The Arain is a Muslim agricultural caste settled mainly in Punjab, with significant numbers also in Sindh. They are chiefly associated with farming, and the legal profession, with some being Zamindars (landlords). Punjabi and Sindhi Arains are the largest tribe race in Pakistan. The Arains are largely Muslim, numbering 9,585,000. The Arain Hindu population numbers 247,000 and the Arain Sikh population 18,000. The proportion of Muslim Arain is much greater than those of the other casts of Punjab engaged in agriculture. Arains are well built and of tall height with light brown or green eyes, large hooked, conquering nose and a very fair color.
Origin of Arain Tribe.
Kaul states that the term ‘Arain’ is, “derived probably from Rain or Rahin, equivalent to Rahak (tiller of soil). This is consistent with the Arains traditionally being chiefly associated with market-gardening.
In the Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of Punjab and North West Frontier Province, Denzil Ibbetson refers to the Arains as, “Almost to a man Muhammadans”).
The census reports of 1883 and 1892 record their Hindu origins and kinship with the Kamboh and Saini caste groups.
In the Punjab Census Report (1911), Pandit Harikishan Kaul points out that members of the Arain tribe are “mostly Muhammadans and as a corollary, reference is also made to Hindu and Sikh sections of the tribe which make up 3% of Arains, with 97% Sunni Muslims.
Almost to a man Muhammadans and strongly inclined to orthodoxy the Arains came to be immigrants from Uch and have some affinities with the Kambohs. On the other hand, some of the Arain and Hindu Saini clan names are identical, and those not always merely names of other and dominant tribes. From Uch, they migrated to Sirsa and thence into Punjab.
In Sirsa, the Sutlej Arains meet those of the Ghaggar. The two do not intermarry, but the Arains of the Ghaggar valley say they were Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan. They were ejected some four centuries ago by Sayad Jalal-ul-din of Uch. They claim some sort of connection with Jaisalmer.
The Sutlej Arains in Sirsa say they are, like the Arains of Lahore and Montgomery, connected by origin with the Hindu Kambohs. Mr. Wilson thinks it probable that both classes are really Kambohs who have become Musalmans. However, other British writers discounted this viewpoint since many Kambohs are also Muslims. Lt. Col. J. M. Wikeley, in 1915, wrote a handbook for the Indian Army, Punjabi Musalmans, which described the history of the people of Punjab and in which he rejected "any supposed relationship between the Kambohs and the Arains".
The nucleus of this caste was probably a body of Hindu Saini or Kamboh cultivators who were converted to Islam at an early period. Thus in Jalandhar, the Arains say they came from Sirsa, Rania, and Delhi and claim descent from Rai Jaj (grandson of Lau, founder of Lahore), who ruled Sirsa: that they were converted in the 12th century and migrated to the Jalandhar Doab about 300 years ago. But the Bhuttas claim descent from Raja Bhutta, fifth in descent from Raja Karn and say they were forcibly converted even earlier - by Mahmud of Ghazni – and driven from Uch.
Most Arain, however, propose descent from Arabs belonging to Muhammad bin Qasim's expeditionary force to India. Such claims are given credence by how nearly all Arain are and have been, Sunni Muslim, much like the early Arabs accompanying Muhammad bin Qasim. This assertion is supported by numerous references made in several Urdu language texts; Tareekh-e-Arain, Sham Ta Multan, Tareekh Frishta, Tohfa Tul Ikram and Aina-e-Haqeekat Numa, that reliably trace the lineage of many notable Arain including Zia Ul-Haq and the famous Mian Family of Bhaghbanpura. According to these sources, the word Arain is derived from Areeha which is the Arabic name for the city of Jericho in the West Bank, Palestinian Territory, the place from where they allegedly came.
Genetics of Arain Tribe.
Genetic datasets taken from 25 Pakistani Punjabi Arain by Xing et al's Human genome variation study paints an intriguing picture. Preliminary studies by the Harappa Ancestry Project of the data of the Arain group show an almost identical profile to Sindhi's (without African admixture), however, there appears to be a little West Asian contribution, indicating any recent descent from an Arab population is unlikely.
Interestingly this does back up the idea that Arain and Sindhi groups are related so tales of Arain migration from Sindh to Punjab may hold some truth, as well as the idea that Arain converted to Islam under the rule of Muhammad bin Qasim.
