Sindhis

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Sindhis
سنڌي, सिन्धी, Sindhi khudabadi.svg
Total population
c.40 million[ citation needed ]
Regions with significant populations
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 32,923,590 [1]
Flag of India.svg  India 3,810,000 [2]
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 341,000[ citation needed ]
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 30,500[ citation needed ]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 30,000[ citation needed ]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 11,500[ citation needed ]
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 10,000[ citation needed ]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 9,805[ citation needed ]
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 8,800[ citation needed ]
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 25000 [3]
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 700[ citation needed ]
Flag of Gibraltar.svg  Gibraltar 500[ citation needed ]
Languages
Sindhi
English, Hindi, Urdu (Arabic/Sanskrit as liturgical languages) and numerous other languages widely spoken within the Sindhi diaspora
Religion
Majority:
Star and Crescent.svg Islam
Minority:
Related ethnic groups
Other Indo-Aryan peoples

Sindhis (Sindhi : سنڌي(Perso-Arabic), सिन्धी (Devanagari), Sindhi khudabadi.svg (Khudabadi)) are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group who speak the Sindhi language and are native to the Sindh region, in modern-day Pakistan. After the partition of India in 1947, most Sindhi Hindus and Sindhi Sikhs had to migrate to the newly independent Dominion of India and other parts of the world in order to escape religious persecution. Today, ethnic Sindhis are found predominantly in Pakistan while a minority resides in India.

Contents

History

Pre-historic period

Vintage group photo of Indian Sindhi people Vintage group photo of Indian Sindh people.JPG
Vintage group photo of Indian Sindhi people

The Indus Valley Civilisation went into decline around the year 1700 BC for reasons that are not entirely known, though its downfall was probably precipitated by an earthquake or natural event that dried up the Ghaggar River. The Indo-Aryans are believed to have founded the Vedic civilisation that existed between the Sarasvati River and Ganges river around 1500 BC. This civilisation helped shape subsequent cultures in South Asia.

Historical period

For several centuries in the first millennium B.C. and in the first five centuries of the first millennium A.D., western portions of Sindh, the regions on the western flank of the Indus river, were intermittently under Persian, Greek, and Kushan rule,[ citation needed ] first during the Achaemenid dynasty (500–300 BC) during which it made up part of the easternmost satrapies, then, by Alexander the Great, followed by the Indo-Greeks, and still later under the Indo-Sassanids, as well as Kushans, before the Islamic invasions between the 7th–10th century AD. Alexander the Great marched through Punjab and Sindh, down the Indus river, after his conquest of the Persian Empire.

The Ror dynasty was a power from the Indian subcontinent that ruled modern-day Sindh and northwest India from 450 BC – 489 AD. [5]

Sindh was one of the earliest regions to be conquered by the Arabs and influenced by Islam [6] after 720 AD. Before this period, it was heavily Hindu, and Buddhist. After 632 AD, it was part of the Islamic empires of the Abbasids and Umayyids. Habbari, Soomra, Samma, Arghun dynasties ruled Sindh.

Ethnicity and religion

"The Priest King Wearing Sindhi Ajruk", c. 2500 BC, in the National Museum of Pakistan. Mohenjo-daro Priesterkonig.jpeg
"The Priest King Wearing Sindhi Ajruk", c. 2500 BC, in the National Museum of Pakistan.
Sindhi-inhabited areas of Pakistan (yellow) in the early 1980s Major ethnic groups of Pakistan in 1980.jpg
Sindhi-inhabited areas of Pakistan (yellow) in the early 1980s

The two main and highest-ranked tribes of Sindh are the Soomro — descendants of the Soomro Dynasty, who ruled Sindh during 970–1351 A.D. — and the Samma — descendants of the Samma Dynasty, who ruled Sindh during 1351–1521 A.D. These tribes belong to the same bloodline. Among other Sindhi Rajputs are the , Bhuttos, Kambohs, Bhattis, Bhanbhros, Mahendros, Buriros,Bhachos, Chohans, Lakha, Sahetas, Lohanas, Mohano, Dahars, Indhar, Chachar, Dhareja, Rathores, Dakhan, Langah,Junejo, Mahars etc. The Sindhi-Sipahi of Rajasthan and the Sandhai Muslims of Gujarat are communities of Sindhi Rajputs settled in India. Closely related to the Sindhi Rajputs are the Jats of Sindh, who are found mainly in the Indus delta region. However, tribes are of little importance in Sindh as compared to in Punjab and Balochistan. Identity in Sindh is mostly based on a common ethnicity. [7]

Sindhi Muslims

Abida Parveen is a Pakistani singer of Sindhi descent and an exponent of Sufi music. Abida Parveen in concert at Oslo.jpg
Abida Parveen is a Pakistani singer of Sindhi descent and an exponent of Sufi music.

