|Regions with significant populations|
|Pakistan • India • Nepal|
|Urdu • Hindi|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Kori • Shaikh • Behna • Khumra|
The Momin Ansari (Urdu: مومن أنصاري ) or Ansari, are a Muslim community, found mainly in West and North India, and the province of Sindh in Pakistan. A small number of Ansaris are also found in the Terai region of Nepal. In North India, the community are known as Ansari, while in Maharashtra the community is known as Momin. The name or title of Ansari ("supporters") originated in Arabia at the time of the prophet Mohammed.
The community are found throughout West and North India, but Varanasi District, in Uttar Pradesh, is always looked at by most Momin as the centre of their community. In that city, the Ansari are said to make a third of the city's population. Important Ansari neighbourhoods in the city include Madanpura, Adampura and Jaitpura.
The Ansaris of North India are mainly a landless community, but some of them are small and medium scale farmers, and have always been connected with the art of weaving. Some many members of the community have entered private or government service. Their relationship with the Sadh community of some importance, as they supply the Momins with the cotton cloth, used for printing.:985
The Ansaris do not have any traditional social councils, but have an India-wide community organization, the All India Momin Conference. They are an endogamous community, only rarely marrying out of their group. There is no system of clans, and cross and parallel cousin marriages are common.
The Ansaris are Muslims of the Sunni Hanafi fiqh, and are fairly orthodox, but are divided along sectarian lines between the Barelwis and Deobandis. Historically, the community produced the sage and philosopher, Kabir, and some members of the community had been Kabirpanthi. The Ansari are an Urdu speaking community, although the Ansari clan of Gujarat have Gujarati as their mother tongue.:984
The Ansari community is found throughout Bihar and Jharkhand. In Bihar, they are found in all the districts. They are active in politics. Their socio-economic condition has been improving constantly. They are playing active roles in all walks of life in Bihar. In Jharkhand, they are mainly found in Koderma, Hazaribagh, Gumla, Ranchi, Lohardaga and Singhbhum districts. They speak the Sadri dialect, which is distinctive to the community, although most have knowledge of Urdu. The community is endogamous, and marry within a close kin group. Like other Ansaris, they were historically weavers, although most of them are medium and small scale farmers. Many of them are market gardeners, and grow and sell potatoes, cabbages and other vegetables, and sell them in Calcuta and Patna. The Momin Conference was founded in Bihar, and the Bihar Ansaris have played a key role in the organization.
Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (Urdu: "Marginalised Muslim Front") is an Indian Muslim social reform organization dedicated to the emancipation of the Dalit Muslims belonging to the Arzal community in the South Asian Muslim clan system. It was founded by Ali Anwar in Patna, Bihar.
In Gujarat, there are two distinct communities that are commonly known as Momin, the native Gujarati-speaking Garana Ansari, and the immigrant Shaikh Ansari community, originally from North India. The Garana Ansari community in Gujarat are found mainly in the districts of Junagarh, Ahmedabad, Surat and Kutch. They are also known as Turia and Tari. The Momin have eight clans, the Dhoralia, Mehetar, Mithwani, Rajbani, Kora, Chutani, Arbani and Dhorijiwala. They speak Gujarati with substantial Urdu loanwords. In addition to membership of the Momin Conference, the Gujarat Ansaris also have their own clan association, Garana Sayed Fari Jamaat. The traditional occupation of the Ansari is still weaving. Many of them are engaged in zari work, which involves sari embroidery. This is especially the case in the towns of Jamnagar and Dhoraji, each which have traditional quarters inhabited by the Ansaris. Most Surat and Ahmadabad Ansari are now employed in the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited clerk post, and local textile mills.:972–976
The Shaikh Ansari are an Urdu-speaking community, and are said to have immigrated from Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh some three hundred years ago. In Baroda, they were invited by the ruling dynasty to help in the construction of public buildings from Rajasthan. The Shaikh Ansari are divided into four endogamous groups, the Bijnor Ansari, originating from the city of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, the Ganga Parvala, originating from the village of Gomtipur and its sarrounding in Uttar Pradesh, the Delhiwala, originally from Delhi and finally the Pratapgarh Ansari originating from the city of Pratapgarh and surrounding areas in eastern Uttar Pradesh. They are mainly distributed in the cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Bharuch, Baroda, and Rajpipla.:69–73
Weaving was the traditional occupation of the Ansari, and at present those in Ahmadabad are still engaged in this activity. Many Ahmadabad Ansari are now power loom owners. But many Shaikh Ansari have also diversified, and now own hotels and bakeries. They are among the more successful Muslim community in the state, having made the transition from their traditional occupation to becoming successful businessmen. The level of literacy is steadily increasing, and many Ansari are now graduates.
