Origin of the Dhund Abbasi

They came to ancient Pakistan as traders and merchants from Egypt, trading in commodities like fabrics, perfumes and diamonds. They established a colony near Delhi in 1232. Sardar Tolak Khan, who came to Kashmir during the reign of King Zain-ul-Abidin, settled in the Poonch area (now the Bagh District of Azad Kashmir).

Although the tribe traces its roots back to Abbas, it is more likely that the Dhond Abbasi people are descended from the Abbasid dynasty. The descendants of Abbas displaced the Umayyad rulers and were known as the Abbasids, this dynasty and governed for 500 years from Baghdad, Iraq. The rule of the Abbasi extended eastwards across Afghanistan into the South Asian subcontinent,covering the eastern part of modern-day Pakistan.

Extent of Abbasid rule

The Dhond Abbasi claim descent from the Abbasids. An Abbasid general, Zurrab Khan, was given the task to subjugate the king of Kashmir who refused to pay tribute to Afghanistan. He invaded Kashmir and overthrew the king and married the daughter of the new king. He remained as an ambassador to the state and lived at Darab Kot at Kahuta. His son, Akbar Ghae Khan, is the forefather of all Abbasi tribes, including the Dhond in Murree and Kashmir. Most of the tribe live in the North-West Frontier Province, Murree, Islamabad.

History

In the book A Glossary of The Tribes & Castes of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province, published in 1911 the Dhund and other tribes were described as follows: 

The Dhúnd with the Satti and Ketwal occupy nearly the whole of Murree and Hazára Hills on the right bank of the Jhelum in the Házara and Ráwalpindi districts. Of the three the Dhúnd are the most northern, being found in the Abbottábád tahsil of Házara and in the northern tracts of Ráwalpindi, while below them come the Satti. Andwál appear to be one of the Dhund clans. They claim to be descendants of Abbás, the paternal uncle of the prophet; but another tradition that their ancestor Takth Khán came with Taimúr to Delhi where he settled; and that his descendant Zoráb Khán went to Kahúta in the time of Sháh Jahán and beget the ancestors of the Jadwál, Dhánd, Sarrára and Tanáoli tribes. His son Khalára or Kalu Rai was sent to Kashmír and married a Kashmíri woman from whom the Dhúnd are sprung and also a Katwál woman. From another son the Satti, who are the bitter enemies of the Dhúnd, are said to have sprung; but this the Satti deny and claim descent from Nausherwán. These traditions are of course absurd. Kalu Rai is a Hindu name and one tradition makes him brought up by a Brahmin. Colonel Wace wrote of the Dhúnd and Karrál:" Thirty years ago their acquaintance with the Muhammadan faith was still slight, and now though they know more of it and are more careful to observe it, relics of their Hindu faith are still observable in their habits". This much appears certain that that the Dhúnd, Satti, Bib, Chibh and many others are all of Hindu origin, all originally occupants of the hills on this part of the Jhelum, and all are most probably connected. Among the Punwár clans mentioned by Tod and supposed to be extinct by him are the Dhoonda, Soruteah, Bheeba, Dhúnd, Jeebra, and Dhoonta; and it is not impossible that these tribes may be of Punwár clans. The history of these clans is given at page 592 ff of Sir Lepel Griffin's, Punjáb Chiefs. They were almost exterminated by the Sikhs in 1837

Murree Tehsil

Murree Tehsil (Urdu: تحصیل مری)

is one of the seven Tehsils (i.e sub-divisions) of Rawalpindi District in the Punjab province of Pakistan.

Murree Tehsil is located in the northernmost part of Punjab province where it borders the North West Frontier Province. The hill resort city of Murree is the capital city of this area.

Murree Tehsil is divided into 15 Union Councils these are

Uc-49 Murree Urban

Uc-51 Dewal

Uc-52 Phagwari

Uc-53 Potha Sharif

Uc-54 Ghel

Uc-55 Rawat

Uc-56 Sehr Bagla

Uc-57 Darya Gali

Uc-58 Gora Gali

Uc-59 Numble

Uc-60 Mussiari

Uc-61 Angoori

Uc-62 Tret

Uc-63 Charhan

Uc-64 Ban

Note: The UC prefix is used for administration purposes as Rawalpindi District has a total of 90 Union Councils.

History

The British Raj quickened the pulse of the district when it took control of the Murree Hills, but the quiet routine of the ordinary Hillman was never seriously interrupted or changed. During the Raj, the hills and valleys of Murree had denser forests than today. It even had a variety of wildlife. It is difficult to say when, where and how the first human dwelling started on Murree hills. From the layman’s point of view, it happened roughly a thousand years back. This assumption is based upon the study of old graves and centuries-old plants found growing in the vicinity. The construction and style of graves and the direction in which they are made also help in determining their age.

