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The Nawayath (also spelled as Navayath and Nawayat and also called Nait, Naiti , Naithee and Naita) are an Indian community and a subgroup of Konkani Muslims. They speak the Nawayathi dialect of Konkani.

The term, as described by Qanoon-e-Islam, Mark Wilks and The Imperial Gazetteer of India, means "new comers" in Persian, referring to Arab emigrants in India.[1]

Indian historian Omar Khalidi says they are one of three groups of Indian Muslims who have used the Nawayath name. These groups have common origins in Arabia and Yemen and Persian Gulf regions, where they were mariners and merchants. One group is based mainly in Bhatkal, Tonse, Malpe, Shiroor, Gangolli, Sagar, Kumta, Kandlur and Murdeshwar villages in Karnataka, while another is found in Chennai around Royapettah who have moved from Meenambur, a small village located between Gingee and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu. The third group are generally known today as Konkani Muslims, after the region in which they live.[2]


Nawayats are migrants predominantly from Yemen and Persia, who married into another trading community of India, the Jains who had been converted to Islam more than 1,000 years ago.[3][4] With this a new caste system emerged, as the Nawayats marry within the community.[5]


  1. ^ Kola, Aftab Husain (1 July 2002). "Navayaths of India-an Arabian lake in an Indian ocean". The Milli Gazette. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  2. ^ Khalidi, Omar (2006). Muslims in the Deccan: A Historical Survey. New Delhi: Global Media Publications. pp. 17–18.
  3. ^ "Don't hold a few bad apples against us, says Bhatkal". Business Standard. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  4. ^ "How prosperous Bhatkal town earned terror tag". The Times of India. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Indians rarely married outside after caste system came into being". The New Indian Express. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2017.