The Ansari have no traditional clan association, but are members of the All India Momin Conference. Historically, each of the four sub-divisions would have had their own informal clan association, headed by a chaudhary. These have all but disappeared.
The Ansari of Rajasthan claim that they were once warriors, who after a defeat in the past, took to the occupation of weaving. They also known as Deswali Shaikh, and speak the Madri dialect, which is a mixture of Urdu and Hindi. They are one of the larger Muslim communities in Rajasthan, and are found in the districts of Tonk, Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur. The Ansari are strictly endogamous and practice both parallel and cross cousin marriages. There main occupation is weaving, and they use both hand held and power looms. Quite a few are now involved in tailoring and the manufacture of bidis, a local cigarette. The Rajasthan Ansari are members of the Momin Conference, as well as having local informal clan councils, which deal with inter community disputes, while the Momin Conference acts as a pressure group dealing with the state government. The Ansari are Sunni and Deobandi, and have provided many of the Ulema in Rajasthan.:459–462
Momin of Maharashtra
The Momin of Maharashtra are descended from immigrants from North India. They are split into two groupings, the giyara gaonwala and the bais goanwala, the former are found in Ahmadnagar, while the latter are found near Pune. The Momin were historically a community of weavers, found mainly in the towns and cities of western Maharashtra. They are found mainly in the districts of Pune, Nasik, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jaina, Osmanabad, Dhule, Nagpur, Thane and Raigarh. The community speak Urdu, but the Momin are bilingual, speaking Marathi as well. They are strictly endogamous, and tend to marry close kin. The Momin are Sunni, and are fairly orthodox community. There traditional occupation was weaving, and many Momin have set uop handlooms. Those Momin who have set up powerlooms tend to be more successful. Many Momin are employed by other Momin in these powerlooms, this especially the case in the towns of Bhiwandi and Nagpur. A significant number of Momin are also employed in the textile industries. The Momin are largely an urban community, with only small number found as agriculturists. Many Momin are now successful entrepreneurs and professionals such as teachers, engineers and doctors. Like other Ansari communities, the Momin are members of the All-India Momin Conference, one of the oldest Muslim communal organizations in India. This organization acts as a welfare organization, as well as lobbying on behalf of the community.:1473–1478
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, many members of the Momin Ansari community migrated to Pakistan and settled mainly in the Sindh province. The Momin Ansari is mainly settled in Karachi and Hyderabad cities of the Sindh province. The Momin Ansari lost their distinct group identity as they assimilated and are now integral part of the Urdu speaking Muhajir community of Pakistan.
Notable Ansari people from South Asia
- Mohammad Hamid Ansari, (Urdu: मोहम्मद हामिद अंसारी) (born 1 April 1937), current Vice-President of India.
- Brigadier Mohammad Usman (15 July 1912 – 3 July 1948) was the highest-ranking officer of Indian Army killed in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.
- Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Pakistani scholar of Islamic Studies
- SM Razaullah Ansari, (born 1932), Indian physicist
- Maulana Mohammad Abbas Ansari, (born 1936), revolutionary Shiite Muslim leader in Jammu & Kashmir and Founder of Ittihadul Muslimeen
- Muhammad Akram Ansari, is a Pakistani politician. He is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
- Muhammad Hanif Ansari, (1937–1985), Pakistani politician, businessman and philatelist.
- Aziz Ansari (born 1983), American stand-up comedian
- Salim Miya Ansari, Nepalese politician
- Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, Pakistani politician
- Rais Ansari, Indian Urdu poet
- Mohammad Ansari, Pakistani cricketer
- Asad Ansari, Pakistani-Canadian accused of terrorism
- Abdul Qaiyum Ansari, leader against the demand of Muslim league for creation of a separate Muslim nation.
