Sheikh Mohammadi tribe

Sheikh Mohammadi or Sheikhan (Pashto:"شيخ محمدى "شيخان) various tribal communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan identify as Sheikhan. In 2001 over half a dozen Pashtun tribes and sub-tribes were formally registered as Sheikhan.[1]

However, two distinct communities specifically identify as Sheikh Mohammadi. One of these communities claims direct lineage to Sheikh Mohammad Rohani. This community is also known as Sadat. Members of this community speak Pashto and primarily reside in the Bannu region of Pakistan, Urgon, and the Arghestan river basin in southern Afghanistan. Most members of this community are sedentary agriculturalists.[2][3][4]

Another group of people that identifies as Sheikh Mohammadi is mostly a community of peddlers with residence in eastern Afghanistan and the vicinity of Peshawar city in Pakistan. Members of this community speak Adurgari and are widely distinguished by their peripatetic lifestyle. According to local ethnographers, Sheikh Mohammad Rohani converted to Islam a local community known as ‘Adurgar.’ After conversion to Islam the Adurgar adopted ‘Sheikh Mohammadi’ as their communal identity.[5]

Lohani, Rohani, Nohani The Lohani(لوحانی), sometimes called Nuhani is a Pashtun tribe the renowned personality and spiritual leader of Bettani tribe is Sheikh Mohammad Rohani(1220-1305 AD)(Pashto:شيخ محمد روحانى) also known as Shah Mohammad Rohani and Rohani Ba Ba was a Sufi cleric born around 1220 AD. The cleric, whose shrine in southern Afghanistan attracts thousands of Sufi visitors every year The Lohani(لوحانی), sometimes called Nuhani is a Pashtun tribe found in Pakistan especially in the region of Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Shakargarh, Afghanistan and India (Bassi Dulat Khan).

They were a mostly pastoral and migratory tribe engaged in Commerce and Trade but nowadays most of them have settled down in the plains of DI Khan, Tank and Lakki Marwat. Lohanis have four branches, Marwat, Daulat Khel, Miya Khel and Tatoor. The Tatoor tribe was crushed by Nadir shah and Daulat khel (Nawab of Tank) who brought them near to extinction. Therefore, nowadays Tatoor tribe is generally dispersed in the region of Tank, Dera Ismail khan and FR Tank and especially found in village Tatoor near Tank city.

In 1976 a Danish anthropologist, Asta Olesen, suggested that the Sheikh Mohammadis were originally a "spiritual fraternity" constituted by "unrelated disciples of the pious Shaykh Ruhani Baba."[6] According to Olesen, "it appears that there exist no kinship connections between the various Shaykh Mohammadi communities, and in most cases no genealogical connection between them and Shaykh Ruhani Baba. There is nothing unusual in an ethnic group or community being joined by outsiders, but the scale at which this has occurred among the Shaykh Mohammadi seems extraordinary."[7] A plausible reason for outsiders claiming Sheikh Mohammadi identity was to benefit from tax exemptions.[8] Historically the descendants of Sheikh Mohammad Rohani have been exempt from state taxes. Some have also enjoyed state patronage under the Durrani rulers in Afghanistan.


  1. Bandawal, Hasan Gul. "The Dictionary of Pashtoon Tribes and Branches", Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan - International Center for Pashto Studies, 2001, P. 282
  2. Khan, Mohammad Hayat. Hayat-i-Afghani, Danish Khparandoya Tolana, 2007, P. 455
  3. KakaKhail, Said Bahadur Shah Zafar. Pashtana, University Book Agency, 1964, P. 1088
  4. MianKhail, Mohammad Omar Rawand. Da Pashtano Qabilo Shajaray Aw Maini, P. 273-274
  5. Marwat, Mohammad Sadiq. Zmong Qabail, (Publishers unknown), 1995, P.113-116
  6. Olesen, Asta> "Afghan Craftsmen", Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1994, P. 132
  7. Olesen, Asta> "Afghan Craftsmen", Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1994, P. 144
  8. Olesen, Asta> "Afghan Craftsmen", Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1994, P. 142
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