Open main menu

The Yūsufzai, (literally "The descendants of Yusuf" (also spelled as Yousafzai), 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 Peshawar in 1895
Regions with significant populations
Pakistan, Afghanistan, India[1]
Pashto (Native), Urdu, Hindi
 Allah-green.svgIslam 100%


History and particulars

Mughal Empire

In general, the Yusufzai were uncooperative with the rule of the Mughal emepror Akbar, who in late 1585 sent military forces under Zain Khan Koka and Raja Bir Bar to subdue them. In February 1586, Raja Bir Bar 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 Swat

In 1849, the Yousafzai established their own Yusafzai State of Swat under the leadership of Akhund Abdul Ghaffur, who appointed Sayyid Akbar Shah, a descendant of Pir Baba, as the first emir. After Akbar Shah's death in 1857, Akhund Ghaffur assumed control of the state himself.[3] The state existed until 1969.[4]


Some Yusufzais are settled in India, most notably in Farrukhabad, as well as the Rohilkhand region, many of whom form a part of the larger Rohilla community.[1][5]

Notable people

Malala Yousafzai in 2014

Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai belongs to an elite Yusufzai family.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ Haroon, Sana (2011). Frontier of Faith: Islam, in the Indo-Afghan Borderland. Hurst Publishers. p. 40. ISBN 1849041830. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  4. ^ Claus, Peter J.; Diamond, Sarah; Ann Mills, Margaret (2003). South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Taylor & Francis. p. 447. ISBN 978-0-41593-919-5.
  5. ^ Haleem, Safia (24 July 2007). "Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India". Khyber Gateway. Retrieved 4 May 2014. This is the area in U.P (Utter Pradesh) Province, in which Pashtoons were either given land by the emperors or they settled for Trade purposes. Roh was the name of the area around Peshawar city, in Pakistan. Yousafzai Pathans especially Mandarr sub clan, living in this valley were also known as Rohillas when they settled down the area was known as Katehr, which literally means soft well aerated loam which is extremely suitable for cultivation. It later became known as Rohil Khand (the land of the Rohillas). The great majority of Rohillas migrated between 17th and 18th Century.
  6. ^ "Following in Benazir's footsteps, Malala aspires to become PM of Pakistan". The Express Tribune. 10 December 2014. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.