|Regions with significant populations|
|Pakistan||23,410,910-35,000,000 (August 2011)|
|India||2,810,000-4,000,000 (August 2001)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Baloch people • Kashmiri people • Punjabi people|
Some of the places in Sindh have been inhabited as early as the 3rd millennium BC.[by whom?] A large number of Indus valley sites have been found in Sindh. Sindh was ruled by local Hindu and Buddhist rulers until 712 CE, when it was invaded by the Arabs and incorporated into part of the Umayyad Caliphate, resulting in widespread conversions to Islam. However, a substantial number of Sindhis still retain their Hindu beliefs.
Following the partition of India in 1947, most Hindu and Sikh Sindhis fled to modern-day India and other parts of the world, though, as of 1998, Hindus still constituted about 6% of the total Sindhi population in Pakistan. Sindhi Hindus also believe in tenets of Sikhism but are predominantly Sahajdhari. As a result, this group of Sindhis can be regarded as concurrently following both Hinduism and Sikhism.
There are 35 million Sindhis living in Pakistan, with 33.5 million in Sindh, and 1.5 million in other provinces. 12.5% of Sindhis in Pakistan are Hindus. Most live in urban areas like Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Mirpur Khas. Hyderabad is the largest centre of Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan with 350,000-500,000.
The original inhabitants of ancient Sindh were believed to be aboriginal tribes speaking languages of the Indus Valley civilization around 3000 BC.
The Indus Valley Civilization went into decline around the year 1700 BC for reasons that are not entirely known, though its downfall was probably precipitated by a massive earthquake or natural event that dried up the Ghaggar River. The Indo-Aryans are believed to have founded the Vedic civilization that existed between the Sarasvati River and Ganges river around 1500 BC. This civilization helped shape subsequent cultures in South Asia.
For several centuries in the first millennium B.C. and in the first five centuries of the first millennium A.D. western portions of Sindh, the regions on the western flank of the Indus river, were intermittently under Persian and Kushan rule, first during the Achaemenid dynasty (500-300 BC), then, from 150 BC under the Parthians, and still later under the Sassanids, before the Islamic invasion of Iran in the 7th century AD. Alexander the Great marched through Punjab and Sindh, down the Indus river, during his invasion of the eastern flank of the Persian empire.
Because of its location at the western edge of South Asia, Sindh was one of the earliest regions to be influenced by Islam after 632 AD - as the Qu'ran was not written until then. Prior to this period, it was heavily Hindu, and Buddhist. After 632 AD, It was part of the Islamic empires of the Abbasids and Umayyids. Fundamentalist rulers played a pivotal role in forcibly converting millions of native Sindhis to Islam. At the same time, Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in Sindh. Settled by Turks, Pashtuns, and Mughals. Habbari, Soomra, Samma, Arghun dynasties ruled Sindh. Many Baloch tribes migrated and settled in Sindh. These Baloch assimilated with Sindhis and now they constitute a significant population of Sindh.
Sindh, as a western frontier of South Asia, has always been exposed to the entry of invaders from Central Asia and the Middle East. The region received its name, Sindh, from the River Sindhu (Indus), and the people living in the region are referred to as Sindhi. The terms Hindi and Hindu are derived from the word Sindh, as the ancient Persians pronounce "s" as "h" (e.g. sarasvati as hrauvati). In the same way, Persians called the people of this region as Hindhi people, their language as Hindhi language and the region as Hindh, the name which is used for this region since ancient times and later for the whole northern part of the Indian sub-continent even today. India is also known as Hindustan, a name which has nothing to do with Hinduism, but related more to a people and their language named after the main river flowing through this region, the Sindhu (Indus).
The two main and highest ranked tribes of Sindh are: the Soomra - descendants of the Soomra Dynasty, who ruled Sindh during (970 - 1351 A.D.) and the second is Samma - descendants of the Samma Dynasty, who ruled Sindh during (1351 - 1521 A.D.). Both these tribes belong to the same blood line as well. Among other Sindhi Rajputs are the Bhachos, Bhuttos, Bhattis, Mahendros, Buriros, Lakha, Sahetas, Lohanas, Mohano, Dahars, Indhar, Chachar, Dhareja, Rathores, Dakhan, Langah, etc. The Sindhi-Sipahi of Rajasthan and the Sandhai Muslims of Gujarat are communities of Sindhi Rajputs settled in India. Closely related to the Sindhi Rajputs are the Jats of Sindh, who are found mainly in the Indus delta region. However, tribes are of little importance in Sindh as compared to in Punjab and Balochistan, and identity is mostly based on a common Sindhi ethnicity.
