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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Arab (अरब)[1] [2] Jat clan is found in Afghanistan.[3] Arab Jat clan is found in Multan,Pakistan. [4] It is very doubtful if the Arabs of the Census returns are true Arabs, though there may be a few Arab merchants, etc., found occasionally at such centres as Peshawar and Multan. It is possible that a certain number of Qureshis, Shaikhs and others return themselves as Arabs.[5]


Jat Gotras Namesake

Jat Gotras Namesake

Mention by Pliny

Pliny[6] mentions Ethiopia....On leaving Syene1, and taking first the Arabian side, we find the nation of the Catadupi, then the Syenitæ, and the town of Tacompsos2, by some called Thatice, as also Aramasos, Sesamos, Sanduma, Masindomacam, Arabeta and Boggia, Leupitorga, Tantarene, Mecindita, Noa, Gloploa, Gystate, Megada, Lea, Renni, Nups, Direa, Patiga, Bacata, Dumana, Rhadata, at which place a golden cat was worshipped as a god, Boron, in the interior, and Mallos, near Meroë; this is the account given by Bion.

1 As to Syene and the Catadupi, see B. v. c. 10.

2 This place was also called in later times Contrapselcis. It was situate in the Dodecaschœnus, the part of Æthiopia immediately above Egypt, on an island near the eastern bank of the river, a little above Pselcis, which stood on the opposite bank. It has been suggested that this may have been the modern island of Derar. The other places do not appear to have been identified, and, in fact, in no two of the MSS. do the names appear to agree.

Definition of Arab

"Arab" is defined independently of religious identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jews. The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" as defining a group of people dates from the 9th century BCE.

In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the criteria: On Genealogical ground someone who can trace his or her ancestry to the tribes of Arabia - the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula - and the Syrian Desert. This definition covers fewer self-identified Arabs than not, and was the definition used in medieval times, for example by Ibn Khaldun.

Tribes of Arabia

Arabs are a semitic people, descending from various Old North Arabian tribes. Much of the lineage provided before Ma'ad relies on biblical genealogy and therefore its accuracy from that link uses the bible as a genealogical historical record. The general consensus among 14th century Arabic genealogists is that Arabs are of three kinds:

Perishing Arabs: These are the ancients of whose history little is known. They include ‘Ad, Thamud, Tasm, Jadis, Imlaq and others. Jadis and Tasm perished because of genocide. Ad and Thamud perished because of their decadence. Some people in the past doubted their existence, but Imlaq is the singular form of 'Amaleeq and is probably synonymous to the biblical Amalek.

Pure Arabs: They originated from the progeny of Ya‘rub bin Yashjub bin Qahtan so were also called Qahtanian Arabs.

Arabized Arabs: They originated from the progeny of Ishmael Son of the biblical patriarch Abraham and the Jumhur tribe, also called ‘Adnani Arabs. Prophet Muhammad is an 'Adnani Arab.

Below is a partial list of the tribes of Arabia.

A: Ajman (tribe), Ad, Al-Awazem, Al-Jiburi, Al-Khalifa, Al-Maadeed, 'Anazah, Al Thani, Al-Shabeeb, Al-Ubaid, Azd, Al-Dawasir, Al-Baggara,

B: Balhareth, Bani Shehr, Bani Utub, Bani Rasheed, Bani Zaid, Banu Abbas, Banu Abd Shams, Banu Abs, Banu Adi, Banu Ajlan, Banu Amr, Banu Asad, Banu Bahr, Banu Bakr, Banu Bakr ibn Abd Manat, Banu Dhubyan, Banu Fazara, Ghatafan, Banu Ghaniya, Banu Ghazan, Banu Ghifar, Banu Khutheer -clan of Al Hajaj Tribe, Banu Khuthayr - Al Qahtan Tribe, Banu Khalid, Banu Hashim, Banu Hilal, Banu Jalaf, Banu Judham, Banu Jumah, Banu Kanz, Banu Khazraj, Banu Khash'am, Banu Khuza'a, Banu Lakhm, Banu Makhzum, Banu Mustaliq, Banu Mustafa, Banu Muttalib, Banu Najjar, Banu Nawfal, Banu Sahm, Banu Salama, Banu Taim, Banu Taghlib, Banu Tamim, Banu Umayyah, Banu Yam, Banu Zahra, Banu Zuhrah,