As per DNA report on page 13 of this link;
69.4% Arain has South Asian DNA
29.4% Arain has European DNA
1% Arain has Middle Eastern DNA
29.4% Arain has European DNA
1% Arain has Middle Eastern DNA
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There are some flaws in this data, it is most likely that Arain genetic profiles vary according to the region and economic class of the Arains involved. This is backed up by the observation that Western Punjab Arain often has colored eyes and fairer skin than their Eastern Punjab counterparts. However, since the creation of Pakistan, there has been increased intermarriage between the two groups creating a more complex genetic picture. The ancestral background of the subjects is not stated beyond classing the pro-bands as Arain.
A study of blood types, published in 2005 and intended "to find out the frequency of ABO and RhD phenotypes in different ethnic groups and casts of Pakistan", concluded that "There is no statistically significant difference of ABO and Rh-D distribution among various ethnic groups and casts, O is the most common blood group except in Arains where B is the most common and O is less common. Further ethnic-based studies are required to confirm."
Sub-Castes of Arain Tribe.
48. Qutub Shahi,
62. Teer Andaz,
63. Uggee Walay
Note:- Chaudhry, Malik, Mehar, Mian, Sardar are titles used by Arain tribe. In Sindh Arains are called Bhutto, Mehar. In Punjab they are called Mian, Chaudhary, Sardar, Mehar, Malik.
Bahalwan (driver of a chariot).
Bahman (brave, uncontrollable or insurmountable).
Basroo (observation post).
Bhaila (alms-keeper who walks with the commander when he is giving away alms after a victory).
Bhutto (dwellers of high places).
Daulay (those who got land in return for military services).
Gahgeer, Ghalar, and Goheer (ferocious horse of armored corps).
Katarband (users of Katar, a weapon used by ancient armies).
Kavali (soldier patrolling while others rest).
Labanay (an army column equipped with batons).
Mudh (logisticians supplying logistics and reinforcement to the army).
Qutub Shahi: (soldiers or their offspring who accompanied Qutubuddin Aibak).
Ramday (red -eyed soldiers).
Rattay (bloody, red, ferocious fighters).
Related communities of Arain Tribe in North India.
There are a number of communities in North India, which claim kinship with the Arain of Punjab. The Arain of Delhi claims to be descended from Arains, who settled in Delhi during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Another community that claims a connection with the Arain are the Rayeen are Muslim tribe found in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Udham Singh Nagar, Nainital, Rampur, Bijnor and Saharanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Arain Tribe during the British Raj.
The British considered the Arain as a landholding 'agricultural' caste. When the British wanted land developed in Punjab after its annexation, Arain were brought in to cultivate lands around the cities, and alongside the Jats were preferred to assist with the opening up of the new agrarian frontier in canal colonies of Punjab between 1906 –1940. The Arain, all of whom were Muslims, received 86% of the land that was allotted to Muslim agricultural castes and was thus the largest Muslim landholders in Punjab during British rule.
The Arain landholders should not be confused with the more gentrified Zamindars such as the feudal Rajput landlords of vast holdings. Polo, partridge shoots and tea parties were therefore not associated attributes. Neither was the more negative and profligate practices such as "dancing girls, drunken evenings listening to poetry, or numerous marriages".
The British considered the Arain the best cultivators amongst all the castes, and were favored for their "hard work, frugality and sense of discipline". Subsequent development of towns and cities and increasing urbanization resulted in the value of the land settled by Arain to rise significantly, and Arain families thus flourished. Education was prioritized with the new found wealth and the Arain came to dominate the legal profession amongst urban Punjabi Muslims. Many used law to enter politics.
The Arain were classified as a "non-martial race" by the British, a classification deemed arbitrary and based on prejudices prevalent at the time. It is important to note however Arain contributions to military service predating and during British rule in India. Lt. Col. J. M. Wikely acknowledged Arain presence in the military; "They (Arains) may be designated as a fighting race which has produced many Civil and Military officers who have rendered good services to the nation." Their lack of classification as a martial race was most probably a consequence of rebellions against British rule. One notable rebellion occurred in the Revolt of 1857 when the Arain led an inter-communal uprising in Ludhiana against the British East India Company.
Arain Tribe as a Martial Race.
Arains are a martial race also very brave and disciplined. They were recruited in great numbers in the British army as officers and Jawans. Till today half of Pakistan army Jawans and officers are Arains. Remember General Zia-ul-Haq, a Punjabi Arain from Jalandhar, the martial law administrator and president of Pakistan for 11 years. He ruled Pakistan with an iron hand.
