Sayyid of Gujarat

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Sayyid or Mir
Total population
250,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
 India Pakistan
Languages
UrduHindiGujarati
Religion
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
SayyidArabShaikh

The Sayyid (Arabic: سيد‎) (plural sādah Arabic: سادة‎) of Gujarat are members of the wider Sayyid community of South Asia. They are also known as Mir and Pirzada.[2]

History and origin[edit]

Sayyid' (Arabic: سيد‎) (plural sādah Arabic: سادة‎) literally means Mister. In the Arab world itself, the word is the equivalent of the English "Mister", as in Sayyid John Smith. The same concept is expressed by the word sidi (from the contracted form sayyidī 'my lord') in the Moroccan dialect of Arabic.[3]

As an honorific title, the term Sayyid is given to males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, who were the sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib. Daughters of male sayyids are given the titles Sayyida, Alawiyah, Syarifah, or Sharifah. Children of a Sayyida mother but a non-Sayyid father cannot be attributed the title of Sayyid, however they may claim maternal descent and are called Mirza[4]

Sayyids are Arabs by origin, and Sayyids and are by descent a branch of the tribe of Banu Hashim, a clan from the tribe of Quraish, which traces its lineage to Adnan, whose lineage traces back to the Prophet Ismael the son of the Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham. In Gujarat, most of the Sayyid families are descended from individuals invited by the Muslim rulers of Gujarat, as advisor and administrators, and granted jagirs. During the period of Sultan Mahamud Beghada (1458 -1511 ) the Sayyid of Gothada, Thasra & Pali -Saadat-e-Bara In Thasra Sayyid Mustufa (R.A) ( 500 Bigha Jagiri Sanad), In Gothada Near Savli -Sayyid Alaad ( Allauddin -R.A ) -500 Bigha Jagiri Sanad & Pali Sayyid Nateeb (R.A)500 Bigha Jagiri Sanad, Sultan Mahamud Beghada Provided Land to Three Sayyid Brothers & grant to settle there after victory of Pavagadh fort In 1484 The young Sultan, after laying siege for 20 months, conquered the fort on 21 November 1484. He then transferred his capital to Champaner which he completely rebuilt at the foothills of the Pavagadh fort, calling it Muhammadabad. & Mughal rule in Gujarat (1570–1750), they held the majority of the civil and ecclesiastical posts. For example the Sayyids of Thasra, Kheda district were invited as administrators and judges by Emperor Aurangzeb and provided land grants to settle there. They also provided an important element in the Mughal army, and many are still found in the old Muslim garrison towns such as Ahmedabad. In addition, many of the early Sufi saints that came to Gujarat belonged to Sayyid families. Most of these Sayyid families came from Central Asia and Iran, but many of those found in the coastal towns of Khambhat and Surat originate from Yemen, Oman, Basra and Bahrain.[4]

In Gujarat, the Sayyid have ten sub-divisions, the main ones being the Shirazi, Mattari, Bukhari, Naqvi, Tirmizi, Zaidi, Rifai, Bhaktari, Qadiris, Chishti, mahdavi, Kitoi, Mashadi, Idrusi, and Bahraini. Of these, the Bukhari Sayyids are perhaps the most well known. Their forebear, Syed Burhanuddin Qutb-Alam was the patron sain of Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the first Muslim Sultan of Gujarat. Even more well known was his son Shah Alam, who flourished during the reigns of Qutibudin Shah and Mahmud Begada. It played an important in the medieval and early modern history of Gujarat, and now divided into several branches. Other prominent Sayyid include the Mahdavi family. They are now found mainly in Palanpur and Dabhoi, and claim descent form Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri, the founder of the sect and his son in law Syed Khundmir. They are the hereditary pirs of the Tai community. And finally, the family of the Nizari Ismaili pirs is perhaps the most influential of the Gujarat Sayyid. They are distributed all over Gujarat, and descend from Imam Shah, a famous medieval Ismaili missionary. The Dais (heads) of the Mustali Ismaili, known in Gujarat as the Bohra, are also Sayyids.[4]

