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Wikipedia Entry for Muslim Jat

  • Jat Muslim or Musalman Jat (Urduمسلمان جٹ&lrm, a sub-group of Jat people found throughout the Sindh and Punjab region ofPakistan and India, where there are many clans.[1] as well as in western Uttar Pradesh[2][page needed] and Gujarat in India,[3] and the provinces of Sindh in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.[4][full citation needed] Jats began converting to Islam from the early Middle Agesonward, and now form the distinct community of Muslim Jats. The Jats constitute one of the most diverse communities in South Asia.[5] and in India are found in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.[6][page needed]



    Introduction of Islam

    When Arabs entered Sindh in the seventh century, the chief tribal groupings they found were the Jats and the Med people. These Jats are often referred as Zatts in early Arab writings. The Jats were the first converts to Islam, and many were employed as soldiers by the new Arab Muslim administration in Sindh. The Muslim conquest chronicles further point at the important concentrations of Jats in towns and fortresses of Lower and Central Sindh.[7]

    Between the 10th and the 13th Century, there was large immigration of Jat groups from Balochistan and Sindh northwards to Punjab and eastwards towards what is nowRajasthan. Many Jat clans initially settled in a region known as the Bar country, which referred to the country between the rivers of Punjab, thinly populated with scanty rainfall which accommodated a type of pastoral nomadism which was based primary on the rearing of goats and camels. Between the 11th and the 13th Century, the Jats became essentially a peasant population, taking advantage in the growth of irrigation. As these Jats became converted to peasant farmers, they also started to become Muslims. Most Jats clans of western Punjab have traditions that they accepted Islam at the hands of two famous Sufi saints of Punjab, Shaikh Faridudin Ganj Shaker of Pakpattan or his contemporary Baha Al Haq Zakiriya of Multan. In reality the process of conversion was said to much a slower process.[8]

    In the plains and high plateau of Punjab, there are many communities of Jat, some of whom had converted to Islam by the 18th Century, while others had become Sikhs. As a result, sparse clans can be largely Muslim, while others such as the Pannun and Bal have Muslim branches, but are largely Sikh.[9]

    Social organization

    In some parts of Pakistan, the word Jat is synonymous with landlord agriculturist, this is especially the case in the Seraiki speaking south west of Punjab.[10]


    Muslim Jats gave birth to romances such as Heer Ranjha and Mirza Sahiba[citation needed] which are sung by all Punjabis and have been immortalised in Waris Shah's poem, Heer, that tells the story of the love of Heer and her lover Ranjha.[11]

    See also