|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
|चिब राजपूत , چب راجپوت|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Pakistan • India|
|Potwari • Punjabi • Hindi • Urdu|
|Islam • Hinduism|
The Chib (Chibb, Chibh) (Hindi: चिब, Urdu, Potwari: چب) are a dograChandravanshi Rajput or clan found in the northern parts of India and Pakistan. They are mostly a Kashmiri tribe found in both India and Pakistan. The majority of Chib Rajput have accepted Islam, while some still remained Hindus and a very few are Sikhs as well. After independence in 1947, nearly all Muslim Chib migrated to Pakistan from the Indian areas, while Hindu Chibs moved to India. A Chib Rajput is considered a person from a very respected caste (Hindus) or clan (Muslims).
The ancestry of the Chib Rajput can be found in the Kangra region of India. The last Thakial Maharaja of the State was Siripat. It was at this time that Partab Chand, a prince of Kangra started his journey from Kangra to Bhimber. When he reached the hill tops near Bhimber, Partab Chand observed that it was very difficult to capture the state. He set a camp there and named this hilltop as Kangra and the village still exists by the same name even today. Partab Chand stayed for a long time with his troops on the hilltop waiting for a suitable opportunity to attack and capture the state but this did not arise as he had run short of supplies for his men.
Partab Chand sent his soldiers in disguise with his own jewellery to go down to the markets of Bhimber to get the much needed supplies. His men went to a Jeweller who was astonished when he saw the royal jewels. The Maharaja of Bhimber, Siripat Thakial learned about the men with the royal Jewels and found out about the deployment of the Kangra troops on hill top. He sent his ambassador to Partab Chand which resulted a friendly meeting between the Partab Chand and the Maharaja of Bhimber.
Maharaja Siripat Thakial had no sons but had a daughter. He married the princess with the oldest son of Partab Chand, the Raj Kumar Chib Chand. On the death of Maharaja Siripat, the Raj Kumar Chib Chand became the Maharaja of Bhimber. Raja Dharam Chand was the seventh Raja of the Chib Chand line. At present on dated 27 March of every year Hindu Chibs of Jammu and Kashmir region celebrate the birth of maharaja Dharam Chand at the placed called Nud ka Khu appx. 35-40 kilometer from Jammu toward Akhnoor. At that place a temple in name of maharaja Dharam Chand and Rani[disambiguation needed] is set up (on occasion of the day is called mael) and He converted to Islam and was named as Raja Shadab Khan of Bhimber. He was killed by Ibrahim Lodhi and his tomb still exists on the hills of Bhimber by the name of Hazrat Sheikh Baba Shadi Shaheed (Rehmat-Ulla-Alae).
The first of the tribe to become a Muslim was one Sur Sadi , which died a violent death in Aurangzeb s reign. He is still venerated as a martyr and the Muslim Chib offer the scalp locks of their male children at his tomb, till which ceremony the child is not considered a true Chibh , nor is his mother allowed to eat meat. This ritual is clearly not a part of Islam, but like many others in Punjab (Pakistani part) and other parts of the region, the Muslim culture is influenced by their non-Muslim heritage.
State of Bhimber was divided between the sons of Maharajah and there laying the foundation of two separate states Bhimber and Khari Khalyari, Maharajah Ranjit Singh's Armies defeated the Raja of Bhimber after a long siege however they failed against the armies of Raja Umar Khan at Mangla, after hard fighting it was decided by the Maharajah's General to offer a truce to Rajah and join hands. On the eve of pact Raja Umar Khan died and Maharajah's armies annexed the state after the agreement that Rajah's sons will hold the titles of Grand Jagirdars instead of Princes of state and be Maharajah's representatives.
The Gujrat District (Punjab, Pakistan) Gazetteer of 1921 contains much information on the Chibs. It states the Hindu Chibs were a bandit tribe and its main objective was to levy blackmail from peaceful farming communities. The Chibs would raid villages and kill and rob innocent people until Chaudhry Yar Muhammad from the Pabbi range declared war against them. It is recorded in the Gujrat District Gazetteer that the Chaudhry made a village rest house chabootra (terrace) from the skulls of Chibs. Most of the Chibs were Hindus living in villages of Deva and Battala.
The Muslim Chibs helped the English during the mutiny against British rule in the Jhelum Cantonment which had rebelled. When the mutineers were half way across the Jhelum river on an island, the Chibs and the British gave them battle and defeated the mutineers.
The Chibs for their service to the British received the honorary title of 'Raja Abdul Ghani Makwal'Chak Gondal and the area nearing Jhelum river crossing was given as jageer for their loyal service.
The Chibs, an ancient Rajput tribe, scattered through the low hills bordering the Kangra, Jammu and Gujrat districts, had for most part become Muslims, although, in Kangra, Deva and Battala they retained their original faith as Hindus. The country of the Chibs being hilly was difficult to conquer and was left to Maharajah Ranjeet Singh himself to march against Chunian and Mangla, the two strong forts of Raja Umar Khan, the Chib chief, who was compelled to submit, and on his death, a few months later, the whole of his possessions were confiscated.
After the defeat of the Chibs at the hands of the Sikhs many families began to migrate into Azad Kashmir and into the Punjab plains where they were welcomed by their Muslim coreligionists.
Chibs in the military
A lot of Pakistani Chib Rajputs have done service in the Pakistani army since the country got its independence in 1947. The Muslim Chib Rajputs abilities in war were also used by the British rule of India. Prakash Singh Chib Rajput was the first Indian soldier with Victoria Cross given by the British army During World War II.
There is a concentration of Chib villages in Gujrat District, Bhimber District in Pakistani areas of Kotli, Azad Kashmir, Barhing Rajgan is the bigest village in azad kashmir with chib rajput, Khoi Ratta, Kalri, Panjeri, Segyum, kasgumma, Supplah, Dhamal and Khanka Kotehra. They claim descent from Raja Shadab Khan also known as Hazrat Sheikh Baba Shadi Shaheed (Rehmat-Ulla-Alae). There are also several Chib Rajput areas in the most northern part of Pakistan Punjab, just before the hills to Kashmir, like Sadwal Chibban,THUTHA RAI BAHADUR,( Makwal Chak Gondal) , Mohri Shareef, Sarsal, Nandwal, Bhattian, Mandi Bhalwal, Jagir Pothi Rajgan, and Choa Rajgan are famous Villages in Tehsil Sarai Alamgir and Kharian in Gujrat District and the Pabbi Hill region of Jhelum District. Baisa,Pind Aziz and Pir Khana Rajgaan are another couple of traditional Chib Villages of Tehsil Sarai Alamgir bordering the now AJK region where the Chib clan continues to reside as such. U
In India, the Chib Rajputs are concentrated in the Jammu region of Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir, especially Jammu District and Chib Rajputs adopted sikhism settled at village Lasra, Tehsil Phillour, Jullandhar district in Punjab.
Though Muslim and Hindu Rajputs are considered the warriors of the Indian subcontinent - the Chib Rajput also were focused towards Sufism, which is considered among some, another and more spirutual toned way to practice Islam.
- The History of the Poonch Tribes — Muhammad Din Fawk (1934)
- Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1911 AD, Page 169, Vol II,
- The Gujrat District Gazetteer of 1921
- Ranjit Síngh and the Sikh barrier between our growing empire and Central Asia;By sir LEPEL GRIFFIN, K.C.S.I.