Distribution of Arain Tribe.
The Arain were found in a territory stretching from the Chenab in the west to the Sutlej in the east, in what was the Punjabi speaking heartland of the British colonial province of Punjab. This was also the region that suffered the worst violence during the partition of India in 1947, with almost the entire Arain population of Indian Punjab migrating to Pakistani territory. However, there are still a small number of Muslim Arains still found in Malerkotla, Sangrur and Patiala districts.
The bulk of the Arain population is now settled in the districts of Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Toba Tek Singh, with a large number of refugees settled by the Thal Development Authority in the districts of Khushab, Mianwali, Bhakkar, and Layyah.
In Punjab, Arains are present in all divisions, districts, and tehsils. In west Punjab they are present in great numbers in Lahore, Faisalabad/Lyallpur, Toba Tek Singh, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Jaranwala, Sargodha, Jhangh, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal, Multan etc. Before partition Arains were present in great numbers in east Punjab districts of Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Haryana, Ambala, Batala, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur. They were landlord and businessmen and transporters at that time, educated and prosperous. All East Punjab Arains are mainly settled in Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Bahawalpur, Multan, Sahiwal districts, speak the same Majha, Doaba accent of Punjabi spoken in east Punjab.
Economic Status of Arain Tribe.
Although gardening and market-gardening were considered historically to be ritually impure occupations and thus those engaged in such activities were considered to be of low standing, the Arains have proven to be industrious and disciplined practitioners. In the present day, they are the largest agricultural community in Pakistan and they often have a wealth that belies their low ritual status.
In Pakistan apart from the big landlords who were awarded lands in British period for their mutiny and cowardice or services against local people, Arains have the largest land owning in Punjab and Sindh areas of Pakistan.
Arains are professional farmers and the real agriculturists. In every village of Punjab, Arains are present doing agriculture. Arains control all the grains, vegetables, fruits markets in Pakistan. They grow and do all types of agriculture from dairy farming, vegetable farming, fruit farming, wheat, cotton, pulses, rice, sugarcane farming. Only two casts are the real agriculturist in Pakistan. One is Arain and the other Jatt.
Arains averagely own about 1-2 murabas of land but there are also very big landlords like Mian Sadiq Arain with 700 murabas of land even bigger than Nawab of Bahawalpur in Bahawalpur area. Mehars and Bhuttos own big thousands of acres land in Sindh. In Punjab Arain big landlords own hundreds of acres of land. They are initially peaceful agriculturists but when one makes them fight then they become angry lions.
In business and industry in Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh areas Arains own textile, knitwear, sugarcane, rice industries. In Lahore, Sheikhupura, Arains own knitwear, chemicals, pharmaceutical, steel industries. They are big exporters of rice. Guard rice industries Iftikhar Ali Malik exports 50 percent of Pakistan rice basmati abroad. Mian Latif is the owner of biggest textile industry Chenab textiles Chenone in Toba Tek Singh. He is the biggest gray cotton cloth exporter of Pakistan. Arains are the biggest vegetable and fruit exporters of Pakistan. Haleeb Milk, Chaudhary Dairies are the largest dairy producers of Pakistan. Chaudhary Nazir Kohistania was the biggest Arain transporter of Faisalabad division.
Educational Status of Arain Tribe.
Arains have a very good standard of education as compared to other casts.
Status of Arain Tribe in Civil Services.
Arains are present in great numbers in civil service, Punjab, and Sindh police.
Prominent Politicians of Arain Tribe in Pakistan.
Chaudhary Muhammad Ali, former Prime Minister Pakistan.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister Pakistan.
Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister Pakistan.
Mian Azhar, former Governor Punjab.
Hanif Ramay, former Chief Minister Punjab.
Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali, former Foreign Minister Pakistan. Ghaus Bax Mehar, former Railways Federal Minister.
Sardar Ali Muhammad Mehar, former Chief Minister Sindh.
Mian Raza Rabbani, present Chairman Senate of Pakistan.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, present Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan.
Mian Raza Rabbani, present Chairman Senate of Pakistan.
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, present Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan.
Prominent Sportsmen of Arain Tribe in Pakistan.
Punjabi Arains are also great sportsmen. The famous star Pakistani cricketers like Wasim Akram, Sarfraz Nawaz, Amir Suhail, Fazal Mehmood, Muhammad Zahid, Aqib Javaid, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdur Razzaq, Abdul Hafiz Kardar first Pakistan cricket captain are Arains.
