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Muslim Teli

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Title: Muslim Teli  
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Subject: List of Muslim Other Backward Classes communities, Ghanchi (Muslim), Muslim Kamboh (Uttar Pradesh), Chundrigar, Turk Jamat
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Muslim Teli

Teli Musalmaan
Regions with significant populations
• Pakistan • India
Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
TeliMansooriMuslim DhobiGhanchiShaikhChaki-SolankiGhoriChail-ChohanSoomrahKhiljiPanwarSau

The Muslim Teli are an ethnic group found in Pakistan and India. The word Tel means oil (cooking oil) and Teli means person dealing with manufacture and sale of cooking oil in Urdu. Related to the Muslim Teli are the Ghanchi, a community found in Gujarat, who are also involved in the manufacture of cooking oil.

The members of this community converted from the Hindu Teli caste to Islam. They are found in North India and Pakistan. In North India, the community is also known by the name Shaikh Mansuri, while in Pakistan, they are known as Teli Malik.[1]

History and origin

The word Teli is derived from the Sanskrit word tailika or tails, which means oil pressed from mustard or sesame. The community are thus manufacturers of mustard or sesame oil. In North India, the community speaks Urdu, and its dialects, Awadhi and Khari Boli. In Pakistan, the community speak Punjabi. They were among a number of artisan communities, that were converted to Islam.[2] The Muslim Teli of Punjab claim descent from a Baba Hasu, who is said to have invented the kolhu or oil press. According to their traditions, their ancestor Luqman was apprenticed to the King David. Luqman attempted extract oil, but failed until taught by an old woman who suggested mixing water with the oil press. After Luqman came Baba Budhu, and after him Mina and Baba Jasu or Baba Hasu, who was ancestor of the Punjab Telis.[3]

Present circumstances

In India

In India, they are found throughout North India, with concentrations in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The community depend on land. Their traditional occupation of oil pressing has now been replaced with the growing of cash crops and business. Many are now successful businessmen. The commuynity perceives itself to be of Shaikh status, as they are converts from Vaish community.[4]

In Uttar Pradesh, a majority of Teli are small and medium sized farmers. Many have benefited from land reforms carried out at Indian Independence, when they were granted ownership of the land they cultivated. The Uttar Pradesh Teli are strictly endogamous, and are further divided into four endogamous groups, the Turkiya, Ikasna, Doasna and Dese. In terms of distribution, the Turkiya are found mainly in Awadh and Varanasi, while the Ikasna and Doasna are found in western Uttar Pradesh. They speak Urdu, as well as dialects of Hindi, and follow the Sunni sect. The Teli live in multi-caste villages, and but occupy their own distinct quarters. .[5]

In Delhi, the Teli are sub-divided into two communities, the Teli proper and the Teli Dhuniya. They live in the neighbourhoods of Phatak Teliya, Phatak Habash Khan, Khirwala Phatak and Borhaiya in Old Delhi. The Delhi Teli are also known as Shaikh Mansuri, and this name has replaced Teli as a self-description. They are now a community of small businessman and traders, although many are still engaged in oil pressing. A good many of the Delhi Teli emigrated to Pakistan, at partition, and now found concentrated in Karachi.[6]

In Bihar, the Muslim Teli (malik) call themselves Turk Teli or Turkia. According to their traditions, the community is descended of Turk soldiers in the armies of Bakhtiyar Khilji, the Muslim conqueror of Bihar. They are found throughout Bihar, and speak Bhojpuri. Like Teli elsewhere, many are now small and medium sized businessmen, and have been more successful than other Muslim artisans castes in their adoption of the modern market economy.[7]

In Haryana, the Muslim Teli, who are also known as Malik, are found throughout the state, and speak Haryanvi. They are divided along sectarian divisions, with the majority being Sunni and a minority Shia. The community is further divided into three endogamous groups, the Ikasna, Doasna and Asne. These three sub-divisions are further divided into clans or gotras, such as the Olyan, Diyya and Panwar. But the Muslim Teli practice clan exogamy, and there is a further restriction on not marrying within the village. Although Muslim, the Teli do practice a number of Hindu customs, but these are in decline. The communiity has abandoned its traditional occupation of oil pressing, with a small number now being cultivators. A majority however are agricultural labourers, with other others employed in the construction industry in Delhi. Like other Haryana Muslims, they were affected by the partition of India, which the departure almost half the community to Pakistan.[8]