The connection between the Indus Valley and Islam was established by the initial Muslim missions. According to Derryl N. Maclean, a link between Sindh and Muslims during the Caliphate of Ali can be traced to Hakim ibn Jabalah al-Abdi, a companion of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who traveled across Sind to Makran in the year 649AD and presented a report on the area to the Caliph. He supported Ali, and died in the Battle of the Camel alongside Sindhi Jats. [8] He was also a poet and few couplets of his poem in praise of Ali ibn Abu Talib have survived, as reported in Chachnama: [9]

(Arabic:

ليس الرزيه بالدينار نفقدة

ان الرزيه فقد العلم والحكم

وأن أشرف من اودي الزمان به

أهل العفاف و أهل الجود والكريم [10]

"Oh Ali, owing to your alliance (with the prophet) you are true of high birth, and your example is great, and you are wise and excellent, and your advent has made your age an age of generosity and kindness and brotherly love". [11]

During the reign of Ali, many Jats came under the influence of Islam. [12] Harith ibn Murrah Al-abdi and Sayfi ibn Fil' al-Shaybani, both officers of Ali's army, attacked Sindhi bandits and chased them to Al-Qiqan (present-day Quetta) in the year 658. [13] Sayfi was one of the seven partisans of Ali who were beheaded alongside Hujr ibn Adi al-Kindi [14] in 660AD, near Damascus.

In 712 A.D., Sindh was incorporated into the Caliphate, the Islamic Empire, and became the ‘Arabian gateway’ into India (later to become known as Bab-ul-Islam, the gate of Islam).

Sindh produced many Muslim scholars early on, "men whose influence extended to Iraq where the people thought highly of their learning", in particular in hadith, [15] with the likes of poet Abu al- 'Ata Sindhi (d. 159) or hadith and fiqh scholar Abu Mashar Sindhi (d. 160), among many others, and they're also those who translated scientific texts from Sanskrit into Arabic, for instance, the Zij al-Sindhind in astronomy. [16]

The majority of Muslim Sindhis follow the Sunni Hanafi fiqh with a minority being Shia Ithna 'ashariyah. Sufism has left a deep impact on Sindhi Muslims and this is visible through the numerous Sufi shrines which dot the landscape of Sindh.

Sindhi Muslim culture is highly influenced by Sufi doctrines and principles. [17] Some of the popular cultural icons are Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Jhulelal and Sachal Sarmast.

Sindhi Hindus

Hinduism along with Buddhism was the predominant religion in Sindh before the Arab Islamic conquest. [18] The Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who visited the region in the years 630-644, said that Buddhism dominated, but also noted that it was declining. [19] While Buddhism declined and ultimately disappeared after Arab conquest mainly due to conversion of almost entire Buddhist population to Islam, Hinduism managed to survive through the Muslim rule until before the partition of India as a significant minority. Derryl Maclean explains what he calls "the persistence of Hinduism" on the basis of "the radical dissimilarity between the socio-economic bases of Hinduism and Buddhism in Sind" : Buddhism in this region was mainly urban and mercantile while Hinduism was rural and non-mercantile, thus the Arabs, themselves urban and mercantile, attracted and converted the Buddhist classes, but for the rural and non-mercantile parts, only interested by the taxes, they promoted a more decentralized authority and appointed Brahmins for the task, who often just continued the roles they had in the previous Hindu rule. [18]

According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, Hindus constituted about 8% of the total population of Sindh province. [20] Most of them live in urban areas such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Mirpur Khas. Hyderabad is the largest centre of Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan, with 100,000–150,000 living there. [20] The ratio of Hindus was higher before the independence of Pakistan in 1947. [21]

Before 1947 however, other than a few Gujarati speaking Parsees (Zorastrians) living in Karachi, virtually all the inhabitants were Sindhis, whether Muslim or Hindu at the time of Pakistan's independence, 75% of the population were Muslims and almost all the remaining 25% were Hindus. [22]

Hindus in Sindh were concentrated in the cities before the creation of Pakistan in 1947, during which many migrated to India according to Ahmad Hassan Dani. Hindus were also spread over Sindh province. Thari (a dialect of Sindhi) is spoken in Sindh in Pakistan and Rajasthan in India.

