|Regions with significant populations|
|Pakistan, Afghanistan, India|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Other Pashtun tribes|
The Yusufzai or Yousafzai (Pashto : یوسفزی, pronounced [jusəpˈzay] 1 ), also referred to as the Esapzai (ايسپزی, pronounced [iːsəpˈzay] ) or Yusufzai Afghans historically, are one of the largest tribes of the ethnic Pashtun people. The tribe's origin is Kandahar, Afghanistan.
They are natively based in northern and eastern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, to which they migrated to from Kabul during the 16th century, and parts of eastern Afghanistan. Outside of these countries, they can also be found in large numbers in Rohilkhand, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Their name may originate from the names of the Aspasioi and the Aśvakan , who were the ancient inhabitants of Kunar, Swat, and adjoining valleys in the Hindu Kush.Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, belongs to the Yusufzai tribe.
Most of the Yusufzai speak a northern variety of Pashto; the Yusufzai dialect is considered prestigious in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
In Pashto phonology, as /f/ is found only in loanwords and tends to be replaced by /p/, يوسف) is an Arabic and Aramaic masculine given name meaning "(God) shall add."the name is usually pronounced as Yūsəpzay or Īsəpzay. The name literally means "descendant of Yusuf" in Pashto; Yūsuf (
According to some scholars, including philologist J.W. McCrindle, the name Yūsəpzay or Īsəpzay is derived from the tribal names of Aspasioi and Assakenoi – the ancient inhabitants of the Kunar Valley and the Swat Valley who offered resistance when Alexander invaded their land in 327–326 BCE. According to historian R.C. Majumdar, the Assakenoi were either allied to or a branch of the larger Aspasioi, and both of these ancient tribal names were probably derived from the word Aśvaka , which literally means "horsemen", "horse breeders", or "cavalrymen" (from aśva or aspa, the Sanskrit and Avestan words for "horse").
McCrindle noted: "The name of the Aśvaka indicates that their country was renowned in primitive times, as it is at the present day, for its superior breed of horses. The fact that the Greeks translated their name into "Hippasioi" (from ἵππος, a horse) shows that they must have been aware of its etymological signification."
The name of the Aśvakan or Assakan has also been preserved in the name Afghān , which is a historical ethnonym for all Pashtuns.
According to a popular mythical genealogy, recorded by 17th-century Mughal courtier Nimat Allah al-Harawi in his book Tārīkh-i Khān Jahānī wa Makhzan-i Afghānī, the Yusufzai tribe descended from their eponymous ancestor Yūsuf, who was son of Mand, who was son of Khashay (or Khakhay), who was son of Kand, who was son of Kharshbūn, who was son of Saṛban (progenitor of the Sarbani tribal confederacy), who was son of Qais Abdur Rashid (progenitor of all Pashtuns). Qais Abdur Rashid was a descendant of Afghana, who was described as a grandson of the Israelite king Saul and commander-in-chief of the army of prophet Solomon. Qais was claimed to be a contemporary of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a kinsman of Arab commander Khalid ibn al-Walid. When Khalid ibn al-Walid summoned Qais from Ghor to Medina, Qais accepted Islam and the prophet renamed him Abdur Rashīd (meaning "Servant of the Guide to the Right Path" or "Servant of God" in Arabic). Abdur Rashid returned to Ghor and introduced Islam there. The book stated that Yūsuf's grandfather (and Mand's father), Khashay, also had two other sons, Muk and Tarkalāṇī, who were the progenitors of the Gigyani and Tarkani tribes, respectively. Yūsuf had one brother, Umar, who was the progenitor of the Mandanr tribe, which is closely related to Yusufzais.
The 1595 Mughal account Ain-i-Akbari also mentioned the tradition of Israelite descent among Pashtuns, which shows that the tradition was already popular among 16th-century Pashtuns.
In the early modern period, the Yusufzai tribe of Pashtuns was first explicitly mentioned in Baburnama by Babur, a Timurid ruler from Fergana (in present-day Uzbekistan) who captured Kabul in 1504.On 21 January 1519, two weeks after his Bajaur massacre, Babur wrote: "On Friday we marched for Sawad (Swat), with the intention of attacking the Yusufzai Afghans, and dismounted in between the water of Panjkora and the united waters of Chandāwal (Jandul) and Bajaur. Shah Mansur Yusufzai had brought a few well-flavoured and quite intoxicating confections."
As part of a peace treaty with Yusufzai Afghans, Babur married Bibi Mubarika, daughter of Yusufzai chief Shah Mansur, on 30 January 1519.Mubarika played an important role in the establishment of friendly relations of Yusufzai Pashtun chiefs with Babur, who later founded the Mughal Empire after defeating Pashtun Sultan Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. One of Mubarika's brothers, Mir Jamal Yusufzai, accompanied Babur to India in 1525 and later held high posts under Mughal emperors Humayun and Akbar.
