Muslim Rajputs

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Muslim Rajputs
Regions with significant populations
 India and  Pakistan
Related ethnic groups
Rajputs and other Indo-Aryan peoples

Muslim Rajputs or Musalman Rajpoots are the descendants of Rajputs in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent who are followers of Islam.[1] They converted from Hinduism to Islam from the medieval period onwards, creating various dynasties and states while retaining Hindu surnames such as Rana and Chauhan.[2][3][4] Today, Muslim Rajputs can be found mostly in present-day Northern India and Pakistan.[5] They are further divided into different clans.[6]


The term Rajput is traditionally applied to the original Suryavanshi, Chandravanshi and Agnivanshi clans, who claimed to be Kshatriya in the Hindu varna system.[citation needed]

Conversion to Islam and ethos

Upon their conversion from Hinduism to Islam, the Rajputs maintained many of their Hindu customs.[2] Muslim Rajputs often retained common social practices, such as purdah (seclusion of women), with Hindu Rajputs.[5]

Despite the difference in faith, where the question has arisen of common Rajput honour, there have been instances where both Muslim and Hindu Rajputs have united together against threats from external ethnic groups.[7][weasel words]

There are recorded instances of recent conversions of Rajputs to Islam in Western Uttar Pradesh, Khurja tahsil of Bulandshahr.[8]

Muslim Rajput dynasties

Kharagpur Raj

The Kharagpur Raj was a Muslim Kindwar Rajput chieftaincy in modern-day Munger district of Bihar.[9][10] Raja Sangram Singh led a rebellion against the Mughal authorities and was subsequently defeated and executed. His son, Toral Mal, was made to convert to Islam and renamed as Roz Afzun. Roz Afzun was a loyal Commander to the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan and Jahangir referred to him as his "favourite" commander in the empire.[11] Another prominent chieftain of this dynasty was Tahawar Singh who played an active role in the Mughal expedition against the nearby Cheros of Palamu.[12]

Muzaffarid dynasty

The Gujarat Sultanate was an independent Muslim kingdom established in the early 15th century by the Muzaffarid dynasty in Gujarat. The Muzafarrid Dynasty was founded by Sultan Zafar Khan Muzaffar, who was either a Tank Rajput[13][14][15] from Punjab, a Chaudhary,[16] a Tānk Khatri[17] or even a Jat convert to Islam.[18][19]

Samma dynasty

Makli Hill is one of the largest necropolises in the world.

In 1339 Jam Unar founded a Sindhi Muslim Rajput Samma dynasty[20] and challenged the Sultans of Delhi. He used the title of the Sultan of Sindh. The Samma tribe reached its peak during the reign of Jam Nizamuddin II (also known by the nickname Jám Nindó). During his reign from 1461 to 1509, Nindó greatly expanded the new capital of Thatta and its Makli hills, which replaced Debal. He patronized Sindhi art, architecture and culture. The Samma had left behind a popular legacy especially in architecture, music and art. Important court figures included the poet Kazi Kadal, Sardar Darya Khan, Moltus Khan, Makhdoom Bilawal and the theologian Kazi Kaadan. However, Thatta which was a port city unlike garrison towns, it could not mobilize large armies against the Arghun and Tarkhan Mongol invaders, who killed many regional Sindhi Mirs and Amirs loyal to the Samma. Some parts of Sindh still remained under the Sultans of Delhi and the ruthless Arghuns and the Tarkhans sacked Thatta during the rule of Jam Ferozudin.

Khanzada dynasty

Mewat was a kingdom in Rajputana with its capital at Alwar ruled by a Khanzada Mewati Rajput dynasty during the period of the Delhi Sultanate in India. Raja Hassan Khan Mewati was represented the Meo Khanzada in Battle of Khanwa.[21] Mewat was covered over a wide area, it included Hathin tehsil, Nuh district, Tijara, Gurgaon, Kishangarh Bas, Ramgarh, Laxmangarh Tehsils Aravalli Range in Alwar district and Pahari, Nagar, Kaman tehsils in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and also some part of Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. The last ruler of Mewat, Hasan Khan Mewati was killed in the battle of Khanwa against the Mughal emperor Babur. The Meo Khanzadas were descended from Hindu Yadu Rajputs.[22][21][6]

