath and Chak 35 SP are important centres of the tribe.
In Layyah District, the villages of Chak No. 280/TDA, Chak No. 387/TDA, Chak No. 356/TDA, Chak No 151 TDA LAYYAH, and Ghulam Haider Kalluwala
In Multan District, the village of Azam Hans near the town of Qadirpur Ran, is an important settlement of the tribe.
In Lodhran District, the village of Mallan Hans.
In Kot Addu Tehsil of Muzaffargarh District, the village of Hans is an important centre of the tribe.
Moving now on the Khagga, who also claim a Hashmi Qureshi background. According to their traditions, they are descended from Khawaja Shah Jalal Din Muhammad Awais Jaafri Quraishi Hashm also known as Khawaja Awais Khagga. He was a disciple of Shaikh Muhammad Iraqi, a saint of Awaisi chain of Sufis. He is believed to have arrived in Multan during the times of Hazrat Sadruddin (son of famous Sufi Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakariya) and died in the year 700AH/1300AD.
Khagga is said to mean a particular kind of fish; and the name was given to Shah Jalal-ud-Din by his spiritual teacher on the occasion of his rescuing a boat overtaken by a storm. There is also a traditions, that during the period of Sikh rule (late 18th and early 19th Century), if anyone was distressed they could take refuge in the home of any Khagga. One has to understand that this was a time of great number of tribal feuds, and it was almost necessary to have someone who could be brought in as an arbitrator.
The Khagga are mostly found in south-west Punjab, with concentrations in Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Vehari, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts. In Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts are said to have come from Multan in the 19th century after the invasion of Ranjit Singh.
Important Khagga villages include Moza Ahmad Shah Khagga, Moza Akbar Shah and Moza Noor Shah Khagga in Sahiwal, Chak Shahana, Bherowal, Pakka Majeed (near Mian Channu) and Vehniwal in Khanewal. Other Khaga villages include Moza Allam Shah Khagga in Faisalabad District, Chak 418 TDA in Layyah District, Chak Shah Khagga in Pakpatan District and Basti Patal, Bastti Kot Saleemwala and Basti Shahwala, all near the town of Kot Addu in Muzaffargarh District.