During the 1580s, many Yusufzais and Mandanrs rebelled against the Mughals and joined the Roshani movement of Pir Roshan.In late 1585, Mughal Emperor Akbar sent military forces under Zain Khan Koka and Birbal to crush the rebellion. In February 1586, about 8,000 Mughal soldiers, including Birbal, were killed near the Karakar Pass between Swat and Buner by the Yusufzai lashkar led by Kalu Khan. This was the greatest disaster faced by the Mughal Army during Akbar's reign.
In 1630, under the leadership of Pir Roshan's great-grandson, Abdul Qadir, thousands of Pashtuns from the Yusufzai, Mandanrs, Kheshgi, Mohmand, Afridi, Bangash, and other tribes launched an attack on the Mughal Army in Peshawar.In 1667, the Yusufzai again revolted against the Mughals, with one of their chiefs in Swat proclaiming himself the king. Muhammad Amin Khan brought a 9,000 strong Mughal Army from Delhi to suppress the revolt. Although the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was able to conquer the southern Yusufzai plains within the northern Kabul valley, he failed to wrest Swat and the adjoining valleys from the control of the Yusufzai.
Ahmad Shah Durrani (1747–1772), the founder of the Afghan Durrani Empire, categorized all Pashtun tribes into four ulūs (tribal confederacies) for administrative purposes: Durrani, Ghilji, Sur, and Bar Durrani ("Upper Durranis"). The Yusufzai were included in the Bar Durrani confederacy along with other eastern Pashtun tribes, including the Mohmand, Afridi, Bangash, and Khattak.The Bar Durrani were also known as the Rohilla, and comprised the bulk of those Pashtuns who settled in Rohilkhand, India.
Najib ad-Dawlah, who belonged to the Yusufzai tribe, was a prominent Rohilla chief. In the 1740s, he founded the city of Najibabad in Rohilkhand. In 1757, he supported Ahmad Shah Durrani in his attack on Delhi. After his victory, Ahmad Shah Durrani re-installed the Mughal emperor Alamgir II on the Delhi throne as the titular Mughal head, but gave the actual control of Delhi to Najib ad-Daula. From 1757 to 1770, Najib ad-Daula served as the governor of Saharanpur, also ruling over Dehradun. In 1761, he took part in the Third Battle of Panipat and provided thousands of Rohilla troops and many guns to Ahmad Shah Durrani to defeat the Marathas.He also convinced Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh, to join the Durrani forces. Before his departure from Delhi, Ahmad Shah Durrani appointed Najib ad-Dawlah as mir bakshi (paymaster-general) of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. After his death in 1770, Najib ad-Dawlah was succeeded by his son, Zabita Khan, who was defeated in 1772 by the Marathas, forcing him to flee from Rohilkhand. However, the descendants of Najib ad-Dawlah continued to rule Najibabad area until they were defeated by the British at Nagina on 21 April 1858 during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Today, many Yusufzais are settled in India, most notably in Rohilkhand region, as well as in Farrukhabad, which was founded in 1714 by Pashtun Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash.
In 1849, Yusufzais established the state of Swat under the leadership of Saidu Baba, who appointed Sayyid Akbar Shah, a descendant of Pir Baba, as the first emir. After Akbar Shah's death in 1857, Saidu Baba assumed control of the state himself.In Dir, descendants of 17th-century Akhund Ilyas Yusufzai, the founder of the city of Dir, laid the foundation of the state of Dir. In 1897, the British Raj annexed Dir and granted the title of the "Nawab of Dir" to Sharif Khan Akhundkhel, the ruler of Dir (1886–1904). In 1926, the British Raj granted the title of the "Wali of Swat" to Miangul Abdul Wadud, the ruler of Swat (1918–1949).
The princely states of Swat and Dir existed until 1969, after which they were merged into West Pakistan, and then in 1970 into the North-West Frontier Province (present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) of Pakistan.Their area is part of the present-day Buner, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Malakand, Shangla, and Swat districts.
Yusufzai Pashto, which is a variety of Northern Pashto, is the prestige variety of Pashto in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Some of its consonants differ from the other dialects:
|Yusufzai Pashto||[x]||[ɡ]||[s, t͡s]||[z]||[d͡ʒ]|
|Ghilji Pashto||[ç]||[ʝ]||[t͡s]||[z]||[ʒ, z]|
The Yusufzai Pashtun aristocracy was historically divided into several communities based on patrilineal segmentary groups:
The khān referred to the Yusufzai landowners. In the 16th century, saint Sheikh Mali, a prominent Yusufzai dignitary, distributed the Yusufzai land among the major Yusufzai tribal clans (khēl). However, to avoid inequalities, he ordered that the lands should not become permanent property of the clans, but rather they should be realloted within the patrilineal clans periodically after every ten years or so. In this system (wēsh), each landowning khān would own shares (brakha) representing his proportion of the total area distributed. Through a regular rotation of ownership, the Yusufzai landowners would migrate for up to 30 miles for their new share after each cycle, although the tenants cultivating the land would stay on.