Lalkhani Nawabs

Muhammad Said Khan, the Nawab or Chhatri and a Lalkhani Rajput

The Lalkhanis are a Muslim Rajput community and a sub-clan of the Bargujars. They were the Nawabs of various estates in Western Uttar Pradesh. These included Chhatari and neighbouring regions including parts of Aligarh and Bulandshahr.[23]

Langah dynasty

The Langah Sultanate was a kingdom which emerged after the decline of Delhi Sultanate in the Punjab region. The capital of the Sultanate was the city of Multan in south Punjab. The founding Langah tribe is said to have had either Muslim Rajput[24][25] or Baloch origins.[26]

Soomra dynasty

After the decline of Habbari dynasty, the Abbasid Caliphate then appointed Al Khafif from Samarra; 'Soomro' means 'of Samarra' in Sindhi. The new governor of Sindh was to create a better, stronger and stable government. Once he became the governor, he allotted several key positions to his family and friends; thus Al-Khafif or Sardar Khafif Soomro formed the Soomro Dynasty in Sindh;[27] and became its first ruler. Until the Siege of Baghdad (1258) the Soomro dynasty was the Abbasid Caliphate's functionary in Sindh, but after that it became independent. The Soomros were first native Muslim dynasty in Sindh with probable Parmar Rajput origin.[28] Along with Rajput origins, the Soomros also claimed Arab ancestry.[29][30]

Qaimkhanis of Fatehpur-Jhunjhunu

The Qaimkhanis were a Muslim Rajput dynasty who were notable for ruling the Fatehpur-Jhunjhunu region in Rajasthan from the 1300s to the 1700s.[31][32] They were descended from Hindu Chauhan Rajputs, though as also stated by the historian Dirk Kolff the Qaimkhani have Turkic origins.[33]

Mayi chiefs

The Mayi clan were the chieftains of the Narhat-Samai (Hisua) chieftaincy in modern-day Nawada district in South Bihar. The founder of the Mayi clan was Nuraon Khan who arrived in Bihar in the 17th century. His descendants were Azmeri and Deyanut who were granted zamindari rights over six parganas by the Mughal authorities. Deyanut's son was Kamgar Khan who expanded his land by attacking and plundering neighbouring zamindars. Kamgar Khan also led numerous revolts against the Mughals and attempted to assert the Mayi's independence. His descendant was Iqbal Ali Khan who took part in the 1781 revolt in Bihar against the British however his revolt failed and Mayi's lost much of their land.[34]


Rajput communities began settling in Bengal during the Sultanate period where they were given high ranks in the Bengal government. One notable example is of Bhagirath of Ayodhya, who belonged to the Hindu Bais clan, who was appointed as the Dewan of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah.[citation needed] His son, Kalidas Gajdani embraced Sunni Islam through the guidance of Ibrahim Danishmand and became known as Sulaiman Khan. Bhagirath's grandson, Isa Khan, grew to become the chief of Bengal's Baro-Bhuiyan confederacy which posed as a threat to the Mughals who wanted to conquer Bengal.[35] The diwans of Mymensingh and Dhaka during the 19th-century were said to be the descendants of Muslim Rajputs.[36]

Another Bengali Rajput community are the Ghosi, who can predominantly be found in the 24 Parganas and Midnapore districts, particularly near the towns of Barrackpur and Kharagpur. They migrated to Bengal from Kanpur five centuries ago and are descended from Amar Singh Rathore, a Rajput nobleman from Jhansi who converted to Islam. They are divided into several clans; Rathore, Dogar, Chauhan, Khelari, Tatar, Lehar and Maidul.[37]

