Jat people & Noun Etymology of Jat

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The most common view about the origin of the word, 'Jat' with regards to Jat people, is that it has originated from Jeat (also spelt Geat) which is an Central Asian tribal name. Professor J. A. Leake states Jat is dervied from the old Gothic word from Jaet.[1][2]

Gothic Etymology

The most common view about the origin of the word, 'Jat' with regards to Jat people, is that it has originated from Jeat (also spelt Geat). Professor J. A. Leake states Jat is dervied from the old Gothic word from Jaet.[3][4]

The Gothic etymology is futher stated & agreed by other scholars who state, Jeat (also spelt Geat) was the names of tribes of Central Asia (such as those which later became Gauts/Goths & Jutes and settled in Europe), which was written by Jat a witer in Jattan Da Ithihas. It has also been mentioned by Jat historian Bhim Singh Dahiya.[5] Jat people have many surnames common to German people even to this day.

Religious Etymology of Jat

There are many variations of the term Jat. In the Punjab, the phonetic sound is "Jutt" or "Jatt (जट्ट)."

The nomenclature of the word Jat is variously spelt, in different periods, as Jit, Jat (pl. Jatān), Jat, finally Jāt. The sixth century Pali inscription (dated samvat 597-56 = 541 AD) mentions the race as Jit. Thus the term ‘Jit’ probably derives its nomenclature after the epithet of the founder of the tribe, Jit Shalindra.

The Persian form of the ancient term Jit is Jat (जट्ट) with short vowel and double short ‘t’. [6]

The Jatt (जट्ट) is generally referred by the Ghaznavid chronicler of the eleventh century (Gardezi, Al-Biruni, and Baihaqi); [7], [8], [9] in the history of Sind (Chachnama and Tarikh-i-Masumi); by the Delhi Sultanate’s chronicler’s Isami; [10] and by the 18th century mystic writer Shah Wali Allah in his political letters. [11] Thus in the Indus Valley up to Saurashtra, the tribes are known as Jat. [12] The author of Majmulat-Tawarikh tends to believe that the Arabs called the Sind people Jat. [13] In Sindhi dialect, the term is pronounced as ‘Yat’ and means ‘a camel-driver or breeder of camels’ [14] While the author of Dabistan-i-Mazahib (c. 1665) states that ‘Jat’ in the language of Punjab (read Jataki) means ‘a villager, a rustic’ (dahistani, rusta’i). [15], [16]

During Mughal period, phonetic and dialectic changes occurred, thus Deccan chronicler Firishta mentions them as ‘Jat (जट)’ with short vowel and hard ‘t’. [17] Finally the term gained the present day phonetic in Ain-i-Akbari, when Abul Fazl mentions the tribe as ‘Jāt (जाट)’ with long vowel ‘a’ and hard ‘t’. It is said that the term derives from middle Indo-Aryan term 'Jata'. [18], [19] In view of O’Brien in Jataki language the ‘Jat (जात)’ – the herdsmen and camel grazer is spelt with soft ‘t’, while the ‘Jat (जाट)’- the cultivator with hard ‘t’. [20] However in present day the tribes, almost all the cultivators, are known as Jāt (जाट) especially in the Yamuna-Ganges Valley. [21]

In Arabian form, the term is mentioned as Zat or Zutt (in Arabic 'J' changes for 'Z') by the Arab geographers. [22], [23], [24] Thus the nomenclature of the tribe is of post-Sanskrit Indian origin and belongs to the Indo-Aryan language. [25]

In his etymological discussion the learned author, Quzi Athar Mubarakprui, 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 [26], [27] Quoting the same work, he states that Zut are people of race from Sind who are of black colour. [28]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. [29] With reference to the well known geographical work, Taqwin al-Buldan, he observed that in the ancient period the Jats were also found in Baluchistan in a large number in addition to Sind [30], [31]

The Mahabharata mentions in chapter 25, shloka 26 that Lord Krishna founded a federationGana-sangha’ of the Andhak and Vrishni Clans. This federation was known as ‘Gyati-sangh’. Dr Natthan Singh, a Jat historian theorises, that over a period of time ‘Gyati’ became ‘Gyat’ and it may have changed to Jat.[32]

According to Jat people historian Ram Lal Hala, the word Jat is derived from word 'Yat'. He proposes that there was a Chandra Vanshi king named Ushana (उशना), ancestor of Lord Krishna. Ushana was born after nine generations of Yadu. Ushana performed hundred Ashvamedha Yagyas and got the title of 'yat'. The word 'Yat' later may have changed to 'Jat'.[33]

