Awan’s History

Awan a South Asian Zamindar tribe, putatively of Arab origin, living predominantly in western and central parts of Punjab, Pakistan. The Ferozsons Urdu-English Dictionary lists the Awans as a tribe whose name is of Arabic origin and means “assistant” or “helper”  this somewhat supports the traditional claim of the Awans vis-à-vis their origins. Because the majority of Awans subscribe to the belief that they are the descendants of the fourth Caliph Hazrat Ali R A (though the bulk of those belonging to the tribe are not Shias), a number adopt the title, Alvi, although not all of those who refer to themselves as Alvi are Awans. Awan tribes claims that they belong to Qutab Shah here we clarify that there are two personalities enter in Sub-continent

  1. Awon Qutab Shah and
  2. Qutab Haider Shah

Awon Qutab shah’s faimily tree touch to Hazrat Abbas Alamdar R A and Hazrat Awon had two sons

  1. Hazrat Abdullah Golra
  2. Hazrat Muhammad Kandlan

Faimily tree of Qutab Haider Shah connected with Hazrat Muhammad Hanfia R A ahve 9 sons and they called by Rajpot, Chohan, Khhichi, Khattar, Kahot etc History Other theories have been adduced by the Awans regarding their origins, but most of these hypotheses also point to the tribe being descended from Awon Qutab Shah, who entered the Indian subcontinent as part of a military campaign (and traced his bloodline to Ali R A). However, there are those who dispute that the Awans are of Arab origin; these include Alexander Cunningham, Harikishan Kaul and Arthur Brandreth. Cunningham looked upon the Awans as a Rajput clan, whereas Kaul was of the opinion that the tribe was of either Jat or Rajput origin, pointing to the fact that in Sanskrit, the term Awan means “defender” or “protector” and asserting that this title was awarded by surrounding tribes due to the Awans successfully defending their strongholds against aggression. Brandreth believed the Awans to be remnants of Bactrian Greeks. It should be noted that these theories were partly founded on grounds of phonetics, geographical considerations and observational coincidences, and remain conjecture having never been corroborated by the Awan tribe or neighboring clans. There are many places in Soon Sakesar Valley Khushab Pakistan that are too much beautiful & unique in beauty in all over the Pakistan. But some places are very important and must visit. Like Jheel Khabeki, Jheel Ochhali, Jheel Jahlar, Kanhati Bagh, Sodhi Bagh, Narsingh Powar, Daep Shareef, Amb Shareef.

Conversely, there are also those who support the Awan claim to Arab ancestry. Amongst such names are those of H. A. Rose, Malik Fazal Dad Khan and Sabiha Shaheen. According to Rose not only are the Awans of Arabian origin, he also accepted that they are indeed the descendants of Qutab Shah. Tracing their lineage to Ali R A, in Rose’s view, the Awans were Alvi Syeds who assisted Sabuktageen in his Indian adventure, for which he bestowed the title of Awan on them, meaning “assistant”. Malik Fazal Dad Khan has supported this theory but with some modifications. He also considers the Awans to be of Arabian origin and traces their lineage to Ali, but according to him, Abdullah Rasul Mirza was the remote ancestor of the Awans; in the eighth century, he was made a commander of the army of Ghaur by Caliph Harun al-Rashid, the title of Awan being conferred upon him, and his descendants consequently being called Awans. Sabiha Shaheen (who addressed this issue as part of her MA Thesis) deems this theory tenable. Furthermore, she states that Qutab Shah fled to the subcontinent along with a small group of people due to Mongol attacks and joined the court of Iltutmish. The majority of his descendants came to refer to themselves as Qutab Shahi Awans (and most Awans are able to trace their family trees to Qutab Shah).