The Teli have traditional communities councils, but they also have a formal communities association, the Mansuri Anjuman. Their traditional communities councils or panchayats are sub-divided into circles, made up of 10 to 20 villages.[9]

Malak / Marwadi Teli (53 Gotras)

In India, they are found throughout South West India, the Marwari Teli are found in the province of Rajasthan with concentrations in the Districts of Chohtan Town Barmer, Fateh Pur- Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Jaipur [(etc.)].There are many gotras that are a part of Muslim Marwari Teli community in India. They subdivide in Aagwan, Anan, Barguzar Bagdari, Bajya, Barra, Barjatya, Banthiya, Bhati, Bhindsara, Chadodiya, Changal, Chandija, Chandred, Chouhan, Dahiya, Dayma, Devbandiya, Dunga, Fanan, Gehlot, Gorad, Gouri, Jajam, Jatu, Jidran, Khatri, Joya, Kayat, Khilji, Khichi, Khokar, Kuchava, Kuladiya, Lagga, Malnas, Mast, Mohal, Mugal, Munga, Nirban, Oswal, Pawar, Rathore, Sahad, Sankhla, sigard, Solanki, Sulda, Tanwar, Unhe, Tigala.

In Pakistan

In Pakistan, there are three distinct communities which form part of the Teli community, the Shaikh Mansoori, who are an Urdu speaking community based in Karachi, and the Teli Malik and Teli Rajput...of Punjab.

Malak / Marwari Teli (53 Gotras)

In Pakistan, they are found throughout South East Pakistan, the Marwari Teli are found in the province of Sindh (Pakistan) with concentrations in the Districts of Mirpurkhas Town Mirpurkhas, Chachro Town Mithi, Shahpur Chakar Sanghar, Hyderabad, Karachi .There are many gotras that are a part of Muslim Marwari Teli community in Pakistan. They subdivide in Chaki / Solankhi / Solanki, Ghori, Chail / Chohan, Chandel / Soomrah, Panwar, Khilji and Sau.

Malik Awan Teli

In Pakistan, the Malik Awan Teli is a Rajput clan found in the province of Punjab. They are still largely a rural community. The community has very small land scale and some are living as landless. Major changes, however have occurred in the cities of central Punjab, such as Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Sialkot and Gujranwala. The urban Teli have started small industries such as power looms,The Teli Malik of Faisalabad have been a particularly successful community.[10]


There are many gotras that are a part of Muslim teli community in Pakistan. They subdivide in 'ikasna' and 'doasna' meaning having one profession and two professions respectively. Other profession adopted by Muslim teli is of cotton ginning to make comforters (blankets filled with cotton) they are therefore known as doasna. All rajput and jat gotras in Muslim teli community are doasna teli. Other gotras in teli community are rathor, khokar, chauhan, bargujar, tanwar, gehlot, dahiya, panwar, sikarwar and more. In Gujranwala,. Sialkot (Narowal), Gurdaspur (Shakargarh) district teli are descendant of Rajpoots who have adopted this profession after the freedom fight of 1857. Rajpoot clans of teli are Taheem or Theeme (in Narowal & Shakargarh), Malik Awan, Tarrar, Khokhar, Jailat (gehlot), Waddhar, Bhatti and more....They are mostly settled in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Sargodha, Rawalpindi and Mandi Bahaudin districts.(10)

Shaikh Mansoori

In addition of the Punjabi Teli, the Shaikh Mansoori Teli community, originating from the city of Delhi, are found in Karachi. They are an Urdu speaking community, and from one of the sub-groups of the Muhajir community of Sindh.

See also


  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 1061 to 1065
  2. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 1062
  3. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of Punjab by H. A Rose pages 462 to 464
  4. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1063
  5. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1063
  6. ^ People of India Delhi Volume XX editors T K Ghosh and S Nath pages 683 to 684 Manohar
  7. ^ People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part Two edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 918 to 923 Seagull Books
  8. ^ People of India Haryana Volume XXIII edited by M.L Sharma and A.K Bhatia pages 485 to 489 Manohar Books
  9. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1065
  10. ^ Justice in Practice: Legal Ethnography of a Pakistani Punjabi Village by Muhammad Azam Chaudhary pages 7 to 9 Oxford University Press
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