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Qaume-e-Punjaban / Shamsi
Regions with significant populations
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
Related ethnic groups

The Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Delhi (Urdu: پنجابی سوداگران دہلی), sometimes referred to as the Qaum-e-Punjabian (Urdu: قوم پنجابیان), Delhi Walay (Urdu: دہلی والے), Aldehlawi (Arabic: الدهلوي), or simply Shamsi Biradari (Urdu: شمسی برادری) are a community of Muslim Khatris that historically came from Sargodha in Punjab and then lived mainly in Old Delhi, India.[1] They also settled in a number of other cities such as towns in western Uttar Pradesh, such as Agra, Aligarh, Meerut, Moradabad, Bareilly, Rampur, Kanpur; including areas within western Uttar Pradesh that now falls in the state of Uttarakhand; namely Nainital and Haldwani. After the partition of India, and subsequent independence of Pakistan in 1947, many members of the community migrated to Pakistan, particularly Karachi and Lahore, while few chose to migrate to Mecca and Medina.


According to tradition, the clan belonged to the Muslim Khatris community, some of whom were converted to Islam by Shamsuddin Sabzwari. Some subgroups use the surname Shamsi (a disciple of Shams), in his honor. The families moved from either Sargodha, Bhera, Khushab, or Pind Dadan Khan in what is now Pakistan in the 17th century, in search of business opportunities to Uttar Pradesh and especially in Delhi on behalf of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzaib Alamgir.[2] Other than in Delhi, important Qaum-e-Punjabian communities exist in Aligarh, Agra, Roorkee, Aonla, Hapur, Moradabad, Rampur, Kanpur and Kolkata.

The Qaum-e-Punjabian use Multani, Saudagar, or Shamsi as their surname. They are an endogamous community, practicing both cross-cousin and parallel-cousin marriages.

Historically, the Qaum-e-Punjabian played an important role in India's trans-regional trade.

Quam-e-Punjabian Aonla

The Quam-e-Punjabian Aonla, is a separate sub-group of the Punjabi Saudagars. They are said to have settled in the town of Aonla in Rohilkhand in the early 17th Century. The Aonla Punjabi Saudagar are now found scattered all over Rohilkhand, in particular, the city of Bareilly, where the settlement of Saudagar Tola is particularly ancient. In spite of their common ethnic origin with Qaum -e -Punjabian Delhi, they form a distinct community, with their own communal organizations. A significant number have immigrated to Kolkata and Mumbai. Their main Biradaris are the Soleja, Mahindarata, Chhabra, and Khera. A much smaller number have also settled in Karachi.[3]

Notable individuals

Some prominent businesses internationally

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There are two main organizations initiated by the Punjabi Saudagaran community that are active in Karachi:

A monthly digest containing all the happenings in the community all around the world and efforts made for the nation by the community's prominent persons is published and issued under the title "Saudaagar". There is a book acknowledging the well-known figures in the community, such as Tipu Sultan, with the title of "Yaad-e-Raftgaan". They also have a Jamiyat Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Dehli Maiyat Bus Service. They have their own graveyards for their Biradri known as "Yousuf Pura", "Shams Pura", "Bagh Nawab Uddin" and "Shafiq Pura" at Karachi. They also provide a Ghusal e Maiyat Service. The Jamiyat also gives monthly pension, houses, daily household things to widows, unmarried, orphans, and other poor people of their Biradri.

Current position

The independence in 1947 was a traumatic event, and a significant portion of this community had to leave India. After the independence of Pakistan, a large number of these traders migrated to Lahore and Karachi. A few numbers of these traders migrated to Mecca and Medina and are usually referred to by the surname, “Aldehlawi”. Some still continue to live in Delhi.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Salman, Peerzada (10 February 2013). "Community and cityscape". DAWN.COM.
  2. ^ Salman, Peerzada (6 February 2018). "Jasmine and Journeys launched". DAWN.COM.
  3. ^ Muslims of Calcutta: A Study in Aspects of their Social Organization by M.K.A Siddiqui
  4. ^ "Graveyard Record of Jamiyat Punjabi Saudagaran-e-Delhi". Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  5. ^ Article Title[Usurped!]