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 Updated: October 22, 2015

Exclusive: Hindus fought for Imam Hussain(as); Brahmin sacrificed seven sons

Article By: Zayyaf Haider


The participation of the Mohyals Brahmins and more precisely that of a Dutt family living in Arabia at that time, in the holy battle of Karbala, is a fact of the history. They are now spread across Sindh in Pakistan, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi and other parts of India, Pakistan and Arabia. Rahib Sidh Datt, a Hindu Saraswat Brahmin (a potentate of Datt sect ) had close relation with the family of Muhammad (PBUH) & was was a highly respected figure in Arabia. He sacrificed his seven sons in the war of karbala for Imam al-Hussain (as), grandson of Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Dutt or Datt:

They are Mohyal Brahmin clan from Punjab and Haryana. Dutts are the only warrior clan among the Brahmins. Majority of Dutts are Hindus but many follow other religions as well. They are 1 of the 7 clans of Mohyals who are Sarawat the 6 other clans are Bhimwal, Bali, Lau, Vaid, Chhibber and Mohan.

Gotra – Bhardwaj

They are descent from Rishi Bharadwaj, hence they derive their Gotra from his name. Dutts/Datts were classified as Martial Race in the British rule in India.

According to Pune’s hussaini Brahmins Punjabi immigrants, their ancestors fought alongside Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala (now in modern Iraq).

Their community still observe Muharram with Muslims to remember the sacrifices of their ancestors who fought with Imam Hussein in the Battle of Karbala.As per the Punjabi Brahmin immigrants, since the Karbala battle in 680 AD, this community of around 500-member has taken the prefix of ‘hussaini’, and call themselves the Hussaini Brahmins.

As per the community members of Hussaini Brahmins 1 of their ancestors named Rahab dutt travelled all the way to Arabia to help his friend Imam Hussain(as).

According to some traditions, The Imam, seeing Rahab dutt’s love for him, conferred upon him the title of Sultan and told him to return to India.

Rahab dutt came back and the community to which he belonged adopted the name, Hussaini Brahmins, signifying his close bond with Imam Hussain and the fact that they were Hindu Brahmins.

The Hussaini Brahmins, also known as Mohiyals came here from distant Punjab centuries ago and settled down to a quiet existence, most of them continuing the warrior tradition of their ancestors and joining the Army.

Colonel Ramsarup Bakshi (retd), a member of this community, told Pune Mirror that there certainly is an “element of surprise” when he introduces himself as a Hussaini Brahmin. “The employees in the factory I run now were taken aback when I told them about my community. ‘Asapan asta ka?’ (Is it so?) They exclaimed.” Bakshi said his community remains proud of its ancestral links to Imam Hussain, and they recall this bond on Ashura with great reverence. “We are a very, very small community in Pune, but this single piece of history is of seminal significance in our lives and binds us together, both Hindus and Muslims.”

Most importantly, Bakshi emphasised, “We symbolise the centuries-old bond shared by Hindus and Muslims in this part of the world.” Noted lawyer-activist Netraprakash Bhog, also a Hussaini Brahmin, said he is proud of his community. “Hussaini Brahmins hold a special place in the history of Islam. Our ancestors fought alongside Imam Hussain for the cause of truth and justice. We still cherish those sacrifices made by our community.”

Sacrifice of Rahib Datt for Imam Hussain(as)

Imam Hussain as was slaughtered in the desert on the 10th day of Muharram (Day of Ashura) along with his band of disciples in a bloody battle.

Rahib datt chased the murderers as they ran with the severed head of Hussein, up to Kufa. He retrieved the holy man’s head, washed it reverentially and then carried it to Damascus. According to legend, he was overtaken by Yazid’s men during his overnight shelter on the way. They demanded Hussain’s head from him: Rahab executed the head of one of his sons and offered to them. They shouted that it was not the Hussain’s head, then he beheaded his second son and they again yelled that it was not his. In this way Rahab executed the heads of his seven sons but did not part with the head of Imam Hussain.

The valiant dutts and shia disciples of Imam Hussein did not lay down their arms till they saw the end of Yazid who could rule just for little time.

The intrepid Datts rallied round Amir Mukhtar, the chief of the partisans of Imam Hussain, fought with extraordinary heroism and captured and razed the fort of Koofa, seat of Yazid’s governor, Obaidullah, the Butcher. After scoring a resounding victory on the battlefield, they beat the drums and yelled out that they had avenged the innocent blood of Hussain shed at Karbala.