The Cities and towns of Sindh were dominated by the Hindus. In 1941, for example, Hindus were 64% of the total urban population. [23]

Emigration

The Sindhi diaspora emigrated from India and Pakistan is significant. Emigration from the Sindh began before and after the 19th century, with many Sindhis settling in Europe, the United States and Canada with a large Sindhi population Middle Eastern states such as the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Culture

See also

Related Research Articles

Sindh Province of Pakistan

Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the southeast of the country, Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area and second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west and Punjab to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east and the Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province along the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh.

Muhammad ibn Qasim Umayyad general and Governor

Muhammad ibn Qasim al-Thaqafi, was an Arab military commander of the Umayyad Caliphate who led the Muslim conquest of Sindh and Multan from the last Hindu king, Raja Dahir in the battle of Aror. He was the first Muslim to have successfully captured Hindu territories and initiate the early Islamic India in 712 AD.

Islam in Pakistan Overview of the role and impact of Islam in Pakistan

Pakistan has the second-largest Muslim population in the world. Islam is the largest and the state religion of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan has been called a "global center for political Islam". Pakistani nationalism is religious in nature being Islamic nationalism. Religion was the basis of Pakistani nationalist narrative.

Thatta City in Sindh, Pakistan

Thatta is a city in the Pakistani province of Sindh. Thatta was the medieval capital of Sindh, and served as the seat of power for three successive dynasties. Thatta's historic significance has yielded several monuments in and around the city. Thatta's Makli Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is site of one of the world's largest cemeteries and has numerous monumental tombs built between the 14th and 18th centuries designed in a syncretic funerary style characteristic of lower Sindh. The city's 17th century Shah Jahan Mosque is richly embellished with decorative tiles, and is considered to have the most elaborate display of tile work in the South Asia.

Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent 12th to 16th-century Muslim conquests across the Indian subcontinent

Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from 12th to 16th century, though earlier Muslim conquests include the invasions into modern Pakistan and the Umayyad campaigns in India, during the time of the Rajput kingdoms in the 8th century.

Muslim Rajputs descendants of Rajputs who are followers of Islam

Muslim Rajputs are the descendants of Rajputs of Northern regions of the Indian subcontinent who are followers of Islam. They converted from Hinduism to Islam during the medieval period in India, retaining their surnames such as Rana and Chauhan. Today, Muslim Rajputs can be found in present-day Northern India and Pakistan. They are further divided into different clans.

The Samma dynasty was a medieval dynasty in the Indian subcontinent, that ruled in Sindh, and parts of Kutch, Punjab and Balochistan from c. 1351 to c. 1524 CE, with their capital at Thatta in modern Pakistan; before being replaced by the Arghun dynasty.

Raja Dahir Sen was the last Hindu ruler of Sindh in the western region of the Indian subcontinent that now comes in modern Pakistan after partition of India in 1947. In 711 CE his kingdom was invaded by the Ummayad Caliphate led by Muhammad bin Qasim where Dahir died while defending his kingdom. According to the Chachnama, the Umayyad campaign against Arori Raja Dahir was due to a pirate raid off the coast of the Sindhi coast that resulted in gifts to the Ummayad caliph from the king of Serendib being stolen.

History of Sindh

The history of Sindh or Sind refers to the history of the modern-day Pakistani province of Sindh, as well as neighboring regions that periodically came under its sway. Sindh has longer history of dynastic rule than any other province of Pakistan due to its relatively isolated location, as compared to Punjab and Balochistan. Sindh was a cradle of civilization as the center of the ancient Indus Valley civilization, and through its long history was the seat of several dynasties that helped shape its identity.

History of Karachi

The area of Karachi in Sindh, Karachi has a natural harbor and has been used as fishing port by local fisherman belonging to Sindhi tribes since [[prehistoryArchaeological excavations have uncovered a period going back to Indus valley civilization which shows the importance of the port since the Bronze Age. Port city of Banbhore was established before Christian era which served as an important trade hub in the region, the port was recorded by various names by the Greeks such as Krokola, Morontobara port, and Barbarikon, a sea port of the Indo-Greek Bactrian kingdom. and Ramya according to some Greek texts. The Arabs knew it as the port of Debal, from where Muhammad bin Qasim led his conquering force into Sindh in AD 712. Lahari Bandar or Lari Bandar succeeded Debal as a major port of the Indus it was located close to Banbhore, in modern Karachi. The first modern port city near Manora Island as established during British colonial Raj in the late 19th century.

