About The Great Rajput's


The term Rajput is traditionally applied to the original SuryavanshiChandravanshi and Agnivanshi clans, the ancient Hindu ruling dynasties of South Asia. AmongYaduvanshi Ahirs who were converted as Muslims are Known as Ranghar.[6][7][8]

[edit]Muslim conquest of South Asia

Main article: Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent

The history of the Muslim Rajput coincides with the Muslim conquest of South Asia. The Rajputs started converting to Islam due to various reasons beginning with the conquest of Indus Valley from Multan toDebal by Muhammad bin Qasim of Umayyad Caliphate from Taif(now in Saudi Arabia) in 711 AD. At the time of arrival of Islam, the north and western regions of South Asia were ruled by Rajput clans. The Rajputs and Muslim armies fought many battles for the control of South Asia. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the regal power of Rajput Maharaja Jayapala Shahi of the North Western South Asian(modern day Pakistan) region by 1026, through successive battles.

Towards the end of the 12th century the Persian Shahbudin Muhammad of Ghor conquered Delhi after defeating last defense of the Rajputs in the second battle of Tarain 1192 , by Maharaja Prithvi RajChauhan. Later his successor in India Qutb-ud-din Aibak established the Delhi Sultanate in 1206.

In 1527, the Muslim Janjua Rajput clan aided the Mughal conquest of South Asia by taking part in the Imperial Mughal armies as Generals.[9] Hindu Rajputs also took part in these conquests as allies and even took part in marriages with the Mughals such as Raja Man Singh of the Kachhwaha clan, who aided Emperor Akbar in 1568 against the Sesodias.

The Mughal princes and emperors had maternal Rajput blood. Emperor Bahadur Shah I's mother was a Muslim Rajput Nawab Bai Begum Sahiba (second wife of Emperor Aurangzeb) being the daughter of Raja Taj-ud-Din Jarral (Raja Chatar Shena Jarral) the late Raja of Rajauri, in Kashmir. Emperor Jahangir's mother was a Kachhwaha Rajput princess, the daughter of Raja Bharmal and the aunt of Raja Man Singh.

[edit]Conversion to Islam

Many Rajput clans were converted to Islam during the early 12th century and were given the title of Shaikh (elder of the tribe) by the Arab or Mirza by the Mughal rulers. Rajputs converted to Islam due to many reasons including physical or economic duress,[10] pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility among the Muslim ruling elite or for relief from Jazia taxes for being a non-Muslim ( Dhimmi ),[10][11]as a result of the actions of Sufi "saints" and involving a "genuine change of heart",[10] conversions of "lower" castes for "social liberation" and as a rejection of the "oppressive" existent caste structures.,[11]as a socio-cultural process of diffusion and integration over an extended period of time into the sphere of the dominant Muslim civilization and global polity at large.[11] whereas some conversions also took place for political reasons. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal dynasty encouraged the martial [{Malik Rajput}]clans to convert to Islam. Conversions to Islam continued into the 19th century period of the British Raj.

The fact of subsequent conversion to other faiths, did not deprive them of this heritage; just as the Greeks, after their conversion to Christianity, did not lose pride in the mighty achievements of their ancestors, of the Italians in the great days of the Roman Republic and early empire... Christians, Jews, Parsees, Moslems. Indian converts to these religions never ceased to be Indian on account of a change of their faith....

—From The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru[12]

Nehru also mentioned his own personal experience with Muslim Malik Rajputs as he grew up, "I grew to know; the Malik Rajput peasant and petty landholder, still proud of his race and ancestry, even though he might have changed his faith and adopted Islam." More importantly he bears testament to the fact that despite his change of faith, a Rajput is still a Rajput.[13]

The general conversion of the Muslim Rajputs from Hinduism is supposed to have taken place towards the end of the 13th or early 14th century AD. The Muslim conquests undoubtedly accelerated this change of religion, but the preaching of several renowned Muslim saints, especially Baba Farid of Pakpattan, whose eloquence drew large numbers to hear him, helped considerably to this end...