- Abu Salem, Underworld Don & former member of D-company
- Hayatullah Ansari, (1912-1999) was an Indian author and politician from Uttar Pradesh.
- Dr. Shaukatullah Shah Ansari, (12 May 1908 - 29 December 1972) was an Indian politician and diplomat.
- Muhammad Akram Ansari is a Pakistani politician. He is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan (MNA)
- Mukhtar Ansari, is an Indian gangster-turned-politician from Uttar Pradesh. He has been elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Mau constituency a record four times.
- Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, (Hindi: मुख़्तार अहमद अंसारी, Urdu: مُختار احمد انصاری) was an Indian nationalist and political leader, and former president of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League during the Indian Independence Movement.
- Sibakatullah Ansari, is a Samajwadi Party politician from Mohammadabad in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.
- Mohammad Shahabuddin, (born 10 May 1967) is one of India's most powerful criminal-politicians.
- Afzal Ansari, (born 14 August 1953) is an Indian politician belonging to the Quami Ekta Dal. He won 2004 General Lok Sabha Election on Samajwadi Party ticket from Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.
- Zain Ansari, (born July 17, 1950 in Pir-jo Goth, Sindh, a Pakistani politician.
- Faheem Ansari, also known as Mohammad Faheem Ansari, arrested as a terrorist in 2008 but acquitted.
- Mateen Ansari, GC (c. 1915 – 29 October 1943) of the 5th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment, in the Indian Army during World War II.
- Jamshed Ansari, (Urdu: جمشید انصاری)(c. 1945 – 24 August 2005) was a Pakistani film actor.
- Ali Ansari, (Persian: علی مسعود انصاری, born 24 November 1967 in Rome, Professor of Modern History at St Andrews University in Scotland.
- Rais Ansari, (or Rayees Ansari) is a famous Urdu poet from Lucknow, India.
- Asad Ansari, is one of 18 people accused and detained on June 2 and June 3, 2006, in Toronto on suspicion of terrorism.
- Abdul Hakim Ansari, (Urdu خواجه عبدالحكيم انصاري) (July 29, 1893 – January 23, 1977), a Sufi of the Naqshbandi, Chishti orders.
- Amir Ansari,(Persian: امیر انصاری) is Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Prodea Systems.
- Siamak Ansari,(Persian: سیامک انصاری , born 1969 in Tehran), an Iranian TV actor and director.
- Morteza Ansari,(1781–1864) was a Shia jurist who "was generally acknowledged as the most eminent jurist of the time".
- Salim Miya Ansari, is a Nepalese politician.
- Zafar Ishaq Ansari,(Urdu: ﻇﻔﺮﺍﺳﺤﺎﻖ اﻧﺻﺎﺭﻯ) (born 27 December 1932) is a scholar of Islamic Studies.
- Furkan Ansari,(born 5 February 1948) is an Indian politician.
- Sahar Ansari,TI (Urdu: سحر انصاری) is an Urdu poet, critic, and scholar of Urdu literature and linguistics from Pakistan.
- Hayatullah Ansari,(1912-1999) was an Indian author and politician from Uttar Pradesh.
- Mohammad Ansari (cricketer) was a Pakistani cricketer who played for Pakistan Air Force.
- Muhammad Hanif Ansari,(Urdu: محمد حنیف انصاری) was a politician, businessman and philatelist from Faisalabad.
- Khizar Humayun Ansari, is a British academic who was awarded an OBE in 2002 for his work in the field of race and ethnic relations.
- Abdul Haq Ansari,(1 September 1931 – 3 October 2012) was an Islamic scholar from India.
- Mohammad Abbas Ansari,is a prominent political leader and Shia cleric from Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
- Shahensha Ansari,(born 23 December 1981) is an Indian footballer who plays as a midfielder for United Sikkim F.C. in the I-League.
- Abdur Razzaque Ansari,was a nationalist, freedom fighter and a weavers' revolution leader.
- SM Razaullah Ansari (Shaikh Mohammad Razaullah Ansari) is a historian of science, physicist, astronomer and author from India.