Migration of Arain Tribe.
Like many other Punjabis, a significant number of Arain migrated after the India/Pakistan partition. With incomes mainly based on Zamindari, many Arain Punjabis from the Indian Punjab struggled financially on substandard land in Pakistan choosing instead to migrate.
Arain migrated more freely than other Punjabis mainly due to better education and communities can be found in many areas of Europe, Afric, and North America. Countries with well-known significant Arain populations include:
• USA - with significant numbers in Chicago and New York
• UK - there is a small but active Arain community, mainly settled in the South of England and Scotland
• South Africa
Notable Arain Personalities.
◾Adina Beg, Governor of Punjab in 1758.
◾Mian Fakir Aziz - Foreign Minister of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh.
◾Maher Muhkum Din - Governor of Lahore During Sikh Raj.
◾Maulana Jafar Thansari - One of the few Real Freedom Fighters to have Challenged the British Colonial Rule in India.
◾Shah Abdul Qadir Ludhianvi - A Freedom Fighter in 1857, His Army drove the British out of Ludhiana and Panipat, but he was defeated and killed in Delhi.
◾Mian Family Baghbanpura a famous old Arain family of Lahore.
◾Mian Fazli Husain, politician and a founder of the Unionist Party.
◾Mian Sir Muhammad Shahnawaz - An influential politician of Punjab in the 1920s.
◾Begum Jahan Ara Shahnawaz - Daughter of Sir Mian Muhammad Shafi and Wife of Sir Mian Muhammad Shah Nawaz. In 1935 She Formed Punjab Provincial Muslim Women's League. She was Elected a Member of Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1937. She was also elected as a Member of Constituent Assembly of India.
◾Mian Abdul Bari - A Freedom Fighter, Member of Punjab Assembly and National Assembly from Lyallpur presentFaisalabad.
◾Mian Iftikharuddin - Congress Party member and later a member of the Muslim League under Mohammed Ali Jinnah, landlord and founder of the Imroze and Pakistan Times Newspapers.
◾Chaudhry Muhammad Ali - Fourth Prime Minister of Pakistan.
◾Zulfikar Ali Bhutto - Fourth President of Pakistan (1971 to 1973) and ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan (1973 to 1977).
◾Benazir Bhutto - First Female Prime Minister of a Muslim Countries, Two time Prime Minister of Pakistan.
◾Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto - 8th Governor and Chief Minister of Sindh.
◾Mohammad Hanif Ramay - Former Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab Pakistan.
◾Mian Muhammad Azhar - Former Governor of Punjab, Mayor of Lahore and Member of National Assembly.
◾Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, First Muslim Member of British Parliament and Governor of Punjab.
◾Muhammad Abdullah - Ex-Governor of Gilgit.
◾Sardar Aseef Ahmad Ali - Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, His father Sardar Ahmad Ali and Uncle Sardar Muhammad Hussain were also Members of Parliment from Qasur Punjab.
◾Mian Zahid Sarfraz - Former Interior Minister of Pakistan.
◾Aziz Ahmad - Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan.
◾Samina Khalid Ghurki - Federal Minister of Social Welfare and Special Education, Her Husband Khalid Javed Ghurki was also Member of Parliament and Nazim of Wahga.
◾Jahangir Badar - Senator, Ex-Federal Minister and Secretary General of PPP.
◾Shafiq Arain - Former Minister and Member of Parliament in Uganda and UN Ambassador for East Africa.
◾Khalid Anwer - Ex Federal Minister of law and Justice of Pakistan.
◾Mian Shamim Haider - Former Federal Minister of Railways and Sports.
◾Aijaz-ul-Huq - Ex Federal Minister and Member of National Assembly.
◾Mian Amir Mehmood - Ex-Mayor of Lahore Pakistan and Owner of Dunya News.
◾Mian Shuja-ur-Rahman - Former Lord Mayor of Lahore.
◾General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq - The sixth President of Pakistan (Chief of Staff Pakistan Army)
◾Lt General Salim Ahmad Mian - Sitara-e-Qaide-Azam.
◾Lt General Mian Muhammad Afzal - Chief of General Staff Pak Army.
◾Lt General Faiz Ali Chishti - X-Corps Commander of Pakistan Army 1974 to 1980.
