From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Sa‘id.
For use as a given name, see Sayyid (name).
"Seyd", "Syed", "Saiyid", and "Seyyed" redirect here. For the village in Bushehr Province, see Seydi. For the village in Yazd Province, see Seyyedabad, Bafq. For the village in Fars Province, see Qaleh-ye Seyyed, Mohr.
In the Ottoman Empire, Muhammad's descendants formed a kind of nobility with the privilege of carrying green turbans.
Syed Hussain Ali Khan Barha was a leading administrator during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar.
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, a Shia Islamic scholar, wearing a black turban. A black turban is worn by Ithna Ashari Shi'ite Sayyid clergymen, whilst a white turban is worn by non-Sayyid Ithna Ashari Shi'ite clergymen.

Sayyid (also spelled "Seyd", "Syed", "Sayed", "Sayyad", "Sayyed", "Saiyid", "Seyed", "Said" and "Seyyed") (pronounced [səj.jɪd], Arabic: سيد‎‎; meaning Mister) (plural Sadah Arabic: سادة‎‎, Sāda(h), also spelled "Sadat") is an honorific title denoting males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, sons of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali (Ali ibn Abi Talib).[1] Conventionally, descent is patrilineal.[citation needed]

Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida, Alawiyah, or Sharifa. In some regions of the Islamic world, e.g., India, the descendants of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) are given the title Amir or Mir, meaning "commander", "general", or "prince". Children of Sayyida mother but a non Sayyid father are referred to as Mirza.[2]

In the Arab world, it is the equivalent of the English word "liege lord" or "master" when referring to a descendant of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), as in Sayyid Ali Sultan.[3] This is the reason the word sidi (from the contracted form sayyidī, 'my liege') is used in the Arabic.[4]

Although not verified many Arabic language experts state that it has its roots in the word "Al Asad"Arabic: الأسد‎‎ meaning "Lion" probably because of qualities of valour and leadership.

In the early period, the Arabs used the term Sayyid and Sharif to denote descendants from both Hasan and Husayn. However, in the modern era, the term 'Sharif' (for female it is called Sharifah ) has been used to denote descendants from Hasan and the term 'Sayyid' (for female it is called Sayyidah) has been used to denote descendants from Husayn.[5]

Although reliable statistics are unavailable, conservative estimates put the number of Sayyids in the tens of millions.[6]

Indication of descent[edit]

The Sayyids are by definition a branch of the tribe of Banu Hashim, a clan from the tribe of Quraish that traces its lineage to Adnan and thence to both Ishmael (Ismâ`îl) as well as Isaac (Isha'aq) the sons of Abraham (Ibrahim). Sayyids often include the following titles in their names to indicate the figure from whom they trace their descent.[5][7]

Ancestor Arabic style Arabic Last Name Persian Last Name Urdu Last Name
Hasan ibn Ali al-Hasani الحسني او الهاشمي al-Hasani الحسني

al-Hashemi الهاشمي

Hashemi, Hasani, or Tabatabaei حسنى Hassani or Hasani حسنی or Hashemi or Hashmi هاشمي
Husayn ibn Ali al-Hussaini1 الحُسيني al-Hussaini الحسيني

al-Hashemi الهاشمي

Hashemi هاشمي

Hussaini حسيني

Hussaini حسيني

Hashemi or Shah

Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin al-Abidi العابدي al-Abidi العابدي Abedi عابدى Abidi or Abdi عابدی
Zayd ibn Ali az-Zaidi الزيدي al-Zaydi الزيدي

al-Hashemi الهاشمي

Zaydi زيدي Zaidi زيدي

Hashemi هاشمي

Idris ibn Abdullah al-Idrisi الإدريسي al-Idrisi الإدريسي His descendants are mostly from the Maghreb Same as before
Muhammad al-Baqir al-Baqari الباقري al-Baqiri الباقري Baqeri باقرى Baqri باقری
Ja'far al-Sadiq al-Ja'fari الجعفري al-Ja'fari or al-Sadiq/Sadegh or al-sherazi الصدق او الجعفري Jafari or Sadeghi جعفرى/ صادقي Jafri, Sherazi, Jafry or Jaffery جعفری
Musa al-Kadhim al-Mousawi الموسوي او الكاظمي al-Mousawi or al-Kadhimi الموسوي او الكاظمي Moosavi or Kazemi موسوى / کاظمى Kazmi کاظمی
Ali al-Ridha ar-Radawi الرضوي al-Ridawi or al-Radawi الرضوي Razavi or Rezavi رضوى Rizvi or Rizavi رضوی
Muhammad at-Taqi at-Taqawi التقوي al-Taqawi التقوي Taqawi تقوى Taqvi تقوی
Ali al-Hadi an-Naqawi النقوي al-Naqawi النقوي or al-Bukhari البخاري Naghavi نقوى Naqvi نقوی or Bhaakri/Bukhari بھاکری/بخاری
Hasan al-Askari[8] al-Askari العسکری al-Bukhari البخاري Naqshbandi نقشبندی or Attar/Atar عطار Sadat سادات Sadat سادات or Bukhari بخاري

NOTE: (For non-Arabic speakers) When transliterating Arabic words into English there are two approaches.

