Arabs in India
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|Regions with significant populations|
|Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu|
|Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu, Telugu, Urdu, English and Arabic|
Arabs live in the villages of Variav and Rander In Hyderabad, Chaush are an Arab community of Hadhrami descent whose ancestors were recruited as soldiers by Nizam of Hyderabad. In coastal Karnataka, Iraqis arrived during the reign of Tipu Sultan. They claim their ancestry from Banu Assad. These population migrations may have been favored by both the Nizam of Hyderabad and Tipu Sultan of Mysore because both had their ancestral linkages to these populations. The Asaf Jahi Dynasty claimed Arab ancestry from Asir Province and Tipu Sultan from the Bani Hashim of Hijaz Province in Arabia. Many Arabs having Adnani ancestry such as Quraishi, Ansari, Sayyid tribes and other descendants of the Sahaba were employed by the Princely States in their military as they were found efficient during warfare in Gujarat and Karnataka. In Kerala, Syed Thangals of Hadhrami descent settled around 17th century as missionaries to propagate Islam.
There are also Shia Sayyids in Northern region of country who claim descent from Wasit, Iraq like Zaidis although many Arab genealogists dispute this fact. Sunni Sayyid of the country also claim Arab descent from Sufi missionaries. Most of the Sufis migrated from Persia. Sunni Sayyids claim their Arab ancestry through Imam Hassan or Imam Hussain in which case their names may be Hassani, Hussaini, Hashmi, Naqvi and Bukhari. Some also claim descent from both and are termed "Najeeb al-Tarfayn" or "Noble on both sides". Many Sufi Saints such as Abdul-Qadir Gilani and Moinuddin Chishti and their descendants claim themselves as Najeeb al-Tarfayn although many genealogists dispute this fact. Sunni Sheikhs also claim Arab descent from Sufis or migrants. They don't know their tribe but trace lineage from Umar – Farooqi, Abu Bakr- Siddiqui, Uthman – Usmani and Alvi – Alawi[disambiguation needed] , Alvi Awan or Mir, who established the Rashidun Caliphate. Many who can vaguely trace their lineage to the Quraish tribe call themselves Quraishi. Many having the name Ansari claim their lineage to the Ansar tribes of Madina Munawwara and the companions of the Prophet Muhammad such as Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. Many of the present Sheikhs converted from Hindu castes such as Kayasth and Rajput.
There are several Arain or Araeen communities in Indian Punjab and Pakistan's Punjab as well. The Arain have origins from the Syrian Umayyad town of Jericho now in modern Palestine. According to sub continent's historians they came through Debal Sindh with Muhammad Bin Qasim and spread over Sindh, Multan and Punjab region.
During the early twentieth century, the Arabs abandoned Arabic for Urdu. Each clan is of equal status, but the Quraishis are accorded seniority on account of the fact that they were the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad. The community have remained strictly endogenous, with virtually no cases of intermarriage with neighboring Gujaratis communities.
Number of Arabic speakers in India
- 1971: 23,318
- 1981: 28,116 (+20.58%)
- 1991: 21,975 (−21.84%)
- 2001: 51,728 (+135.39%)
- 2011: 54,947 (+6.22%)
Source: Language Census of India 2011