—From Punjabi Musalmans by J.M.Wikeley[14]

Jawaharlal Nehru made mention of Islam's mass appeal, "...The impact of the invaders of the north-west and Islam on India had been considerable. It pointed out and shown up the abuses that had crept up into Hindu society-the petrifaction of caste, untouchability, exclusiveness carried to fantastic lengths. The idea of brotherhood of Islam and of the theoretical equality of its adherents made a powerful appeal, especially those of the Hindu fold who were denied any semblance of equal treatment..."[15]

He further stated the conversions of Hindu upper castes to Islam, "Some individuals belonging to the higher castes also adopted the new faith, because for political economic reasons because of personal devotion... though all their social structure was based on the group (caste/social class), in matters of religion they were highly individualistic.... It is worth noting as a rule, conversions to Islam were group conversions to protect their entire race...Among the upper castes individuals may change their religion...almost an entire village would convert... group life as well as well as their functions continued as before with only minor variations with regards worship etc."[16]

[edit]Recent conversions and ethos

Regarding their rule as Muslim Rajput chiefs of multi-faith subjects, it is recorded in the Jhelum District Gazetteer "thoroughly convinced of the truth of their own Islamic creed, though they are by no means intolerant or fanatical."[17]

The Rajput conversions attracted criticism from their Hindu counterparts. In fact a testimony of the steadfast practice of Islam by the Muslim Rajputs;

By and large, the only converts who keep the prescriptions of the (Islamic) Faith intact are the Muslim Rajputs

—From Looking back on India by Hubert Evans[18]

There is an interesting case of this happening up until the recent British Raj era of India's history which established a precedent in their government. In the state of Rajgarh, the ruling Rajput Chief began to show a tendency towards Islam and got into difficulties with his Hindu caste peers over this. This occurred during the period of Sir John Lawrence's Viceroy period. His open following of Islamic traditions had infuriated his peers and feelings were so strong against him that he chose to abdicate the royal throne and retire to his new found faith. The subsequent inquiry against him however showed that he was a good ruler and no misgovernment was charged against him and his subjects were satisfied with his rule. A year later this Rajput chief openly declared the Kalima (Muslim affirmation of embracing Islam) and renounced the Hindu faith. His sons also joined him. This case established for the British Raj the precedent that no leader or ruler can be replaced simply because of his change of creed. Regardless of the feelings of his peers, it was the quality of his rule that mattered.[19]

There is also recorded instances of recent conversions of Rajputs to Islam in Western Uttar Pradesh, Khurja tahsil of Bulanshahr.[20]

But despite the difference in faith, where the question has arisen of Common Rajput honour, there have been instances where both Muslim and Hindu Rajputs have united together against threats from external ethnic groups.[21]

[edit]Muslim Gautama Thakurs

Further information: Gautam Khanzada and Khanzada (Awadh)

An interesting example is also of the Gautamana Thakurs Gautama is the gotra of Kshatriya Rajputs of Uttar Pradesh, India. Gautama Maharishi is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) He was one of the Maharishis of Vedic times, known to have been the discoverer of Mantras -- 'Mantra-drashtaa', in Sanskrit. The kshatriyas consisting of both Hindus and Muslims, co exist as a single tribe, supported each other staunchly through the Pre Partition Communal riots and have continued their respect towards one another despite the two distinct faiths of Islam and Hinduism. They are a sub-group of the Khanzada community of Awadh, a larger grouping of Muslim Rajputs.[22]

[edit]Rajput of the Punjab Hill States and Kashmir

History of the Panjab Tribes by J. Hutchinson and J.P.Vogel lists a total of 22 states (16 Hindu and 6 Muslim) that formed the State of Jammu following the conquest of Kashmir by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1820. Of these 6 Muslim states, two (Kotli and Punch) were ruled by Mangrals, two (Bhimber and Khari-Khariyala) were ruled by Chibs one (Rajouri) was ruled by the Jarrals and one (Khashtwar) was ruled by the Khashtwaria. Of these 22 states, 21 formed a pact with Ranjit Singh and formed the State of Jammu. Only Poonch ruled by the Mangrals retained a state of semi-autonomy. Following the War of 1947 Poonch was divided and is now split between Pakistan Administered Kashmir Poonch District (AJK) and Indian Administered Kashmir Poonch.[23]

As stated in History of the Panjab Hill States by J.Hutchinson and J.P. Vogel;

"Kotli was founded about the fifteenth century by a branch of the royal family of Kashmir.Kotli and Punch remained independent until subdued by Ranjit Singh in 1815 and 1819 respectively."

