Jat Muslim

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Muslim Jats of Punjab
(Urdu: مسلمان جٹ‎)
Regions with significant populations
Pakistan, India
 • Punjabi
 • Sindhi
 • Urdu
 • Balochi
  • Haryanvi
Allah-green.svg Islam
Related ethnic groups
 • Jats
 • Jat Sikhs
 • Jat Hindu

Jat Muslims or Musalman Jats (Urdu: مسلمان جٹ‎), a sub-group of Jat people found throughout the Punjab region of Pakistan and India, where there are many clans.[1] as well as in western Uttar Pradesh[2] and Gujarat in India,[3] and the provinces of Sindh in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.[4][full citation needed] Jats began converting to Islam from the early Middle Ages onward, and now form the distinct community of Muslim Jats. The Jats constitute one of the most diverse communities in South Asia.[5] and in India are found in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.[6] They speak Punjabi, Balochi, Sindhi, Haryanvi and Urdu, depending on their location. Each Jat community presents unique cultural characteristics, which makes it difficult to generalise about them.[5]

Introduction of Islam[edit]

When Arabs entered Sindh in the seventh century, the chief tribal groupings they found were the Jats and the Med people. These Jats are often referred as Zatts in early Arab writings. The Jats were the first converts to Islam, and many were employed as soldiers by the new Arab Muslim administration in Sindh. The Muslim conquest chronicles further point at the important concentrations of Jats in towns and fortresses of Lower and Central Sindh.[7] Many of these Jats were said to be followers of Islam and had their own independent chiefs while others were pastoral nomads, inhabiting the Indus Delta region. Today the Jats are firmly established in the Punjab were they form a majority. Sindh and Balochistan is still home to a large community of cattle rearing Jat clans who seem to be distinct community who claim to be of Baloch origin.[8][clarification needed]

Between the 10th and the 13th Century, there was large immigration of Jat groups from Balochistan and sindh northwards to Punjab and eastwards towards what is now Rajasthan. Many Jat clans initially settled in a region known as the Bar country, which referred to the country between the rivers of Punjab, thinly populated with scanty rainfall which accommodated a type of pastoral nomadism which was based primary on the rearing of goats and camels. Between the 11th and the 13th Century, the Jats became essentially a peasant population, taking advantage in the growth of irrigation. As these Jats became converted to peasant farmers, they also started to become Muslims. Most Jats clans of western Punjab have traditions that they accepted Islam at the hands of two famous Sufi saints of Punjab, Shaikh Faridudin Ganj Shaker of Pakpattan or his contemporary Baha Al Haq Zakiriya of Multan. In reality the process of conversion was said to much a slower process.[9]

This process of incremental conversion was seen by the presence of members of a particular clan, some who had become Sikh while others had converted to Islam.[citation needed] In the plains and high plateau of Punjab, there are many communities of Jat, some of whom had converted to Islam by the 18th Century, while others had become Sikhs. As a result, sparse clans can be largely Muslim, while others such as the Pannun and Bal have Muslim branches, but are largely Sikh.[10]

Social organization[edit]

In some parts of Pakistan, the word Jat is synonymous with agriculturist, this is especially the case in the Seraiki speaking south west of Punjab.[11]


Muslim Jats gave birth to romances such as Heer Ranjha and Mirza Sahiba[12] which are sung by all Punjabis and have been immortalised in Waris Shahs poetry book Heer that tells the story of the love of Heer and her lover Ranjha.[13]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A History of Pakistan and Its Origins by Christophe Jaffrelot, Gillian Beaumont
  2. ^ Rivalry and Brotherhood Politics in the Life of Farmers in North India by Dipankar Gupta Oxford India ISBN 978-0-19-564101-1
  3. ^ People of India State series 22 Gujarat / general editor, K.S. Singh ; editors, R.B. Lal Volume II
  4. ^ The Jat of Pakistan by Sigrid Westphal-Hellbusch
  5. ^ a b Khanna, Sunil (2004). "Jat". In Ember, Carol R.; Ember, Melvin. Encyclopedia of medical anthropology: health and Illness in the World's Cultures 2. Springer. pp. 777–783. ISBN 9780306477546. 
  6. ^ Rivalry and Brotherhood Politics in the Life of Farmers in North India by Dipankar Gupta Oxford India ISBN 978-0-19-564101-1
  7. ^ Al Hind The Making of the Indo Islamic World Volume I by Andre Wink pages 154 to 160
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of Islam Article on Djats page 488
  9. ^ Wink, André. Al Hind The Making of the Indo Islamic World 2. pp. 241–242. ISBN 9780391041745. 
  10. ^ History of Pakistan and its origins by Christophe Jaffrelot pages 207 to 209
  11. ^ History of Pakistan and its origins by Christophe Jaffrelot pages 207 to 209
  13. ^ The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume Two) (Devraj To Jyoti), Volume 2 By Amaresh Datta
  14. ^ Khizr Tiwana: The Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India By Ian Talbot
  15. ^ http://www.beta.dawn.com/news/605627/his-family/?commentPage=1&storyPage=1