It is also significant to note that even before the Karbala incident, Hazrat Ali had entrusted the public exchequer to the regiment of the valiant Datts, at the time of the Battle of Camels fought near Basra.

The above provides impeccable evidence about the pragmatic role played by the Datt Mohyals in the catastrophe of Karbala.

Later on, Datts (the followers of Rahib), who were mostly Hindu Saraswat Brahmins. Rahib was overwhelmed with grief due to the slaughter of his 7 sons, migrated to Afghanistan via Iran and Turkistan.

The datts left Arabia in 728 AD and returned to their motherland to settle at Dina Nagar, District Sialkot (vide Bandobast Report of Gujarat by Mirza Azam Beg page 422 and folk songs) and some drifted to as far as the holy Pushkar in Rajasthan.

Later descendants of Rahib had many clans (Kabilas) in modern day Afghanistan and NWFP. The clans were called Mohdaa. To this day, a group of Brahmins called Hussaini Brahmins claim ancestry from Rihab Sidh Datt and participate in Muharram celebrations in India.

After returning to India the descendants of Rahib Datt received grand welcome by the native Mohyals. They eventually settled near Nankana Sahib in the district of Sheikhupura in present-day Pakistan.

Many direct descendants of Rahib Dutt use last names such as Dutt, Datt, Sharma, Bharadwaj.

Pir Wahun was known for his knack of consistently winning the games. According to a bet fixed by him, the loser would either pay the price with his head or embrace Islam. In this way, he converted a large number of Hindus to the Muslim faith until he met his match in Shiv Datt. Shiv Datt challenged the Pir to a game of chess and defeated him three times in a row, thereby claiming the heads of his wife and two sons as per the stakes. However out of sheer generousness, Shiv Datt pardoned their life. When Wahun came to know that one of the ancestors of Shiv Datt had sacrificed his 7 sons for the sake of Muhammad in the battle of Karbala, he took a solemn vow that in the future he would never convert any Hindu by coercion to Islam. It was on this occasion that the Pir echoed the famous words: Wah Datt Sultan, Hindu ka Dharam Musalman ka Iman Adha Hindu Adha Musalman (Hail, O King Datt for Thou are endowed with the Dharma of the Hindu and the Iman of the Muslim Half Hindu, half Muslim).

2nd Story

According to some traditions, when it became clear that Yazid was adamant on killing the Imam, the Imam’s son Ali ibn Hussain rushed off a letter to Chandragupta asking him for help against Yazid. When Chandragupta received the letter, he dispatched a large army to Iraq to assist the Imam. By the time they arrived, however, the Imam had been slain. In the town of Kufa, in present-day Iraq, they met with one Mukhtar Saqaffi, a disciple of the Imam, who arranged for them to stay in a special part of the town, which even today is known by the name of Dair-i-Hindiya or ‘the Indian quarter’.

Some Dutt Brahmins, under the leadership of one Bhurya Dutt, got together with Mukhtar Saqafi to avenge the death of the Imam. They stayed behind in Kufa, while the rest returned to India. Here they built up a community of their own, calling themselves Hussaini Brahmins, keeping alive the memory of their links with the Imam.

3rd Story

According to Jang Nama, written by Ahmed Punjabi, pages 175-176, it was ordained on the Shias to recite the name of Rahab in their daily prayer. At the time to the Karbala, fourteen hundred Hussaini Brahmins lived in Baghdad alone.

4th Story

Interestingly, in the Preface of his famous historical novel, titled Karbala, published in 1924 from Lucknow, Munshi Prem Chand has stated that the Hindus, who fought and sacrificed their lives in the holy war of Karbala, are believed to be the descendants of Ashvathama. This clearly establishes their link with the Datts who consider Ashvathama as an ancestor of their clan.

5th Story

An ancestor of Rahab named Sidh Viyog Datt assumed the title of Sultan and made Arabia (old name Iraq) his home. He was a tough and tenacious fighter. He was also known as Mir Sidhani. He was a worshipper of Brahma. He was the son of the stalwart Sidh Jhoja (Vaj) who was a savant and saint and lived in Arabia (Iraq) around 600 AD.

The Hussaini followers honoured the Datts with the name of Hussaini Brahmin and treated them with great reverence in grateful recognition of the supreme sacrifices made by them in the war of Karbala. According to Jang Nama, written by Ahmed Punjabi, pages 175-176, it was ordained on the Shias to recite the name of Rahab in their daily prayer. At the time to the Karbala, fourteen hundred Hussaini Brahmins lived in Baghdad alone.


(Article was prepared with the help of Websites hindu, Kasmir Only, Wikipedia and various books mentioned)


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