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Jat Muslim or Musalman Jat (Urdu: مسلمان جٹ) are Jat people who practise Islam, found primarily throughout the Sindh and Punjab region of Pakistan and India. Jat Muslims are also found in western Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in India, and the province of Azad Kashmir in Pakistan.[pages needed] Jats began converting to Islam from the early Middle Ages onward, and constitute a distinct sub-group within the diverse community of Jat people.
Introduction of Islam
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.
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 centuries, 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.
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. Those clans that converted to Islam remained in what is now Pakistani Punjab after Partition; others, such as the Pannun and Bal, while having Muslim branches, are largely Sikh and moved to India. In Pakistan, most Jats are land-owning agriculturalists, and they form the largest ethnic group in Sindh.
Muslim Jats gave birth to romances such as Heer Ranjha and Mirza Sahiba, which are sung by all Punjabis and have been immortalised in Waris Shah's poem, Heer, that tells the story of the love of Heer and her lover Ranjha.
- Rai Ahmad Khan Kharal, Punjabi freedom fighter during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
- Asif Ali Zardari, former president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013.
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pakistani revolutionary poet.
- Jats of Azad Kashmir
- List of Jats
- Jat clan system
- Tribes of the Bar Region of the Punjab
- Tribes and clans of the Pothohar Plateau
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Here lived a small land-owning class of Jat farmers, by caste known as Tataley. They addressed themselves as Chaudhry, from which we know that the given name of the poet was Chaudhry Faiz Ahmed.