The wēsh system operated among the Yusufzai of Swat region until at least 1920s.
The hamsāya or "shade sharers" were the clients or dependents from other (non-Yusufzai) Pashtun tribes who became attached to the Yusufzai tribe over the years.
The faqīr or "poor" were the non-Pashtun landless peasants who were assigned to the Yusufzai landowners. As dependent peasants, the faqīr used to pay rent for the land they cultivated.
In the 19th century, the distinction between hamsāya as a "dependent Pashtun tribe" and faqīr as "non-Pashtun landless peasants" became blurred. Both terms were then interchangeably used to simply refer to landless dependents or clients.
The mlātəṛ or "supporters" provided services to their patrons as artisans (kasabgar), musicians (ḍəm), herders, or commercial agents, mostly in return for a payment in grain or rice.
The ghulām or "slaves" were more closely attached to their patron and his family and frequently entrusted with a variety of functions within their master's household. Although the ghulām were less free as compared to the hamsāya or the faqīr, they generally enjoyed a higher status in the society.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, often abbreviated as KP or KPK and formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern region of the country, along the Afghanistan–Pakistan border.
The Mohmand or Momand tribe is one of the most prominent Pashtun tribes. They are descended from the 1st Son of Daulatyar and 2nd son, Daudzai, according to Pashtun historical literature. They are based primarily in the eastern districts of Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, and the Mohmand district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, bordering Nangarhar to the east.
The Khattak is a Pashtun tribe numbering over 3 million, who speak a variant of the softer Pashto.
Khošāl Khān Khaṭak (1613 – 25 February 1689; Pashto: خوشال خان خټک), also known as Khushal Baba, was an Afghan poet, chief, and warrior. Khushal Khan served the Mughal Empire protecting them from Pashtun warriors over most of his lifespan. After being expelled from his tribal chiefdom and replaced with his son by his Mughal superiors, Khushal Khan turned against the Mughals. Afterwards, Khushal preached the union of all Pashtuns, and encouraged revolt against the Mughal Empire, promoting Pashtun nationalism in the last years of his life through poetry. Khushal wrote many works in Pashto but also a few in Persian. Khushal is considered the "father of Pashto literature" and the national poet of Afghanistan.
Rohilkhand Or Previously Rampur State is a region in the northwestern part of the Uttar Pradesh state of India, centered around Rampur, Bareilly and Moradabad divisions. Part of the upper Ganges Plain, the region is named after the Rohilla tribe who are Pashtun. The region was called Madhyadesh in the Sanskrit epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The Bangash or Bungish are a tribe of ethnic Pashtuns. Their traditional homeland, historically known as "Bangash district," stretches from Kohat to Tall and Spīn Ghar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, as well as smaller parts of Paktia, Afghanistan. The Bangash are also settled in large numbers in Uttar Pradesh, India, especially in the city of Farrukhabad, which was founded in 1714 by Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash.
The Shalmani or Shilmani is a Pashtun tribe primarily concentrated in the Shalman Valley in Khyber Agency near Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Shalmani is also known as Sulemani a variant of Shalmani(Pashto: سليمانى) in Abbottabad, Mansehra and Haripur. The tribe is present in different parts of Pakistan. In Pakistan, the tribe lives in Swat, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Bajour, Buner, Shangla, Malakand District, Dargai, Charsadda (Hashtnagar).
Rohillas are a community of Pashtun ancestry, historically found in Rohilkhand, a region in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It forms the largest Pashtun diaspora community in India, and has given its name to the Rohilkhand region. The Rohilla military chiefs settled in the Hindu-majority region of northern India in the 1720s.
The Durrānī formerly known as Abdālī (ابدالي), are one of the largest tribes of Pashtuns. Their traditional homeland is in southern Afghanistan, straddling into Toba Achakzai in Balochistan, Pakistan, but they are also settled in other parts of Afghanistan and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Najib ad-Dawlah, also known as Najib Khan Yousafzai, was a Rohilla Yousafzai Pashtun who earlier served as a Mughal serviceman but later deserted the cause of the Mughals and joined Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1757 in his attack on Delhi. He was also a House chief in the 18th century Rohilkhand, who in the 1740s founded the city of Najibabad in Bijnor district, India.
