|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab (India), Pakistan, other parts of Northern India|
|Punjabi and Hindi|
|Chhibber, Datt, Lau, Mohan and Vaid|
Mohyal (alternate spellings include Muhiyal, Muhial, Mhial, Mohiyal or Mahjal) is the name of an endogamous ethnic group that originates from the Gandhara region and consists of seven Brahmin lineages of that area that left the usual priestly occupation of Brahmins long ago to serve as soldiers and in government services.
Most Mohyals are Hindus. Many are Sikhs - largely as a result of the role played by Mohyals in the formative days of the Sikh religion and also because of a tradition once popular in Mohyal families of bringing up the eldest male child as a Sikh. A small percentage may have converted to Islam.
This ethnic group consists of seven clans listed below with their gotras (lineages):
- Bali: Parashar
- Bhimwal: Kaushal
- Datt: Bharadwaja
- Lau: Vasishtha
- Mohan: Kashyap
- Vaid: Dhanvantri/Bharadwaja
The General Mohyal Sabha, with it headquarters at New Delhi is the apex body of Mohyals, to which about 75 local mohyal sabhas in different parts of India are affiliated.
With most men either in established militaries or mercenaries, the Mohyals developed a warlike culture and reputation over the last millennium. Hamid Hussain has said that:
A group of chivalrous Hindus called Muhiyals are very well at par with Pushtuns and Rajputs. Muhiyals have been rulers of territories in the present day Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. They are essentially a military race, which have served as soldiers throughout the centuries. They have a reputation of courage, loyalty and bravery. Muhiyals are composed of seven clans; Datt, Vaid, Chibbar, Bali, Muhan, Lau and Bhimwal. Though small in numbers but all these clans have a rich military history. In India, they are also called ‘Hussaini Brahmins’ as Muhiyals proudly claim that though being non-Muslim, a small number of them fought in the battle of Karbala on the side of Hussain. Muhiyals are very close to Pushtuns in their character. For centuries, they never or seldom paid in their revenue until coerced by a military expedition involving a number of casualties on both sides. On one occasion, they fought three sanguine battles against Babur's army as they refused to surrender a khatri girl to Mughals who had sought their protection. The testament to their chivalry is the fact that during Muslim rule, they were the only non-Muslim group on whom the title of Khan or Sultan was ever bestowed. During British rule, a number of them were residing in the military belt of Campbelpur, Rawalpindi and Jhelum area. A number of Muhiyals served with distinction in British Indian army especially cavalry. They served in many regiments especially 9th, 11th, 13th, and 19th Lancers, 3rd, 4th and 15th Punjab Cavalry and Guides Cavalry.
The legend of Rahab Sidh Datt
As per Mohyal folklore, a Mohyal of the Dutt clan had fought on behalf of Imam Hussain in the battle of Karbala, more specifically in the storming of Kufa- sacrificing his seven sons in the process. According to legend, Rahab Sidh Datt (also mentioned as Rahib Sidh or Sidh Viyog Datt in some versions) was the leader of a small band of career-soldiers living near Baghdad around the time of the battle of Karbala. The legend mentions the place where he stayed as Dair-al-Hindiya, meaning "The Indian Quarter", which matches an Al-Hindiya in existence today. This legend occupies an important part in the Dutt clan's oral history, and is considered a source of pride for them.
British and Independent eras
- 2nd Lt. Puneet Nath Dutt posthumous winner of India's highest gallantry award, Ashok Chakra, in 1997 for his role in a counter-terror operation
- Maj. Vijay Rattan Choudhry (Datt)–posthumously won MVC in Indo Pak war of 1971
- Sardar Bahadur Risaldar-Major Bakshi Tirath Ram Vaid, OBI, OBE, IOM awarded after battle of Malakand in 1897
- Lt. Gen. Zorawar Chand Bakshi - India's most decorated General
- Defence Journal, Pakistan- June 2003:Tribes and Turbulence by Hamid Hussain
- Reg-i-Surkh: Dut Brahman Imam Husain se Rabt o Zabt, by Mahdi Nazmi, Abu Talib Academy, New Delhi 1984, Pages 63-71.
- Alnataq (Urdu), by Shah Nazir Hashmi, Lucknow 1926
- Mohyals, Muslims and Mustafabad: The Tribune, Chandigarh (8 August 1993).
- Reliving Karbala: Martyrdom in South Asian Memory, by Syed Akbar Haider, Oxford University Press 2006, Page 175
- "2nd Lt. Puneet Nath Datt [www.bharat-rakshak.com]". Bharat-rakshak.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- "Major Vijay Rattan Chaudhary MVC - Maha Veer Chakra - Indian Army - Haryana Online - India". Haryana Online. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- The War Decorated, India
- History of the Guides, 1846-1922 - by Sir George Fletcher MacMunn, p. 161
- Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers - By V K Singh, p. 329
- Swami Sahajanand Saraswati Rachnawali (Selected works of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati), Prakashan Sansthan, Delhi, 2003.
- Jang Nama - An account of the Mohans by Har Bhagwan Lau
- Mohyal History (English, 1985) by P.N. Bali
- Afghanistan Revisited: The Brahmana Hindu Shahis of Afghanistan and Punjab (c. 840-1026 CE) by R. T. Mohan (New Delhi: General Mohyal Sabha) (2010).
- Official Website of General Mohyal Sabha
- Hindu followers of Muslim imam , The Milli Gazette, Vol.5 No.10, (16-31 May 04)