  • 1. The user may transliterate the word letter for letter, e.g., "الزيدي" becomes "a-l-z-ai-d-i".
  • 2. The user may transcribe the pronunciation of the word, e.g., "الزيدي" becomes "a-zz-ai-d-i". This is because in Arabic grammar, some consonants (n, r, s, sh, t and z) cancel the l (ل) from the word "the" al (ال) (see sun and moon letters). When the user sees the prefixes an, ar, as, ash, at, az, etc... this means the word is the transcription of the pronunciation.
  • An i, wi (Arabic), or vi (Persian) ending could perhaps be translated by the English suffixes ite or ian. The suffix transforms a personal name, or a place name, into the name of a group of people connected by lineage or place of birth. Hence Ahmad al-Hassani could be translated as Ahmad, the descendant of Hassan and Ahmad al-Manami as Ahmad from the city of Manami. For further explanation, see Arabic names.

1Also, El-Husseini, Al-Husseini, Husseini, and Hussaini.

2Those who use the term Sayyid for all descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib regard Allawis or Alavis as Sayyids. However Allawis are not descendants of Muhammad, as they are descended from the children of Ali and the women he married after the death of Fatima, such as Umm ul-Banin (Fatima bint Hizam). Those who limit the term Sayyid to descendants of Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وآله سلم) through Fatima, will not consider Allawis/Alavis to be Sayyids.

Some Sayyids also claim to be "Najeeb AlTarfayn" meaning "Noble on both sides" which indicates that they have both parents Sayyid. But in actuality this term is implied only to those Sayyids who have both Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain in their ancestry. These Sayyids especially in the Arab world would keep prefix of Sayyid Alshareef or Shareefayn or Sayyidayn or Sheikh Assayyid before their names followed by their father's and grandfather's names and then the Clan's and Tribe's names followed by AlHasani bil Hussaini or AlHussaini bil Hasani depending on which Imam is Patrilineal or Matrilineal. Many feel proud to attach AlHashmi bil Quraishi at the end as well. Many Sayyids especially in South Asia and Shia Sayyids think that only the progeny of both Sayyid parents are called Najeeb AlTarfayn but lack of knowledge in Arabic language and Genealogy may be attributed to this. The importance of this concept of Najeeb AlTarfayn has its probability in the Hadeeth of Muhammad wherein he stated that the Al Mahdi or "The Hidden Prophet" would be Najeeb AlTarfayn from his lineage. Hence, Shia and Sunni Sayyids have different interpretations of this concept. However, the descendants of many Sufi Saints such as Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Bande Nawaz and Moinuddin Chishti claim themselves as Najeeb AlTarfayn although this fact is disputed.

Existence of descendants of Imam Hasan Al-Askari[edit]

The existence of any descendant of Imam Hasan al Askari is disputed by many people. However it is believed by Sunni and Shia followers of the Twelve Imams that Imam Hasan al-Askari had a son called Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, who will be the redeemer of Islam. Genealogy trees of middle eastern families, mostly from Persia and Khorasan show that Imam Hasan al-Askari had also a second son called Sayyid Ali Akbar. It definitely indicates that Imam al-Askari had children and it also substantiates the existence of Imam Muhammad al Mahdi. The reason, why the fact that Imam Al Askari had children or not is till today disputed was maybe because of the political conflicts between the followers of the Imamah and the leadership of the Abbasids and Ghulat Shiites who had not believed in Imam Hasan al-Askaris Imamah. Another part of historians studying the pedigrees of some Central Asian saints "shejere" (genealogy trees), believe that the 12th Imam was not the only son of Imam Hasan al-Askari. In the 11th Imam had two sons, Sayyid Muhammad (i.e. Imam Mahdi) and Sayyid Ali Akbar.[9] One descendant of Sayyid Ali Akbar was Saint Ishan (Eshon) Imlo of Bukhara. Ishan Imlo[10] – Bukhara "saint of the last time," as he is called in Bukhara, as it is believed that after him the Saints had no more. The average Asian Muslims revere him as the last of the Saints. Ishan Imlo according to the source, died in 1162 AH (1748–1749), the mausoleum (Mazar) is in a cemetery in Bukhara. Notable descendants of Sayyid Ali Akbar are Sufi Saints like Bahauddin Naqshband, descendant after 11 generations,[8] Khwaja Khawand Mahmud known as Hazrat Ishaan, descendant after 18 generations and Sayyid ul Sadaat Sayyid Mir Jan, maternal descendant of Imam Hasan al Askari and Hazrat Ishaan.[8] and qadi Qozi Sayyid Bahodirxon.,[11] Sufi saints Tajuddin Muhammad Badruddin and Pir Baba.

In her book "Pain and Grace: A Study of Two Mystical Writers of Eighteenth-Century Muslim India" p. 32, Dr.Annemarie Schimmel writes:"Khwaja Mir Dard`s family, like many nobles, from Bukhara; led their pedigree back to Baha'uddin Naqshband, after whom the Naqshbandi order is named, and who was a descendent, in the 11th generation of the 11th Shia imam al-Hasan al-Askari." Although Shiite historians generally reject the claim Hasan al-Askari fathered children other than Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Shiite hadith book Usul al-Kafi, in Bab Mawlid Abi Muhammad al-Hasan b. 'Ali confirms the Sufi claim that Hasan al-Askari had more than one wife, in addition to slave girls, with whom he had relations. In his Usul, al-Kafi writes, "When the caliph got news of Imam Hasan 'Askari's illness, he instructed his agents to keep a constant watch over the house of the Imam...he sent some of these midwives to examine the slave girls of the Imam to determine if they were pregnant. If a woman was found pregnant she was detained and imprisoned...".[8][12][13][14][15]