[edit]British Raj references of Muslim Rajputs

According to many British Historians like Edward Balfour and Sir Denzil Ibbetson Yaduvanshi Ahirs of Punjab {now Haryana} who were converted as Muslims are Known as Rangar or Muslim Rajputs.[6][7][8] A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883 written by Sir Denzil Ibbetson has reference to the Mangral Rajput. Under Western Rajputs, he writes that "The third Group is the Rajpoots of the western hills including the Salt Range Tract, comprising both dominant tribes of proud position such as Janjua and Mongrel Rajpoots from the Jammu hills"[24]

During the British era, the English quickly recognised the martial spirit of the Muslim Rajput and conferred great respect on their prominent clans and also documented their presence in the British army, praising their Martial traditions and abilities. In 1922 there is a mention of Muslim Rajputs having their own regiments as well as taking part in other famous regiments;

  • 18th Musalman Rajput regiment[25]
  • Punjabi Musalmans[26]
  • 35th Scinde Horse[27]
  • 36th Jacob's Horse[28]
  • 17th Musalman Rajput regiment of Wana, Bengal Army
  • Mauritius 18th Muslim Rajput regiment[29]

The Jhelum District Gazetteer[30] states clearly the esteem of the Muslim Rajput tribes of Janjua and Tiwana;

"the recruiting ground par excellence for Punjábi Musalmáns...The Janjúas of the Salt Range are considered second to none in martial spirit and tradition, and with the Tiwánás form the élite of the Punjábi Musalmáns

Sir Lepel H. Griffin[31] states;

The Janjuahs furnish excellent Cavalry recruits.... The Janjua clan are famous Muslim Rajputs of the Punjab region

[edit]Beliefs and customs

[edit]Change of name

A custom during these conversions was to adopt a new name to reflect their change of faith. Many Rajput kings changed their names, but also retained their ancestral/lineal titles such as tribal Clan names. This sense of identity has never been lost and Islam did in fact support and recognize "tribal identity".


Hindu Rajput code dictates that Rajputs can only marry amongst other Rajputs. However, tradition of marriages into only one group or clan because of caste reasons is not permitted in Islam. This led to a great change in the traditional Rajput marital policy. Muslim Rajputs therefore started to marry from other dominant aristocratic Muslim clans. This was to continue the tradition of royal or strategic marriages without prejudice to Rajput affiliation. This was further realized when some major Rajput clans of Punjab intermarried into other clans of foreign descent. However, Mostly Muslim Rajputs still follow the custom of only marrying into other Muslim Rajput clans only.

Being recent converts to Islam from a culturally Rajput background, there was very little difference between Rajasthani and Uttar Pradeshi Hindu and Muslim Rajputs (outside of religious practices).[32] Hence up until recently, marriages between Muslim and Hindu Rajputs also took place.[33]

[edit]Genealogical family trees

This is a strong tradition that exists amongst the most distinguished of Rajputs of all faiths, the recording of family names and continuance of the family tree. Muslim Rajputs of prominence hold and continue to record their genealogical trees since their Hindu past even after their conversion to Islam, to the present day. The less distinguished Rajputs or claimants of Rajput heritage will more than likely not have ancestral records of family lineage.


A reference to certain customs of inheritance and marriage of Muslim Rajputs is mentioned on this link in relation to Hindu Rajputs and other tribes. A large no. of Muslim Rajputs are returning to their original roots and that is adopting the Vedic Kshatriya Rajput traditions.[34]


Majority of Muslim Rajputs use their ancient Royal titles such as MalikRajaRanaRao and Rai. All these titles are originated from the ancient Sanskrit word Rajanya.

