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Future of Pakistan

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In the Punjab Census Report (1911), Pandit Harikishan Kaul points out that members of the Arain tribe are “mostly Muhammadans,” (in theGlossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, Denzil Ibbetson also refers to the Arains as, “Almost to a man Muhammadans”), and as a corollary, reference is also made to Hindu and Sikh sections of the tribe which make up 3% of Arains, with 97% Sunni Muslims.[6]

Kaul also states that the term ‘Arain’ is, “derived probably from Rain or Rahin, equivalent to Rahak (tiller of soil).” This is consistent with the Arains traditionally being chiefly associated with market-gardening.

The census reports of 1883 and 1892 record their Hindu origins and kinship with the Kamboh and Saini caste groups.

“ Almost to a man Muhammadans and strongly inclined to orthodoxy the Arains came to be immigrants from Uch and have ” some affinities with the Kambohs. On the other hand some of the Arain and Hindu Saini clan names are identical, and those not always merely names of other and dominant tribes. From Uch they migrated to Sirsa and thence into the Punjab.[7]

“ In Sirsa the Sutlej Arains meet those of the Ghaggar. The two do not intermarry, but the Arains of the Ghaggar ” valley say they were Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan who were ejected some four centuries ago by Sayad Jalal-ul-din of Uch. They claim some sort of connection with Jaisalmer.[7]

“ The Sutlej Arains in Sirsa say they are, like the Arains of Lahore and Montgomery, connected by orign with ” the HinduKambohs. Mr Wilson thinks it probable that both classes are really Kambohs who have become Musalmans.[7] However, other British writers discounted this viewpoint since many Kambohs are also Muslims.[8][9] Lt. Col. J. M. Wikeley, in 1915, wrote a handbook for the Indian Army, Punjabi Musalmans, which described the history of the people of Punjab and in which he rejected “any supposed relationship between the Kambohs and the Arains”.[10]

“ The nucleus of this caste was probably a body of Hindu Saini or Kamboh cultivators who were converted to Islam at ” an early period . Thus in Jullundur the Arains say they came from Sirsa, Rania, and Delhi and claim descent from Rai Jaj (grandson of Lau, founder of Lahore), who ruled Sirsa: that they were converted in the 12th century and migrated to the Jullundar Doab about 300 years ago. But the Bhuttas claim descent from Raja Bhutta, fifth in descent from Raja Karn and say they were forcibly converted even earlier – by Mahmud of Ghazni – and driven from Uch.[11]

Most Arain however propose descent from Arabs belonging to Muhammad bin Qasim’s expeditionary force to India. Such claims are given credance by how nearly all Arain are, and have been, Sunni Muslim, much like the early Arabs accompanying Muhammad bin Qasim. This assertion is supported by numerous references made in several Urdu language texts; Tareekh-e-Arain, Sham Ta Multan, Tareekh Frishta,Tohfa Tul Ikram and Aina-e-Haqeekat Numa, that reliably trace the lineage of many notable Arain including Zia Ul-Haq and the famous Mian Family of Bhaghbanpura. According to these sources, the word Arain is derived from Areeha which is the Arabic name for the city of Jerichoin the West Bank, Palestinian Territory, the place from where they allegedly came.[12][13]


Genetic datasets taken from 25 Pakistani Punjabi Arain by Xing et al’s Human genome variation study paints an intriguing picture. Preliminary studies by the Harappa Ancestry Project of the data of the Arain group show an almost identical profile to Sindhi’s (without African admixture), however there appears to be little West Asian contribution, indicating any recent descent from an Arab population is unlikely.[14]

Interestingly this does back up the idea that Arain and Sindhi groups are related, so tales of Arain migration from Sindh to Punjab may hold some truth, as well as the idea that Arain converted to Islam under the rule of Muhammad bin Qasim.

There are some flaws in this data, it is most likely that Arain genetic profiles vary according to the region and economic class of the Arains involved. This is backed up by the observation that Western Punjab Arain often have coloured eyes and fairer skin than their Eastern Punjab counterparts. However since the creation of Pakistan there has been increased intermarriage between the two groups creating a more complex genetic picture. The ancestral background of the subjects is not stated beyond classing the probands as Arain.

