Jat Muslim or Musalman Jat (Urdu: مسلمان جٹ‎) are the patrilineal descendants of Jat people of Northern regions of the Indian Subcontinent who are followers of Islam. They are found primarily throughout Sindh, Pakistan and Punjab region of both Pakistan and India.[1] Jat Muslims are also found in the province of Azad Kashmir in Pakistan.[2][pages needed] Jats began converting to Islam from the early Middle Ages onward, and constitute a distinct sub-group within the diverse community of Jat people.[3]

Jat Muslim
Regions with significant populations
Pakistan, India
Related ethnic groups
Jat people

The Jats represent a large ethnic community that has inhabited the northwest region of India and Pakistan for several thousand years. Many historians and academics have asserted that the Jats are descendants of Aryans, Scythians, or other ancient people that arrived and lived in northern India at one time. Essentially, the specific origin of these people has remained a matter of contention for a long time. This study demonstrated that the origins of Jats can be clarified by identifying their Y-chromosome haplogroups and tracing their genetic markers on the Y-DNA haplogroup tree. A sample of 302 Y-chromosome haplotypes of Jats in India and Pakistan was analyzed. The results showed that the sample population had several different lines of ancestry and emerged from at least nine different geographical regions of the world. It also became evident that the Jats did not have a unique set of genes, but shared an underlying genetic unity with several other ethnic communities in the Indian subcontinent. A startling new assessment of the genetic ancient origins of these people was revealed with DNA science.[4]

Population and demographicsEdit

The Jats represent one of the largest ethnic groups that has evolved in the northwest region of the Indian subcontinent—India and Pakistan—over several thousand years. Since the partition of India in 1947, Hindu and Sikh Jats have lived primarily in India, and the Muslim Jats have lived primarily in Pakistan.[4]

In 2012, the Jat population in India—mostly Hindus and Sikhs—was reported to be 82.5 million people (Chatterji, 2012). The last time the population was surveyed according to caste–in the 1931 Census of India–the Jats belonged to three main religions: Hinduism 47%, Islam 33%, and Sikhism 20% (Burdak, 2016).

Introduction of IslamEdit

When Arabs entered Sindh and other Southern regions of current Pakistan 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.[5]

Between the 10th and the 13th Century, there was large immigration of Jat groups northwards to Punjab and eastwards towards what is now Rajasthan. 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 centuries, the Jats became essentially a farming population, taking advantage in the growth of irrigation. As these Jats became converted to farmers, they started accepting Islam. Most Jats clans of western Punjab have traditions that they accepted Islam at the hands of two famous Punjabi 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.[6]

Social organizationEdit

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. Those clans that converted to Islam remained in what is now Pakistani Punjab after Partition. In Pakistan, most Jats are land-owning agriculturalists, and they form one of the numerous ethnic group in Sindh.[1]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Jaffrelot, Christophe, ed. (2002). A History of Pakistan and Its Origins. Translated by Gillian Beaumont. London: Anthem Press. pp. 205–206. ISBN 9781843310303. OCLC 61512448.
  2. ^ Westphal-Hellbusch, Sigrid; Westphal, Heinz (1964). The Jat of Pakistan. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. OCLC 310483.
  3. ^ Khanna, Sunil K. (2004). "Jat". In Ember, Carol R.; Ember, Melvin (eds.). Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures. 2. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 777–783. ISBN 9780387299051. OCLC 473757308.
  4. ^ a b Mahal, David G.; Matsoukas, Ianis G. (20 September 2017). "Y-STR Haplogroup Diversity in the Jat Population Reveals Several Different Ancient Origins". Frontiers in Genetics. 8. doi:10.3389/fgene.2017.00121. PMC 5611447. PMID 28979290.   Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  5. ^ Wink, André (2002). Al-Hind, The Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. 1. Boston: Brill. pp. 154–160. ISBN 9780391041738. OCLC 48837811.
  6. ^ Wink, André (2002). Al-Hind, The Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries. 2. Boston: Brill. pp. 241–242. ISBN 9780391041745. OCLC 48837811.
  7. ^ Tunio, Hafeez (20 December 2014). "Dastar bandi: Zardari takes over as chief of his own tribe". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  8. ^ "His family". Dawn. 11 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2017. Here lived a small land-owning class of Jat farmers, by caste known as Tataley. They addressed themselves as Chaudhry, from which we know that the given name of the poet was Chaudhry Faiz Ahmed.