|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
Al-Lawati (Arabic: اللواتي) is an Indian ethnic group native to Oman. Though no written records available but it is said, through oral tradition, that when Caliph Umar made Uthman ibn al-'As ruler of Oman and the historical region of Bahrain, he ordered him to invade parts of the Indian subcontinent. Ibn al-'As had Lawatis and other Omanis in his army. When he had control of the areas needed, the Lawatis stayed in the Indian subcontinent, only to return to their home country hundreds of years later, bringing a new language with them. However, the new genetic studies on some of the tribe members showed that they lack the Semitic (J) gene that links them to the Arab origin. Instead, most of their genes are descendant of the Armenian, Azerbaijani, North Iranian and North Indian nations. (Refer to the DNA karyotyoing results done in the UK among the Lawati students studying there in 2009)
Demographics and role in the Persian Gulf
The size of the Al-Lawati population cannot be determined precisely, but is estimated to be approximately 50,000+. Most reside in Muscat, the capital of Oman, but some live on the coast of Al-Batina. Some Lawati families reside elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region such as U.A.E, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Traditionally, Al-Lawatia have been known as prominent merchants on the coasts of Mutrah (Matrah) which lies 2 km of Muscat. They worked in the incense (Bukhoor), Jewelry and clothes business. The community occupies a gated quarter of Matrah known as Sur al-Lawatia. The quarter still boasts attractive houses with a unique Islamic architectural view and a large mosque known as Al-Rasul Al-Aadam Mosque or The Greatest Prophets Mosque in reference to Prophet Mohammed. The Sur has seen a major exodus in recent decades as Lawatis have moved to more modern neighborhoods as a result of increasing development, the availability of facilities and growing wealth and business of the community. Another great historic monument built by the tribe is Al-Zahra Mosque in the UAE, which was built nearly 300 years ago 
History and origins
The Al-Muscati surname of some families in Iraq, Kuwait (but not Bahrain, as Al Muscatis there are Baharna who moved to Oman and came back) suggests that they were Muscati immigrants, and are believed to be of Lawati origin. One of the Al Muscati families lives in Oman today. They are Lawatis who obtained their surname during the period when they immigrated and lived in Iraq, before they went back to Oman in the late seventies.
Many others were also known by titles added to their names by the Muttrah Lawatis as a family clan, physical, social or habitual character or from the part of Oman they had settled; some Lawatis took up these as surnames/family names/clans. Thus we see: Al-Saleh, Al-Abdulateef, Al-Khabori, Al-Wardy, Al-Kokar, Dara, Al-Habib, Al-Najwani...etc. In the UAE Al-Lawatia families include: Al-Sajwani, Al-Issa, Al-Shalwani, Al-Yousef, Al-Aboodi, AL-Kashwani, Al-Buqellah, Fadhlani.
Verbal history indicates that at one point they were Muslim Shia in various branches. Later on they were guided into Shia Twelvers/Jaafari. Consequently, the new adopted doctrine of Twelvers/Jaafari grew within the Lawati tribe and the different branches were not accepted. Hence, some retracted while others detached from the community. However, Most current Lawatis are known to be Twelver Shia Muslims. And with the process of mingling with the other groups, few Lawatis brought up through mixed marriages either following mixed Shia/Sunni or Shia/Ibadhi traditions. However, Laurence Louër, in his book Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf, mentions a different theory of the religious origins of Al-Lawati. According to this theory, the Lawatis were Khoja Ismailis who migrated to Oman from Hyderabad (in present-day Pakistan) in the 19th century, before converting to Twelver Shi'ism following a dispute with the leadership of the community.
See Luwati language The native mother language of Al-Lawaties (Sn.Khojo, Pl.Khoja) is Luwati language which is called in their own tongue as (Khojki). This idiom is genetically and morphologically related to the Sindhi language; a branch of the Indo-European tree. As it also shares common similarities with other spoken languages of the other ethnic groups in Oman (presumed ethnically to be of the same origin) e.g. Zadjali (Jadgali), Maimani and Al Saigh. Elderlies were fluent in both the written and the spoken Khojki.
Arabic as a first language of Oman and all Arabia, is also held tightly by Al-Lawaties in parallel with their mother tongue language Khojki. However, the trend now within this community is to abandon their own native language and more people of the young generation are found not to know how to write nor speak it, most modern Lawaties aren't as fluent in Kojki as they were before and their most used language is Arabic, thus Kojki and English are considered as second language.
- Al-Lawati, Jawad bin Jaafar bin Ibrahim Al-Khabouri. The Omani Role in the Indian Peninsula: The Role of Bani Sama Ibn Loaey (Al-Lawatia). Muscat, Oman: Dar Al-Nubala, 2001.
- تاريخ عائلة عميد العائلة محمد بن علي المسقطي
- Laurence Louër (2008) Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf. Columbia University Press, pp. 147
- Salman, Amel & Kharusi, Nafla S. (2012) ‘The Sound System of Lawatiyya’, Journal of Academic and Applied Studies May Vol. 2(5), pp. 36- 44, ISSN1925-931X, available online @ www.academians.org