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This article is about the Pashtun tribe. For other uses, see Yusufzai (disambiguation).
يوسفزی (Pashto) یوسف زئی (Urdu)
Regions with significant populations
Primarily Pakistan and Afghanistan
Pashto (Native)
Islam (Sunni Hanafi)

The Yūsufzai, also called Yousafzai, is a tribe of Pashtun peoples. It is also called "sons of Yusuf" from the Tribe of Joseph Esapzai son of Mand, son of Khakhykhel ,son of Kand, son of Kharshbun, son of Sarban)[citation needed]. They are found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan, and in some eastern parts of Afghanistan. In addition, some Yusufzai lineages are settled in India in 18th century, most notably in Rohilkhand region as well as the Tonk area, many of whom form a part of the larger Rohilla community.[1][2] According to the Pata Khazana history book, the Khakhykhel and Ghoryakhel are brothers.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Pashtun Confederacies


The tribe is mentioned as "Isapzais" by Alexander the Great in 330 BC.[3] But they are later mentioned by Babur in the 16th century. It is claimed that by the 1580s the Yusufzai numbered about 100,000 households. In general, they were uncooperative with the rule of Akbar who sent military forces under Zain Khan Koka and Raja Bir Bar to subdue them. In 1585 Raja Bir Bar was killed in fighting with the Yusufzais who were led by the general Gujju Khan. It was not until about 1690 that they were partially brought under the control of the Mughal Empire.[4] In 1849, the Yousafzai established their own Yusafzai State of Swat under the leadership of Akhund Abdul Ghaffur who appointed Sayyid Akbar Shah, a descendant of Pir Baba, as the first emir. After Akbar Shah's death in 1857, Akhund Ghaffur assumed control of the state himself.[5] The state lasted until 1969 under its religious leaders known as Akhunds of Swat, and encompassed the present-day Swat, Buner, Shangla and Kohistan.


The Yusufzai are the predominant population in the districts of Swat, Swabi, Buner, Shangla, Mardan, Malakand, Tor Ghar, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They are also living in Battagram, Charsadda and the Rasheeda, Maloga village of the Oghi Tehsil of Mansehra And Tribal Area Bajaur Agency and Momand Agency Yusufzai is also a name of sub-tribe of Dehwar Baloch Tribe in Balochistan.

In Afghanistan, they inhabit parts of the Kunar and Nangarhar.Kabul Qandahar Qanduz Zabal, Logar and others

Most Yusufzai speak the northern variant of Pashto (Pukhto) with the hard "kh" replacing the softer "sh" of the southern Pashto dialects.

Some Yusufzai lineages are settled especially in the Rohilkhand region of northwestern Uttar Pradesh, in Bodh Gaya, Patna, Sherghati, Vaishali and the nearby Bihar in India, in Andhra Pradesh's capital Hyderabad city, in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh,Tonk and Pratapgarh districts of Rajasthan, in Channapatna, Kadi, Ahmedabad, Baroda and the nearby Gujarat, in Maharashtra's Pune, Akola and Mumbai, and in Karnataka's Mysore and Bangalore. Many of the Yusufzai of Uttar Pradesh form a part of the larger Rohilla community.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Haleem, Safia (24 July 2007). "Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India". Khyber Gateway. Retrieved 4 May 2014. Farrukhabad has a mixed population of Pathans dominated by the Bangash and Yousafzais. 
  2. ^ a b Haleem, Safia (24 July 2007). "Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India". Khyber Gateway. This is the area in U.P (Utter Pradesh) Province, in which Pashtoons were either given land by the emperors or they settled for Trade purposes. Roh was the name of the area around Peshawar city, in Pakistan. Yousafzai Pathans , living in this valley were also known as Rohillas when they settled down the area was known as Katehr, which literally means soft well aerated loam which is extremely suitable for cultivation. It later became known as Rohil Khand (the land of the Rohillas). The great majority of Rohillas migrated between 17th and 18th Century. 
  3. ^ Ahmed, Khaled. "Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  4. ^ John F. Richards, The New Cambridge History of India: The Mughal Empire (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993) p. 50
  5. ^ Haroon, Sana (2011). Frontier of Faith: Islam, in the Indo-Afghan Borderland. Hurst Publishers. p. 40. ISBN 1849041830. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 

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