The Manihar (Urdu: مَنِہار) are a Muslim community, found mainly in North India.[better source needed]
The word Manihar is derived from man (Hindi: मणि), meaning 'jewel' in Urdu, and the agentive suffix -har.manihar word meaning in Sanskrit mani dharnashya ( मणि को धारण करने वाला अर्थात शिव ) they are also known as Manihar siddique (sheikh siddiqui) and saudagars.
Manihar communities are found mainly in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Their main clans are the Bachchal, Bhadauriya, Chandchi, Kachchoiyana, Khalri, Talwar, Turk, Uzbek, Parmaar, Banjara, Rananjay and Raikwar. Some of these clans are territorial groupings, while some reflect origins from other communities, such as the Kachwaha and Parmar. The surname Siddique is frequent in the Manihar community though they consider themselves to be sheikh siddiqui. A section of the Manihar may be Muslim Rajput.
For broader coverage of this topic, see Caste system among South Asian Muslims.
The Manihar are Sunni Hanafi Muslims and like other artisan communities in North India, are fairly orthodox.
The Manihar of Uttar Pradesh have a traditional community council, which resolves disputes within the community. They are an endogamous community with a preference for and parallel cousin and cross-cousin marriages.
In Rajasthan, the Manihar are found in Jhunjhunu, Jaipur, Sikar, Churu and Ajmer districts. They are bangle makers and dealers in lac or sealing wax. The Manihar community in Rajasthan speak the Shekhawati dialect of Rajasthani. They are endogamous community maintaining a system of gotra exogamy. They are divided into three territorial groupings, the Shishgar, Shekhawati and Padiya, which are further divided into several clans. The Shaikh clan is one pre-eminent clan in the community. Shekhawati Manihar have five main clans: the Sheikh, Sayyed, Mughal, Gori and Chauhan.
These are further classified into many subclans, such as:
In Madhya Pradesh Manihar are also known as Soudagar or Saudagar.
In Gujarat, the Manihar are also referred to as the Shaikh sahab. They are mainly concentrated in Ahmedabad, but also found in the districts of Kutch, Kheda, Jamnagar and Vadodara. The community claim to have come from Sindh and speak Kutchi, and have three clans, the Lodani, Kachani and Ishani. They have their own Anjuman (a 'forum' or 'society'), as a "caste" association: the Gujarat Manihar Jamaat.