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Title: Dafali  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Muslim Other Backward Classes communities, Indian Muslim, Khalifa (caste), Rayeen, Hiranbaz
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Dafali are a Muslim community found in the state Uttar Pradesh in India. They are also known as Shaikh Derveshi or just Derveshi. The Dafali have been granted Other Backward Class status.[1]


The community have acquired their name from the Hindi and Urdu word daf which means a tambourine, which they play. They are a community of Muslim who played the daf instrument at various Sufi shrines in North India. The community traces its descent from Roshan Darvesh, a disciple of Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud, popularly known as Ghazi Mian, the famous Sufi saint of Bahraich, whom the community pay special reverence. The Dafali are found throughout Uttar Pradesh, with special concentrations in Saharanpur and Bareilly districts in the west, where the community speak Khari boli, while in Awadh, they are found mainly in the districts of Bahraich, Balrampur, Gonda, Shravasti and Sitapur, Basti District, Balrampur, Gonda, Shravasti and Sitapur, Sidharth Nagar District/Sidharthnagar where the community speak Awadhi.[2] Dafali have also many name just like Farooqui

Present circumstances

There traditional occupation was playing the daf at weddings as well as at various Sufi shrines. Like other Muslim artisan groups, they have seen a decline in their traditional occupation. Many are now engaged in the repair and manufacture of the dholak, an Indian musical instrument. A larger number are now involved in the manufacture of bidis, the traditional Indian cigarette. They are one of the most marginalized Muslim community in India, with almost all living below the poverty line.[3]

The community live in multi caste and multi religious settlements, but occupy their own distinct quarters. Each settlement has a caste council, known as a panchayat, which acts as an instrument of social control, and is headed by a chaudhary. The chaudhary is elected by the community elders, for a fixed term, and the panchayat deals with intra community disputes, as well as punishing those who breach communal norms. Unlike other Muslim artisan castes in North India, the Dafali have not set up a formal caste association. However, like other Muslim artisan groups, they are strictly endogamous, preferring to marrying close kin. The community are Sunni Muslims, and have practices similar to other Uttar Pradesh Muslims.[4] Many people are writing Hashmi & Masoodi in Utter Pardesh,Bihar & Maharashtra.

See also


  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 398 to 402 Manohar Publications
  2. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 398 to 402 Manohar Publications
  3. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 398 to 402 Manohar Publications
  4. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 398 to 402 Manohar Publications
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