According to the 1901 census of India, Murree Tehsil contained 1 town (Murree) and 258 villages, the total population was recorded as 52,303 which was an increase of 14.3% from 1891 - of this 1,463 were literate. The population density was 202.7 per square mile, (total area=258 square miles)

Tribes

Rattan Khan (Abdurehman) took charge in 1400. He reformed agriculture and allowed a large part of Circle Bakote to be cultivated. Rattan Khan had four sons. Rattan Khan's Kashmiri wife was called Zulaikha and she had given birth to Bodrha Khan, forefather of Budreal (b. 1425), Hejhe Khan, forefather of Hejheal of Dewal, Murree (1427) and Baikh Khan, forefather of Bekhal (1429). Zulaikha died from smallpox in 1430. Rattan Khan married another lady, Paris Jan, in the same year and she gave birth to Lahr Khan in 1433.

Religion

Until 1947, the coexistence of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim populations in the Murree Hills was a significant feature. The great bulk of population in the rural areas was of Sunni Muslims. In a rural population of around 10,000, there were 9,000 Muslims, more than 500 Hindus and nearly 450 Sikhs. When the urban and rural populations are taken together, for every 10,000 people, there were a little more than 1,000 Hindus, nearly 500 Sikhs and approximately 8,500 Muslims. Despite their predominance, the Muslims were not overbearing. They were tolerant of other religions and lived with them in harmony. However, there was a little animosity towards the Sikhs. This was due to the sufferings undergone by the Muslims due to the inaccurate assessment of land revenue under the Sikh rule.

The atmosphere was of mutual tolerance among the three groups. In those days, the Hindu population was more concentrated in Potah Kotli Sattian, Phapprial, Angoori, Kallan Bassan and Deval. This last mentioned village had derived its name from the fact that it had a small temple. In the Hindi language, deval means the abode of gods or a temple. Other Hindu sites were concentrated in Murree Station. At the far end of Lower Bazar, the Hindus had their own locality called Mohallah Shiwala." The sheikh are also the part of the sunny bank is the other home of the sheikhs the sheikhs of dheri spent the vocation of summer there the big names of sheikhs are the sheikh abdul ghani the kani sarkar the famous name the quaid e azam also spent voccation with sheikhs sych as sheikh ;s jalil sheikh haji abdul qadir

                                     Occupation

Historically, hunger and starvation pushed many people towards the plains or into the army, police and other services. Farming and cattle breeding, the two main occupations of the hill people, have not improved in recent times. Despite the poor returns, farming is the main occupation of the hill people. Farmers in the hilly tracts cannot double-crop, as the climate and irrigation do not give high yields. The average farmer has a holding of four or 5 acres (20,000 m2) land, the small size making farming even more difficult. Cattle breeding is another popular occupation but is not done for profit. Cows are kept to supply milk for household consumption, and bullocks are used to work the plough. Hill cows are hardy but small. An indigenous cow would give a maximum of one seer of milk.

When the Murree Sanatorium developed, a great demand for milk was created. It stimulated the local Zamindars to import milch-kine from other districts. Buffaloes would give two to twelve seers of milk. The profit in milk sales was considerable as milk was sold at the fixed price of one anna per seer. But these windfall profits lasted only until the end of the season. As for large flocks of sheep and goats, they were valued more for providing manure than for milk, meat or skin. In those days, it was a common custom to get the Gujjar herdsmen to assemble their flocks on unsown fields at night. In return, the farmers provided food to the herdsmen. The droppings of sheep and goats fertilised their fields with the best manure available in the hills. Profits from the two main occupations of the hillmen were adequate only if the Zamindars had additional income, but the majority did not. In the absence of an industrial base, local potential was unrealized.

In the past, traditional flour mills (jandar) on waterfalls were used to crush grains. Donkeys are used to carry water from the Choha spring, and the people of Pothawar also use donkeys to carry military equipment and food from Rawalpindi Railway Station to the Murree Hills

Housing

The rural population of Murree lived in far-flung, small hamlets called dhoks and Grann. Each dhok consisted of at least one to fifty houses. A hamlet comprised fewer than a dozen houses. Each family had its own house and cattle sheds constructed in the middle of its own fields. This isolation was self-desired and voluntary and inspired by their elders. The need for mutual protection often forced the rural population of the countryside to congregate and live in large villages, but the hill people felt no such compulsion. Their priorities lay in two entirely different directions. In the winter, the hill people stayed in their mud houses with fires to stay warm, but during the British Raj, the favoured construction pattern changed to the European style. the sunny bank where the old hoyses which is the property of sheikhs as known as the mohallah sheikhwalla the shees mahal are also the property of sheikhs

                        References

Lepel H. Griffin (2004). The Punjab Chiefs. Sang-e-Meel Publications. ISBN 9789693516586.

Muhammad Qasim Firishta. Tareekh-e-Frisht. ISBN 0548762643.

Denzil Ibbetson (1900). Punjab Castes. ISBN 9788185557557.

H.A Rose, Printed (1910). A Glossary of Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province. ISBN 9788175364486.

George Abraham Grierson. Linguistic Survey Of India (Vol IV) or Linguistic Survey Of Pakistan Vol V.

Shair Bahadur Khan Panni of Abbottabad (2006). Tareekh-e-Hazara New Edition. ISBN 9695161367.

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhund_Abbasi

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