Other communities include the Bahrain Sayyid,whose ancestors arrived from Bahrain during the rule of Sultan Mahmud Begada, the Matari Syeds who arrived from the village of Mattar in Sindh during the period of Mughal rule. The ancestors of the Khodari Syeds were invited by the Nawabs of Junagadh, while those of the Bukhari Sayyids arrived from Central Asia as the invitation of Sultan Ahmed Shah. The community now speak both Gujarati and Urdu, and are concentrated in Kutch, Gandhinagar, Baroda, and Bhavnagar, with two thirds of the Sayyid found in Village Gothada, Near Savli Baroda The Sayyid of Gothada are Zaidi Sayyid - Saadat-e-Bara and other are Bukhari & Qadiri Sayyid also settle there .[2]

Indication of descent[edit]

The Sayyids are by definition a branch of the tribe of Banu Hashim, a clan from the tribe of Quraish that traces its lineage to Adnan and thence to the Prophet Ismael the son of the Prophet Ibrahim. Sayyids often include the following titles in their names to indicate the figure from whom they trace their descent.[5][6]

Ancestor Arabic style Arabic Last Name Persian Last Name Urdu Last Name
Hasan ibn Ali al-Hashimi or al-Hassani الحسني او الهاشمي al-Hashimi or al-Hassani الحسني او الهاشمي Hashemi, Hassani, or Tabatabai حسنى Hassani or Hasani or Qadariحسنی or Hashemi or Hashmi هاشمي
Husayn ibn Ali al-Hussaini الحُسيني al-Hussaini1 الحُسيني Husseini حسینى Hussaini or Husaini حسینی
Ali ibn Husayn al-Abidi العابدي al-Abidi العابدي Abedi عابدى Abidi or Abdi عابدی
Zayd ibn Ali az-Zaidi الزيدي al-Zaidi الزيدي Zaidi زیدی Zaidi زیدی
Muhammad al-Baqir al-Baqiri الباقري al-Baqiri الباقري Baqeri باقرى Baqri باقری
Jafar as-Sadiq al-Ja'fari الجعفري al-Ja'fari الجعفري Jafari جعفرى Jafri, Jafry or Jaffery جعفری
Musa al-Kadhim al-Mousawi الموسوي او الكاظمي al-Mousawi or al-Kadhimi الموسوي او الكاظمي Moosavi or Kazemi موسوى / کاظمى Kazmi کاظمی
Ali ar-Rida ar-Radawi الرضوي al-Ridawi or al-Radawi الرضوي Razavi or Rezavi رضوى Rizvi or Rizavi رضوی
Muhammad at-Taqi at-Taqawi التقوي al-Taqawi التقوي Taqawi تقوى Taqvi تقوی
Ali al-Hadi an-Naqawi التقوي al-Naqawi التقوي Naqawi نقوى , Bhukhari Naqvi نقوی

Present circumstances[edit]

In terms of distribution, the Bukhari Sayyid are found in Ahmadabad, the Tirmizi are found in Mangrol, Junagadh, and Keshool. They are divided into endogamous sub-divisions, the Shia and Sunni, based on sectarian affiliation. Both the Sunni and Shia Sayyid consist of a number of clans. The Matari and Tirmizi Sayyid are deemed to be of superior status among the Shia, while the Kodai have a similar superior status among the Sunnis. In addition to the Matari and Tirmizi, the Shia Sayyid consist of six further lineages, the Abidi, Rizvi, Naqvi, Zaidi, Kazmi and Jaferi.[2]

The Sayyid are now landless community, as a consequence of the abolishing of zamindari system. A few rural families still practice farming and act as Pirs or religious guides to the community. But the community have now made a transition towards the taking up of professional jobs. The level of literacy is comparatively high. They are strictly endogamous, preferring marriage among close kin. The custom of kifaya, the examination of potential mates lineages is no longer widespread as in the past. They also have a marked preference for cross cousin marriages. The Sayyid are also distinct from other Muslim communities such as the Memon and Chhipa, in that they do not practice the custom of satwansa, the celebration of the pregnancy at the seventh month, the weddings are less elaborate and they do not accept charity. They are generally more orthodox in their customs then neighbouring Muslim communities.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=18045&rog3=IN
  2. ^ a b c d People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Three edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen pages 1346-1351
  3. ^ People of India by Herbert Risely
  4. ^ a b c Muslim Communities in Gujarat by Satish C Misra pages 117-122
  5. ^ Encyclopaedic Ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia: A-I, Volume 1 edited by R. Khanam
  6. ^ Islamic Names: An Introduction By Annemarie Schimmel

External links[edit]