Banu Israil

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Brief history of Bani Israel Israel was the ‘Laqab’ of Hazrat Yaqoob who was the son of Hazrat Isaac (son of Hazrat Ibrahim). Thus, the history of Bani Israel dates back to Hazrat Ibrahim. Hazrat Yaqoob’s eldest son was named Yahooda (Juda) and hence the name Yahood for the tribe of Bani Israel. The Yahood and the Christians are both Ahl-e-Kitaab (people of the Book). Hazrat Yaqoob lived in Palestine but when a famine struck the region, they moved to Egypt where Hazrat Yousuf held a respectful and authoritative position. There they lived in good conditions for several years until the rise of Pharoah against them who made them slaves and inflicted severe sufferings upon them. For help in this matter Allah sent Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Haroon. Under the leadership of Hazrat Musa, the Bani Israel were relieved from the slavery of the Pharoah(who along with his army drowned). Bani Israel moved towards Palestine and on the way Hazrat Musa was summoned to Koh-i-Tur by Allah so that the Torah be revealed unto him for the guidance of his people. But behind his back, Bani Israel indulged in Shirk and started worshipping a calf (made out of their gold belongings). This displeased Allah to such an extent that for the next 40 years Bani Israel lived in that very desert and did not get to see their homeland again. Hazrat Musa and Hazrat Haroon both died in this desert. Under the leadership of Hazrat Yusha (a student of Hazrat Musa), the Bani Israel were then able to enter into Palestine. During the time of Hazrat Dawood and Hazrat Sulaiman, Bani Israel had power in Palestine and this lasted for many years until intra conflicts caused them to be divided into two sects making them vulnerable to attacks by other civilizations. They were attacked and defeated by Ashuri (Asyrians) in 800 BC and then by the Babylonians in 600 B.C who also destroyed their worship place as well as their Book (Torah). Then in 400 B.C Sikander Azam conquered them and they became a part of the Roman empire. But the Bani Isreal were under the illusion that they were the “Chosen People” the ones favoured by Allah and thus they were superior to all others. This illusion of superiority was a prime reason for their moral and ethical downfall, keeping them in a constant state of conflict with the Romans. Seeing this that the Bani Israel cannot learn to live in peace and harmony, the Romans decided to kill them. All those of the Bani Israel in Palestine were killed and the rest scattered all over the world. To date, the Yahoods have been trying to get back their land of Palestine and in these efforts have come together in the form of Israel. Bani Israel were blessed with a total of 4000 messengers of Allah.

.The Banu Israil are a Muslim community found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Their name means "Children of Israel", and the community claims descent from the Jewish community of Madinah. They belong to the Shaikh caste, and typically carry the surname Israily. They should not be confused with the Bene Israel, a Jewish community found in western India.[1]


The exact circumstances of their settlement in India is unclear, but their traditions make clear that they were Muslims at the time of their settlement.There is another group at Qayamganj in Farrukhabad – both refer to themselves as Bani Israel. Two more such clans live in aligarh and Sambhal in Moradabad They are largely an urban community, occupying distinct quarters in a number of towns and cities in western Uttar Pradesh, such as Banu Israilyan in Aligarh. Quite a few of them occupied important administrative positions under both the Sultanate of Delhi and its successor, the Mughal Empire.Throughout the history of the Delhi Sultanate and its successor the Mughal Empire in South Asia, Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world, and the region that now forms Uttar Pradesh was the centre of Islamic power in India. This was especially true of the Banu Israil of Aligarh, where the community were the heredity kotwals, a post which entailed being both the head of police and garrison commander.[2]

"We have been Muslims since Abdullah Ibn Salam (a rabbi at the time of the Prophet) embraced Islam. This appears as an attempt to bring us back to the Jewish fold, but we are not giving in," said Mohammad Faisal, a qazi. His fears are based on the immigration of the Bene Menashe Jews from Mizoram and Manipur to Israel.Most in the community have 'Israili' as a last name but some have begun dropping it lately. Following his father, Mohammad Ajmal, the sheher qazi does not end his name with 'Israili'. "It arouses suspicion in people - they start associating us with Israel," said Faisal

According to Navras Jaat Aafreedi, assistant professor in history at Presidency University Kolkata, 'Banu Israil' is the name used by a Muslim clan in Sambhal, Moradabad district and Aligarh that claims descent from Abdullah Ibn Salam. The clan produced a number of eminent Islamic theologians down the generations. According to them their ancestors settled in India a thousand years ago. Both Aligarh and Sambhal have a locality each called Mohalla Bani Israilan.The community itself was much more vocal about its oral traditions in earlier times. They were endogamous traditionally, although this is now beginning to disappear

Although largely an urban community, there were several settlements of rural Banu Israil in Etah District. These Banu Israil are unique in that they are largely a community of farmers. In additions, the community were found in the town of Dhampur in Bijnor District, in Bilari in Moradabad District, in Sahaswan and Badaun in Badaun District, and in the city of Bareilly in Bareilly District.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth by Tudor Parfit ISBN O 297 81934 8 page 131
  2. ^ Boundaries and identities : Muslims, work and status in Aligarh by E. A. Mann ISBN 0-8039-9422-2
  3. ^ Tribes and Castes of North Western Provinces and Oudh Volume IV by William Crook

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