Many Muslim Rajputs were also conferred titles by the Delhi Sultans and the Mughal Emperors such as Sultan (king), Malik (Royal, King), Nawab ( Provincial Governor), Sardar (Chief), KhanMian and Mirza(Royal prince), Sheikh (elder,Royal, King of the tribe), after embracing Islam.

  • Raja: It was not uncommon for such titles to continue down the line of descent. Although the majority of Muslim Rajputs use Raja as their ancestral title. This is the main and this is the highest title in Pakistan.
  • Rao: The majority of Raos in Pakistan are Muslim Punwar (Pawar) Rajputs. Raos can be found all across Pakistan and are found in large numbers in the Punjab Province. Raos are the brave people of the country as the majority of Raos are in Army forces of Pakistan. Rao in Rajasthan called Jagirdar.
  • Rai: Rai was a title of honor for certain Bhatti Rajput rulers, like Rai Khala, the ruler of Raikot State-Ludhiana 1705 AD.and Rai Bular rular of Nankana The title today is found mostly in the Pakistani province of Punjab.
  • Chaudhary: is used by landowning ethnic group and tribes, mainly by Rajputs and Jats. Traditionally, the term is used as a title indicating the ownership of ancestral land, but in contemporary usage it is often taken as a surname or title. The spelling of the word varies in different areas. In some cases it may also mean "power".

  • Kunwar: (pronounced Koo-war)Many Hindu Rajput Clans use the title of Kunwar with their names. The variation of the pronounced word, Kanwar is also used by Muslim Janjuas also. Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad being the Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
  • Khan: Khan or Khaan. the title of Khaan. It is also spelled as Khaan. Khaan is considered as true spellings because it is خاں in Urdu. Khaan means the royal blood or Prince Equal to Rajput. so, originally it is Khaan. almost all Muslim Rajputs use the title of Khaan or Khan instead of Singh Title.
  • Sardar: This title is manily used by the Sikh Minhas Rajputs. However, lately some Muslim Minhas Rajput clans in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab Sialkot & Chakwal have also started using this title due to various reasons.
  • Sultan: The Janjua Rajputs of Jhelum were bestowed the title of Sultan, currently still used and recognised in Kusuk, Watli and the Sultan of Makhiala. It was bestowed upon the Houses of Watli and Makhiala by Emperor Babur is only used by the one head man of each Dynasty respectively.[35] The current Sultan of Watli Fort and riyasat of Watli being Raja Sultan Azmat Hayat Janjua.
  • Nawab: The title Nawab was conferred on the ruler of the Darapur State, Malik Talib Mehdi Khan. His current descendants use the title as Nawabzada since the abolition of Princely States in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Current chief of the famed Darapur Dynasty being, Nawabzada Iqbal Mehdi Khan.
  • Mirza: Some also adopted the Persian title of Mirza instead of Rajput to distinguish their Muslim identity from their previous Hindu one as it is a Persian word meaning prince of the blood, the equivalent of Raj-putra. Although the Rajputs of the Jarral dynasty were ordained as Mirza's after their intermarriage with the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. That lineage today resides in Saman Burj, Wazirabad and some continue to use Mirza as prefix but the majority descendents of Jarral Rajputs continue to use Raja as recognised by the Queen.
  • Malik: The title Malik (meaning king) is used by a branch of the Jhelum Jodh branch of Janjua. Malik Darwesh Khan and Malik Hast (Asad) were known by these titles. Janjuas of Shadia Dist Mianwali are also referred to as Malik. (They are in dominance in Shadia and have the following sub clans; Mulkai Khel, Pattu Khel, Aziz Khel, Longi, Musi, Shah Mir Khel, Janu Khel, Ahmed Khel, Shah-wali Khel, Mehrwan Khel, Zaid Khel, Malu Khel and Sikandri Janjua.is also used by Khokhars and Khokhran, and refers to chiefs.
  • Mian: This title was conferred upon the 'Punjab Hill Chiefs' by the Mughal King, Jhangir and was used by most of the Rajput tribes in the Punjab Hills for many centuries. The elder brother was called Raja, whereas his younger brothers were called Mian. Lately, the Rajputs have decided to use 'Thakur' instead of this Mughal title.
  • Jam: Some Muslim Rajputs use the title of honor Jam/Jaam. Jam is considered as true spellings but pronounced as Jaam . Jam means having the royal competency or Prince Equal to Rajput. and almost all Muslim Rajputs use the title of Jam to call someone honorably.

