World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Muslim Barhai

Article Id: WHEBN0030253810
Reproduction Date:

Title: Muslim Barhai  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Muslim Other Backward Classes communities, Arain (Delhi), Indian Muslim, Kayalar (Muslim), Khalifa (caste)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Muslim Barhai

Total population
584,000 [1]
Regions with significant populations
 India   Nepal
AwadhiKhari boliHindiUrdu
Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups

The Muslim Barhai, or sometimes pronounced Badhai are Muslim community, found in North India. They are Muslim converts from the Hindu Barhai caste. A small number are also found in the Terai region of Nepal. The community is also sometimes referred to as Multani.[2]


The community derive their name from the word barhai, which means carpenter in Hindi. According to their own traditions, they are descended from early Muslim settlers to India. It is however likely, that they are converts from the Barhai caste.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Barhai have two sub-divisions, the Dese or native and the Multani or immigrants from Multan. Each of these two groups in endogamous. They are found mainly in the Doab and Rohilkhand regions, and speak the Khari boli dialect. The community has been granted Other Backward Class status.[2]

Present circumstances

The Behna are no longer mainly employed mainly as carpenters, and many work in farming. They are largely small and medium sized farmers, although a sizeable number are agricultural labourers, and 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. It deals with intra community disputes, as well as punishing those who breach communal norms. Although they live in close proximity to other Muslim groups, such as the Shaikh, Gaddi, Ansari, Rajput Muslim and Qassab in Doab, and the Muslim Teli, Muslim Banjara, Baghban and Rohilla in Rohilkhand, there is very little interaction, and virtually no intermarriage. The only group with which close relations are maintained are the Saifi, and this includes intermarriage. With regards to neighbouring Hindu groups such the Jat and Gujjar, a social distance is maintained.[2]

The Barhai are Sunni Muslim of the Barelvi sect. They speak Urdu, and various dialects of Hindi. There customs are similar to other Uttar Pradesh Muslims.[3]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c People of India Uttar Pradesh, Volume XLII Part One, edited by A Hasan & J C Das, pp. 190-193.
  3. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh, Volume XLII Part One, edited by A Hasan & J C Das, p. 243.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.