Iraqi biradri

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Iraqi biradri
Total population
approx. 95,000 (2011 census)
Regions with significant populations
Kanpur, Karachi, Chennai, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata
Urdu and Arabic
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Iraqi people, Iraqi diaspora

Iraqi Biradri or Iraqi Sayyids are clan of Sayyid in India. Iraqis are descendants of Sayyid Masud Al Hussaini who migrated to Ghazipur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh from Iraqi city of Basrah. He along with his seven sons first went to Delhi and then migrated to Ghazipur.

The word Birâdrî (Persian: برادري) means "brotherhood", originating from the word Birâdar, which means "brother" in Persian. In Pakistan and India it is used to denote a number of social strata among Muslims.

The taxonomy 'Iraqui Biradri (Urdu: عراقی برادری‎) does not refer to an ethic group presently living in Iraq, but to one in Pakistan and India.Commonly used surnames are-Iraqi, Lari, Jafari, Husseini, Anwar, Akhtar, Jawad etc.


  • 1521-430
  • 1621-1200
  • 1721-3600
  • 1821-7000
  • 1921-17,000
  • 1931-20,000
  • 1941-25,000
  • 1951-29,000
  • 1961-34,000
  • 1971-40,000
  • 1981-50,000
  • 1991-63,000
  • 2001-78,000
  • 2011-95,000

Theory of origin[edit]

The Iraqi Biradri are Sunni Muslims and are an Urdu-speaking community, though the better educated also speak Persian and some religiously oriented families also speak Arabic. The name "Iraqi" is an ethnonym. In Persian and Urdu, the terminal i is what is called in Arabic morphology "yâ' an-nisba" (ياء النسبة) meaning "the letter yâ of association". Though most Iraqis of the Indian subcontinent speak Urdu, gravestones from as far back as the 1800s found as far east as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are branded with both Persian and liturgical Arabic. Iraqi Biradri is a very rich community because many of the people are associated with leather industries of Kanpur and Kolkata.They are mainly tannery owners or servicemen. Iraqi Biradri is a highly educated community. Iraqis are descendend of Syed Masud Al Husseini who came to Ghazipur in India form Iraq in 1330 AD. He alon with his seven sons and forty champions from Iraq defeated the Raja of Ghazipur in battle and established his kingship in Ghazipur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. He was a Shia by sect. In the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi some of his descendend (approx. 430 people) converted to Sunni Islam. They wanted to be separated from their Shia counterparts so they affixed the term Iraqi for themselves. Every Iraqi in different part of India has some or the other relative in Ghazipur. Ghazipur's Gangauli village is mostly dominated by Iraqis and Shias basically the descendend of Syed Masud. Huge concentration of Iraqis and Shias can also be found in Zangipur and Nonahara. These villages were occupied by sons of Syed Masud. Bahorwa in Ballia District, Lar in Deoria District and Batrauli in Kushinagar District are dominated by descendend of Iraqis who migrated during seventeenth century.

Geographic distribution[edit]

Place Percent
Distribution of religions
Includes Middle East, England, USA, Nepal, Bangladesh, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Bhopal and Jodhpur (<1%).

They are found primarily in Pakistan and India. In Pakistan, Iraqi biradris live in high concentrations in the city of Karachi. 0.2% of Muslims in Purvanchal are Iraqi.In Kanpur about two percent of Muslims are Iraqi and in Kolkata about 0.5% of Muslims are Iraqi biradri.


The only Iraqitown in India is in Kanpur's Jajmau region. KDA Colony of Jajmau is also sometimes referred to as Iraqitown as 95% of KDA Colony is Iraqi.Al Jamia Al Iraqi Al Hind in Kanpur is continuously working for welfare of Iraqi Sayyids.[1]

Major cities with Iraqi biradri communities[edit]

(M)=Migrated Area

High concentration

Eminent People[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]