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from where indian muslims came from?

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Insiders, not invaders

(Telegraph 26.10.09)

Muslims across India are predominantly south Asian in origin, concludes a major forensic study.

Prasun Chaudhuri reports

When Ikramul Haque was studying biology at the Aligarh Muslim University , he was deeply intrigued by the questions raised on the genetic ancestry of Indian Muslims. Those were the turbulent mid-1980s, when religious zealots were describing Muslims across the country as the “descendants of foreign invaders” and “rank outsiders”. By the time he completed PhD in life sciences in 1989, he nursed a secret ambition to piece together the paternal and maternal lineage of Indian Muslims by analysing samples of blood — the ultimate repository of ancestral DNA.

Years later, while working as a DNA expert at Calcutta ’s Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Haque got the chance to embark on his long-cherished dream. “I knew a DNA study on Muslims around the country would provide a persuasive answer to the age-old question raised about their genetic heritage,” says Haque.

According to him, historical evidence suggests that some Indian Muslims could be descendants of either Iranian and Arabian invaders who married local Hindu women or locals who converted. “We therefore sought to examine contemporary Indian Muslim populations for the occurrence of Middle Eastern genetic signatures (in their DNA samples), expecting them to be manifested in the male line,” reports Haque in a recent issue of the European Journal of Human Genetics (EJHG). “For this, we chose six Muslim populations from three different geographical regions of India that witnessed several human migrations, military invasions from the Middle East and proselytising of native Hindu populations,” he adds.

So Haque and his co-researcher Muthukrishnan Eaaswarkhanth analysed blood samples collected from Dawoodi Bohras (in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat), Iranian Shias ( Hyderabad ), Indian Shias (Uttar Pradesh), Indian Sunnis (Uttar Pradesh) and Mapplas (Tamil Nadu). “It was for the first time that a research group was extensively examining the genetic patterns of nearly 500 Muslim individuals across India ,” Haque told KnowHow. To pin down the telltale genetic footprints, the DNA experts looked into three components of the blood samples. To trace the father’s ancestry, they zeroed in on the DNA on the Y-chromosome, which like the patrilineal surname passes down unchanged from father to son. Maternal lineage tests were derived from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed from a mother to her child. In addition, they used a unique genetic marker — called LCT/MCM6 lactose tolerance gene variant — which appears to have arisen in Arabs and is associated with the consumption of camel’s milk, an important survival trait in desert nomads.

“Our extensive genetic analyses revealed the greatest affinity of the Indian Muslim populations with indigenous local non-Muslim populations [or the Hindus],” conclude Haque and Eaaswarkhanth in the paper. “In this study, no significant excess of paternally transmitted genetic signal was found, unlike the Muslim communities in China and Central Asia which show a marked presence of Western Y-chromosomes. However, detectable minor frequency of sub-Saharan maternal and Middle Eastern paternal lineages were found to be present in some of the Indian Muslim communities.”

The most interesting finding is that the Dawoodi Bohras, a Muslim community following the Shia faith and speaking Gujarati, are a distinct genetic entity with sub-Saharan African and Arabian maternal lineages, suggesting that some of their ancestors migrated from Yemen , an Arabian country with strong links with sub-Saharan Africa . The sub-Saharan African / Arabian-specific paternal lineage was also found in the Shia Muslims of Lucknow, the erstwhile state of Awadh. The Iranian Shias — recent immigrants from Iran who settled in Hyderabad — too have close genetic affinity with the people of West Asia . “We propose a scientific model according to which the spread of Islam in India was predominantly cultural conversion associated with minor but still detectable levels of gene flow from outside, primarily from Iran and Central Asia, rather than directly from the Arabian Peninsula ,” write Haque and his colleagues.

“The findings seem to corroborate archaeological, historical and linguistic evidence that the majority of Indian Muslims are descendants of local people who converted,” says Amalendu Mukherjee, a former professor of history, Calcutta University. “For that matter, many of the military invaders, such as the first Mughal ruler Babur’s forefathers, were also converts — they embraced Islam just a few generations before he was born.”

According to Mukherjee, DNA imprints are the latest evidence in the arsenal of a historian. Another eminent historian (who doesn’t want to be named), however, doesn’t support studies on religion based on DNA. He says, “I don’t think there is any need of DNA profiling of the followers of a particular religion. In any case, they’ve found something very obvious.”

On the contrary, Susanta Roychoudhury, one of the pioneers of genetic anthropology in India , believes that such studies can dispel any doubt regarding the history of human migration in the country. “The study is unique and addresses an important issue,” says Roychoudhury, deputy director of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta . “It proves once again that there is a fundamental genetic unity in the seemingly diverse ethnic India and that there is no Hindu or Muslim identity in the genetic realm.”