Sayyids in Middle East[edit]

In the Arab world Sayyid families are predominantly found in Iraq Syria Lebanon and Egypt, Libya, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Afganistan, Pakistan, India, Somalia etc.[5][16]

Sayyids in Iraq[edit]

The Sayyid families in Iraq are so many, there are books written specially to list the families and connect their trees, some of these are the Al-Nasrullah, Al-Wahab, Al-Hashimi, Al-Quraishi, Al-Obaidi, Al-Yasiri, Al-Samarai, Al-Zaidi, Al-A'araji, Al-Hasani, Al-Hussaini, Al-Qadri, Tabatabaei, Al-Alawi, Al-Ghawalib (Al-Ghalibi), Al-Musawi, Al-Awadi (not to be confused with the Al-Awadhi Huwala family), Al-Sabzewari, Al-Hayali and many others.[17]

Sayyids in Yemen[edit]

In Yemen the sayyids are more generally known as sadah, and also referred to as Hashemites. In terms of religious practice they are Shia, Sunni and Sufi. Sayyid families in Yemen include the Rassids, the Qasimids, the Mutawakkilites, the Hamideddins, some Al-Zaidi of Ma'rib, Sana'a and Sa'dah, the Ba 'Alawi sada families in Hadhramaut, Al-Wazir of Sana'a, Al-Shammam of Sa'dah, The Sufyan of Juban, The Al-Jaylani of Juban and others.[18][19][20]

Sayyids in Libya[edit]

Further information: List of Ashraf tribes in Libya

The Sayyids in Libya are Sunni, including the former royal family which is originally Zaidi-Moroccan (also known as Senussi family).[21]

Sayyids in Iran[edit]

Sayyids (in Persian: سید‎‎ seyyed) are found in vast numbers in Iran. The majority of Sayyids migrated predominantly in the 15th to 17th century from Arab lands during the Safavid era. The Safavids began transforming the religious landscape of Iran by imposing Twelver Shiism on the populace. Since most of the population embraced Sunni Islam and since an educated version of Shiism was scarce in Iran at the time, Ismail imported a new Shia Ulama corps who predominantly were Sayyids from traditional Shiite centers of the Arabic speaking lands, such as Jabal Amel (of southern Lebanon), Bahrain and southern Iraq in order to create a state clergy. The Safavids offered them land and money in return for loyalty.[22][23][24][25] These scholars taught the doctrine of Twelver Shiism and made it accessible to the population and energetically encouraged conversion to Shiism.[22][23][24][25][26]

During the reign of Shah Abbas the Great, the Safavids also imported more Arab Shias which included predominantly Sayyids to Iran, built religious institutions for them, including many Madrasas (religious schools) and successfully persuaded them to participate in the government, which they had shunned in the past (following the Hidden imam doctrine).[27]

Common Sayyids family surnames in Iran are Husseini, Mousavi, Kazemi, Razavi, Tabatabaei, Hashemi, Hassani Emami, Ladjevardi, Zaidi and Imamzadeh.

Sayyids in east of Iran[edit]

Due to location of imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, there exist a large number of seyyids in east of Iran and they are mostly from Razavis, Shahidis and Husseinis branch .

Sayyids in South Asia[edit]

Millions of people in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal claim Hashemite descent.[19] In 1901 the total number of Sayyids in British India was counted as 1,339,734.[28] Recent estimates show that in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal there are more than fifteen million Sayyids; eight million in Pakistan, seven million in India, over one million in Bangladesh and around seventy thousand in Nepal.

Sayyids migrated many centuries ago from different parts of the Middle East, Central Asia (Turkestan), during the invasion of the Mongols, and other periods of turmoil such as during the periods of the Ghaznavid dynasty, Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, encompassing a timespan of roughly until the late 19th century. Sayyids migrated to Sindh in the north and settled there very early. Other early migrant Sayyids moved deep into the south, to the Deccan sultanates located in the Deccan Plateau region in the time of the Bahmani Sultanate, and later the Qutb Shahi kings of Golkonda, Nizam Shahi of Ahmednagar and other kingdoms of Bijapur, Bidar and Berar. Several visited India as merchants or escaped from the Abbasid, Umayyad, Safavid, and Ottoman Empires. Their name figures in Indian history at the breakup of the Mughal Empire, when the Sayyid Brothers created and dethroned Emperors at their will (1714–1720). The first Muslims appointed to the Council of India and the first appointed to the privy council were both Sayyids.[5][29][30]

In India[edit]

In India, Sayyids of Hadramawt (who originated mainly from the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf) gained widespread fame. There is a big community of Sayyids settled in and around the Nanganallur region in Chennai. They can trace their ancestry directly to the Sayyids of Iraq.[31]

The Sayyid population in India is distributed. The total population of Sayyids in India is 7,017,000, the largest populations being those of Uttar Pradesh (1,493,000), Maharashtra (1,108,000), Karnataka (766,000), Andhra Pradesh (727,000), Rajasthan (497,000), Bihar (419,000), West Bengal (372,000), Madhya Pradesh (307,000), Gujarat (245,000), Tamil Nadu (206,000),and Jammu & Kashmir is 25,000.[29][32] Sayyids are also found in the north-eastern state of Assam, where locally they are also referred to as Dawans.[33][34]

Sayyids in North India[edit]

