The Muslim Raibhat are a Muslim community found in North India. They are converts to Islam from the Rai Bhat community. The Muslim Rai Bhat are the heredity bards and genealogists of many communities in India. A small number are also found in the city of Karachi in Pakistan, where they now form a component of the Muhajir community.
History and origin
The etymology of the word Rai Bhat means the great Bhat, as Rai means great in Hindi. The Rai Bhat claims descent from Kavi Rishi, a human son of the god Brahma. The Hindu sages Sutra Rishi, Sanjay Bhatt and Arya Bhatt are said to belong to this community. They claim to be Brahmin by origin. The Raibhat claim descent from Chandra Bardai, a bard at the court of the last Hindu ruler of North India, Prithvi Raj Chauhan. The community have two sub-divisions, Brahm Bhatt and Taga Bhatt. They consider themselves to be of Shaikh status, being Muslim converts from the Brahmin community.
The community were historically tribal bards and genealogists. The community is now mainly made of small peasant farmers, traders and government servants. They cultivate wheat, sorghum, paddy, maize, pulses and vegetables. In villages, they are sharecroppers. They also performed folks songs at wedding, but this activity has been discarded.
The Muslim Rai Bhat have no community council. They are endogamous community, preferring to marry parallel-cousins. The traditional division between Taga Bhat and Braham Bhatt remains. They are found mainly in the districts of Saharanpur, Muzzafarnagar, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Aligarh and Agra. Outside Uttar Pradesh, they are found in Delhi and Haryana.
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1182 to 1184
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1182
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1183
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1180