Another sub-group of the Sindhi population comprises the descendants of Muslim conquerors, administrators and missionaries who were Arabs, Persians, Afghans and Turks (including the Mughals). They are a small minority settled in cities and towns and have largely blended with the other components of the population while maintaining something of a sub-culture; they are often referred to as Ashraf or the "noble". Of this third element, Muslim Arabs have possibly contributed the most to the development of the modern Sindhi language and literature and to the advancement of its intellectual and cultural activities.
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Another group of people who are largely overlooked in any discussions about groups and culture of Sindh are the Haris, whose name is derived from the term "Harijan." These people are generally believed to be the descendants of indigenous Dravidian populations that were enslaved by various invading people. Many are still living in abject poverty and under slave-like conditions in rural Sindh, because of the benign neglect and only nominal efforts by the government to improve the situation. The majority of Haris are nominally Muslims while practicing what is generally known as folk Hindu beliefs all over rural Pakistan like head tonsuring and sacred thread ceremonies. Many Haris have moved on as artisans and wage laborers. Due to their Dravidian heritage, different physical appearance from mainstream Sindhis, and highly syncretic culture, Harijans are not regarded as being ethnically Sindhi.
Nearly 14 million Muslims (Muhajirs) migrated from various parts of India and settled in Sindh after the creation of Pakistan, populating mostly urban centers of the province. They spoke Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali as well as other languages that reflect their different regions of origin.
With Sindh’s stable prosperity and its strategic geographical possession, it is not surprising that it was subject to successive conquests by foreign empires. In 712 A.D., Sindh was incorporated into the Caliphate, the Islamic Empire, and became the ‘Arabian gateway’ into India (later to become known as Bab-ul-Islam, the gate of Islam). After the conquest by the Arabs, the people of Sindh were influenced by Islam.
Sindhi culture also has certain Persian influences as Sindh was exposed to cultural, religious and linguistic influence from Islamic Persia. Most significantly, numerous Persian loanwords made their way into the Sindhi language along with the Nastaʿlīq script, in which modern Sindhi is written today.
Muslim Sindhis tend to follow the Sunni Hanafi fiqh with a substantial minority of Shia Ithna 'ashariyah. The Sufism has made a deep impact on Sindhi Muslims and Sufi shrines dot the landscape of Sindh.
Sindh is also home to some Hindus. Unlike the Hindus of India the Sindhi Hindus are a society where caste matters less as compared to other Hindus in India. The Majority of the Sindhi Hindus are followers of Shaivite tradition. But there are all the four varnas of Hindus- Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya, Shudras.
|“||Before 1947, however other than a few Gujarati speaking Parsees (Zorastrians) living in Karachi virtually all the inhabitants were Sindhis, whether Muslim or Hindu at the time of Pakistan's creation, 75% of the population were Muslims and almost all the remaining 25% were Hindus.||”|
Hindus in Sindh were concentrated in the cities before the partition of India in 1947, during which many had to flee to India to avoid being murdered. According to Ahmad Hassan Dani. But in reality Hindus were spread over the length & breath of Sindh.The Hindus of Kutch are also Sindhis but call themselves as Kutchi due to the reason that they come from Kutch.Their new year is different from the Sindhi Hindus. Thari (a dialect of Sindhi)is spoken in both side of Sindh & Rajasthan.
|“||Cities and towns of Sindh were dominated by the Hindus. In 1941, for example, Hindus were 64% of the total urban population.||”|
There are some reports (but does not apply everywhere in Pakistan), Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan continues even till date. Women and girls are abducted, raped, forced to convert to Islam or sold to brothels while men are killed without a reason.
Muslim Sindhis tend to have traditional Muslim first names, sometimes with localized variations. Most Sindhis have tribal and clan names as their surnames. Nearly forty percent of Sindhis have Baloch tribal names.
Hindu Sindhis tend to have surnames that end in '-ani' (a variant of 'anshi', derived from the Sanskrit word 'ansh', which means 'descended from'). The first part of a Sindhi Hindu surname is usually derived from the name or location of an ancestor. In northern Sindh, surnames ending in 'ja' (meaning 'of') are also common. A person's surname would consist of the name of his or her native village, followed by 'ja'.
Slslay aaliya naqshband in Sindh was mainly due to Sultan Ul Oliya Khawaja Muhammad Zaman of Luari Sharif. He was the spiritual leader of makhdoom Abdul Rahim Grohri. Once Shah Abdul Latif Bhitaai even came to enter into his school of thought but Sultan ul oliya did not allow him because music is not allowed in Naqshbandi silsila. Sindhi culture has been strongly influenced by Sufism. Jhulelal, the Sufi pioneer of Sindh, is revered by both Hindus and Muslims. A common greeting among Sindhis is "Jhulelal Bera-Hee-Paar".
