Muhammadzai (Hashtnagar)

Last updated
LocationHashtnagar, Charsadda District, Pakistan
Religion Islam

The Muhammadzai (also Mohammadzai, Mohammedzai, Mohmandzai, Mamanzai, etc.) [1] is a Pashtun tribe residing in Charsadda, modern day Pakistan. There should not be confused with the Muhammadzai of the Barakzai Durrani, who were for many years the ruling family of Afghanistan. This group of Muhammadzai is located in (Charsadda) modern day Pakistan, has an altogether different Pashtun lineage, son of Zamand third son of Kharshbun.



According to Pashtun genealogy, the Muhammadzai are descended from Qais Abdur Rashid through his son Sarbani, and his son Kharshbun. The Afghan Muhammadzai (Barakzai) are descendants of Sharkhbun and Kharshbun is his brother. Kharshbun had three sons, Kand, Zamand, and Kasi. Muhammad, was Zamand son so they popular with the Muhammadzai tribe (see chart below). [2] [3]


The Muhamamdzai are found primarily in Hashtnagar, an area in today's Charsadda District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan that borders the Swat River's left bank. They were originally said to have resided in Afghanistan, but moved to Charsadda region and were given the Hashtnagar by the Yusufzai. [4] Their geography is integral to the tribe's internal organization, because the branches of the tribe and the villages they each inhabit share the same names. The following breakdown comes from an 1878 report on what was then part of the Peshawar District: [5] Tangi (Barazai and Nasratzai), Sherpao, Umarzai, Turangzai, Utmanzai, Dargai, these all tribes living in Charsadda, and Prang. Rose's tribal glossary adds that "with them are settled a few descendants of Muhammad's brothers, from one of whom, Kheshgi, one of their principal villages is named." [6] Their irrigated, rice-bearing lands along the Swat River are known as the lowlands or sholgira, while the high lands are referred to as the maira. [7] One sub division of Muhammadzai Hashtnagar arrived Ghwarband valley of district shangla and settled there. [8]

Although mainly located in the Hashtnagar area of Charsadda, the Muhammadzai are also based in Akora Khattak, Peshawar and Islamabad.

Politics and Influence

The most famous Muhammadzai tribesmen were the Pashtun leaders Dr Khan Sahib and his brother Abdul Ghaffar Khan, his son Khan Abdul Wali Khan and his grandson Asfandyar Wali Khan. They are originally from Utmanzai, where their father was a well-to-do landlord and village khan. Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao is another well known leader and a chairman of QWP. [9] [10]

The Muhammadzai are a highly influential and educated Pashtun tribe and have been in various senior positions in the Pakistani bureaucracy, judiciary, politics and military.

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  1. Murray, James Wolfe. "A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-West Frontier of India . Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent, Government Printing, India, 1899. 157.
  2. Caroe, Olaf. The Pathans, 550 B.C. - A.D. 1957. London: Macmillan & Co LTD, 1965. 12-13.
  3. Rose, H. A. A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Volume 3. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1990. 251.
  4. Elphinstone, Mountstuart. An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India . London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown; and J. Murray, 1815. 333.
  5. Hastings, E. G. G., Report of the Regular Settlement of the Peshawar District of the Punjab . Lahore: Central Jail Press, 1878. 103-108.
  6. Rose H. A. A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Volume 3 . New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1990. 251.
  7. Imperial gazetteer of India, Provincial Series, Volume 20, North-West Frontier Province. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing, 1908. 162.
  8. Book:{7th edition date:2018}″ پښتانه ده تاریخ په آئینه کښ″ author:Sayed Bahadarshah zafar kakakhel.publisher: University book agency khyber bazar peshawar. page:679
  9. Schofield, Victoria. Afghan se Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2003. 218.
  10. Easwaran, Eknath. Nonviolent Soldier of Islam: Badshah Khan, a Man to Match his Mountains. Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1999. 29-30.