The findings of the geneticist, S. Dorning, suggest that the Awans are ethnically distinct from Jats and Rajputs, thus negating theories that propose the Awan tribe originated from Jat or Rajput groups.The Awans have a unique distinction of being the only Punjabi tribe which has no adherents of Hinduism or Sikhism and is a totally Muslim tribe which adds weight to their claim of Arabian ancestry. The Awans have a strong martial tradition and are renowned for their bravery and courage. They were prominent in the armies of the Slave Dynasty and the Khilji dynasty during the Delhi Sultanate period.[1] Awans also held prominent military positions during the Mughal era. According to Denzil Ibbetson, the Awans may well have accompanied the forces of Babur and the Awans of Jalandhar, who claimed to have shifted from the Salt Range at the behest of one of the early Emperors of Delhi, were particularly notable for being in the imperial service at Delhi. In the early nineteenth century, one of the most powerful men in Delhi was Malik Durrab Khan Awan. Apparently ,serving in armies has been their oldest profession in light of their fearless nature. The Awans were amongst those the British considered to be “martial races” (a designation created by officials of British India to describe “races” – peoples – that were thought to be naturally warlike and aggressive in battle and to possess qualities such as courage, loyalty, self-sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness and fighting tenacity and to be hard-working and adept at military strategy. The British recruited heavily from these “martial races” for service in the colonial army) and as such, formed an important part of the British Indian Army, serving with distinction during World Wars I and II. Awans formed part of the core Muslim group recruited by the British during the First and Second World Wars.[3]

Contemporary historians, namely Professor Ian Talbot and Professor Tan Tai Yong, have authored works that cite the Awans (amongst other tribes) as being looked upon as a martial race by not only the British, but neighboring tribes as well. The Pakistani military has always heavily recruited Awans and as is consistent with the past, the tribe continues to produce a considerable number of soldiers, many of whom today occupy many of the senior-most ranks of the Pakistani Army.[4] Awans in general enjoy a respected status in Pakistan. Many have played and continue to play, prominent roles in areas as varied as the military, business, politics and literature. On a rural level, Awans are respected as members of the Zamindar or landowning class. Many Awan families to this day live on and cultivate land, which their ancestors have held for centuries. They often carry titles typical to Punjabis who own tracts of ancestral land such as Malik, Chaudhry and Khan, depending on the area they live in as they are now widely dispersed all over the Punjab, NWFP and parts of Sindh and Balochistan. Hence they speak the language of the region they are settled in now.The modern surname system often results in members of the same family with different surnames, some choosing their position as a surname i.e. Malik or Chaudhry, and some choosing their clan/tribe/family name of Awan.

As a result of census data collated during the era of the British Raj, the Awan tribe was invariably classified as being exclusively Muslim; contemporary census figures underline that this essentially remains the status quo. Pakistan is home to 4,579,000 members of the Awan tribe (all Muslim). [5][not in citation given] In India, 15,000 Awans have declared themselves to be Muslims (an insignificant number belonging the tribe, totaling sixty individuals, has declared itself to be Christian). Data does not exist to show that the tribe counts adherents of the Hindu and Sikh faiths amongst its ranks, a unique feature even amongst Punjabi tribes that are predominantly comprised of Muslims. The bulk of the Awan tribe is to be found in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Its population is concentrated in the districts of Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Khushab (particularly the Soon Valley), Mianwali (Awan tribes residing here are believed to have been the sole occupants of the Mianwali Salt Range for nearly six hundred years), Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Gujrat, Sialkot, Narowal, and Layyah and is also scattered throughout the rest of Punjab to where the Awans kept migrating as the hilly areas that they were originally settled in did not provide much employment opportunities , except for joining the Army. A number of Awan villages also exist next to Lahore along the Indo-Pak border where many Awans settled after migrating from East Punjab in 1947 following partition.

Many Awans from East Punjab also migrated to and settled in Faisalabad. Many Awans, primarily from East Punjab, prefer writing Alvi or Alavis with their name to pronounce their ancestry from Ali ibn Talib,the son in law of the Prophet. Tracts in regions such as Attock, Jhelum, Sargodha and Mianwali are so heavily populated by Awans that they have long been referred to as “Awankari”. Pre-Partition, an Awankari existed in Jalandhar and in Awan Bara in Hoshiarpur. Though these areas are their ancestral homelands and many own farms and other property there, numerous Awans live in the major cities of Pakistan such as Lahore, (where a section of the Awan tribe has established a settlement, aptly named Awan Town), Islamabad, and Karachi. T

he Awan tribe is also to be found in great numbers in the Khyber Pakhtoonkha Province, particularly in Hazara Division, Peshawer valley and the districts of Nowshera, Kohat, Abbottabad, Haripur, Manshera, Bannu and Swat. A smaller portion of the tribe resides in Azad Kashmir and to a lesser extent is also present in the Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. In addition, Awans can also be found in Afghanistan and some parts of India.

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