◾Lt General Naseer Akhtar - X-Corps Commander of Pakistan.
◾Lt General Ghulam Mustafa - Ex-Corps Commander and Incharge Strategic Command of Pakistan.
◾Mian Qadir Buksh Nadir - Artillery Commander, author of, "Muftah-ul-Qila" (Persian textbook on the science of gunnery in the 18th century).
◾Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir - Pakistan's Chief of Naval Staff.
◾Vice Admiral Ahmed Tasnim - The only Navy officer of Pakistan who has been Awarded Sitara-e-Jurat Twice.
◾Admiral Haji Muhammad Saddiq Chaudhry - The First Pakistani Navy Commander In Chief.
◾Vice Admiral Farooq Rashid - Chief of Staff Pakistan Navy (2004-05) Rector Bahria University (2006-09).
◾Air Marshal Zafar Ahmed Chaudhry - First Chief of Pakistan Air Force.
◾Sir Mian Muhammad Shafi - Member of Viceroy's Executive Council.
◾Justice Sir Mian Abdur Rasheed - First Chief Justice of Pakistan.
◾Justice Mian Saqib Nisar - Supreme Court of Pakistan.
◾Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday - Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan. He is the Son of Justice Muhammad Saddique, Brother of Chaudhry Muhammad Farooq - Ex-Attorney General of Pakistan and Chaudhry Asad-ur-Rehman Ex Federal Minister.He is also Uncle of Brigadier Anwar-ul-Haq Ramday Shaheed.
◾Malik Mohammad Qayyum - Former Attorney General of Pakistan.
◾Chaudhry Muhammad Farooq - Former Attorney General of Pakistan
◾Mian Asrar-ul-Haq - President Supreme Court Bar of Pakistan.
◾Chaudhry Shahram Sarwar - President of High Court Bar Association.
◾Mian Abdul Qadus - Ex-President of High Court Bar Association.
◾Qudrat Ullah Shahab - Former Pakistani Ambassador to the Netherlands and His Father was the Governor of Gilgit during Dogra Rule.
◾Shahid Hafiz Kardar - Governor of State Bank of Pakistan.
◾Dr Muhammad Yaqub - Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan1993-1999.
◾Anwar Ali - Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
◾Prof Dr. Zafar Altaf - Chairman PARC.
◾Mian Muhammad Sharif - Surveyor General of Pakistan.
◾Ch. Zulfiqar Ahmed - Ex. Chaiman CBR., Islamabad.
◾Muhammad Asif World Snooker Champion.
◾Wasim Akram - Ex-Captain of Pakistan Cricket Team, King of Swing.
◾Imran Nazir - A Pakistani Cricket Player.
◾Abdul Razzaq - A Famouse Pakistani Cricketer.
◾Abdul Hafeez Kardar - First Captain of Pakistan Cricket Team, Former Minister of Punjab and Pakistan's Ambassador to Switzerland.
◾Saleem Elahi - Pakistani Cricket Player. His Brothers Manzoor Elahi and Zahoor Elahi also Played for Pakistan.
◾Sarfraz Nawaz Malik - Former Fast Bowler and Member of Punjab Assembly.
◾Mian Mohammad Saeed - Ex-Captain of Pakistan Cricket Team.
◾Mian Muhammad Aslam - Cricketer and Test Umpire.
◾Shehbaz Ahmad - Ex-Captain of Pakistan Hockey Team.
◾Tahir Zaman - Ex-Captain of Pakistan Hockey Team.
◾Waseem Ahmed - Famous Pakistani Hockey Player.
◾Sultan Rahi - Famouse Punjabi Film Star.
◾Habeeb - Film Star.
◾Tariq Aziz - Film and Tv Star and Ex-Member of National Assembly.
◾Mian Farzand Ali - Owner of Laki Irani Circus
◾Naseem Viky - Famous Stage Actor.
◾Nasim Hijazi - Famous Urdu Writer of Islamic History Novels.
◾Zia Shahid - Ex-Senator and Owner of Khabrain Group.
◾Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami - Owner of Daily Pakistan News.
◾Shah Inayat Qadri - A famous Sufi of the Qadiri order, who was the spiritual leader of Punjabi poets and saints Baba Bulleh Shah and Waris Shah.
◾Mian Sher Muhammad Sharaqpuri - Great Sufi and spiritual leader of India.
◾Mian Sahib of Nankana Sahib - Great Sufi and Spiritual Healer Having Followers Around the World.