Edited by shoelace
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AS, this should be enough - http://www.escholarship.org/editions/view?docId=ft0f59n6r9&brand=ucpress

(bismillah)

(salam)

Insiders, not invaders

(Telegraph 26.10.09)

Muslims across India are predominantly south Asian in origin, concludes a major forensic study.

Prasun Chaudhuri reports

When Ikramul Haque was studying biology at the Aligarh Muslim University , he was deeply intrigued by the questions raised on the genetic ancestry of Indian Muslims. Those were the turbulent mid-1980s, when religious zealots were describing Muslims across the country as the “descendants of foreign invaders” and “rank outsiders”. By the time he completed PhD in life sciences in 1989, he nursed a secret ambition to piece together the paternal and maternal lineage of Indian Muslims by analysing samples of blood — the ultimate repository of ancestral DNA.

Years later, while working as a DNA expert at Calcutta ’s Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Haque got the chance to embark on his long-cherished dream. “I knew a DNA study on Muslims around the country would provide a persuasive answer to the age-old question raised about their genetic heritage,” says Haque.

According to him, historical evidence suggests that some Indian Muslims could be descendants of either Iranian and Arabian invaders who married local Hindu women or locals who converted. “We therefore sought to examine contemporary Indian Muslim populations for the occurrence of Middle Eastern genetic signatures (in their DNA samples), expecting them to be manifested in the male line,” reports Haque in a recent issue of the European Journal of Human Genetics (EJHG). “For this, we chose six Muslim populations from three different geographical regions of India that witnessed several human migrations, military invasions from the Middle East and proselytising of native Hindu populations,” he adds.

So Haque and his co-researcher Muthukrishnan Eaaswarkhanth analysed blood samples collected from Dawoodi Bohras (in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat), Iranian Shias ( Hyderabad ), Indian Shias (Uttar Pradesh), Indian Sunnis (Uttar Pradesh) and Mapplas (Tamil Nadu). “It was for the first time that a research group was extensively examining the genetic patterns of nearly 500 Muslim individuals across India ,” Haque told KnowHow. To pin down the telltale genetic footprints, the DNA experts looked into three components of the blood samples. To trace the father’s ancestry, they zeroed in on the DNA on the Y-chromosome, which like the patrilineal surname passes down unchanged from father to son. Maternal lineage tests were derived from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed from a mother to her child. In addition, they used a unique genetic marker — called LCT/MCM6 lactose tolerance gene variant — which appears to have arisen in Arabs and is associated with the consumption of camel’s milk, an important survival trait in desert nomads.

“Our extensive genetic analyses revealed the greatest affinity of the Indian Muslim populations with indigenous local non-Muslim populations [or the Hindus],” conclude Haque and Eaaswarkhanth in the paper. “In this study, no significant excess of paternally transmitted genetic signal was found, unlike the Muslim communities in China and Central Asia which show a marked presence of Western Y-chromosomes. However, detectable minor frequency of sub-Saharan maternal and Middle Eastern paternal lineages were found to be present in some of the Indian Muslim communities.”

The most interesting finding is that the Dawoodi Bohras, a Muslim community following the Shia faith and speaking Gujarati, are a distinct genetic entity with sub-Saharan African and Arabian maternal lineages, suggesting that some of their ancestors migrated from Yemen , an Arabian country with strong links with sub-Saharan Africa . The sub-Saharan African / Arabian-specific paternal lineage was also found in the Shia Muslims of Lucknow, the erstwhile state of Awadh. The Iranian Shias — recent immigrants from Iran who settled in Hyderabad — too have close genetic affinity with the people of West Asia . “We propose a scientific model according to which the spread of Islam in India was predominantly cultural conversion associated with minor but still detectable levels of gene flow from outside, primarily from Iran and Central Asia, rather than directly from the Arabian Peninsula ,” write Haque and his colleagues.

“The findings seem to corroborate archaeological, historical and linguistic evidence that the majority of Indian Muslims are descendants of local people who converted,” says Amalendu Mukherjee, a former professor of history, Calcutta University. “For that matter, many of the military invaders, such as the first Mughal ruler Babur’s forefathers, were also converts — they embraced Islam just a few generations before he was born.”

According to Mukherjee, DNA imprints are the latest evidence in the arsenal of a historian. Another eminent historian (who doesn’t want to be named), however, doesn’t support studies on religion based on DNA. He says, “I don’t think there is any need of DNA profiling of the followers of a particular religion. In any case, they’ve found something very obvious.”