G: Ghassanids, Ghamid,

H: Hakami, Harb, Hashemite,

K: Kendah,

L: Lakhmids, M: Manasir, Mutayr, Q: Qahtanite, Qedarites, Quraysh, R: Rashaida, S: House of Saud, Subay', T: Thamud, U: 'Utaybah, Z: Zahran,

Jats in Arabic and Urdu literature

Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri was very keenly interested in socio-cultural and intellectual history of India, especially of Sindh region and produced a number of books on this subject in to Arabic and Urdu such as ‘Arab was Hind ahd-i-Risalat mein and Khilafat-i-Rashida aur Hindustan contain very rich material about Jats and their development in different periods of history. Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s studies on Jats covered many important aspects of their history and their achievements in different walks of life with reference to the ancient as well as medieval period. In his well documented works he has discussed, though briefly but comprehensively, the etymology of the Arabic version of Jats, their original place in India, their history of settlement in Persian and Arab regions, their customs and traditions and their impact on socio cultural life of the Arabs. The scholarly discussion of Maulana Mubarakpuri shows that on one hand the Jats had a significant role in socio cultural life of India since the ancient period, on the other they had socio-cultural bonds with the Muslims from the times of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). [7]

Etymology of the Arabic version of Jats

In his etymological discussion the learned author has pointed out that the word Zutt or Zutti used in the Arabic Sources is an arabicised form of Jat as explained in several Arabic and Persian dictionaries including Lisan –al-Arab of lbn Manzur, the most famous and voluminous Arabic lexicon [8] Quoting the same work, he states that Zut are people of race from Sind who are of black colour. [9]This is arabicised from the Indian (Hindi) word Jat and its singular is Zutti. He has also given opinion of some other lexicographers who thinks that this is the Arabic form of the Indian word Chat. [10]

Original place of Jats is India

Taqwin al-Buldan observed that in the ancient period the Jats were also found in Baluchistan in a large number in addition to Sind [11] But he did not agree with those historians, [12] who traced their origin to the Middle East and treated this region as their native place. [13] He fully supports Maulana Sayyed Sulaiman Nadvi, the distinguished disciple of Allama Shibli Nomani and the author of a scholarly work on the Indo Arab relations (Arab wa Hind ke Toalluqat) that during the occupation of Sind and Baluchistan by the Persian Kings (Chosroes), the Jats of this region came to be employed in Persia or Iran in army and state administration. [14] He considered it an established fact that the Jats originally belonged to India but it could not be denied that in course of time a large number of them had settled in other parts of Asia for different purposes. [15]

It is quite evident from the account of the Arab geographers, particularly Ibn Khurdazbeh, that their population was mainly concentrated in Makran, Baluchistan, Multan and Sind and that for about thousand miles from Makran to Mansurah the whole passage was inhabited by them. Moreover, on this long route they rendered great service to the travellers as huffaz al-tariq or road-guards. [16] In the same way, Al Istakhari, the author of an important geographical work Al-Masalik wal-Mamalik, had stated that the whole region from Mansura to Multan was full of the Jats. [17] , [18] In view of Quzi Athar Mubarakpuri, it was form these places that many Jats had migrated to Persia and different parts of Arab and settled there long ago. [19], [20]

Jat settlements in Arab

Giving an account of the Jats’ settlement in Persia, Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri had stated that they had been living in this region since a long time and they had developed many big and flourishing towns of their own as we are informed by Ibn-i-Khurdazbeh (d.893AD) that at about sixty miles away from the city of Ahwaz, there is a big city of the Jats, which is known after them as al-Zutt. [21] Another geographer of the same period had also observed that in the vicinity of Khuzistan there was a grand city Haumat al-Zutt. [22] These evidences given by the eminent author are enough to suggest that the Jats who settled in Persia gradually built up their economic resources and made significant contribution to urbanization of that country. [23]

