Yusufzai (Pashtun tribe)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Afghanistan, Pakistan, India|
|Pashto, Hindi-Urdu, Dari|
|Islam (Sunni Hanafi)
with small Shia minority
The Yūsufzai, also called Yousafzai, Esapzay or Yūsufī, is one of the Sarbani Pashtun tribes. They are found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FederallyAdministered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, and in some eastern parts of Afghanistan. In addition, some Yusufzai lineages are settled in India, most notably in Farrukhabad, as well as the Rohilkhand region, many of whom form a part of the larger Rohilla community.
Like other Pashtuns, the origins of the Yousafzai tribe is unknown. The tribe is mentioned as "Isapzais" by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. They are later mentioned by Babur in the 16th century. It is claimed that by the 1580s the Yusufzai numbered about 100,000 households. In general, they were uncooperative with the rule of Akbar who sent military forces under Zain Khan Koka and Raja Bir Bar to subdue them. In 1585 Raja Bir Bar was killed in fighting with the Yusufzai. It was not until about 1690 that they were fully brought within the realm of the Mughal Empire. In 1849, the Yousafzai established their own Islamic State of Swat under the leadership of Akhund Abdul Ghaffur who appointed Sayyid Akbar Shah, a descendant of Pir Baba, as the first emir. After Akbar Shah's death in 1857, Akhund Ghaffur assumed control of the state himself. The state lasted until 1969 under its religious leaders known as Akhunds of Swat, and encompassed the present day Swat, Buner and Shangla.
The Yusufzai are the predominant population in the districts of Swat, Swabi, Buner, Shangla, Mardan, Malakand, Tor Ghar, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Swabi in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They are also living in Battagram and the Rasheeda, Maloga village of the Oghi Tehsil of Mansehra. In Balochistan, there is also a Yusufzai clan of the Dehwar tribe in the Mastung District which speak both Brahui, and Persian with some mixture of Brahui words.
Some Yusufzai lineages are settled in India, especially in Andhra Pradesh's capital Hyderabad city, in the Rohilkhand region of northwestern Uttar Pradesh, in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, in Gaya, Gopalgang Vaishali and the nearby Bihar, in Channapatna, Kadi, Ahmedabad, Baroda and the nearby Gujarat, in Maharashtra's Pune, Akola and Mumbai, and in Karnataka's Mysore and Bangalore. Many of the Yusufzai of Uttar Pradesh form a part of the larger Rohilla community.
- Haleem, Safia (24 July 2007). "Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India". Khyber Gateway. "Farrukhabad has a mixed population of Pathans dominated by the Bangash and Yousafzais."
- Haleem, Safia (24 July 2007). "Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India". Khyber Gateway. "This is the area in U.P (Utter Pradesh) Province, in which Pashtoons were either given land by the emperors or they settled for Trade purposes. Roh was the name of the area around Peshawar city, in Pakistan. Yousafzai Pathans especially Mandarr sub clan, living in this valley were also known as Rohillas when they settled down the area was known as Katehr, which literally means soft well aerated loam which is extremely suitable for cultivation. It later became known as Rohil Khand (the land of the Rohillas). The great majority of Rohillas migrated between 17th and 18th Century."
- Ahmed, Khaled. "Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- John F. Richards, The New Cambridge History of India: The Mughal Empire (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993) p. 50
- Haroon, Sana (2011). Frontier of Faith: Islam, in the Indo-Afghan Borderland. Hurst Publishers. p. 40. ISBN 1849041830. Retrieved 16 February 2013.