On the contrary, Susanta Roychoudhury, one of the pioneers of genetic anthropology in India , believes that such studies can dispel any doubt regarding the history of human migration in the country. “The study is unique and addresses an important issue,” says Roychoudhury, deputy director of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta . “It proves once again that there is a fundamental genetic unity in the seemingly diverse ethnic India and that there is no Hindu or Muslim identity in the genetic realm.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

So he has proved that Indians, are from India.

Who would have guessed?

Did you read the first paragraph?

the questions raised on the genetic ancestry of Indian Muslims. Those were the turbulent mid-1980s, when religious zealots were describing Muslims across the country as the “descendants of foreign invaders” and “rank outsiders”
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Did you read the first paragraph?

Zealots may say whatever they like, but there is also the issue of common sense. How many tens of millions of Indian Muslims are there and how many foreign immigrants would have been needed to reproduce that number? It's impossible IMHO, given the transport systems available centuries ago.

Also there's the small issue of racial features. Indian Muslims tend, in the main, to look like Indians!

I've previously argued on SC that this also explains why a relatively large proportion of Indian Muslims are poor/uneducated etc. It's because they were in this position when they converted to Islam, which they did to avoid systematic discrimination.

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Zealots may say whatever they like, but there is also the issue of common sense. How many tens of millions of Indian Muslims are there and how many foreign immigrants would have been needed to reproduce that number? It's impossible IMHO, given the transport systems available centuries ago.

Also there's the small issue of racial features. Indian Muslims tend, in the main, to look like Indians!

I've previously argued on SC that this also explains why a relatively large proportion of Indian Muslims are poor/uneducated etc. It's because they were in this position when they converted to Islam, which they did to avoid systematic discrimination.

Many muslim families migrated from Iran n Iraq to India. Not everyone converted.

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“We propose a scientific model according to which the spread of Islam in India was predominantly cultural conversion associated with minor but still detectable levels of gene flow from outside, primarily from Iran and Central Asia, rather than directly from the Arabian Peninsula ,” write Haque and his colleagues.

Persians, Afghans, Central Asians etc had ruled India since the time Arabs lost power, and it was a long time ago. Therefore it makes sense that most migration, as well as intermarriage took place between foreigners of Persian/Afghan/Central Asian descent and local Indians. There aren't many in the Subcontinent who can authentically claim their ancestry back to Arabia. Those who do, do so via Persia/Afghanistan as their ancestors immediately lived there before moving to India. But we know there are countless people in the subcontinent who claim to be sayyeds. I know we are supposed to take their word but a comprehensive DNA test would certainly lay bare the truth for people who 'became' sayyeds. As we know, it was, and in some parts still is, a profitable lineage to have in the Indian Subcontinent.

The most interesting finding is that the Dawoodi Bohras, a Muslim community following the Shia faith and speaking Gujarati, are a distinct genetic entity with sub-Saharan African and Arabian maternal lineages, suggesting that some of their ancestors migrated from Yemen , an Arabian country with strong links with sub-Saharan Africa . The sub-Saharan African / Arabian-specific paternal lineage was also found in the Shia Muslims of Lucknow, the erstwhile state of Awadh. The Iranian Shias — recent immigrants from Iran who settled in Hyderabad — too have close genetic affinity with the people of West Asia .

It also makes sense since Yemen was once the seat of Ismai'li Dawoodi Bohras and perhaps their forefathers emigrated to India from mostly Yemen.

Zealots may say whatever they like, but there is also the issue of common sense. How many tens of millions of Indian Muslims are there and how many foreign immigrants would have been needed to reproduce that number? It's impossible IMHO, given the transport systems available centuries ago.

I think migration has played a vital role in increasing Muslim numbers in the Indian Subcontinent. If you check history, people from Persia, Afghanistan etc migrated to India in droves in search of prospects and wealth. India was vast, rich and there were many opportunities in the courts and armies of princely states. On the other hand, India to Persia/Afghanistan migration was very nebulous, maybe to the point of non-existence. These wav

Edited by Marbles
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Some interesting material here:

http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jun252005/1977.pdf

Muslims represent the second largest non-tribal popu- lation group in India (12% of total population of India). There are two sects of Muslims found worldwide – Sunni and Shiya. The Sunni Muslims predominate and consti- tute more than 90% of the Muslims found in India. Muslim rulers from the borders of Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan invaded India between AD 1000 and 1527 on several occasions11–13,29. They spread and flourished in different parts of the country, converting upper and middle caste Hindu populations to Islam14. Muslims, unlike the Hindus of India, do not follow caste hierarchy, but they practice a high level of consanguinity and the two sects rarely marry among each other.