The studies of Quzi Athar Mubarakpuri also bring to light that the Jats did not remain confined to Persia. They got settlement in different Parts of Arab land, which was under the Persian rule in those days. The Arab geographers testified that fact that in the coastal region of the Persian Gulf from Ubullah to Bahrain they had many pockets of their population and that they engaged themselves in different kind of work including cattle breeding. [24], [25] It is also confirmed by the Arab historians that in pre-Islamic period their largest concentration was found in Ubullah, a fertile and pleasant place near the city of Basrah. Their second big settlement was in Bahrain where they had been residing in large numbers prior to the period of the prophet (SAW) as we are informed by Al-Baladhuri and other historians [26] In the same way, there are clear evidences for their settlement in Yemen before the advent of Islam and their important role in socio-political life of those days Yemen. In the times of pious Caliphs when Persia and many parts of the Arab region (previously ruled by Persian and Roman Kings) came under the Muslim army and a number of them got converted to Islam also. It is confirmed by different historical and geographical works, as cited by Maulana Mubarakpuri that they had settled in large number in Antioc and coastal town of Syria under the patronage of the pious and Umayyad caliphate (Khilafat-e-Rashidah and Banu Umayyab) [27], [28]

A very important and useful information that comes forth through the researches of Maulana Mubarakpuri is that the people of the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah in the times of the Prophet (SAW) were not only familiar with the Indians, the Jats were also well known to them. On the authority of Sirat-i-Ibn-i-Hisham, Maulana has stated that once some people came from Najran to Madinah. Looking at them, the Prophet (SAW) asked who are they ? They are just like Indians. [29], [30]

These Indians were assumed to be Jats (Zutt). In the same way, it is recorded in Jami-i-Tirmezi, the well known collection of Hadith that the famous Sahabi Sazrat Abdullah Ibn Masood (R.A.) once saw some persons in the company of the prophet (SAW) in Makkah, he observed that their hair and body structure is just like the Jats. There are also some other references in the Arabic source to the existence of the Jats in Madinah in that period. They also included a physician (Tabib) who was once consulted during the illness of Hazrat Aisha (R.A.) , the Holy Wife of the prophet (SAW). [31]

Socio cultural impact of Jats on Arabians

It also appears from authentic sources that the Jats not only lived in different parts of the Arab Land, they also observed their social customs and traditions in their daily life and that the local people got influenced by them in different ways as the studies of Qazi Ather Mubarakpuri show. [32], [33]

Some Arab writers have referred to the Jats peculiar style of hair cut which had been adopted by some Arabs. [34] In the same way some special clothes were known after them and so called al-Thiyab al-zuttia (Jats cloths), which were available in the Arab Markets. [35] But our author is not quite sure that whether the Jats prepared these clothes or these were part of their special dress like dhoti.[36] Moreover, the learned author has also come to the conclusion, in the light of some references in the Arabic poetical works, that certain form of Indian song were known of the Arabs since the ancient period and these were most probably introduced by the Jats as this was called Song of Jats (Ghina al –Zutt) [37] These points are enough to suggest that the Jats were fully free in the Arab lands to follow and observe the customs and tradition of their native land. This is also supported by the fact that the Jats who had been living in the places around Basrah continued to talk in their original language at least up to the period of the pious caliphs. We are informed by the author of Majma al-Bahrain that they had once spoken even to the fourth caliph Hazrat Ali in their own language. [38] , [39]

It is very interesting that we come to know through the studies of Maulana Mubarakpuri that the Jats residing in Baharin, Yemen and other coastal regions in a large number had influenced the local Arabs by their language to such extent that the latter lost the originality and eloquence of their language. For the same reason the language of the people of the tribes of Banu Abd Qais and Azd was declared to be diluted and unauthentic due to their mingling and frequent interaction with Persian and Indian people. [40], [41]

The studies of Quzi Athar Mubarakpuri give a clear impression that the Jats who had settled in different parts of the Persian and Arab land had left their socio cultural impact on the local people [42] , [43]

Arab Jat Clans

Arab clan is mentioned by the western writers under the name of Arabikes. Sec. 41 of Periplus mentions this country in the western part of India. So far, this clan and their country has not been correctly identified. The commentator Schoff of Periplus compares it with Latika.[44] It has also been compared with Aprantika [45] and also with Aryantika.[46] The compiler of Tribes and Castes suggests that it may te the clan of descendants of Arab invaders. All these suggestions are unacceptable. They cannot be the people from Arab countries, because much earlier to the rise of Islam, Varahamihira mentions them as Arava.[47] Here too they are mentioned in the south-west region, somewhere near or in modern Gujarat state. All other authorities become unacceppable when we find these people still living under the same old name. Thus all the references to Arava or Araba or Arabikes are references to this clan only. [48]

Arab Jat Gotra is found in Multan area in Pakistan.[49],[50]

