Awanzai (Pashtun tribe)

Awanzai (Pashto: آعوانزي) is a Pashtun allied tribe that resides in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Awan claim Arab descent from Qutb Shah of Ghazni, who ruled at Herat, but joined Mahmud of Ghazni in his invasions of India in 1004 A.D. and received from him the name of Awanor, which means Helper. Qutb Shah was descended from Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad but through the Family tree of Ali's other wife. The Awans have been Muslims from the beginning. Qutb Shah had six sons, Kalan Shah, who settled near Kalabagh while two settled in Tirah and the Kurram Valley. The rest settled in Punjab, Pakistan.

The Awans who have been living in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for centuries have mixed up with other Pashtun tribes like the Yousafzai tribe in Topi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which in turn gave birth to a Sub-clan called 'Awanzai'.

On a rural level, Awanzai historically were of the zamindar or landowning class and many Awanzai families to this day live on and cultivate land, which their ancestors have held for centuries.

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