|Languages||Hindi and Urdu and Arabic|
|Populated States||Uttar Pradesh India and Sindh Pakistan|
The Qidwai or Kidwai (Urdu: قدوای ) are a community of Muslims in Pakistan and India. They are mostly settled in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. They are also settled in the city of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, also the Middle East. The Qidwai, together with the Milki, Malik and Chaudhary are one of the four sub-group of a community who collectively form the Mian Muslim. The Mian Muslim were once a community of substantial landowners in the Awadh region.
History and origin
The Qidwa claim descent from Qazi Qidwa, a prince of the Sultanate of Rûm, in what is now modern Turkey. There are differing traditions as to the ethnic origin of the Qazi. Some sources claim he was a descendent of Abu Bakr, the first caliph of Islam. Qazi Qidwa had a fall out with the Sultan, his brother, and migrated to India, with wife and son. There he became a close associate of the famous Sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti. The saint is said to have sent him to the Awadh region to spread Islam, where he is said to have won over fifty villages to Islam. These fifty villages were later awarded to him, and the region became known as Qidwara. According to another tradition, Qazi Qidwa is said have defeated a local ruler in the Awadh region by the name of Raja Jagdeopur. This Raja was said to have belonged to the aboriginal Bhar community. The original settlement of the tribe was Juggaur in Lucknow district, from where they spread to Barabanki District. The taluqdar families have historically intermarried with the Awadhi Bhatti, a neighbouring Muslim Rajput community, with whom they share many cultural traits.
The abolishment of the zamindar system by the newly independent India in 1947 had a major impact on the Qidwai community. The larger estates were broken, and land given to the farmers who worked on their lands. This led to some emigration of the Qidwais to Pakistan. The Qidwais are still found mainly in the districts of Lucknow, Faizabad and Barabanki in Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh.
- Caste and Social Stratification Among Muslims (Manohar, 1978), edited by Imtiaz Ahmed, p. 212.
- People of India Uttar Pradesh (Manohar Publications), Volume XLII Part One, edited by A Hasan & J C Das pp. 968-972.
- Barabanki: A Gazetteer (Government of India Press, 1904), Volume XLVIII, by H. R Neville, p. 100.
- Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims (Manohar, 1978), edited by Imtiaz Ahmed, pp. 209-215.