Muhammadzai (Charsadda)

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Location Hashtnagar, Charsadda District
Language Pashto
Religion Sunni Islam

The Muhammadzai (also Mohammadzai, Mohammedzai, Mohmandzai, Mamanzai, etc.)[1] are a Sarbanri Pashtun tribe. They should not be confused with the Muhammadzai of the Barakzai Durrani, who were for many years the ruling family of Afghanistan. This group of Muhammadzai is located in modern day Pakistan, and has an altogether different Pashtun lineage.


According to Pashtun genealogy, the Muhammadzai are descended from Qais Abdur Rashid through his son Sarban, and his son Kharshbun (the Afghan Muhammadzai are descendants of Kharshbun's brother, Sharkhbun). Kharshbun had three sons, one of whom was named Zamand (Jamand). Zamand had a son named Muhammad, who founded the Muhammadzai tribe (see chart below).[2][3]

Location and Organization[edit]

The Muhamamdzai are found primarily in Hashtnagar, an area in today's Charsadda District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan that borders the Swat River's left bank. They were originally said to have resided in Khorasan, but moved into Pakistan and were given the Hashtnagar by the Yusufzai tribe.[4] Their geography is integral to the tribe's internal organization, because the branches of the tribe and the villages they each inhabit share the same names. The following breakdown comes from an 1878 report on what was then part of the Peshawar District:[5] Tangi (Barazai and Nasratzai), Sherpao, Umarzai, Turangzai, Utmanzai, Rajjar/Razar, Charsadda, and Prang. Rose's tribal glossary adds that "with them are settled a few descendants of Muhammad's brothers, from one of whom, Kheshgi, one of their principal villages is named."[6] Their irrigated, rice-bearing lands along the Swat River are known as the lowlands or sholgira, while the high lands are referred to as the maira.[7]


Two of the most famous Muhammadzai tribesmen were the Pashtun leaders Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his brother Dr. Khan Sahib. They are originally from Utmanzai, where their father was a well-to-do landlord and village khan.[8][9]


  1. ^ Murray, James Wolfe. "A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-West Frontier of India. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent, Government Printing, India, 1899. 157.
  2. ^ Caroe, Olaf. The Pathans, 550 B.C. - A.D. 1957. London: Macmillan & Co LTD, 1965. 12-13.
  3. ^ Rose, H. A. A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Volume 3. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1990. 251.
  4. ^ Elphinstone, Mountstuart. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown; and J. Murray, 1815. 333.
  5. ^ Hastings, E. G. G., Report of the Regular Settlement of the Peshawar District of the Punjab. Lahore: Central Jail Press, 1878. 103-108.
  6. ^ Rose H. A. A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Volume 3. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1990. 132.
  7. ^ Imperial gazetteer of India, Provincial Series, Volume 20, North-West Frontier Province. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing, 1908. 162.
  8. ^ Schofield, Victoria. Afghan Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2003. 218.
  9. ^ Easwaran, Eknath. Nonviolent Soldier of Islam: Badshah Khan, a Man to Match his Mountains. Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1999. 29-30.