The earliest migration of Saiyeds from Afghanistan to North India took place in 1032 AD when Gazi Saiyyed Salar Sahu (general and brother-in-law of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni) and his son Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud established their military headquarters at Satrikh (16 km (9.9 mi) from Zaidpur) in the Barabanki district, Uttar Pradesh. They are considered to be the first Muslim settlers in North India. In 1033 AD Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud was killed at the battle of Bahraich, the location of his mazr. Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud had no children. In 462 Hijri/1070 AD Saiyed Abdullah ‘Zar-baqsh’ migrated from the city of Qom in medieval Persia to the place which is now known as Zaidpur in the Barabanki district. He was a Rizvi/Taqvi Saiyed and claimed to be 14th in descent from Muhammad. Saiyed Abdullah ‘Zar-baqsh’ married Bibi Yadgaar Bano the daughter of Gazi Saiyyed Salar Sahu of Satrikh. Saiyed Abdullah ‘Zar-baqsh’ established the town of Zaidpur and named the place after his only son Saiyed Zaid (born 462 Hijri/1070 AD).[35][36][37] Syed Ahmed Rizvi Kashmiri and Khan Bahadur Aga Syed Hussain were both Rizvi Sayyids through Aaqa Meer Sayyid Hussain Qomi Rizvi whose sacred shrine is in the Zainageer Village of Sopore, Kashmir. Sayyids of Syed nagli or Said Nagli or the Baquari Syeds had migrated from Termez (Present day Uzbekistan)[38] during the Sultanate era. Sikandar Lodi [39] was the ruler of Delhi when Mir Syed Mohammad al Hussain al Hussaini al Termezi Haji al Haramain, came to India and settled at Syed Nagli. He was Baquari Syed who drew his lineage from Imam Mohammad al Baqir A.S

Notable sayyids migrating from the Middle East and Central Asia[edit]

Sayyids from Iran initially chose four places to settle in North India. These were Wasa Dargah, Hallaur, Baraha, Mohan and Bilgram.[40] Sa'daat of Barha, Bilgram and Amroha are a few of the well – known groups of Sayyids around the world.[5]

The ancestor of Bārha Sayyids, Syed Abu'l Farah left his original home in Wasit, Iraq, with his twelve sons at the end of the 13th century (or the beginning of the 14th century) and migrated to India, where he obtained four villages in Sirhind-Fategarh, By the 16th century Abu'l Farah's descendants had taken over Bārha villages in Muzaffarnagar.[41]

The Sayyids of Mohan claim to trace their descent from one of the descendants of the Ali al-Ridha, Sayyid Mahmood Neshapuri who migrated to India from Iran and settled in Mohan.[42] One of the branch of Moosavi and Nishapuri Sayyids from Mohan settled at Bijnor, near Lucknow.[43]

The Sayyids of Bilgram are Hussaini Sayyids, who first migrated from Wasit, Iraq in the 13th century.[44] Their ancestor, Syed Mohammad Sughra, a Zaidi Sayyid of Iraq arrived in India during the rule of Sultan Iltutmish. In 1217–18 the family conquered and settled in Bilgram.[45]

The Sayyids of Kichaucha Sharif claim to trace their ancestry back to the illustrious saint Ashraf Jahangir Semnani who came from Semnan, Iran and settled at Kichaucha Sharif, in the Ambedkar Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh, India.[46]

The Sayyids of Wasa Dargah trace their ancestry back to the Makhdoom Syed Hisamuddin who came from Kenan, Iran and settled at Wasa Dargah, in the Siddhartha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India.[47]

In addition, many of the early Sufi saints that came to North India belonged to Sayyid families. Most of these Sayyid families came from Central Asia, Iran, Yemen, Oman, Iraq, and Bahrain. Perhaps the most famous Sufi was Syed Salar Masud, from whom many of the Sayyid families of Awadh claim their descent.[48] Sayyids of Salon (Raebareli), Jarwal (Bahraich), Kintoor (Barabanki) and Zaidpur (Barabanki) were well – known Taluqadars (feudal lords) of Awadh province.[49]

Sayyids in Gujarat[edit]

Main article: Sayyid of Gujarat

In Gujarat, most of the Sayyid families are descended from individuals invited by the Muslim rulers of Gujarat, as advisors and administrators, and granted jagirs. During the period of Sultan Mahmud Begada (1458–1511) the Sayyid of Gothada, Thasra and Pali a Zaidi Sayyid -Saadat-e-Bara. Sultan Mahmud Begada provided land to three Sayyid brothers and a grant to settle there after the victory of Pavagadh fort. In 1484 the young Sultan, after laying siege for 20 months, conquered the fort on 21 November 1484. He then transferred his capital to Champaner which he completely rebuilt at the foothills of the Pavagadh fort, calling it Muhammadabad. During Mughal rule in Gujarat (1570–1750), they held the majority of the civil and ecclesiastical posts. For example, the Sayyids of Thasra, Kheda district were invited as administrators and judges by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, and provided land grants to settle there. They also provided an important element in the Mughal army, and many are still found in the old Muslim garrison towns such as Ahmedabad. In addition, many of the early Sufi saints that came to Gujarat belonged to Sayyid families. Most of these Sayyid families came from Central Asia, Iran, Yemen, Oman, Basra and Bahrain.[50]