Our results demonstrated that YAP+ve lineage is present only in Shiya and not in Sunni Muslims and also in other caste groups, despite the fact that both groups have a common origin historically29. Sunni Muslims have ruled different parts of India for around 3000 years and during their reign, have spread within the subcontinent. Despite practising consanguinity, they married outside their religion. This is supported by various studies13,14 that Indian Muslims, specifically North Indian Muslims, have high genetic similarity with other Hindu caste populations. High rate of admixture with local caste populations and high extinction rate of Y-haplotype2 might account for the apparent absence of YAP+ve lineages among Sunni Muslims. Shiya Muslims on the other hand, due to their less numbers, may have remained more culturally and genetically isolated within their communities. Under these conditions, ancestral Y haplogroups may have survived and persist till date. However, analysis of RPS4Y–‘T’ chromosome that occupies a high hierarchical position of haplogroup ‘C’ in the Y-binary tree3, will provide a clear lineage, as Zerjal et al.30 have reported that about 8% of males belonging to 16 different populations from Pacific to Caspian Sea show haplogroup ‘C’ lineage, often considered as genetic legacy of the Mongols.

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So he has proved that Indians, are from India.

Who would have guessed?

Apparently, you guessed wrong. He has proven that Indian Shia are descendants of Indians, Iranians and central Asian men. To be more specific, 28% of Indian Shia belong to haplogroup J. This is significantly higher than would be expected in the Indian population, which usually possess less than 10% of haplogroup J. This is significant because Haplogroup J is believed to have arisen roughly 30,000 years ago in Southwest Asia (31,700±12,800 years ago according to Semino et al.. 2004). Therefore, it is the most common haplogroup among Arabs, but not common in Indians. It is found among 58% of Iraqi.

Haplogroup J is further divided into J1 and J2.

Haplogroup J1 is absent in aboriginal Indian population (less than 1%). It is most common in Southern Arabia and some central Asian communities. In Iraq (28.2%)[6], Tunisia (31%)[7], Syria (30%), Egypt (20%)[8], and the Sinai Peninsula. The frequency of Haplogroup J1 collapses suddenly at the borders of Arabic speaking countries with mainly non-Arabic speaking countries, such as Turkey (9%) and Iran (9.5%). Like I said before, in India it is almost entirely missing in the Hindu community. In contrast, notice it is found in 10% of Indian Shia.

Haplogroup J2 is found in 9% of aboriginal Indian populations. It is most frequently in Lebanese 30% (Wells et al. 2001), Iraqis 29.7% (Sanchez et al. 2005), Syrians 29%, Kurds 28.4%, Iranians 24%[12], Ashkenazi Jews 24%, Palestinian Arabs 16.8% and Sephardic Jews [2]. Like I said, it is found in 9% of the Hindu population. In contrast, it is found in 18% of Indian Shia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_J_(Y-DNA)

regards,

bob

Edited by bob_chasm
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Salaam,

After having read this, I am curious as to whether this implies that the majority of Indian/Pakistani Shias are actually results of the founder effect. If the founders of the Shia people in India/Pak were all Ahlul Bayt, and Syed, that would make the overwhelming majority of Shias from those regions today, also Syed. Please give me your thoughts.

-

rahat

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Salaam,

After having read this, I am curious as to whether this implies that the majority of Indian/Pakistani Shias are actually results of the founder effect. If the founders of the Shia people in India/Pak were all Ahlul Bayt, and Syed, that would make the overwhelming majority of Shias from those regions today, also Syed. Please give me your thoughts.

-

rahat

Salaam Rahat,

The way I am seeing the numbers, I would be surprized if the "majority" of the Shia population, was of non Indian origin. If I had to guess, I would say, roughly 50% of the Indian Shia might be of non Indian paternal origin. Furthermore, there appear to be multiple non Indian lineages among these Shia, in the sense that they do not all share a common ancestor who lived 1,400 years ago. As you can see from the chart, only 28% of the Shia population actually belongs to haplogroup J. This is the population from which most geneticists feel the prophet probably descended. However, not everyone who belongs to haplogroup J is a paternal descendant of the Ahlul Bayt. Most geneticists would agree that based on the data, in no case is it possible that more than 18% of this Shia population is composed of Sayyids. Infact, there is a good possibility that the Ahlul Bayt might be less than 10% of the total Indian Shia population. I hope this answered your question.

regards,

bob

Edited by bob_chasm
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