References

  1. Leake, Jane Acomb (1967). The Geats of Beowulf: a study in the geographical mythology of the Middle Ages (illustrated ed.). University of Wisconsin Press. p. 68, 172.
  2. Dhillon, Balbir Singh (1994). History and study of the Jats: with reference to Sikhs, Scythians, Alans, Sarmatians, Goths, and Jutes (illustrated ed.). Canada: Beta Publishers. ISBN 1895603021.
  3. Leake, Jane Acomb (1967). The Geats of Beowulf: a study in the geographical mythology of the Middle Ages (illustrated ed.). University of Wisconsin Press. p. 68, 172.
  4. Dhillon, Balbir Singh (1994). History and study of the Jats: with reference to Sikhs, Scythians, Alans, Sarmatians, Goths, and Jutes (illustrated ed.). Canada: Beta Publishers. ISBN 1895603021.
  5. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats the Ancient Rulers, Dahinam Publishers, Sonepat, Haryana.
  6. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 54
  7. Abd al-Hayy b Abd al Zahhak, Zain ul-Akhbar ed. Hayy Habibi, (Iran, 1347), p.191-192
  8. Abu Railian Ibn Ahmad b. Muhammad Al-Beruni, Kitab fi Tahqiq Mali’l-Hind, text ed. by E.C. Sachau (London, 1887), Vol. I, p. 336
  9. Abu Fazl Muhammad b. Hussain Baihaqi, Tarikh-i- Baihaqi ed. Q. Ghani and A.A. Fayyaz, (Tehra, 1946), p. 434
  10. Abd al-Malik Isami, Futuh us-Salatin, ed. M.Usha, (Madras 1948), p.139
  11. K.A. Nizami, Shah Waliullah Ke Siyasi Hutut, Aligarh, 1954
  12. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 54
  13. Majmulat-Tawarikh in Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historian, (London:1867), Aligarh rep. Vol.I, p. 104
  14. Richard F. Burton, Sind and the Races that inhabit the valley of the Indus with notices of the Topography and History of Province (London, 1851), 1992, p. 411
  15. Muhsin Fani Kashmiri, Dabistan-i-Mazahib, Nawal Kishore ed., (Kanpur:1904), p. 224
  16. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 55
  17. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 55
  18. Encyclopedia of Islam, S.V.Djat, Vol. II, (Leiden, 1965), p. 488
  19. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 55
  20. O’Brien, Multan Glossary, cited by Ibbetson, op. cit., p. 103
  21. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 55
  22. Ibn Hauqal, Kitab Masalik Wa al-Mamalik, in Elliot and Dowson, op. cit., I, p.40
  23. Muhammad Tahir al-Patani, Mujma bihar al-Anwar (Kanpur:1283), II, S.V.Zutti, The tribes are mentioned in Iraq, and Syria as Zutt, while in Egypt as Zitt.
  24. Cf. Gabriel Ferrand, S.V. Zutt, Urdu Daira-i-Ma’arif-i-Islamiya, X, p. 459
  25. Dr S. Jabir Raja (AMU), “The Jats of Punjab and Sind”: Their settlements and migrations (c. 5th-12th AD)”, The Jats, Vol. I, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, 2004, p. 55
  26. Ibn Mauzur, Lisan al-Arab-Dar-i-Sidar, Beirut 1956, III/308
  27. Ali Akbar, Lughat Namah-i-Dahkhuda, No. 53, P.379
  28. Muhammad Tahir, Majma Bihar al–Anwar, Nawal Kishore (n.d.) II/62 (as cited by Qazi Athar, op. cit.,P.8)
  29. Majma al-Bahrain under entry-Zutt, (as quoted by Quzi Athar ,P. 61 )
  30. Abul Fida, Taqwin al-Buldan Paris, 1840, p 334
  31. Zafarul Islam: Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri’s Studies on Jats, The Jats, Vol. II, Ed. Dr Vir Dingh, Delhi, 2006. p. 26
  32. Dr Natthan Singh, Jat-Itihas, (Jat History), page-41:Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad, F-13, Dr Rajendra Prasad Colony, Tansen marg, Gwalior, M.P, India 474 002 2004
  33. Ram Lal Hala, Jat Kshatriya Itihas

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