Jam Nizamuddin II

Jám Nizámuddín II, also known as Jam Nizam al-Din or Jám Nindó, was the Sammah Sultan of Sindh between 1461 and 1508 CE. He was the most famous ruler of the Samma dynasty, which ruled Sindh, parts of Punjab and Balochistan from 1351 to 1551 CE. His capital was Thatta in modern-day southern Pakistan. The Samma dynasty reached the height of its power during the reign of Nizamuddin, who is still recalled as a hero, and whose rule is considered the golden-age of Sindh.

Aror

Aror or Alor or Arorkot is the medieval name of the city of Rohri. Aror once served as the capital of Sindh.

Shia Islam in the Indian subcontinent

Shia Islam was brought to the Indian subcontinent during the final years of the Rashidun Caliphate. The Indian subcontinent also served as a refuge for some Shias escaping persecution from Umayyads, Abbasids, Ayyubis and Ottomans. The immigration continued throughout the second millennium, until the formation of modern nation states. Shi'ism also won converts among the local population. Shia Islam has a long history and deep roots in the subcontinent. However, the earliest major political influence was that of the Shia dynasties in Deccan. It was here that the indigenous and distinct Shia culture took shape. After the conquest of Golconda by Aurangzeb in the 17th century, and subsequent establishment of hereditary governorship in Awadh after his death, Lucknow became the nerve center of Indian Shi'ism. In the 18th century, intellectual movements of Islamic puritanism were launched by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in Najd and Shah Waliullah and his sons, with Shah Abdul Aziz being the main flag-bearer of modern anti-Shi'ism in Delhi. These movements coincided with the beginning of the British conquest of India and the downfall of Shia dynasties in Bengal and Awadh. These factors caused the onset of continuous persecution of the Shia community and laid the foundations of organised violence against them, that has become a part of Shia life in the Indian Subcontinent, especially Pakistan.

Habbari dynasty 9th century Muslim dynasty in Sindh

The Habbari were an Arab dynasty that ruled much of Greater Sindh, in modern-day Pakistan, as a semi-independent emirate from 854 to 1024. Beginning with the rule of 'Umar bin Abdul Aziz al-Habbari in 854 CE, the region became semi-independent from the Abbasid Caliphate in 861, while continuing to nominally pledge allegiance to the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad. The Habbari ascension marked the end of a period of direct rule of Sindh by the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, which had begun in 711 CE.

Mansura, Sindh

Mansura, referred to as "Brahmnabad" in later centuries, was the historic capital of the Muslim Caliphate in Sindh, during the eighth century under the Umayyad Caliphate and then Abbasid Caliphate from the year 750 AD to 1006 AD. The city was founded as a central garrison by the Umayyad Forces in Sindh, the city transformed into a very vibrant metropolis during the Abbasid Era surpassing the wealth of Multan in the north and Debal in the south. Mansura was the first capital established by the Muslims in the Indian subcontinent after Muhammad bin Qasim seized the Brahmanabad territory. Mansura was built on the shores of the Indus River, it was surrounded by fertile farmland, Ibn Hauqal mentioned the wealthy local merchants who wore Baghdad Costume and were of Sindhi-Arab origins, houses were made of clay, baked bricks and plaster.

Arab Sind Province of the Islamic Caliphates

During the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, the governor of Sind was an official who administered the Muslim province of Sind.

The Insurgency in Sindh was a low-intensity insurgency waged by the Sindhi Nationalists against the government of Pakistan. Sindhi Nationalist wanted to create an independent state called Sindhudesh. However, this movement never gained any support from the people of Sindh. Almost all of the Sindhis have a strong Pakistani identity and prefer to remain part of Pakistan.

Islam in South Asia History of Islam in the Subcontinent

Islam is the second largest religion in South Asia with about 600 million Muslims, forming about one third of South Asia's population. South Asia has the largest population of Muslims in the world, with about one-third of all Muslims being from South Asia. Islam is the dominant religion in half of the South Asian countries. In India, Islam is the second-largest religion while in Sri Lanka and Nepal it is the third-largest religion.

Hinduism in Sindh Province Overview of Hinduism in the Sindh province of Pakistan

Hinduism is the second largest religion in Sindh, comprising 8.73% of its population. Sindh has the largest population and the highest percentage of Hindus in Pakistan. The Sindh hosts the Shri Ramapir Temple whose annual festival is the second largest Hindu pilgrimage in Pakistan, after the Hinglaj Yatra.

References

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  10. چچ نامہ، سندھی ادبی بورڈ، صفحہ 102، جامشورو، (2018)
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Sources