Noon / Nun Rajput

In this post, I will look at the Noon, sometimes spelt Nun, tribe of Rajputs. Two of their branches, those of Shujabad near Multan and Hamooka near Khushab achieved political power, although Noons are  also found in Bhakkar, Jhang and Faisalabad.  The Noons of Khushab are closely connected with  the Tiwana, and I would ask the reader to look at my post on that tribe.

Origin Myth
The Noon are a tribe of Jat and Rajput status, found in mainly in Shujabad Tehsil of Multan District. According to one of their traditions, they are descended Noon, a Bhatti Rajput, who said to have left Delhi. According to other traditions, Kalyar was a son of Rana Raj Wadhan, who had four other sons, (1) Utterā, (2) Nun, (3) Kanjun, (4) Hatar. The tradition is that the ancestors of Raj Wadhan lived in ancient times near Ghajni (which is said to have existed near Rawalpindi), from where they migrated to Delhi, which after a time they left for Bhatner (now known as Hanumangarh). In the 7th century of the Hijra Raj Wadhan together with his tribe left Bhatner and settled near Chhanb Kulyar (now in the Lodhran District), which in those days lay on the southern bank of the Sutlej and formed part of the dominions of Rai Bhutta, the ruler of a city, the greater part of which was destroyed by the Sutlej flowing over it; but parts of its ruins are still to be seen on the right bank of the Ghāra (in Lodhran District). Rana, Raj Wadhan had a beautiful daughter whom Rai Bhutta, desired to marry. The request was refused by Kalyar, the eldest son of Raj Wadhan ; and the result was that a sanguinary battle took place in which Rai Bhutta, was slain. The tract of the country thus conquered by the Kalyars became known as Chhanb Kalyar, which name it still retains. At this time Sher Shah Sayyid Jalal was living in Uch, where Rana Raj Wadhan and his sons went to see him and embraced Islam. Raj Wadhan remained at Uch, Uttera, occupied the  Viah  (Bias), Nun, also known as Nano began to live on the banks of the Ravi, (and that tribe is now dominant in Shujabad tahsil), Kanjun at the Donari Mari, and Kalyar made Chhanb Kulyar his residence. Hatar was deprived of his share of the inheritance. Although, as my post on the Hattars show, they are now a substantial tribe in Sargodha District. Rajah Nanoo had sevens sons. One was said to have settled in Mitha Tiwana, another at Kahror Pacca in Lodhran District, one was settled in Shikarpur in Sindh and four were settled in Shujabad in Multan after accepting Islam on the hands of Makhdoom Jalaluddin Jahanian Jahangasht of Uch. All Noons except of those Sargodha write Rana as their title, except those of Mitha Tiwana, who use the title Malik.

Noon of Shujabad

There is however another tradition among the Noon of Shujabad, who claims descent from a Rajah Ganj, a Chandravanshi Rajput. The Rajah was prince of Thana Bhawan, which is a town in Uttar Pradesh, located  near the city of Delhi. A descendent of Rajah by the name of Nano converted to Islam at the hands of Makhdum Jahanian (b 1308- d 1384). The tribe, according to this tradition, gets its name Noon from Nano, and after their conversion to Islam they settled near Multan. They remained a pastoralist tribe living near the banks of the Chenab until the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556 to 1605). He granted the title of rana, which is a historical title meaning lord, and used by Rajput groups in South Asia, to their chiefs. The various Noon of Shujabad claim descent from six brothers, Ranjha, Janah, Ali Sher, Langa, Umar and Walan. These six brothers are said to have fled from near Multan, and founded the town of Bangala. From this original settlement, they founded further villages such as Basirpur, Mohanpur, Kachotha, Sat Burji and Jalalabad. A number of further settlements were established during the rule of the  governor of Multan, Nawab Muzaffar Khan. Two of the most important villages were those of Basti Mithu, Mari Noon and Dadu, while their other villages include Garwezpur, Basti Dad and Panoi. During the later Mughal period (18th Century), the Noon of Shujabad were independent, their most important chief being Rana Mithu. Rana Mithu’s son, Rana Gamah acknowledge Sikh sovereignity, and was an important courtier in Ranjit Singh’s court. When Sikh rule ended in 1848, his nephew, Rana Ahmed Yar Khan  was appointed zaildar. The Noon’s of Shujabad are still active in politics, with Rana Ijaz Ahmad Noon , serving as a Member of the Punjab Assembly.

In addition to the Shujabad Noons, another branch of the family is settled in Kahror Pacca in Lodhran District.

Noon of Kahror Pakka

Another branch of the Noon are found in the town of Kahror Pakka, in Lodhran District. According to some traditions, the Noon are a branch of the Kanju tribe. Rana Alhaj Rabnawaz Noon, a Kahror Pakka who authored the Tareekh Noon Rajput (Moeenabad, 1986), wrote the following about the Kehror Pakka branch:

 

The Noon clan resides mostly in Sargodha district and Multan district of Punjab.The Noon clan migrated from Dehli and settled in the Bhalwal and the Shujabad areas. Great legater of Noon cast was Rana Fateh Mohammad who with his family came from District Shahpur (Sargodha) and settled in Mouzas Sangu and Chori Noon Tehsil Shorkot District Jhang. After settlement of a half century here, they populated in Khanqah Shah Hussain near Shatabgarh in Tehsil Mailsi. During this settlement Rana Fateh Mohammad came with his family to Noqabilwah of Kahror Pacca which was known as chak Bangar Shirqi and permanently settled here

According to the Kehror Pakka. they arrived in the region from Sargodha and Jhang almost 250 years ago. Alhaj Rabnawaz writes further:

In Sikhs regime, a senior member of Joiya family constructed a rivulet from Qabilwah to Mari Bhagowah. That part of rivulet which was constructed in the area of Bhago Khan was known as Mari Bhagowah and remaining part of rivulet which was constructed in Bangar Shirqi was given the name of Noqabilwah. That is why the old name was converted into new name Noqabilwah and majority of Noon family of Kahror Pacca is resided in Noqabilwah.

The Noon’s were subject to the Pathan Nawabs of Multan, but were semi-independent, until Multan fell to the armies of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1817. The Noon then sack to the position of zamindars under Sikh and then from 1848, British rule/

Noon of Khushab / Sargodha

This branch of the Noon tribe also traces its descent from Rajah Ganj. Rajah Nano here did not settle in Shujabad, but arrived with his kinsmen in the Thal.  Here they established close relationship with their neighbours, the Tiwanas, with whom they have long inter-married. While the arrival of the Sikh reduced the power of the Shujabad Noons, the Sikh power strengthened the Khushab Noons. Their chiefs, Malik Bakhsh Khan and his son Malik Jahan Khan served in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and held some villages in jagir, which were then lost in the last period of Sikh rule. Malik Fateh Khan, the Noon chief at time of the annexation of Punjab by the British in 1848, helped the British put down a Sikh uprising in 1849. The Malik was giving an estate by the British as a reward. From this branch of the Noon family came the Pakistani prime minister Feroze Khan Noon.

The Noon established fifteen villages in Sargodha District in the late 19th Century, after a grant of the large jagir. The most important of which are Alipur Noon, Nurpur Noon, Sardarpur Noon and Sultanpur Noon.

Distribution of Noon Rajputs According to the 1901 Census of India

District / State
Population
Multan 3,653
Shahpur 1,213
Total Population 4,866

Population of Noon Jats According to the 1901 Census

District / State
Population
Chenab Colony 172
Other Districts 205
Total Population 377