The Yūsufzai or Yousafzai (literally "the descendants of Yusuf") is a tribe of Pashtun people found in Pakistan, and in some eastern parts of Afghanistan, as well as in northern India.[1]

يوسفزی (Pashto)
Cyclopedia universal history - embracing the most complete and recent presentation of the subject in two principal parts or divisions of more than six thousand pages (1895) (14596635677).jpg
The Yusufzais in a hill tract north of Kandahar in 1895
Regions with significant populations
Afghanistan, Pakistan [1]
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History and particularsEdit

Mughal EmpireEdit

In general, the Yusufzai were uncooperative with the rule of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who in late 1585 sent military forces under Zain Khan Koka and Raja Birbal to subdue them. In February 1586, Raja Birbal was killed fighting with the Yusufzais, who were led by the general Gujju Khan. It was not until about 1690 that they were partially brought under the control of the Mughal Empire.[2]

Yusufzai tribes rose against Mughal rule during the Yusufzai Revolt of 1667, and engaged in pitched-battles with Mughal battalions near Attock.

Yousafzai State of DirEdit

In 1660, the Yousafzai established their own Yusafzai State of Dir The princely state is said to have been established in the 17th century as a Muslim khanate by Akhund Baba (also known Mulla Ilyas), the leader of a Pakhtun clan, and ruled afterwards by his descendants. A member of the Painda khel's leading family, Mulla Ilyas, was recognized as spiritual leader because of his religious merits, who procured him the title of Akhund ("scholar" in Persian) Baba. Thanks to his charisma, Akhund acquired a prominent position in the Malizai sub tribe of Yousafzia and founded the Dir village.[3] His successors managed to preserve and expand the leadership, giving birth to an embryonic autonomous political entity which would eventually become the princely state of native yousafzai.[1] The clan of Mulla Illas Khan would take the name of Akhund khel from the name of its progenitor,[4] and a dynasty stemming from him was recognized as Khans (rulers) of Dir.

Dir took its name from its main settlement, also called D(h)ir, location of the ruler's palace.

The territories surrounding Dir were populated by their current ethnic majority, the Pakhtuns, beginning from the end of the 14th century. The Pakhtun were divided in several clans (khels), often battling one against the other. The three great clans which conquered the zone were the Yusafzai( Paindakhel,Sultankhel, Osakhel, Nasirdinkhel), Tarkanrai > The Dir territory was populated in the 16th century by the Malizai Sub-tribe of the Yusufzai, who took control of the zone assimilating or chasing away the previous inhabitants (Dilzak in Bajour; Jandool ; Maiden and Swatis from areas East of Panjkora ) [1] and within this tribe the most prominent fractions became the Painda khel and Sultan khel.

Notable peopleEdit

  1. Najib ad-Dawlah
  2. Malala Yousafzai
  3. Bibi Mubarika
  4. Malak Ahmad Khan Yousafzai mandanr
  5. Malak bhako khan mandanr
  6. Gaju Khan mandanr
  7. Malak Shah Mansoor Khan mandanr
  8. Shaikh Milli mandanr
  9. Sartor Faqir
  10. Karnal Sher Khan mandanr
  11. Ameer Haider Khan Hoti
  12. Mahmood Khan
  13. Shaukat Ali Yousafzai
  14. Afzal Khan Lala
  15. Zahid Khan (politician)
  16. Asad Qaiser
  17. Nawab Shah Jehan
  18. Malak Azmat Khan
  19. Hussain shah Khan
  20. Fakhar Zaman (cricketer)
  21. Junaid Khan (cricketer) mandanr
  22. Abasin Yousazai
  23. Malak Jehanzeb
  24. Murad Saeed
  25. Haider Ali Khan
  26. Faiz Ahmad Faiz Yousafzai
  27. Rasool Shah Yousafzai
  28. Phir Muhammad Khan (Ahingaro Dehria)
  29. Muhammad Ali Khan (Politician)Ahingaro Dehria
  30. Imran Ullah Yousafzai

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Haleem, Safia (24 July 2007). "Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India". Khyber Gateway. Retrieved 4 May 2014. Farrukhabad has a mixed population of Pathans dominated by the Bangash and Yousafzais.
  2. ^ Richards, John F. (1993). The Mughal Empire. The New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 50–51.