Muslim Rajputs

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Muslim Rajputs
Regions with significant populations
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Related ethnic groups
Indo-Aryan peopleRajputsRangharPunjabi RajputsSindhi RajputsPahari RajputsMuslim Dogras

Muslim Rajputs or Musulman Rajputs are Rajputs who practice Islam.[1] There are numbers of Muslim Rajputs in northwestern India and eastern Pakistan.[2]


The term Rajput is traditionally applied to the original Suryavanshi, Chandravanshi and Agnivanshi clans, the ancient Hindu ruling dynasties of South Asia.

Conversion to Islam[edit]

Many Rajput clans were converted to Islam during the early 12th century. Rajputs converted to Islam due to many reasons including economic duress,[3][full citation needed] pragmatism and patronage such as social mobility among the Muslim ruling elite or for relief from Jazia taxes for being a non-Muslim ( Dhimmi ),[3][full citation needed][4] as a socio-cultural process of diffusion and integration over an extended period of time into the sphere of the dominant Muslim civilization and global polity at large.[4] whereas some conversions also took place for political reasons. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal dynasty encouraged the martial Rajput clans to convert to Islam. Conversions to Islam continued into the 19th century period of the British Raj.

The fact of subsequent conversion to other faiths, did not deprive them of this heritage; just as the Greeks, after their conversion to Christianity, did not lose pride in the mighty achievements of their ancestors, of the Italians in the great days of the Roman Republic and early empire... Christians, Jews, Parsees, Moslems. Indian converts to these religions never ceased to be Indian on account of a change of their faith ...[5]

Recent conversions and ethos[edit]

The Rajput conversions attracted criticism from their Hindu counterparts and Hubert Evans noted in his memoir of the British Raj era that in India:

By and large, the only converts who keep the prescriptions of the [Islamic] Faith intact are the Muslim Rajputs.[6]

An example of the criticism occurred in Rajgarh[disambiguation needed] during the viceroyalty of John Lawrence between 1858-69. At that time, the ruling Rajput chief of Rajgarh began to follow Islamic traditions, infuriating his Hindu peers to such an extent that he chose to abdicate the royal throne. A subsequent inquiry determined that he had been a good ruler and that his subjects had been satisfied with his rule. A year later, the former ruler declared the Kalima (Muslim affirmation of embracing Islam) and renounced the Hindu faith. This case established for the British Raj the precedent that no leader or ruler can be replaced simply because of his change of creed. Regardless of the feelings of his peers, it was the quality of his rule that mattered.[7]

There is also recorded instances of recent conversions of Rajputs to Islam in Western Uttar Pradesh, Khurja tahsil of Bulanshahr.[8]

But despite the difference in faith, where the question has arisen of common Rajput honour, there have been instances where both Muslim and Hindu Rajputs have united together against threats from external ethnic groups.[9]

Beliefs and customs[edit]

Social practices[edit]

Rajputs who accepted Islam left religious practices of Hinduism but often retained social practices which they have been following. such as purdah (seclusion of women) is generally followed both by Hindu and Muslim Rajputs.[2]


Being recent converts to Islam from a culturally Rajput background, there was very little difference between Rajasthani and Uttar Pradeshi Hindu and Muslim Rajputs (outside of religious practices).[10] Hence up until recently, marriages between Muslim and Hindu Rajputs also took place.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UNHCR Refugee Review Tribunal. IND32856, 6 February 2008". 
  2. ^ a b "Rajput". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b der Veer, pg 27-29
  4. ^ a b Eaton, Richard M. (1993). The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved 1 May 2007. 
  5. ^ The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru, Oxford Uni. Press 1985, p62, p341
  6. ^ Evans, Hubert (2012). Looking Back on India. Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 9781135778835. 
  7. ^ Lord Lawrence and the Reconstruction of India Under The Crown by Sir Charles Aitcheson, K.C.S.I., M.A., LL.D., Rulers of India series, Clarendon Press 1897,V p117
  8. ^ Muslim Women by Zakia A. Siddiqi, Anwar Jahan Zuberi, Aligarh Muslim University, India University Grants, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd., 1993, p93
  9. ^ Self and sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850 by Ayesha Jalal, Routledge 2000, p480,p481
  10. ^ People Of India by K. S. Singh, B. K. Lavania, S. K. Mandal, Anthropological Survey of India, N. N. Vyas, Popular Prakashan, 1998, p880
  11. ^ Sangari, Kumkum (2004). "Multiple Temporalities, Unsettled Boundaries, Trickster Women". In Blackburn, Stuart H.; Dalmia, Vasudha. India's Literary History: Essays on the Nineteenth Century. Orient Blackswan. pp. 225–226. ISBN 9788178240565.