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Arabs in Pakistan

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History Edit

The ship was hauled up by Dahir's men while it was passing a port located in the Sindh province of Pakistan and the people were taken as captives. At that time, Hajjaj bin Yusuf was the governor of present-day Iraq. Upon hearing the news, he wrote to Raja Dahir and demanded him to release the prisoners. Raja Dahir, who was the governor of Sindh at that time, refused to accept the request which tempted Yusuf to order Muhammad bin Qasim to proceed to Sindh along with an army unit of 6,000 troops in order to get the prisoners released. Qasim was hardly seventeen years of age at that time, however he was a talented and capable military commander, the main reason for which Yusuf may have recruited him.

After being deployed to Sindh, Qasim defeated Raja Dahir's troops and the prisoners were liberated. He also conquered Sindh and annexed the entire areas upto Multan, into Muslim territory. From that time on, the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent experienced its first formal contact with the Arabs and there were significant elements of Arab culture, food, sciences, arts and traditions brought into the region. This period also marked the introduction of Islam into what is now Pakistan, and the rest of South Asia, which thrived and flourished considerably. Today, Islam is the predominant state-religion of Pakistan and also has an immense number of followers in India. Islam is currently followed by at least 400-500 million people in South Asia.

After the death of Qasim, the areas of Sindh continued to remain under Arab rule for two centuries.

Modern-day Arabs in PakistanEdit

Arabs in Pakistan are a small ethnic group, and most are refugees from war-driven countries like Iraq and Palestine whilst others are simply composed of working-class families, students, businessmen and professionals, the majority of whom are found in the ethnically diverse city of Karachi. According to many statistics, the total number of Arabs in Pakistan, both legal and non-legal residents, still number in the thousands, and continue to reside in the country.[1]

Tribes with Arabic heritageEdit

Due to the long history of Arab contact with the Indus region in Pakistan, there are now a substantial number of Pakistanis who claim Arabic origin, descent and heritage. A sizeable population of the eight million Muhajirs who migrated to Pakistan in 1947 from India also claim to have Arab ancestral root. Found among the Muhajirs, are the Iraqi biradri, who claim to have originally come from Iraq.


In Punjab, there are numerous tribes who have Arab ancestry, such as the Salara, Awans, the Khagga, the Hans, (the Hashmi (Nekokara), the Kahut and the Bodla.

The Thaheem of Sindh and Punjab claim descent from the Bannu Tameem of Arabia.

The Mashwani tribe among the Pashtuns also claims to be of Arab heritage

Sayyid & Shaikh Edit

There are then a numerous number of Sayyids (descendants of Muhammad) in Pakistan, who are yet another clear example of Pakistanis with Arabic heritage. The Sayyid people of Pakistan are figured as one of the most prominent and well-established people of the country, with a number of them having become popular and well-known religious icons, political leaders and professionals.

A large of Pakistanis belong to the various Shaikh communities, some of whom claim Arab ancestry. The Quraishi, Chishti, Ansari, Siddiqui and Farooqi all claim Arab ancestry.


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