[edit]Martial traditions

The Royal Graveyard ofSultans of Sindh SammaRajputs at Makli.

The Punjabi Rajputs has a long martial tradition which has continued into modern times. Punjabi Rajputs, being recognised in history as the warrior aristocracy, prior to this they were designated by the British Empire as a Martial Race and recruited into the Imperial Army. Muslim Rajputs naturally engaged in the Pakistani military in strong numbers, reaching ranks of Generals and the highest grade of Chief of Staff such as 7th Chief of Army Staff General Tikka KhanNarma, Rajput and the 10th Chief of Army Staff General Asif Nawaz Khan Janjua.

Some of the most respected officers of the Pakistan Army including its first General, PA 1, Muhammed Akbar Khan (Order of the British Empire), PA 2 General MuhammadIftikhar Khan(designated to become the first C-in-C, but died in'Bold text''''Bold text'''' an aircrash), PA 12 Brig.General Muhammed Zafar(first Indian to become Commander of Cavalary) and PA 48 General Muhammad Anwar Khan (Pakistan's first E-in-C) all hail from this clan. General Anwar is considered the father of Pakistan's Corps of Engineers, and also served as Chairman OGDC.

[edit]Top military awards

Daily Mirror Khudadad Khan was awarded Victoria Cross, the first native Indian to receive this honour

Members of Punjabi Rajput tribes have the honour of receiving top military awards both in British India and in Pakistan. Khudadad Khan VC (20 October 1888 – 8 March 1971) was the first Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British andCommonwealth forces. He was the first native-born Indian to win the Victoria Cross.

[edit]Victoria Cross

On 31 October 1914, at HollebekeBelgium, 26-year old Khan performed an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.


Hilal-e-Kashmir is equal to Nishan-e-Haider. Saif Ali Janjua Shaheed received Hilal-e-Kashmir. He fought and was killed in the Kashmir sector during the 1948 War.


Five Rajputs was awarded Pakistan's top military honour, the Nishan-E-Haider .

Rajputs:- Rajputs Live in many City in punjab lodhren, Bahawalpur Mian channu,Okara,Chanian,Donia Poor, Shahiwal,Lahore, and other city of punjab.


The 1931 census of British India was the last to record caste affiliation in a manner that provides reliable information on Rajput demographics. Any present-day estimates are therefore speculative; they also vary widely.

The 1931 census reported a total of 10.7 million people self-describing as Rajput. Of this population, about 8.6 million people also self-described as being Hindu, about 2.1 million as being Muslim Rajput and about 50,000 as being Sikh Rajput by religion.


The Joshua Project reported that 16,561,000 Pakistani's describing as Muslim Rajputs about 10% of the total population of Pakistan.[2] Largest Provinces on file the Punjab (8,969,000), the Sindh (4,720,000), the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (643,000), the Islamabad (223,000), the North-West Frontier Province (174,000), the Balochistan (37,000).

Major languages spoken by the Muslim Rajputs of Pakistan: Punjabi, Western (7,459,000 speakers), Sindhi (2,671,000), Seraiki (1,592,000), Urdu (1,458,000).

As well as Pakistan Joshua Project also reported that 2,310,000 of Indian describing as Muslim Rajputs.[3] Largest States on file the Uttar Pradesh (1,528,000), the Jammu and Kashmir (176,000), the Haryana(161,000), the Rajasthan (91,000), the Delhi (68,000), the Uttarakhand (65,000), the Gujarat (57,000), the Punjab (28,000), the Maharashtra (28,000), the Andhra Pradesh (17,000).

Major Languages Spoken by the Muslim Rajputs of India. Urdu (1,725,000 Speakers), Kashmiri (73,000), Panjabi, Eastern (72,000), Marwari (63,000), Gujarati (39,000).

After independence of Pakistan in 1947, nearly all Muslim Rajputs of East PunjabHaryana and other parts of northern India migrated and settled in Pakistan.