The Arain during the British Raj

The British considered the Arain as a landholding ‘agricultural’ caste. When the British wanted land developed in the Punjab after its annexation, Arain were brought in to cultivate lands around the cities, and alongside the Jats were preferred to assist with the opening up of the new agrarian frontier in canal colonies of the Punjab between 1906 – 1940. The Arain, all of whom were Muslims, received 86% of the land that was allotted to Muslim agricultural castes, and were thus the largest Muslim land holders in Punjab during British rule.[15][16]

The Arain land holders should not be confused with the more gentrified zamindars such as the feudal Rajput landlords of vast holdings. Polo, partridge shoots and tea parties were therefore not associated attributes. Neither were the more negative and profligate practises such as “…dancing girls, drunken evenings listening to poetry, or numerous marriages..”.[17]

The British considered the Arain the best cultivators amongst all the castes, and were favoured for their “hard work, frugality and sense of discipline”.[17][18] Subsequent development of towns and cities and increasing urbanisation resulted in the value of the land settled by Arain to rise significantly, and Arain families thus flourished.[17] Education was prioritised with the new found wealth[19] and the Arain came to dominate the legal profession amongst urban Punjabi Muslims. Many used law to enter politics.[20]

The Arain were classified as a “non-martial race” by the British,[21] a classification deemed arbitrary and based on prejudices prevalent at the time (see Martial Race).

It is important to note however Arain contributions to military service predating and during British rule in India. Lt. Col. J. M. Wikely acknowledged Arain presence in the military; “They (Arains) may be designated as a fighting race which has produced many Civil and Military officers who have rendered good services to the nation.”[22] Their lack of classification as a martial race was most probably a consequence of rebellions against British rule. One notable rebellion occurred in the Revolt of 1857, when the Arain Shah Abdul Qadir Ludhianvi led an inter-communal uprising in Ludhiana against the British East India Company.[23]

Related communities in North India

There are a number of communities in North India, that claim kinship with the Arain of Punjab. The Arain of Delhi claim to be descended from Arains, who settled in Delhi during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.[24]

Another community that claims a connection with the Arain are the Rayeen are Muslim tribe found in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Udham Singh Nagar,Nainital, Rampur, Bijnor and Saharanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh, India.[25]

Arain Migration

Like many other Punjabis, a significant number of Arain migrated after the India/Pakistan partition. With incomes mainly based on zamindari many Arain Punjabis from the Indian Punjab struggled financially on substandard land in Pakistan choosing instead to migrate.

Arain migrated more freely than other Punjabis mainly due to better education and communities can be found in many areas of Europe, Africa and North America. Countries with well known significant Arain populations include:

▪ USA – with a significant numbers in Chicago and New York
▪ Canada
▪ UK – there is a small but active Arain community, mainly settled in the South of England and Scotland
▪ Norway
▪ South Africa
▪ Kenya

Arain are known for their hard work and dedication and it is claimed that they were rulers of Arab descent[10], doubtless based upon the demographic that nearly all Arain are, and have been, Sunni Muslim, as were the early Arabs of Muhammad bin Qasim’s expedition[11]. Arain came from Areeha (Jericho, Syria) with Muhammad Bin Qasim in 92 Hijri (711 AD). [12] Muhammad Hayaat Madni was a Commander in Muhammad Bin Qasim’s Army – 711 AD as held in the family tree of famous Arain Mian Family Baghbanpura. Reference to their lineage is made by the famous Indian Historian of Islam, Akbar Shah Khan Najeebabadi, who declared that they entered India thru Debal, Sindh with Muhammad Bin Qasim.

He declared them Areehai from Arreha (Jericho) which was Punjabized with a nasal sound to Arain.[13] Another proof of the Arain ancestry being from Muhammad Bin Qassim is the word Ar-Rai meaning shepherd in Arabic and that the Arain were originally shepherds in Syria who joined the Army of Muhammad Bin Qassim to conquer India. Zulfiqar Bhutto was an Arain and that was one of the reasons he made Zia-ul-Haq the general because Zia was also an Arain. What is ‘Arain’, is it a caste, tribe? If Zulfiqar was an Arain then how come he was also a Bhutto. And also what does the term ‘Jat’ mean? Please help me to understand the differences. Thank you.

The Arain (Urdu: آرائین) are descendants of Arab invaders to the Indian subcontinent. Akbar Shah Khan Najeebabadi, an Indian historian of Islam, wrote that they entered India thru Debal, Sindh with Muhammad Bin Qasim in 92 Hijri (711CE). He refered to them as Areehai from Arreha (Jericho) which was Punjabized with a nasal sound to Arain. It is believed the word Arain is derived from the Arabic name Ar-Ra’i, “The shepherd”, a title indigenous to Arabia.

Most Arains are very fair, and many have coloured eyes, which means that they could not be of Indian ancestary. This is more true because of the fact that even today Arains don’t like to marry outside their clan. Even highly urbanised Arains do not like to marry “outsiders”, resulting in Arains being the purest race in the subcontinent, Arains claim Arab descent, based upon the fact that nearly all Arains are Sunni Muslims as was Muhammad Bin Qasim. Under the British Raj after the two Anglo-Sikh wars the Arains who were classified by the British as a non-martial race (at that time they were an almost exclusive agricultural caste of Muslim farmers and small land holders.) were brought into the Punjab to replace the Sikhs, who classified as a martial race were sought by the British as new recruits. Unlike many of the Muslims from Afganistan, who were slow to accept the change to the British educational system and the change from Persian to English, the Arains stressed the importance of education for their children, and with the wealth gained from their hard work they were soon dominating the legal profession in Punjab and as lawyers have found around the world, their move into politics was an easy one. Arain is the Largest and most populated tribe in Pakistan.

