Monday, March 21, 2016

Babi (or Babee) tribe

Babaey was the third son of Ghurghust. He had four sons, Jabrael, Mikael, Israfiel, and Izrael, named after the four principle angels, however , these names were later changed to Mirzi, Sud, Israel and Katozai respectively. Bellew points out a large and important tribe in Persia called Babi which may be related to Afghan Babis [1]. According to Hayat-i-Afghani, Babi Pashtuns numbered only about 3000 men in 1860s. The book remarks that "Babis enjoys a consideration , to which the remarkable spirit of enterprise and courage, displayed by its members in their trading tours in the parts of Kandahar and Kalat-Nasir, justly entitles it. In dress, food, and general habits, the Babis are like high class Durrani. There was formerly enmity between Babi and Abdali on account of a woman (Muradu by name), who was carried off by a Khan of Babi, and who is said to have brought about defeat of her own people by secretly throwing many quivers of arrows into a well. In these days, however, no traces of ill-will remains". [2]

 The book "Narrative Of Various Journeys In Balochistan Afghanistan The Panjab And Kalat" (published in 1842) mentions presence of Babis in Kalat (Baluchistan), page-96-97 ;
"Kalat has two suburbs one to the south, inhabited solely by the Babi tribe of Afghans, who fled, or were expelled from the seats of their ancestors, near Kandahar, in the time of Ahmed Shah, the first Durrani king. The other is to the north-west, inhabited also by Afghan families, but of various tribes, and generally recent emigrationsfrom Kandahar. These two suburbs may contain together three hundred houses. West of the town stretch ravines, and low barren hills, for a considerable distance."

Omar Khan Babi, one of the descendants of Babaey son of Ghurghust had joined Humayun's army in Hind. Bahadur Khan son of Osman Khan Babi, remained in the royal service of Emperor Akbar during the latter part of his rule and rose to prominence during the rule of Emperor Shah Jahan and received two villages in Gujarat state as jagir.  One of the sons of Bahadur Khan named Sher Khan was a favorite of Emperor Aurangzeb for his services in suppressing the uprisings in Gujarat and adjoining territory. In 1672, Kutbuddin, the Faujdar of Surat, invaded Jamnagar. Against stiff resistance Sher Khan captured the fort of Jamnagar. Kutbuddin appointed him the Faujdar of Gujarat and Baroda, in addition he was given the town of Piran Pattan in jagir. He died in Sidhpur and was buried in Ahmadabad.

Sher Khan Babi founded the Babi dyansty of the Ghurghast Afghans in Junagadh, in Gujarat state. The Ghurghast Afghan Nawabs till the partition of the subcontinent, ruled the Jungadh state. At the time of partition, the Nawab of the Junagarh opted that his state should be included in Pakistan. However, the predominantly Hindu population forced Nawab to leave his state instead.[3]

Nawabs of Babi dynasty of Junagarh 

1- Nawab Sher Khan ( ruled from 1748 to 1758)
2- Nawab Mahabat Khan (1758 to 1774)
3- Nawab Hamid Khan (1774 to 1811)
4- Nawab Bahadur Khan (1811 to 1840)
5- Nawab Hamid Khan II (1840 to 1852)
6- Nawab Sir Mahabat Khan II ( 1851 to 1882)
7- Nawab Sir Muhammad Bahadur Khan-III (1882 to 1892)
8- Nawab Sir Muhammad Rasul Khan (1882 to 1911)
9- British administration (1911 to 1920)
10- Nawab Sir Mahabat Khan III (1920 to 1947)

A maqbara of Babi dynasty

Tomb of Nawab Sir Mahabat Khan II
A maqbara of Babi dynasty

Bahadur Khan III (r.1882-1892), Nawab of Junagadh, and state officials, 1880s

Indian actress Parveen Babi belonged to this family


1- Bellew, "Inquiry into ethnography of Afghanistan", p-124  Barmazid-67
2- Muhammad Hayat Khan , "Afghanistan and its inhabitants", p-152
2- Haroon Rashid, "History of the Pathans", pp-190-191