In Gujarat, the Sayyid have ten sub-divisions, the main ones being the Shirazi, Mattari, Bukhari, Naqvi, Tirmizi, Zaidi, Rifa'i, Bhaktari, Qadiriyyas, Chishti, Mahdavi, Kitoi, Mashadi, Idrusi, and Bahraini. Of these, the Bukhari Sayyids are perhaps the most well known. Their ancestor, Syed Burhanuddin Qutb-Alam was the patron saint of Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the first Muslim sultan of Gujarat. Even more well known was his son, Shah Alam, who flourished during the reigns of Qutibudin Shah and Mahmud Begada. It played an important role in the medieval and early modern history of Gujarat, and is now divided into several branches. Other prominent Sayyids include the Mahdavi family. They are now found mainly in Palanpur and Dabhoi, and claim descent from Muhammad Jaunpuri, the founder of the sect and his son in law, Syed Khundmir. They are the hereditary pirs of the Tai community. And finally, the family of the Nizari Ismaili pirs is perhaps the most influential of the Gujarat Sayyid. They are distributed all over Gujarat, and descend from Imam Shah, a famous medieval Ismaili missionary. The Dais (heads) of the Taiyabi (Mustaali/ Ismaili), mainly known in Gujarat as the Dawoodi Bohra, are also Sayyids.[50]

Other communities include the Bahrain Sayyid, whose ancestors arrived from Bahrain during the rule of Sultan Mahmud Begada, the Matari Syeds who arrived from the village of Mattar in Sindh during the period of Mughal rule. The ancestors of the Khodari Syeds were invited by the Nawabs of Junagadh, while those of the Bukhari Sayyids arrived from Central Asia at the invitation of Sultan Ahmed Shah. The community now speak both Gujarati and Urdu, and are concentrated in Kutch, Gandhinagar, Vadodara, and Bhavnagar, with two thirds of the Sayyid found in the village of Gothada, near Savli, Vadodara. The Sayyid of Gothada are Zaidi Sayyid – Saadat-e-Bara and others such as the Bukhari and Qadiri Sayyid also settled there.[51]

Many families of Hussaini (descendent of Hazrat Imam Hussain) are living in Patan (Historical City of North Gujarat). Many Sufi saints are came from Arab, Iran, Uzbekistan and Iraq to Patan Gujarat. Among them Hazrat Saiyed Ahmed Jahanshah, Hazrat Saiyed Nasiruddin, Hazrat Saiyed Hussain Khung Sawar are very popular. Hazrat Sultan Haji Hood came from Uzbekistan at start of 12th century. Many Aale Rasool Saiyed Families are living in Patan following their forefathers' Sufism theory.

Sayyids in Kerala[edit]

Kerala has its two-thousand-year-old association with Arabia. In Malayalam Thangal is an honorific Muslim title almost equivalent to the Arabic term Sayyid which is given to males believed to be descendants of Muhammad. The present day Thangals are supposed to be descended from Sayyid families, who migrated from the historic city of Tarim, in the Hadhramaut Province, Yemen, during the 17th century in order to propagate Islam on the Malabar Coast. Sayyids selected coastal areas to settle. The royal family of Arakkal in Kerala had Thangal origins.[29][52]

In Pakistan[edit]

There are numerous Sayyids in Pakistan. Some of these Sayyids first migrated to Bukhara and Termez and then to South Asia. Many settled early in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,Sindh and Punjab. There are many sayyids of both shia and sunni sects of Islam. Amongst the famous Sayyids who migrated to this region were Syed Ali Shah Tirmizi Pir Baba of Buner, Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari and Sayyid Muhammad Al-Makki. Sayyid people of Pakistan are figured as the most prominent and well-established people of the country, with a number of them having become popular and well-known religious icons, political leaders and professionals. Furthermore, Pakistan currently holds the largest Sayyid population in all of South Asia.[4]

Sayyids in Punjab[edit]

Sayyids are the biological descendants of Muhammad. All of them do not belong to one specific Islamic sects. The Sayyids of this day and age associate themselves with different Islamic sects. Therefore, throughout the Islamic world there are Shia und Sunni Sayyids.[original research?] The Sayyids of Punjab belong to the Hasani (descendants of Hasan), Husaini (descendants of Husayn), Zaidi (descendants of Zayd ibn Ali, grandson of Husayn), Rizvi, (descendants of Ali al-Ridha) and Naqvi (descendants of Ali al-Hadi).[53]

Important Sayyid communities[edit]

Important Sayyid communities in South Asia include:

  • Hasani syeds of Rudauli District Barabanki

Ibraheem al-Ghamar bin Hasan Muthanna had a son named Isma'eel ad-Deebaj. Ad-Deebaj had two sons: Hasan bin Isma'eel ad-Deebaj – he left a large progeny; and Ibraheem bin Isma'eel ad-Deebaj – he came to be known as Tabataba. It is mostly his progeny who have spread across Iran and Iraq who are known as the Tabatabai and use that as their last name. It was the children of Imam Hasan and their children who came to India as the first Muslims in Sind. This was in the time of Hajjaj bin Yusuf. Later many of them moved from Sind to other parts of India. Hasani Syeds populate a town named Rudawlee near Lucknow, in Punjab and in other areas of the sub-continent.

now setteled in saman abad Lahore, Pakistan after the partition of sub-continent. Sadat-e-dokoha migrated from Tirmiz Iran during the reign of Ibrahim lodhi

  • Sadaate Kichaucha or Ashrafi Saadat

These Sayyids are the descendants of the saint Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani who himself was a descendant of Husayn.

One of the earliest settlements of Naqvis is reported from Nasirabad, Raibareli in North India.Naqvi Sadats migrated from Sabzevar, Iran and arrived in Nasirabad around 410 Hijri (around 1027 A.D.) and settled there. After some time adjacent Patakpur (Nasirabad), was also inhabited by Mu'mins and rechristened as Nasirabad after the name of Syed Naseerudin companion and sipahsalar of Hazrath Shah Jalal (Rh:). Nasirabad is the earliest known Naqvi Sadats of India. Naseerabad is the native land of Khandan e Ijtihad and a multitude of very high-ranking scholars have come from there. The first Mujtahid from India, Dildar Ali Naseerabadi was from here and later his family came to be called "Khandan e Ijtihad" due to the heavy presence of high-ranking scholars. Some famous and known religious scholars from this lineage include Syedul Ulema Ayatullah Syed Ali Naqi Naqvi 'Naqqan', Jannat Ma'ab Ayatullah Syed Mohammad Naqvi, Ayatullah Aqa Hasan Sb, Ayatullah Syed Kalbe Hussain Naqvi, Hujjatul Islam Syed Kalbe Abid Naqvi, Hujjatul Islam Syed Kalbe Jawwad Naqvi, Hujjatul Islam Syed Hasan Zafar Naqvi (based in Karachi), Allama Syed Razi Jafar, Allama Nasir Ijtehadi, Dr Kalbe Sadiq, Hujjatul Islam Syed Ali Mohammad Naqvi.

The Sadaat Amroha or Amrohi Syed are a community of Sayyids, historically settled in the town of Amroha, in Uttar Pradesh, India. Many members of the Sadaat Amroha community have migrated to Pakistan after independence and have settled in Karachi, Sindh.

  • Sadaat Bukhari of Pargana Chail of Allahabad

The Sadaat Bukhari of pargana Chail are Naqvi Syeds and being descended from syed Hussam aldin Bukhari ibn Sadruddin Rajju Qattal (brother of Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari) ibn Syed Ahmed Kabir ibn Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari.

Sadat-e-Bara (Urdu: ہسادات بار), sometimes pronounced Sadaat-e-Barha, are a community of Sayyids, originally from a group of twelve villages situated in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh in India. This community had considerable influence during the latter days of the Mughal Empire. They were also found in the Karnal district and Haryana in India. Many members of this community have migrated to Pakistan after independence and have settled in Karachi, Khairpur State in Sind and Lahore.

  • Zaidi Sadat Of Kandipur, Ambedkar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh

Zaidi Sayyed migrated from Jansath to the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh namely Sikanderpur, Kandipur in the Ambedkar Nagar district. These Sayyeds are descendants of Abul Farah Wasti who came to India from Wasit, Iraq in the late 13th century along with his four sons.

The Gardēzī Sadaat is a Sadaat Muslim family of Sayyid from Gardez, Afghanistan; consequently known as ‘Gardēzī Sadaat’ in South Asia.

Kintoor or Kintur is a village about 10 mi (16 km) north-east of Badosarai in the Barabanki district, famous for the battle of Kintoor of 1858 during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Hallaur or Hallor (Urdu, Persian and Arabic: هلور, Hindi: हल्लौर, Bhojpuri: हलूर) is a town or a big village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, situated near the banks of the West Rapti River. Residents of Hallaur are referred as Hallauri

Wasa Dargah is a village in the eastern part of Uttar Paradesh. Situated 12 km (7.5 mi) from Domariaganj.

Genetic studies of Sayyids of the Sub-continent[edit]

Classical multidimensional scaling based on RST genetic distances showing the genetic affinities of the Syeds with their non IHL neighbours from India and Pakistan (both in bold characters) and with various other Arab populations

A study of Y chromosomes of self-identified Syeds from the Indian subcontinent by Elise M. S. Belle, Saima Shah, Tudor Parfitt and Mark G. Thomas showed that "self-identified Syeds had no less genetic diversity than those non-Syeds from the same regions, suggesting that there is no biological basis to the belief that self-identified Syeds in this part of the world share a recent common ancestry. However, self-identified men belonging to the ‘Islamic honorific lineages’ (Syeds, Hashemites, Quraysh and Ansari) show a greater genetic affinity to Arab populations—despite the geographic distance—than do their neighbouring populations from India and Pakistan."[54]

In Northern India, 29% of the Shia Muslim belong to Haplogroup J. There are 18% belonging mainly to Haplogroup J2 and another 11% belong to Haplogroup J1, which both represent Middle Eastern lineages. But Haplogroup J2 reflects presence from the neolithic period in the subcontinent.[55] J2 occurs among 11% of Austro-Asiatic tribals. The frequency of J2 is higher in South Indian castes (19%) than in North Indian castes (11%) or Pakistan (12%).[56] J2 appears at 20% among the Yadavas of South India while among the Lodhas of West Bengal it is 32%. In Maldives, 22% of the Maldivian population were found to be haplogroup J2 positive.[57][58] Overall, the presence of J1 and J2 markers in Indian populations is thought to be at least 3000–4000 years old.

However, the YDNA has already proven that the decedent of the hashemite should belong to J1 M267. J1 is the haplogroup of the sons of prophet Ibrahim. J1 include both, the son of Ismael and son's of Jacob. Therefore, J2 are can not be Sayeds. There still some studies to confirm the SNP of the descendants of Ali Ibni Abi Talib. It is believed that it should be L-859, however, that is not confirm yet.

Currently, the genetic marker Haplogroup J1c3d is a strong contender for being the genetic signatures of the Sayyids, due to the haplogroup being predominantly found among people with the Y-chromosomal Aaron (Cohen Modal Haplotype CMH), who are people with patrilineal Jewish priestly caste known as Kohanim, which is passed down paternally from father to son. Currently research is ongoing on this topic at Family Tree DNA.[59][60]

Sayyids in Southeast Asia[edit]

Most of the Alawi Sayyids who moved to Southeast Asia were descendants of Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, especially of Ba 'Alawi sada, majority descendants of migrants from Hadhramaut. Even though they are alleged descendants of Imam Husain, it is uncommon for the female Sayyids to be called Sayyidah, they are more commonly called Sharifah. Most of them live in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Moro Province in Philippines and Pattani.[61][62][63][64]

Some popular surnames of these Sayyids are al-Saqqaf, Shihab (or Shahab), al-Aidaroos, al-Habsyi (or al-Habshi), al-Kaff, al-Aththos, al-Haddad, al-Jufri (or al-Jifri), al-Muhdhar, al-Shaikh Abubakar, al-Qadri, al-Munawwar (see Ba 'Alawi sada for a more complete list).


In the Ottoman Empire, tax breaks for "the People of the House" encouraged many people to buy certificates of descent or forge genealogies; the phenomenon of teseyyüd – falsely claiming noble ancestry – spread across ethnic, class, and religious boundaries. In the 17th century, an Ottoman bureaucrat estimated that there were 300,000 impostors; In 18th-century Anatolia, nearly all upper-class urban people claimed descent from Muhammad.[65]

Notable Sayyids[edit]

[HAZRAT SYED MUHAMMAD HUSSAIN SHAH NILVE AL-WASTI] [1922-2006] was native of Sargodha city from the province of Punjab (Pakistan). He was the most popular Sunni Scholar. He wrote more than 165 books in different languages i.e. Tafseer-ul-Quran, Tahreerat-e-Hadith and Comparative Religions. He taught Dora-e-Tafseer Ul Quran for 55 years consistently. He also belonged to Hasht-e-Salasal a famous sect of Sunni Sufism(Mysticism) i.e. Naqshbandi, Qadri, Qubervi etc.

Ottoman court case (Matrilineal descent)[edit]

However, in 1632 when an Ottoman court challenged a man wearing a sayyid's green turban he established that he was a sayyid on his mother's side, and this was accepted by the court.[16]:130 Family tree

Quraysh tribe
Abd Manaf ibn Qusai
Ātikah bint Murrah
‘Abd Shams
Salma bint Amr
Umayya ibn Abd Shams
‘Abd al-Muttalib
Abu al-'As
ʿAbd Allāh
Abî Ṭâlib
ʾAbī Sufyān ibn Harb
Affan ibn Abi al-'As
(Family tree)
Khadija bint Khuwaylid
`Alî al-Mûrtdhā
Khawlah bint Ja'far
ʿAbd Allâh
Marwan I
Uthman ibn Affan
Fatima Zahra
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
ʿAli bin ʿAbd Allâh
Umayyad Caliphate
Uthman ibn Abu-al-Aas
Hasan al-Mûjtabâ
Husayn bin Ali
(Family tree)
Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (Abu Hashim)
Muhammad "al-Imâm" (Abbasids)


