Jan 13, 2011

History Of Sheikh Cast : History In Pakistan

History Of Sheikh : Cast History In Pakistan

 Sheikh (Arabic and Punjabi: شيخ ), is an Arabic word meaning elder of a tribe, lord, Honorable revered old man, or Islamic scholar. In South Asia it is used as an ethnic title generally attributed to Muslim trading families.Punjabi sheiukh are multi races,Mostly came from persia (Iran),Central asia Turkic tribes and Arabs.

From the beginning of Muslim rule in South Asia in 713 AD, the Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and sufis traveled from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and settled permanently.

In South Asia, after the advent of Islam, some high caste (Brahmins, Rajputs and Khatris) converted to Islam in the Punjab region and adopted this title. They are known as Punjabi Shaikh (Punjabi) پنجابی شيخ. Punjabi Shaikhs are mostly urban and non agriculturist but a few families also cultivate their own land in the western districts. Their main professions are business and public service. In Punjab, they stereotypically have a reputation for business acumen. The Khawaja Shaikh, with their sub-division the Chiniotis and the Qanungoh Shaikh are two such communities.

Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Khatris were living in all the districts of Punjab. Most of them were concentrated in the western districts. People from all classes; Khatris, Rajputs, Gujjars, Gakhars, etc; had converted to Islam. The Siddiqui Shaikhs and Quraishi Shaikhs are communities that are the descendeds from these converted classes. They are found in Punjab as Punjabi speaking Shaikhs and also found in Sindh as Sindhi speaking Shaikhs.

Many Rajput clans had converted to Islam during the early 12th century and were also given the honorary title of Sheikh (elder of the tribe) by their Arab rulers.Sheiukh rajputs were the earliest in Rajputs to embrace Islam. Similarly some of the Saraswat Brahmins including Mohyals also adopted Sheikh as their title upon high cast conversion to Islam.

Muslim Khatris

The Muslim Khatri (Urdu: کهتری ) are the Khatri converts to Islam. With the advent of Islam following invasions by Turkic tribes from Afghanistan and the North West Frontier Province from the 11th century onwards, there were conversions of Hindus to the faith from among various Punjabi communities, including Khatris.Generally they retained their tribal, clan or caste affiliations as has been the norm in the region. Similarly, the Khatris who converted to Islam, continue to retain a strong social identity and are known as Punjabi Shaikhs.

Pakistan continues to have a prominent community of Khatris known as Punjabi Shaikhs as well as Khawaja Shaikhs. Some Muslim Khatris like the Sahgal family, Aftab Ahmed Vohra, Najam Sethi,etc of Pakistan are examples of well-known and successful Muslim Khatris. They are also known as Khoja and Chiniotis.

In addition the Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Delhi community are also of Khatri ancestry. Historically, this community lived in Delhi, and other north Indian towns, but after the partition of India, they have all moved to Pakistan.In Pakistan also the Muslim Khatris are expanded to various occupations.

Khawaja Shaikh
Members of the Khatris caste, after converting to Islam adopted the title Khawaja Shaikh (Arabic: خواجہ شيخ‎) and to this community belong many prominent Muslim trading families of South Asia.

When Khatri traders from the western districts of the Punjab like Sargodha, Jhang, Jehlum, Chakwal, Faisalabad accepted Islam called themselves Khawaja and adopted Shaikh as title. They are thus called Khawaja Sheikh. Some of them have also adopted Mian as title. In recent years traders from a small town of Chiniot,in the Chiniot District, became prominent due to their contribution in the industries of Pakistan. These traders are known as Chiniotis or Chinioti Shaikhs. The famous trading family of Sahgals, Sahgal Khatris of Chakwal, are known simply as Punjabi Shaikh instead of Khawaja Shaikh. They use Mian as title.

The first censuses of the Punjab were conducted by Denzil Ibbetson and Edward Maclagan in 1883 and 1892. According to their reports, the Khawajas of Bhera in Shahpur, Sargodha District were converted from Khatris, and those from Jhang were said to be converted from Arora. At Chiniot in Jhang District, Majority of the Khawajas are Khatris, while some are Arora. They reported the following sections (gotras) of Khatris from Chiniot:

Adal, Behrara, Churra, Maggun (or Maghoon), Sahgal, Wadhaun (or Vadhavan), Wihara, Talwar, Puri, Topra.

Only one section of Arora is reported from Chiniot:


The sections of Khawajas from Bhera were reported as follows:

Vohra, Sahgal, Kapur, Sethi, Duggal, Nanda, Magun, Mehndru, Motali. These are all Khatri sections.

The sections of Khawajas from Pindi Bhattian were reported as follows: Sahgal and Wadhaun. These are all Khatri sections.

And one section of Phaphra Sheikh's is reported from there:


The Khawajas of Layyah, Punjab have following Khatri sections:

Kapur, Puri and Tandan .

Kakkezai Shaikhs

people that are of Abrahamic descend can only be called Khawaja or Sheikh etc, because this is a very old Hebrew title Meaning Lord/Master over gentiles.

The Kakkezai are an important clans of Shaikhs. According to some traditions, they are converts of the Hindu Kalwar castes, while other claims to be descended from a tribe of Afghans originally from Siestan. They use Shaikh as a surname.
Qanungoh Shaikh
Main article: Qanungoh Shaikh

Qanungoh Shaikhs: (Persian: قانونگوہ شيخ) belonged to all the districts of the Punjab. They have different lineages and represent families who were holding hereditary office of ‘’Qanungoh’’ (‘’Law readers’’) during the Muslim period.

This designation was used in the Punjab and other provinces of India and Pakistan for hereditary registrar of landed property in a subdivision of a district.
Siddiqui and Quraishi Shaikhs

The Siddiqui and Quraishi are also clans of Shaikh found in the Punjab.
Kashmiri Shaikhs
Muhammad Iqbal, the national poet of Pakistan

Kashmiri Shaikh are another community living in different districts of the Punjab. They emigrated from Kashmir during 19th & 20th century. Allama Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal belonged to this group. Muhammad Iqbal grandfather Shaikh Rafiq migrated to Sialkot in early 19th century. It has been suggested that Kashmiri Shaikhs are descendants of Kashmiri Pandits who converted to Islam and adopted this title. Shaikh are descended from the Brahmin tribes.

source: wikipedia

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History Of Sheikh : Cast History In Pakistan



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