▪ Arains mostly use the family names (some former titles) of: Chaudhry, Mian, Mehar, Malik, Ramay, Bhutta, Ghurki, Ramday, Bhutto, Sardar, Kardar, Saleemi, Hijazi, Sheikh, Shah, Shami and Alrai.

Some prominant Arains

▪ Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar Mehar of Ali Baig (Retired) Superintendent of Azad Kashmir Courts. ▪ Shah Inayat Qadri – A famous Sufi of the Qadiri order, who was the spiritual leader of Punjabi poets and saints Baba Bulleh Shah and Waris Shah. ▪ Nawab Mian Muhammad Fazil – Received the royal title of Nawab from Emperor Aurangzeb. ▪ Mian Qadir Buksh Nadir – Artillery Commander, author of, “Muftah-ul-Qila” (Persian text book on science of gunnery in 18th century). ▪ Mian Sahib of Nankana Sahib – Great Sufi and Spiritual Healer Having Followers Around the World. ▪ Mian Iftikharuddin – Congress Party member and later member of the Muslim League under Mohammed Ali Jinnah, landlord and founder of the Imroze and Pakistan Times Newspapers. ▪ Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto – A Big Landlord and Prominent Politicion of Sindh, He was the Chaiman of All India Arain Convention in 1905. ▪ Mian Sir Muhammad Shah Nawaz – An influential politician of the Punjab in the 1920s.

▪ Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – Fourth President of Pakistan (1971 to 1973) and ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan (1973 to 1977). ▪ General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq – The sixth President of Pakistan (Chief of Staff Pakistan Army) ▪ Benazir Bhutto – First Female Prime Minister of a Muslim Country, Two time Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988-1990) and (1993-1996). ▪ Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto – 8th Governor and Chief Minister of Sindh. ▪ Sardar Ameer Buksh Bhutto – Vice President of Sindh National Front and also ex-Member of Sindh Assembly. ▪ Justice Mian Shah Din Humayon (1868-1918) – First Muslim Judge in British India. ▪ Sir Mian Muhammad Shafi (1869-1932) – Member of Viceroy’s Executive Council. ▪ Justice Sir Mian Abdur Rasheed – First Chief Justice of Pakistan (1947). ▪ Jam Raeena, Banu Sama (from Banu Aamir branch of Al-i-Adnan) Ruler of Sindh and father of the raeen tribe in India. ▪ General Adina Beg Zafar Jang Bahadar, General and Ruler of Doaba and Punjab. ▪ Chaudhry Muhammad Ali – Fourth Prime Minister of Pakistan. ▪ Mian Sher Muhammad Sharaqpuri, Great sufi and spiritual leader of Indo-Pak ▪ Air Marshal Zafar Ahmed Chaudhry – First Chief of Pakistan Air Force. ▪ Lt General Faiz Ali Chishti – General of Pakistan Army. ▪ Wasim Akram – Ex Captain of Pakistan Cricket Team.

▪ Justice Mian Saqib Nisar – Supreme Court of Pakistan.
▪ Maher Muhkum Din – Governor of Lahore During Sikh Raj.
▪ Mohammad Hanif Ramay – Former Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab Pakistan. ▪ Imran Nazir – A Pakistani Cricket Player.
▪ Mian Muhammad Azhar – Former Governor of Punjab Pakistan. ▪ Shah Abdul Qadir Ludhianvi – A Freedom Fighter in 1857, His Army drove the British out of Ludhiana and Panipat, but he was defeated and killed in Delhi. ▪ Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan. ▪ Abdul Razzaq – A Famouse Pakistani Cricketer.

▪ Mian Anwarul Haq Ramay – Ex Member of Parliament from Sahiwal. ▪ Shehbaz Ahmad, Ex Captain of Pakistan Hockey Team.
▪ Abdul Hafeez Kardar – First Captain of Pakistan Cricket Team, Former Minister of Punjab and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Switzerland. ▪ Chaudhry Muhammad Farooq – Former Attorney General of Pakistan. ▪ Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali – Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, His father Sardar Ahmad ali and Uncle Sardar Muhammad Hussain were also Members of Parliment from Qasur Punjab. ▪ Mohammad Sarwar – First Muslim Member of British Parliament. ▪ Sarfraz Nawaz Malik – Former Fast Bowler and Member of Punjab Assembly. ▪ Tahir Zaman, Ex Captain of Pakistan Hockey Team.

