Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Delhi

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Qaume-e-Punjaban / Shamsi
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan India
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
KhatriAroraPunjabi ShaikhShaikh

The Jamiat-e-Punjabi-Saudagaran-e-Delhi or Punjabi Shamsi (Urdu: جمعیت پنجابی سوداگران دہلی ‎), sometimes referred to as the Qaum-e-Punjabian (Urdu: قوم پنجابیان), or simply Shamsi Biradari are a community of Muslims that historically came from Sargodha in Punjab and then lived mainly in Old Delhi, India. They also settled in a number of cities such as Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), West Bengal; and towns in western Uttar Pradesh, such as Agra, Aligarh, Meerut, Bareilly, Rampur, Kanpur; including areas within western Uttar Pradesh that now fall in state of Uttarakhand; namely Nainital and Haldwani. After the partition of India, and subsequent independence of Pakistan in 1947, many members of the community migrated to Pakistan.


According to tradition, the clan belonged to the Muslim Khatris community, some of whom were converted to Islam by Hazrat Shamsuddin Sabzwari. Some subgroups use the surname Shamsi (a disciple of Shams), in his honour.[2] Some families moved from Sargodha, in what is now Pakistan in the 17th century, in search of business opportunities to Uttar Pradesh and especially in Delhi on behalf of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzaib Alamgir. Other than in Delhi, important Qaum-e-Punjabian communities exist in Aligarh, Agra, Roorkee, Aonla, Hapur, Moradabad, Rampur, Kanpur and Kolkata.[2]

The Qaum-e-Punjabian use Multani, Saudagar or Shamsi as their surname.They are an endogamous community, practicing both cross-cousin and parallel-cousin marriages.

They are divided into various lineages some also use Multani, Goronwalay, Sheikh, Allahwala, Namoonay Walay, Taar-Gitti Walay, Dawawala as a title. The title Allahwala literally translates as "God fearing" in English.

Historically, the Qaum-e-Punjabian played an important role in India's trans-regional trade. They are noted to be amongst the "most important Muslim Merchant communities of North India. [2]

The ancestors of the Shamsi community were Zoroastrians and the possible migration route was from Central Ancient Persia to Sindh and subsequent upward migration until they settled in Multan and Sargodha. A possible reason behind the migration could have been the Persecution of Zoroastrians during the 8th Century. Settling into the Indus Valley, they began being identified as Kshatriya (Muslim Khatris) (as other Persians/Aryans were) by the local people; they followed the Sanatan dharma and had adopted the Punjabi language as the secondary language which led to the development of the Shahmukhi alphabet.

There is confusion regarding the name of the Sufi Saint who helped the Shamsis in identifying Islam. Some say it was Shamsuddin Sabzwari, while others claim it to be Shams Tabrizi. Research reveals that both saints died in the same year. Secondly, the name Sabzwari means from/of modern day Afghanistan, So it is possible that Hazrat Shams Tabrizi whose real name was Muhammad Shamsuddin had come to the Indus valley through Afghanistan and hence was identified as Shamsuddin Sabzwari instead of Shams Tabrizi.

Quam-e-Punjabian Aonla[edit]

The Quam-e-Punjabian Aonla, are a separate sub-group of the Punjabi Saudagars. They are said to have settled in the town of Aonla in Rohilkhand in the early 17th Century. The Aonla Punjabi Saudagar are now found scattered all over Rohilkhand, in particular the city of Bareilly, where the settlement of Saudagar Tola is particularly ancient. In spite of their common ethnic origin with Qaum -e -Punjabian Delhi, they form a distinct community, with their own communal organizations. A significant number have immigrated to Kolkata and Mumbai. Their main Biradaris are the Soleja, Mahindarata, Chabra and Khera. A much smaller number have also settled in Karachi.[3]


There are two main organizations initiated by the Punjabi Saudagaran community that are active in Karachi:

    1) The Jamiyat Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Delhi (Association of Punjabi traders of Delhi) was registered in Delhi in the year 1910, and is composed of a president, two vice-presidents, one honorary secretary and one joint secretary.[4]

A monthly digest containing all the happenings in the community all around the world and efforts made for the nation by the community's prominent persons, is published and issued under the title "Saudaagar". There is a book acknowledging the well-known figures in the community, such as Tipu Sultan, with the title of "Yaad-e-Raftgaan". They also have a Jamiyat Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Dehli Maiyat Bus Service. They have their own graveyards for their Biradri known as "Yousuf Pura", "Shams Pura", "Bagh Nawab Uddin" and "Shafiq Pura" at Karachi. They also provide a Ghusal e Maiyat Service.

List of institutions under 'Jamiyat Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Dehli' :

Jamiyat Education Board, Baigum Haji Hospital, Marrium Batla Hospital, Bilqees Memorial Hospital, Haji Fazal Ilahi General Hospital, Ismail Allahwala Boys Campus, Najam Girls School, Jamiyat Ahle Hadees, Delhi Mercantile Society, Riaz Masjid, Saudagaran Cooperative Housing Society, Alamgir Road, Jamiyat Taalim Al Quran, Ameeniya Muslim Girls School, Yahya Sootwalay Hospital, Jamiyat Sabira Clinic and Diabetic Centre, M.Y. Chandiwala Clinic, Abdul Khaliq Abdul Razzaq Hospital, B.H.Y.Hospital. Abdul Khaliq Allah wala town

The Jamiyat also give monthly pension, houses, daily household things to widows, unmarried, orphans and other poor people of their Biradri.

     2) The other one is ANJUMAN PUNJABI SAUDAGRAN Ibraheem state building, which is also a community base NGO providing financial assistance, health, education, residence, character building, event management and grooming social activities for the people of pakistan, the organization consist of one President, one Vise President, an Honorary General Secretary, a Joint Secretary and one treasurer and a total 21 members of the board, They also publish a monthly Gazette with the name Anjuman Qaumi Gazette which is widely circulated to the members

List of institutions founded by Anjuman punjabi saudagaran

Shamsi cooperative housing society, Shamsi health foundation, Shamsi education foundation Shamsi mercantile housing society

Current position[edit]

The Partition of India in 1947 was a traumatic event, and a significant portion of this community had to leave India. After the independence of Pakistan, a large number of these traders migrated to Lahore and Karachi. Some still continue to live in Delhi.[5]

The Jamiyat is now split into two organizations, one in India and one in Pakistan. In Karachi, the Qaum-e-Punjabian form an important element within the business community of that city.[6] The Delhi Mercantile Society, K.A.E.C.H.S, Defence Housing Authority (D.H.A), Shamsi Society,Delhi Colony and some concentrations at P.E.C.H.S in Karachi are the principal settlements of the Qaum-e-Punjabian in Pakistan.

See also[edit]