Alavi (surname)

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The surname Alavi (often spelled as Alvi and can be also seen spelled as Alaoui or Alawi) (Arabic: علوي‎) signifies ancestry from Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب‎), the fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam and the first Imam in Shia Islam. Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad and titled Amir al-Mu'minin (Arabic: أمیر المؤمنین‎) (Commander of the Faithful) by his followers.


The Alavi or Alvi family can be found in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, North America, Southeast Asia and South Asia. In South Asia, Alavis are scattered in Pakistani cities of Khushab, Chakwal, Mianwali, Rawalpindi, and Attock and also in Bahawalnagar and Gilgit-Baltistan in addition to Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh with main concentrations in Kakori near Lucknow and in Rahim yar khan.

In Southeast Asia, Alavis are mainly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Mindanao (South Philipine). In Indonesia, the Alavi families mainly live in Sumatra and Java, with less population in east Indonesia such as Sulawesi and Maluku.

Awan - Alavi family[edit]

The Awan, or Alvi, is a Punjabi tribe that traces its descent from Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib through his son Al-Abbas ibn Ali, who was the Commander at the Battle of Karbala. It traces its descent through Awn Qutab Shah, the famous general of Mahmud Ghazni who conquered most part of Herat, Afghanistan, and Khorasan. Many famous people belong to this tribe, such as the Nawab of Kalabagh, Air Marshal Nur Khan, Dr. Arif Alvi, Ameer Faisal Alavi, and Amjad Farooq Alvi.

The Alavi of Kakori[edit]

The Alavi of Kakori are sometimes referred to as Moulvizadigan (Moulvis) or Makhdoomzadigan (Makhdooms), indicating whether they are descendants of Mullah Abu Bakr Jami Alavi, who settled in Kakori in 1461 or descendants of Qari Amir Saifuddin Alavi, who settled in Kakori in 1512. The spelling of (Arabic: علوي) varied greatly. Although, the Alavi spelling is most prevalent in Iran, but Alvi, Alawi, and Alwi spellings are frequently found in India and some Middle Eastern Countries.They form part of the Kakori Shaikh community.

Notable people with the surname Alvi[edit]


External links[edit]