▪ Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir – Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff. ▪ Mian Zahid Sarfraz – Former Interior Minister of Pakistan. ▪ Sultan Rahi, Famouse Punjabi Film Star.
▪ Anwar Ali – Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. ▪ Farooq Yousuf Ghurki, Provincial Minister for Information and Technology of Punjab. ▪ Neelam Jabbar Chaudhary – Provincial Minister for Papulation Welfare Punjab. ▪ Mian Raza Rabbani – Former Leader of the House in Senate and Minister of Law and Justice. ▪ Tariq Choudhry – Ex Senater of Pakistan.

▪ Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Kohastani – (EX MNA), His Son Chaudhry Asim Nazir was also MNA and Chaudhry Zahid Nazir was Dstrict Nazim of Faisalabad. ▪ Vice Admiral Ahmed Tasnim – The only Navy officer of Pakistan have been Awarded Sitara-e-Jurat Twice. ▪ Nasim Hijazi – Famouse Urdu Writer of Islamic History Novels. ▪ Habeeb – Film Star.

▪ Muhammad Iqbal Ghurki – Former Transport Minister of Punjab. ▪ Lt Gen Naseer Akhtar – Ex-Corps Commander of Pakistan.
▪ Qudrat Ullah Shahab – Former Pakistani Ambassador to the Netherlands and His Father was the Governoer of Gilgit during Dogra Rule. ▪ Naseem Viky, Famouse Stage Actor.
▪ Chaudhary Abdul Ghaphoor – Ex Federal Minister and MNA from Bahawalnagher. ▪ Choudhary Nazir Ahmad Arain, Ex Minister of Punjab and MPA from Vihari. ▪ Tariq Aziz, Film and Tv Star and Ex Member of National Assembly. ▪ Admiral Haji Muhammad Saddiq Chaudhry, The First Pakistani Navy Commander In Chief. ▪ Aziz Ahmad – Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan.

▪ Lt Gen Ghulam Mustafa – Ex-Corps Commander and Incharge Strategic Command of Pakistan. ▪ Mian Amer Mehmood, Mayor of Lahore Pakistan.
▪ Saleem Elahi – A Pakistani Test Cricketer.
▪ Samina Khalid Ghurki – Federal Minister of Social Welfare and Special Education, Her Husband Khalid Javed Ghurki was also Member of Parliament and Nazim of Wahga. ▪ Jahangir Badar – Senator, Ex Federal Minister and Secretary General of PPP. ▪ Chaudhry Naseer Ahmad Bhutta – Member of National Assambly from Lahore. ▪ Mian Shamim Haider, Former Federal Minister of Sports and Railway. ▪ Pervez Malik – Member of National Assembly from Lahore. ▪ Mian Muhammad Zaman – Former Federal Minister and Chairman Federal Land Commission. ▪ Lt Gen Mian Muhammad Afzaal, Chief of General Staff (1989-1991). ▪ Shafiq Arain – Former Minister and Member of Parliament in Uganda and UN Ambassador for East Africa. ▪ Mian Attaullah – Famous Politician Spiritual Leader and Ex Federal Minister. ▪ Chaudhry Assad-ur-Rehman, Former Federal Minister and Member of Parliament Three Times from Toba Tek Singh. ▪ Malik Mohammad Qayyum – Former Attorney General of Pakistan. ▪ Mian Umar Hayat, Mian Muhammad Usman, Mian Abdul Waheed, Mian Aziz u Rehman Chan, Mian Muneer, Mian Margoob Ahmad, Mian Muhammad Aslam are all Arains Members of National Assembly of Pakistan from Lahore. ▪ Mian zahid Sarfraz, Mian Amjad Hasin, Mian Abdul Manan – Ex Members of Parliament from Faisalabad. ▪ Yasmin Rehman – Member of Parliament from Lahore.

▪ M-Hamza – Ex Member of Parliament from Gojra.
▪ Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq – Ex MNA and District Nazim of Toba Tek Singh. ▪ Hon Capt (SardarBahadur) Muhammad Ismail (IOM , OBI) British India Army. ▪ Subedar Kifayat Ullah (IDSM) British India Army .

▪ Chaudhry Badar ud Din (PPM)- Retd DIG Police / Ex Director FIA. ▪ Vice Admiral Farooq Rashid – Chief of Staff Pakistan Navy (2004-05) Rector Bahria University (2006-09). ▪ SHAHID HAFEEZ KARDAR, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan. ▪ KHALID ANWAR, Ex Federal Minister of law and Justice of Pakistan.

Chiefly settled in Pakistan and in many cities of India, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana they have like many Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims of the two countries spread around the world as any search of the net will show.

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