Alavi (surname)

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The surname Alvi (Arabic: علوي‎‎) signifies ancestry from Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب‎‎), the fourth Caliph of Sunni Islam. Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and titled Amir al-Mu'minin (Arabic: أمیر المؤمنین‎‎) (Commander of the Faithful) by his followers.

Alvi Awan of Punjab[edit]

The Alvi Awans, are a South Asian community[1] that trace their origin from Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib through his son Al-Abbas ibn Ali, who was the Commander at the Battle of Karbala.[2] It is also believed to have gone through Qutb Shah, the famous general of Mahmud Ghazni who conquered most part of Herat, Afghanistan, and Khorasan. Contrary to this a small number of scholars have [3] argued that Awans were a part of the local Hindu population of the Punjab region of Medieval India, who embraced Islam after the Islamic invasion of India.

The lineage of the common ancestor of the Qutb-Shahi Awans goes as follows;

Ali ibn Abi Talib Al Abbas ibn Ali Ubaidullah Hassan Hamza Jaffar Ali Qasim At-Tyar Abu Ya'la Hamza Al Hashmi ibn Ya'la Al Alawi Al Baghdadi Abdullah Awn (ibn Ya'la) Qutb Shah[4]

The Awans prominent in the army during the British Raj, British categorized Awans as a "martial races" and as such, the formed an important part of the British Indian Army, serving during World Wars I and II.

In the genealogical tree of the Nawabs of Kalabagh, there are found several native names such as Rai, Harkaran, etc.[citation needed]

Many famous people belong to this tribe, such as the Nawab of Kalabagh, Air Marshal Nur Khan, Dr. Arif Alvi, Ameer Faisal Alavi, and Amjad Farooq Alvi.

The Alavi of Kakori[edit]

The Alavi of Kakori are sometimes referred to as Moulvizadigan (Moulvis) or Makhdoomzadigan (Makhdooms), indicating whether they are descendants of Mullah Abu Bakr Jami Alavi, who settled in Kakori in 1461 or descendants of Qari Amir Saifuddin Alavi, who settled in Kakori in 1512. The spelling of (Arabic: علوي) varied greatly. Although, the Alavi spelling is most prevalent in Iran, but Alvi, Alawi, and Alwi spellings are frequently found in India and some Middle Eastern Countries.They form part of the Kakori Shaikh community.

Notable people with the surname Alavi[edit]


  1. ^ Awan History
  2. ^ History of Kalabagh
  3. ^ Arab origins
  4. ^ Kihalastah al-Nisab, a treatise written by Jamal ad-Din Hasan ibn Yusuf ibn ‘Ali ibn Muthahhar al-Hilli, on the descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib; this rare tome also covers the descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who migrated to lands outside Arabia – including the Indian subcontinent – following the rise of the Umayyad Caliphate. The treatise is the oldest work dealing with the history of the Awan tribe

External links[edit]