Khawaja or Khwaja (Arabic: خواجة khawājah, Persian: خواجه pronounced khâje) is a title used in Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia. Khawaja is a Persian word . It means lord or master.
Khawaja is also used as family name in South Asia. In South Asia they are chisti and the chisti order is explained in detail below: A number of Chishti family members are now living in Different parts of India and Pakistan, North of Punjab, Pakistan, and also in India especially Gujarat. They often bear the surname "Khwaja" and it is claimed that they are Sayyid.
Khawaja people usually marry within their own social affiliation that is "Sayyid or Khawaja". They marry regardless of status wealth or class discrimination. Depending on circumstances a group (clan) may be as small as few hundred families and as large as few thousand families. For example, in the Bhat clan's definition, their clan system is to be an entire group having very few sub-groups, whereas Khawajas are branched into a dozen or two sub-groups. For the Bhat clan (a Kashmiri clan) a group, by and large, usually shares an ancestral village in Kashmir as a reference point. Marriage into a family other than Khawaja family and between first cousins was discouraged in the past. Marriages to men outside the social group, i.e. the Khawaja clan (e.g. marrying outside such as Muslim Punjabi families), is now welcomed and accepted by a few Khawaja families, although some community elders may still discourage it. Although most of the departed Group of families who are out of the Family clan system (Baradari) are not following the antique family traditions.
People using the name Khawaja Sheikh
Significant figures with the name, or using the title Khawaja in South Asia include:
- Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty, also known as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz was a Sunni Muslim and is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order of South Asia. He was born in 536 A.H./1141 CE, in Sajistan, a famous city in Khorasan province (other accounts say Isfahan) in Persia. He is also known as "Sultan-e-Hind." Descendants of Sufi saints also use this as a pronominal, He was born in a sayed family of Iran.
- Fariduddin Ganjshakar Khawaja Farid (Punjabi/Saraiki: خواجہ فرید)he was a great Sufi his shrine is located in the city of Pakpattan, otherwise Pākpattan Sharīf.
- Khwaja Nizamuddin
- Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki(born 1173-died 1235) was a renowned Muslim Sufi mystic, saint and scholar of the Chishti Order from Delhi, India.
- Khwaja Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari was a prominent "Suhrawardiyya" Sufi saint and missionary. Bukhari was called Surkh-posh ("Red-clad") on account of the red mantle he often wore.
- Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi
- Abu Yusuf Bin Saamaan,
- Maudood Chishti,
- Khwaja Najamuddin Ahmed,
- Khwaja Wali Kirani
- Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari
When Khatri people from the western districts of the Punjab like Sargodha, Jhang, Jehlum, Chakwal, Faisalabad accepted Islam called themselves Khawaja and adopted Shaikh as title. They are thus called Khawaja Sheikh. Some of them have also adopted Mian as title. In recent years traders from a small town of Chiniot,in the Chiniot District, became prominent due to their contribution in the industries of Pakistan. These traders are known as Chiniotis or Chinioti Shaikhs. The famous trading family of Sahgals, Sahgal Khatris of Chakwal, are known simply as Punjabi Shaikh instead of Khawaja Shaikh. They use Mian as title.
The first censuses of the Punjab were conducted by Denzil Ibbetson and Edward Maclagan in 1883 and 1892. According to their reports, the Khawajas of Bhera in Shahpur, Sargodha District were converted from Khatris, and those from Jhang were said to be converted from Arora. At Chiniot in Jhang District, Majority of the Khawajas are Khatris, while some are Arora. They reported the following sections (gotras) of Khatris from Chiniot:
The sections of Khawajas from Bhera were reported as follows: