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The Shershahabadi(Urdu: شیر شاہ آبادی) are a Muslim community found in the state of Bihar and West Bengal in India. They are part of the larger Shaikh community of Bihar and Bedia Community of Bengal. Common surnames used by the community include Mandal and Sekh.
History and origin
The word Shershahabadia (from Persian: شیرشاهآبادیها) literally means those settled on the land by Sher Shah. They acquired this name on account of the fact that this community was settled in the Purnia Division by the Muslim ruler Sher Shah Suri. According to other traditions, the community are a sub-group of the Bedia community of West Bengal. The community is said to have originated in the districts of Malda, Nadia, Murshidabad and some part of Burdwan in what is now West Bengal. They form a sub-group within the larger Bedia community. Though they have different customs in religious activity than Shaikh of Bihar . Shershahabadia still speak Bengali, but most now have knowledge of Hindi, which is the official language of Bihar. They live mainly in the surrounding districts of Bihar and West Bengal named Purnia, Katihar, Burdwan, Murshidabad, Nadia and Malda.Presently,after divide of Bihar into Jharkhand, the districts of Jharkhand namely Pakur and Sahibganj they are found.
The Shershahabadia practice community endogamy Cross cousin and parallel cousin marriages are prevalent. They are a community of settled agriculturist, but as their population has grown, the land ownership has been sub-divided. This has led to many becoming landless, and a growth of those in the community who are agricultural labour, day labour, teaching, business etc. The community is entirely belong to Sunni Muslim.Majority not belonging to any of the four recognized theological schools of Islam viz. Hanafi, Safei, Maleki and Humbeli. Rather they follow all the correct call from all the four Imams and they are known as Ahl al-Hadith( strict followers of Holy Quran and Hadith. Preaching of any Pir/ Darbesh (Muslim Saint) is not accepted of them normally. Except the prayer in funeral ground they do not perform Jiyarat( a type of prayer kindling light). They do not take part in any sort of Milad/ Jalsa. In their social organization role of a Sardar/ Mandal( Chief of the Community) is very important. Their females follow the system of Parda(Veil) as far as practiced. Shershahabadia women are expert in stitching clothes and singing Bedia Geed(songs). They as a whole is not involved in popular Muharram but some of them are remain on fasting throughout the day. Marriage consumed only at daytime. During marriages they perform the rituals like Haldi etc. Charham and Chalisha (observance on fourth and fortieth day after death) are not performed in Shershahabadia Community.. Shershabadias speak in Badia dialect at home.
Especially, Badhiya women are expert in singing these geet. These geets are in its own dialectical language.
" Aangna jhumjhum kobitor baje"
"Naudaparar chchora gala sobhaii kukur"
- People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part Two edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 876 to 877 Seagull Books