Purswani

The “Vasnani” and “Purswani” family is a branch of the Bhambrai Bradri grouping of families, which is the largest grouping among the KhudabadiSonara community.[citation needed] In the present day, the majority of them live in Jaipur, India.[citation needed]

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The surname Purswani is derived from the name of their ancestor Pursumal, son of Nebhraj Jethmal Bhambrai; the family can be traced back seven generations.[citation needed] The Purswani family falls under the Bhambrai Bradri Nukh Dandi Proll.[citation needed] The words “Dandi Proll” are derived from Dandakaranya.[citation needed]

The ancestors of the families of Bhambrai Bradri were Lohana, as part of Sindhi Hindu community. Around 1200 BC, this group migrated from Luvana (near modern Lahore) together with some of Shavi Aryas [1] to Aror (present day Sukkur), in Sindh. They settled near the banks of the Sindhu River and lived there till 962 AD.[2]

From Vedic times till 710 AD, all residents of Sindh were Hindus and Sindh was ruled by the Hindus.[3] In the year 711, Hujjaj Bin Yusif, the UmayyadGovernor of Iraq (appointed by Khalifa Walid) sent the Arab forces under Muhammad Bin Qasim to conquer Sindh, in the process of freeing the kidnapped women whose abduction allegation were cast on Bawarij. The first town he attacked was Debal, and upon the orders of Al-Hajjaj he looted its residents or priests and destroyed its temple . He then settled a garrison of four thousand colonists in one quarter of Debal, building a mosque over the remains of the original temple.

From Debal, Muhammad Bin Qasim attacked Nayrun Kot (present day Hyderabad) and the locals, equipped mostly with farming implements, surrendered. King Nayrun was dethroned. The army of Muhammad Bin Qasim looted the trade goods and took over the Hindu worship sites atop the Ganjo Takker ridge, building mosques to replace them. The Nayrun Kot was destroyed. After that, he captured Sadusan (Sehwan). Again, the main temples were razed and mosques were built to replace them, often using their components; additionally one-fifth of the booty including slaves was dispatched to Hajjaj and the Caliph. At Ar-rur (Nawabshah), he defeated Raja Dahir‘s forces and the eastern [Jats] in the battle. About 6000 Sindhi warriors were put to death. Dahir’s wife Ladi committed suttee to escape from the hands of the Muslims. Aror was the capital of Sindh which was ruled by Raja Dahir. Muhammad bin Qasim won over Raja Dahir and took control of Sindh. His conquest for the Umayyads brought Sindh into the orbit of the Muslim world.

From Qasim on, extracting jizya (a tax on non-Muslims) was a political and religious duty exacted “with vigour and punctuality, and frequently with insult. The native population had to feed every Muslim traveller for three days and nights and had to submit too many other humiliations which are mentioned by Muslim historians.” The period of Qasim’s rule has been called by U.T. Thakkur “the darkest period in Sindh history”, with the records speaking of massive forced conversions, temple destruction, massacres and genocides.[4]

KhudabadiSonara and some other Hindu Sindhis who refused to convert to Islam yet remained in Sindh were heavily oppressed. According to Sindhi legend, the Sonaras gathered at temple of the goddess Durga for three days and nights continuously without eating food and drinking water. On fourth day, a miracle occurred: all the men present felt janau (sacred thread) on their bodies and they realised the blessings of Durga Mata. Thereafter, these Khudabadi Sonara became known as Janjogal (janau-wearing) Sonara. These Hindus continued to fight the naibs of the Khalifa and in due course of time they managed to recover a large part of Sindh and ruled over that.[5]

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