The Ghoryakhel is a Pashtun supertribe which consists of tribes led by the son of Kand, son of Kharshbun, son of Sarban, and son of Qais Abdur Rashid, who lived in Ghwara Marghay Arghistan Qandahar but mostly settled in Ghazni on the basin of Tarnak River and Nangarhar, Logar, Kabul, Kunar, Kunduz of Afghanistan. Daudzai Tribe son of Daulatyar, son of Ghorya Khel has also been living in Kabul, Afghanistan which is the largest Pashtun tribe living in Kabul.
The Pathans of Punjab (Punjabi: پنجابی پٹھان; Pashto: د پنجاب پښتانه; also called Punjabi Pathans are originally Pashtun people who have settled in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Most of these Pashtun communities are scattered throughout the Punjab and have over time assimilated into the Punjabi society and culture.
The Pashtun tribes, historically also known as Afghan tribes, are the tribes of the Pashtun people, a large Eastern Iranian ethnic group who use the Pashto language and follow Pashtunwali code of conduct. They are found primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan and form the world's largest tribal society, comprising over 49 million people and between 350 and 400 tribes and clans. They are traditionally divided into four tribal confederacies: the Sarbani (سړبني), the Bettani (بېټني), the Gharghashti (غرغښتي) and the Karlani (کرلاڼي).
Garhi Habibullah is a town and union council of Mansehra District in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is located in Mansehra Tehsil and lies to the east of the district capital Mansehra, towards the Kashmir frontier. It is in an area affected by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. It is named after Habibullah Khan. Old name of Garhi Habibullah was Garhi Saadat Khan named as such by the founder of this town who was ruler of Pakhli(1762-1780) and nominal Chief Of Swati Pashtun Tribe. Hindko Language is spoken in this town.
The History of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa refers to the history of the modern-day Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which has colloquially been referred to as Pashtunistan. The earliest evidence from the region indicates that trade was common via the Khyber Pass; originating from the Indus Valley Civilization. The early people of the region were a Vedic people known as the Pakthas, identified with the modern day Pakhtun peoples. The Vedic culture reached its peak between the 6th and 1st centuries B.C under the Gandharan Civilization, and was identified as a center of Hindu and Buddhist learning and scholarship.
Utmankhel a Pashtun tribe present in Pakistan, with substantial numbers in Afghanistan. They lie between the Mohmands and the Ranizais of Swat, to the west and south-west of the junction of the Swat and Panjkora rivers. The Utmankhels mostly living in Malakand, Bajawar, Mohmand, Lower Dir, Mardan and Orakzai. The Utmankhel are Pashtuns, part of the Karlani tribal confederacy, who fought against British and Mughals emperors in Pakhtunkhwa.The British regarded the Utmankhel tribesmen as “warlike” peoples and one of the Martial Race.The Utmankhel are a tall, stout and fair race, but their dress and general customs have been assimilated by the neighbouring peoples of Bajuar. Utmankhels speak the same dialect of Pashtu called Peshawari/Northeastern Pashto.
The Mandanr, Mandar, or Mandan are a Pashtun tribe, the children of Mand who was the son of Umar baba. Umar Baba was the brother of Yousaf, who left the tribe and moved from Kandahar to Hassan Abdal. An Arab Quraysh family in Hassan Abdal give his daughter in marriage to young Omar. Omar had a son from an Arab girl which they named Mandanr. When Mandanr was one year old, Omar Baba died. Upon hearing the news of his death, Yusuf left Kandahar and went to Hassan Abdal. He took his sister-in-law to Kandahar. According to the Pakhtun tradition, he married the widow of Umar Baba and when Mandanr was young, he gave his daughter in marriage to Mandanr. That is why Yousafzai and Mandanr tribe are making it a sub tribe of Yousafzai. Mandanr had four sons.1- Mano, 2-Razar, 3-Khizar and 4-Mehmood.
The Pashtuns or Pathans have a large community in the Uttar Pradesh state in India, who form one of the largest Muslim communities in the state. They are also known as khans, which is a commonly used surname amongst them, although not all those who use the surname are Pathans, for example the Khanzada community of eastern Uttar Pradesh, who are muslim rajputs, are also commonly known as khan. Indeed, in Awadh, the boundary between the Khanzada and Pathans are blurred. In addition, the phrase Pathan Khanzada is used to describe muslim rajput groups, found mainly in Gorakhpur, who have been absorbed into the Pathan community. However, in Rohilkhand, and in parts of the Doab and Awadh, there are communities of partial Pashtuns ethnicities, such as the agricultural farmers community of Rohilla.
Farrukhabad has a mixed population of Pathans dominated by the Bangash and Yousafzais.