See also


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  2. ^ a b Singhal, Damodar P. (1972). Pakistan. Prentice Hall. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-13-648477-6. Large communities converted to Islam from among Hindus carried with them Hindu customs and usages, and often passed them on to other Muslims. Many Rajput converts even retained their family names, such as Chauhan and Rajput.
  3. ^ Singh, Yogendra (1973). Modernization of Indian Tradition. Oriental Press. p. 74. The next in status are a few higher caste Hindu converts to Islam, particularly the Rajputs
  4. ^ Cambridge South Asian Studies, Issue 16. 1965. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-521-20432-3. The latter may be subdivided into three distinct groups: converts from Hindu high castes such as Muslim Rajputs, converts from clean occupational castes such as Julahas and Qassabs, and converts from unclean occupational castes such as Bhangis and Chamars.
  5. ^ a b "Rajput". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  6. ^ a b توصیف الحسن میواتی الہندی (23 August 2020). تاریخِ میو اور داستانِ میوات.
  7. ^ Self and sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850 by Ayesha Jalal, Routledge 2000, p480, p481
  8. ^ Muslim Women by Zakia A. Siddiqi, Anwar Jahan Zuberi, Aligarh Muslim University, India University Grants, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd., 1993, p93
  9. ^ Tahir Hussain Ansari (20 June 2019). Mughal Administration and the Zamindars of Bihar. Taylor & Francis. pp. 22–28. ISBN 978-1-00-065152-2.
  10. ^ Yogendra P. Roy (1999). "Agrarian Reforms in "Sarkar" Munger under Raja Bahrox Singh (1631-76) Of Kharagpur". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 60: 287–292. JSTOR 44144095.
  11. ^ Yogendra P. Roy (1993). "Raja Roz Afzun of Kharagpur (AD 1601 - 31". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 54: 357–358. JSTOR 44142975.
  12. ^ Yogendra P. Roy (1992). "Tahawar Singh-A Muslim Raja of Kharagpur Raj (1676 - 1727)". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 53: 333–334. JSTOR 44142804.
  13. ^ *Chandra, Satish (2004). Medieval India ( From Sultanat to the Mughals), PART ONE Delhi Sultanat ( 1206-1526). Har-Anand Publications. p. 218. ISBN 9788124110645. Sadharan a Rajput who converted to Islam
    *Muzaffar Husain Syed, Syed Saud Akhtar, BD Usmani (2011). Concise History of Islam. p. 271. The Gujarat Sultanate was an independent kingdom established in the early 15th century in Gujarat. The founder of the ruling Muzaffarid dynasty, Zafar Khan a convert from Rajput{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
    *Journal of Oriental Studies, Volume 39. 1989. p. 120. Wajih- al - Mulk was by birth a Hindu Rajput of Tanka
    *Edward James Rapson, Sir Wolseley Haig, Sir Richard Burn (1965). The Cambridge History of India: Turks and Afghans, edited by W Haig, 1965. Cambridge. p. 294.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
    *Mahajan, VD (2007). History of Medieval India. S. Chand. p. 245. ISBN 9788121903646. Zafar Khan, a son of Rajput convert to Islam was appointed Governor of Gujarat in 1391AD
    *Jenkins, Everett (2010). The Muslim Diaspora - A comprehensive reference to the spread of Islam in Asia, Africa, Europe and the America, 570 - 1799. McFarland & Company Inc. p. 275. ISBN 9780786447138.
    *Jutta, Jain-Neubauer (1981). The Stepwells of Gujarat: In Art- Historical perspective. p. 62.
    *Saran, Kishori Lal (1992). The legacy of Muslim Rule in India. Aditya Prakashan. p. 233. ISBN 9788185689036.
    *Lane-Pool, Stanley (2014). Mohammadan Dyn: Orientalism V 2 - volume 2, page -312, writer. p. 312. ISBN 9781317853947.
  14. ^ Kapadia, Aparna (2018). Gujarat: The Long Fifteenth Century and the Making of a Region. Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 9781107153318.
  15. ^ Chaube 1975, p. 4.
  16. ^ "The Rise of Muslim Power in Gujarat. A history of Gujarat from 1298 to 1442. [With a map.] |". p. 138. Retrieved 24 February 2023. The two brothers were chaudharis of a rather numerous agrarian community, tilling the soil, not high in the caste hierarchy but not without strength in the neighborhood
  17. ^ * Wink, André (2003). Indo-Islamic society: 14th - 15th centuries. BRILL. p. 143. ISBN 978-90-04-13561-1. Similarly, Zaffar Khan Muzaffar, the first independent ruler of Gujarat was not a foreign muslim but a Khatri convert, of low subdivision called Tank.
  18. ^ Agnihotri, V.K (1988). Indian History. pp. B-131. ISBN 9788184245684.
  19. ^ Rizvi, S.A.A (1987). The Wonder That Was India. p. 69. ISBN 9788184245684. The independent kingdom of Gujarat was founded by Zafar Khan, son of Sadharan, a Jat convert to Islam.
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  21. ^ a b "Tareekh-e-Miyo Chhatri by Hakeem Abdush Shakoor". Rekhta. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
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