Ahbans Khanzada

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Ahbans Khanzada
Total population
(8,000 [1])
Regions with significant populations
 India Pakistan
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
RajputsMuslim RajputsKhanzadaBhatti KhanzadaKhokhar Khanzada

The Ahbans Khanzada are a Muslim community found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. They are part of the larger Khanzada community found in the Awadh region. The community uses the surname Khan.[2]


The Ahbans Khanzada are Muslim converts from the Ahbans clan of Rajputs. They were converted when the Bahlol Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi appointed his nephew Mohammed Farman Ali, also known as Kalapahar, as governor of Bahraich. This Kalapahar is said to have induced the conversion of the Ahbans ranas of Lakhimpur Kheri to Islam. They remain concentrated in the villages near the city of Lakhimpur Kheri. Like other Khanzadas, they marry other Khanzada clans of similar status. The Ahbans Khanzada provided the taluqdar families of Kotwara, Agar Buzurg, Chauratia, Kukra, Jalalpur, Raipur and Gola.[3]

The first Ahbans to have converted to Islam was said to be a Rajah Mul Sah, who is said to have then gone to Delhi, the capital of the Islamic Sultanate. From him descended two brothers, Fateh Khan and Baz Khan, from whom most of the present day Ahbans Khanzada claim descent from. Baz Khan had twelve sons, of whom eight had no issues, while from the two eldest, Sangi Khan and Turbat Khan came the taluqdar families of Kotwara, Jalalpur and Raipur, and the zamindar families of Bhurwara, Ghunsi, sehrua and Amethi.

The Jalalpur family were descended from Tarbat Khan, who had three sons, the eldest being Mohammad Hasan Khan. These estate was one of the largest in Lakhimpur Kheri District, and consisted of thirteen villages. From the second son of Tarbat Khan came the taluqdar family of Kotwara. This estate eventually passed into the ownership of a Sayyid family. The final taluqdar estate was Raipur, whose taluqdar claimed descent from Bahudur Khan, a younger son of Baz Khan.[4]

Another community of Ahbans Khanzada are those of Bangarmau in Hardoi District. These Ahbans have no connection with those of Lakhimpur Kheri, and are historically connected with another Khanzada community, the Chandel Khanzada. They were said to be converted to Islam by Sher Shah Suri. These Ahbans are largely small zamindars, and many are simple peasant proprietors. They are also entirely Sunni, while those of Lakhimpur include a small Shia minority.[5]

Present circumstances[edit]

They are Sunni Muslims, except the taluqdar families, but incorporate many folk beliefs. The Ahbans speak both Khari boli and Urdu. They were at one time substantial landowners, but with the carrying out of land reform by the government of India after independence in 1947, they lost many of their larger estates. The community are now small to medium-sized farmers, growing wheat, sorghum, pulses and sugar cane. They have no caste council or panchayat, although there are localized panchayats in their villages. Although the community did practice clan exogamy, this is no longer the case. While the Ahbans of Bangarmau intermarry largely with the Chandel Khanzada, those of Lakhimpur Kheri have also had said marital links with the Rohilla communities of Pilibhit and Bareilly.[6]

The sense of belonging to the Rajput community remains strong, with the Ahbans Khanzada still strongly identifying themselves with the wider Rajput community of Awadh, and often refer to themselves as simply Rajput. This is shown by the persistence in their marriages of Rajput customs, like bursting of fire crackers and sending specially made laddoos to biradati members. Many members of the community continue to serve in the armed forces of India, an activity traditionally associated with the Rajputs. The Khanzada, however have been badly affected by abolishment of the zamindari system, with many now destitute. However, like other Indian Muslims, there is growing movement towards orthodoxy, with many of their villages containing madrasas. The madrasas have also facilitated the growth of Urdu, with it beginning to replace the Awadhi dialect they traditionally spoke.[7]

See also[edit]

  • Ahbans


  1. ^ http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php
  2. ^ Tribes and Castes of Northwestern Provinces and Oudh by William Crooke page 38
  3. ^ A Gazetteer of Kheri District Volume XLII: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  4. ^ A Gazetteer of Kheri District Volume XLII: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  5. ^ A Gazetteer of Hardoi District Volume XLI: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  6. ^ Tribes and Castes of Northwestern Provinces and Oudh by William Crooke page 38
  7. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/times-of-india-the/mi_8012/is_20070708/muslim-rajputs-india/ai_n39451474/?tag=content;col1