Rajasthani Shaikh

Shaikh
Total population
2,461,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan India
Languages
HindiRajasthaniUrdu
Religion
• Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
SilawatRangrezKhademShaikh of GujaratShaikh of BiharShaikh

The Shaikh of the Indian state of Rajasthan are part of the wider Shaikh community of South Asia. They form the largest single Muslim community of the state.[2] Many members of Rajasthani Shaikh community have also migrated to Pakistan after independence and have settled in Karachi, Sindh.

Origin and Present Circumstances

The word Shaikh (Arabic: شيخ ‎), can means an elder of a tribe, a lord, a revered old man, or Islamic scholar. In Rajasthan, the Shaikh community as elsewhere in South Asia are descendents of the converts of Vaishya and Brahmin communities to Islam. They speak Mewari among themselves, and Urdu with outsiders. The Shaikh are found mainly in the districts of Ajmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur. There main sub-divisions are the Silawat and Rangrez.

The community is endogamous, and they practice both parallel cousin and cross-cousin marriages. There main occupation is trade, and many are now engaged in the sale of textiles and gold. Some of the Shaikh own land, and are cultivators. In addition, some Shaikh have an expertise in cloth printing and wall painting. They are Sunni Muslims and a fairly orthodox.[3]

See also

References

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