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689–1752) was a Sufi scholar and saint, and is considered one of the greatest poets of the Sindhi language. Bhittai settled in the town of Bhit Shah in Matiari where his shrine is located. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai's most famous written work is the Shah Jo Risalo, which is a masterpiece of Sindhi literature as well. The major themes of his poetry include Unity of God, love for Prophet, religious tolerance and humanistic values. Islamic philosopher Seyyed Hossein Nasr describes Bhittai's works as "direct emanations of Rūmī's spirituality in the Indian world."
- Manu Chhabria
- Hari Harilela
- Sadruddin Hashwani
- The Hinduja brothers
- Micky Jagtiani
- Rajan Raheja
- Sunil Vaswani
- Jethanand Valiram
- Lal Krishna Advani (BJP Leader)
- Jairamdas Daulatram (former Governor of Assam and Bihar)
- Ram Jethmalani (former law minister of India)
- Acharya Kriplani (President of Indian National Congress during Independence of India)
- Shrichand Kriplani (member of 14th Lok Sabha)
- K.R. Malkani (former Governor of Pudduchery)
- N.R. Malkani (former member of Rajya Sabha and Winner of Padma Bhushan)
- Ishwardas Rohani (Speaker Of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly)
- Bhanu Kumar Shastri (former Member of Lok Sabha from Udaipur)
Historical Sindhi leaders include
Famous Sindhis in the Indian movie industry include:
- Nikhil Advani
- Govardhan Asrani
- Roma Asrani
- Saloni Aswani
- Ravi Baswani
- Tamanna Bhatia
- Vishal Dadlani
- Rajkumar Hirani
- Girish Kumar
- Hansika Motwani
- Vikramaditya Motwane
- Govind Nihlani
- Ramesh Sippy
Pakistan's political scene has been dominated by Sindhi politicians, including
- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
- Benazir Bhutto
- Mumtaz Ali Bhutto
- Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto
- Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah
- Haider Bux Jatoi founder of 'Jeay Sindh' slogan
- Ghulam Noor Rabbani Khar
- G. M. Syed
- Bashir Ahmed Qureshi ( Former Chairmain of Jeay Sindh Qomi Mahaz JSQM)
- Sindhis in India
- Sindhi literature
- Sindhi music
- Sindhi poetry
- Sindhi language media in Pakistan
- Sindhi diaspora
- Tomb paintings of Sindh
- Population Census Organization, Government of Pakistan - Population by Mother Tongue
- Ethnologue report for India Archived 18 January 2010 at WebCite
- Rising India and indian communities in East Asia - By K. Kesavapany, A. Mani, Palanisamy Ramasamy, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
- Memoir of the Emperor Timur (Malfuzat-i Timuri) Timur's memoirs on his invasion of India; describes in detail the massacre of Hindus, forced conversions to Islam and the plunder of the wealth of Hindustan (India). Compiled in the book: "The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period", by Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson; London, Trubner Company; 1867–1877
- Nicholas F. Gier, FROM MONGOLS TO MUGHALS: RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE IN INDIA 9TH-18TH CENTURIES, Presented at the Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting American Academy of Religion, Gonzaga University, May 2006 
- "Refugee Review Tribunal". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- The People and the land of Sindh Archived 14 February 2011 at WebCite
- Historical perspective of Sindhis Archived 14 February 2011 at WebCite
- The foreign policy of Pakistan: ethnic impacts on diplomacy, 1971-1994 By Mehtab Ali Shah Published in 1997 by I B Tauris and Co Ltd,London PAGE 46
- Proceedings of the First Congress of Pakistan History & Culture held at the University of Islamabad, April 1973 ,Volume 1 University of Islamabad Press, 1975
- 25 Hindu girls abducted every month, claims HRCP official The News, Tuesday, 30 March 2010
- US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report 2006
- Abduction of Hindus, Sikhs have become a business in Pak: PML MP Times of India - 28 August 2011
- Another temple is no more,Dawn
- About Jhule Lal Sai Archived 14 February 2011 at WebCite
- Rūmī and the Sufi Tradition Archived 14 February 2011 at WebCite
- Book review – DIL JE DAFTAR MAAN [Saroonyoon] « Indus Asia Online Journal (iaoj) Archived 14 February 2011 at WebCite
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sindhi people.|
- Sindhi Sangat: promoting & preserving the Sindhi heritage, culture and language.
- Sindhi Jagat: All India Sindhi Consolidating Centre.
- Sindhi Surnames Origin - Trace your roots