- Abdul Qaiyum Ansari (1 July 1905 – 18 January 1973) was a participant in the freedom struggle of India.
- Mustafa Hussain Ansari (Arabic: مولانا (علامه) مصطفى حسين انصارى, born March 21, 1945, died April 27, 2006 in Srinagar) was a Kashmiri writer and speaker.
- Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, (Kashmiri: मौलवी इफ्तिखार हुसैन अंसारी (Devanagari), مولوی افتخار حسین انصاری (Nastaleeq)) is a Kashmiri Shia cleric, politician and businessman.
- Zafar Ahmed Ansari (Urdu: ﻇﻔﺮ احمد اﻧﺻﺎﺭﻯ) was the joint secretary of All India Muslim League.
- Khalid A. H. Ansari is an Indian businessman and journalist.
- Sheikh Sadiq Ali Ansari, Sheikh Sadiq Ali, was a Deputy Collector in the Upper Sind Frontier District.
- Humayun Saeed, (Urdu: ہمایوں سعید; born 27 July 1971) is a Pakistani actor, producer and director as well as CEO of Six Sigma Entertainment.
- Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Abū Mas‘ūd Rashīd Aḥmad ibn Hidāyat Aḥmad Ayyūbī Anṣārī Rāmpūrī Gangohī) (Urdu: ابو مسعود رشید احمد بن ہدایت احمد ایوبی انصاری رامپوری گنگوہی; Arabic: رشيد أحمد الكنكوهي, (Rashīd Aḥmad al-Kankūhī; 10 May 1829 – 11 August 1905) was an Indian Islamic scholar who co-founded the Deobandi Islamic movement at the Darul Uloom Deoband Madrasah.
- Abu'l-Fadl Bayhaqi,(Persian: ابوالفضل بیهقی (Ibn Zeyd ibn Muhammad Abul-Fazl Mohammad ibn Hossein ibn Soleyman Ayyoub Ansari Evesi Khazimi Bayhaqī Shafe'i) was a Persian historian and author.
- Ghulam Ali (cricketer), (born September 8, 1966, Karachi, Sindh) is a former Pakistani cricketer who played three ODIs between 1993 to 1995.
- Wazir Khan (Lahore) (real name Hakim Shaikh Ilam-ud-din Ansari) was a native of Chiniot, whose family migrated to Lahore. For other family connections in Lahore also see the articles on Fakir Khana and Hakim Ahmad Shuja.
- Abidullah Ghazi is a well-known author of Islamic educational textbooks for children and the executive director of International Educational Foundation.
- Bushra Ansari (Urdu: بشریٰ انصاری; PP) is a Pakistani television presenter, singer, actress, comedian, playwright, and author who started as a child performer in the 1960s and has remained a major TV personality for over four decades.
- Suzana Ansar (born 1989) is an English singer and actor of Bangladeshi descent.
- Pir Roshan (Pashto: بايزيد انصاري), also known as Pīr Roshān or Pīr Rokhān (Pashto: پیر روښان, "the enlightened Pir"; Persian: پیر روشن) (1525 - 1581/1585), was a Pashtun warrior, poet, Sufi master and intellectual from the Ormur tribe.
- The Artisans of Benaras Popular Culture and Identity, 1880h-1986 Orient Longman
- K. S. Singh, People of India Uttar Pradesh, Volume XLII Part Two. Manohar Publications
- People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part One edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 70 to 74 Seagull Books
- For the minority and Muslim of the India, Mashhood Ahmad developed an organization i.e. Rashtriya Pasmanda Minority Muslim Party. The president of this is Dr. Shad Ahmad. Empowering Dalit Muslims, by Yoginder Sikand
- R. B. Lal, P. B. S. V. Padmanabham, G. Krishnan & M. Azeez Mohideen (eds), People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Two
- B. K. Lavania, D. K. Samanta, S. K. Mandal & N. N. Vyas (eds.), People of India Rajasthan Volume XXXVIII Part One, Popular Prakashan
- B. V. Bhanu, B. R. Bhatnagar, D. K. Bose, V. S. Kulkarni and J. Sreenath (editors), People of India Maharshtra, Volume XXX Part Two
- "Bayazid Ansari on Khyber.Org".