जाट इतिहास

डॉ रणजीतसिंह[51] लिखते हैं ...शिवदास गुप्ता[52] ने 'जाटों का विस्तार' के संबंध में अपने विचार इस प्रकार प्रकट किए हैं- "जाटों ने तिब्बत, यूनान, अरब, ईरान, तुर्किस्तान, जर्मनी, साइबेरिया, स्कैंडिनेविया, इंग्लैंड, ग्रीक, रोम तथा मिस्र में कुशलता, दृढ़ता और साहस के साथ राज्य किया और वहां की भूमि को विकासवादी उत्पादन के योग्य बनाया था।"

See also


  1. Dr Ompal Singh Tugania: Jat Samuday ke Pramukh Adhar Bindu, p.27,sn-1.
  2. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. अ-40
  3. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.185
  4. A glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose Vol II/A, p.13
  5. A glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose Vol II/A, p.13
  6. Natural History by Pliny Book VI/Chapter 35
  7. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2006. p.25-26
  8. Ibn Mauzur, Lisan al-Arab-Dar-i-Sidar , Beirut 1956 , III/308 , See also Ali Akbar , Lughat Namah-i-Dahkhuda, No. 53, P.379
  9. Muhammad Tahir, Majma Bihar al–Anwar , Nawal Kishore (n.d.) II/62 (as cited by Qazi Atbar , op. cit.,P.8)
  10. Majma al-Bahrain under entry-Zutt, (as quoted by Quzi Athar ,P. 61 )
  11. Abul Fida , Taqwin al-Buldan Paris , 1840, p 334
  12. Abdul Malik Ibn Hisbam, Kitab al-Tijan, Hyderabad (n.d.) , p 222 (as cited by Qazi Athar, p 62
  13. Qazi Athar, op. cit. p.62
  14. Sayyed Sulaiman Nadvi, Arab wa Hind ka Taalluqat , Matba Maarif Azamgarh , 1992 , p.11; Qazi Athar , P.66)
  15. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 26
  16. Ibn Kburdazbeb, Al Masalik wal Mamalik, E.J.Brill, 1889, P. 56
  17. Al-Istakhari, Kitab-o-Masalik wal Mamalik , E.J. Brill , 1927 , P. 35
  18. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p.25-26
  19. Qazi Athar , pp. 62-63
  20. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 27
  21. Ibn Khurdazbeh , op.cit , p. 43
  22. Al-Istakhari, op, cit. , p. 94
  23. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2006. p. 27
  24. Al Baladhrui, Futuh al-Buldan, al Matba al-Misriah, Cairo , 1932 pp. 166,367,369
  25. Qazi Athar, P.66
  26. Al Tabari, Tarikh-i-Tabari. Barul Maarif, Cairo 1962, III/304
  27. Qazi Athar, pp, 66-67
  28. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2006. p. 27
  29. Ibn Hisha, Sirat al-Nabi, Darul Fikr, Cairo (n.d.) iv/264
  30. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 28
  31. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 28
  32. Qazi Athar , pp. 67-68
  33. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 28
  34. Lisan al-Arab, VII/308 Majma Bihar al-Anwar, II/62
  35. Lisan al-Arab, VII/308
  36. Qazi Athar, P. 68
  37. Al-Jahiz Kitab-al-Haiwan, Mustafa al-Babi-al-Balbi, Egypt, 1943, V/ 407
  38. Majam-al-Bahria, under Zutt (as cited by Quzi Athar, P. 69.)
  39. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 28
  40. Quzi Athar, p. 69
  41. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 29
  42. Quzi Athar, p. 68-70
  43. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 29
  44. B.N. Mukherjee, The Kusanas and the Deccan, pp. 174-75.
  45. IA, 1878, Vol. VII, p. 259.
  46. IA, 1936, pp. 73-74; and S, Chattopadhyaya. Sakas in India, p. 37.
  47. Brihat Samhitii, XIV, 17.
  48. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study), Bhim Singh Dahiya, p.335
  49. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study), Bhim Singh Dahiya, p. 333
  50. Rose:'Tribes and Castes', Vol. II, p. 13
  51. Jat Itihas By Dr Ranjit Singh/1.Jaton Ka Vistar, p.3
  52. शिवदास गुप्ता, स्वार्थ पत्रिका अंक 4-5, 1976

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