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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
The Alvi Awans, are a South Asian community 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. 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  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;
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.
The Alavi of Kakori
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
- Ali Alavi, Theoretical chemist
- Patrick Alavi, a German Musician
- Abass Alavi, is Professor of Radiology and Neurology
- Abrar Alvi, was an Indian film writer, director and actor
- Ameer Faisal Alvi Awan, was the first General Officer Commanding of the elite Special Service Group of Pakistan Army
- Arif Alvi, is a Pakistani politician
- Bozorg Alavi, was an influential Iranian writer, novelist, and political intellectual
- Hakim ‘Alavi, was a royal Persian physician of the 18th century
- Amjad Farooq Alvi, inventor of the first Computer Virus (cBrain) and Founder of Brain Telecommunications Ltd.
- Hasan Jamil Alvi, is a former Pakistani cricketer
- Moniza Alvi, is a Pakistani-British poet and writer
- Rashid Alvi, a politician from Indian National Congress party is presently a Member of the Parliament of India
- Sajida Alvi, is a female academic of Pakistani origin in Canada
- Sattar Alvi, is a Pakistan Air Force's veteran fighter pilot and retired Air Commodore of Pakistan Air Force
- Shamsur Rehman Alvi, is a journalist with Hindustan Times
- Suroosh Alvi, is a Pakistani Canadian journalist and film-maker
- Shahood Alvi, is a television actor, Pakistan
- Mahmoud Alavi, is the Minister of Intelligence of Iran
- Mohammad Alavi (nuclear engineer), is an Iranian nuclear engineer
- Mohammad Alavi Gorgani, is a leading scholar in Najaf, Iraq
- Mohammad Alvi, is an Iranian footballer
- Yousef Alavi, is a mathematician who specializes in combinatorics and graph theory
- Awan History
- History of Kalabagh
- Arab origins
- 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
- http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/aa/aalavii.htm Alavi in Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names
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