  1. ^ Ho, Engseng (2006). Graves of Tarim. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 149. 
  2. ^ Titles of Sayyids. Written by Al- Sayyid Sadiq Al- Hossaini Al- Eshkevari. Translated by Mehdi sajjadi.
  3. ^ Cleveland, W.L. & Bunton, M. (2009). A history of the modern middle east, 4th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Westview Press.
  4. ^ a b People of India by Herbert Risely
  5. ^ a b c d e Encyclopaedic Ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia: A-I, Volume 1 edited by R. Khanam
  6. ^ Morimoto, Kazuo, ed. (2012). Sayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Societies: The Living Links to the Prophet (illustrated ed.). Routledge. pp. 2, 11. ISBN 978-0-415-51917-5. 
  7. ^ Islamic Names: An Introduction By Annemarie Schimmel
  8. ^ a b c d Tazkare Khwanadane Hazrat Eshan(genealogy of the family of Hazrat Eshan)(by author and investigator:Muhammad Yasin Qasvari Naqshbandi company:Edara Talimat Naqshbandiyya Lahore)p. 63
  9. ^ АХЛ аль-БЕЙТ, Имам Махди (да приблизит Аллах его пришествие!)
  11. ^ "Türkistan Seyyidler ve Şerifler derneği"
  12. ^ al-Kafi, by Muhammad Ya'qub Kulayni. Translated by Muhammad Sarwar. Chap. 124, Birth of Abi Muhammad al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, p.705
  13. ^ Dr.Annemarie Schimmels book "Pain and Grace: A Study of Two Mystical Writers of Eighteenth-Century Muslim India" BRILL, 1976, p.32
  14. ^ ZiaIslamic "Gulzar auliya"
  15. ^ Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, John McBrewster "Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari" 2011, ISBN 978-6-1341-5642-4
  16. ^ a b Sayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Societies: The Living Links to the Prophet, ed. Kazuo Morimoto, pub. Routledge, 2012 ISBN 978-0-415-51917-5
  17. ^ Reclaiming Iraq: The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State By Abbas Kadhim
  18. ^ A Tribal Order: Politics And Law in the Mountains of Yemen By Shelagh Weir
  19. ^ a b 2012 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
  20. ^ From Religious Leaders to Ordinary Citizens The Changing Role of "Sadah" in Yemen By Mohammed Al-Asadi
  21. ^ The Senussi family
  22. ^ a b The failure of political Islam, By Olivier Roy, Carol Volk, pg.170
  23. ^ a b The Cambridge illustrated history of the Islamic world, By Francis Robinson, pg.72
  24. ^ a b The Middle East and Islamic world reader, By Marvin E. Gettleman, Stuart Schaar, pg.42
  25. ^ a b The Encyclopedia of world history: ancient, medieval, and modern … By Peter N. Stearns, William Leonard Langer, pg.360
  26. ^ Shi‘ite Lebanon: transnational religion and the making of national identities, By Roschanack Shaery-Eisenlohr, pg.12–13
  27. ^ Science under Islam: rise, decline and revival, By S. M. Deen, pg.37
  28. ^ "Sayyid.", Sarwat Elahi, Encyclopedia of World Cultures. 1996.
  29. ^ a b c Descendants of Prophet Muhammad in India By K D L Khan, Published on: January 14, 2012
  30. ^ Countries and Their Cultures» South Asia» Sayyid
  31. ^ Early Modern India: Sayyids of Hadhramaut in Early Modern India Author: Omar Khalidi, Source: Asian Journal of Social Science, Volume 32, Issue 3, pages 329 – 352, Subjects: Social Sciences, Publication Year : 2004, DOI: 10.1163/1568531043584872, ISSN 1568-4849, E-ISSN 1568-5314
  32. ^ Sayyids of India Ethnic People Profile
  33. ^ Stratification, hierarchy, and ethnicity in North-east India, Ranjit K. Bhadra, Sekh Rahim Mondal, Daya Pub. House, 1991
  34. ^ The Eastern Anthropologist, Volume 41, Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society, 1988
  35. ^ Shajraat-Taiyabaat a genealogy of Saiyeds of Zaidpur, published in 1916.
  36. ^ Anwaar-e-Qom published in 1953.
  37. ^ "Mlikus Sadat – Sayed Masood". 
  38. ^ Sayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Societies: The Living Links to the Prophet
  39. ^ Four Types of Loyalty in Early Modern Central Asia, Thomas Welsford
  40. ^ The Right Honourable Syed Ameer Ali: personality and achievements, Shan Muhammad, Uppal Pub. House, 1991
  41. ^ The Encyclopaedia of Islam: Supplement : Fascicules 1–2, Clifford Edmund Bosworth, Brill Archive, 1980
  42. ^ The Tempest: A Monthly Review of National Affairs, Volume 4, Issues 1–10, Tempest House, 1969
  43. ^ Medieval & modern India: new sources, 1000–1986 AD, Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli, 2009 (Translation of twelve rare Urdu and Persian works.)
  44. ^ Essays in Arabic Literary Biography: 1350–1850, Roger M. A. Allen, Joseph Edmund Lowry, Terri DeYoung, Devin J. Stewart, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 30-Dec-2009
  45. ^ Islam in South Asia in Practice, Barbara D. Metcalf, Princeton University Press, 08-Sep-2009
  46. ^ Hayate Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani by Syed Waheed Ashraf, Published 1975
  47. ^ Kanzul Anasab
  48. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three, edited by A Hasan & J C Das
  49. ^ King Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh, Volume 1 by Mirza Ali Azhar, Royal Book Co., 1982
  50. ^ a b Shajra-e-Nasab (Syed family tree,) Sadat e Gothada -Jahidali J.Saiyad, Gothada="ReferenceB"
  51. ^ Shajra-e-Nasab (Syed family tree), Sadat e Gothada -Jahidali J.Saiyad, Gothada="ReferenceA"
  52. ^ Hadrami diaspora in Indian Ocean territories, with special reference to Malabar By Zubair Hudawi
  53. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province: L.-Z, Volume 3 By H.A. Rose
  54. ^ Y chromosomes of self-identified Syeds from the Indian subcontinent show evidence of elevated Arab ancestry but not of a recent common patrilineal origin, Elise M. S. Belle & Saima Shah & Tudor Parfitt & Mark G. Thomas; Received: 11 March 2010 / Accepted: 28 May 2010 / Published online: 29 June 2010
  55. ^
  56. ^ (Sengupta 2006)
  57. ^ Ancestry of Maldives People in Light of Population Genetics: Maldivian Ancestry in light of Genetics
  58. ^ -Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan lineages in Indian Muslim populations
  59. ^ -Background on Arabian YDNA J1 Project and Adnani Arabs
  60. ^ The Origin of Hagar/Hajar – J1c3d on 7th paragraph of article.
  61. ^ ‘Strangers’ and ‘stranger-kings’: The sayyid in eighteenth-century maritime Southeast Asia By Jeyamalar Kathirithamby-Wells
  62. ^ Development of Islam in Southeast Asia by Alawi Sayyids
  63. ^ Sayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Society: The Living Links to the Prophet By Kazuo Morimoto
  64. ^ Southeast Asia (3 Volumes): A Historical Encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor By Keat Gin Ooi
  65. ^ Canbakal, Hülya (2009). "The Ottoman State and Descendants of the Prophet in Anatolia and the Balkans (c. 1500–1700)". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 52: 542–578. doi:10.1163/156852009X458241. 

External links[edit]