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Bilal Athar Rathur

Updated December 3, 2012

About Our Family Research


In the name of God; the most compassionate, the most merciful.

This is my family tree home page. The purpose of creating this web page is not to boast about my ancestors, or to claim superiority over others. It is merely a way to know about my heritage and to have a sense of belonging. I pray that this effort will lead to the establishment of good relations and ties of kinship among my family members.

Qur'an, Surah al-Hujaraat, Ayah 13:
"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."

Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 41, Number 5097:
"Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: God, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust. Let the people cease to boast about their ancestors..."

At-Tirmidhi, Hadith 4937 (ghareeb):
"God's messenger (peace be upon him) said, learn enough of your genealogies to show what ties of relationship you should join, for joining ties of relationship is a means of producing love in a family, increasing wealth, and producing life."

The "Malik" branch of my family tree is largely based on research conducted by my mother's paternal uncle, Muhammad Hussain Malik (Akajee) of Sheranwala, Lahore, Pakistan. He has written a small book about his family's history from the valley of Kashmir to Lahore. The book, which includes a family tree, is entitled, "Halaat Khaandaane Malik Dost Muhammad bin Jan Muhammad, Seeah-Malik". 'Seeah' or 'Suah' means lion in Kashmiri, and according to Muhammad Hussain Malik, this title was bestowed upon one of my ancestors by Emperor Jahangir himself. Since then, the family name became Seeah-Malik. However, since migration to Lahore, the Seeah or Suah part was dropped.

The "Rathur" branch of my family tree is largely based on anecdotal information from my father, Athar Pervez Rathur. My father learned about the Rathur family ancestry from his grand father's eldest brother, Deen Muhammad Rathur of Sheesha Moti, Lahore, Pakistan. It should be kept in mind that Rathur, Rather, and Rathore are used interchangeably; but the original name is Rathore.

Both, the Rathur and Malik families are from Kashmir, and both families migrated to the city of Lahore in the 1800s...many years before the partition of India and Pakistan. This migration took place partly due to war, famine, the oppressive rule of the Maharaja's of Kashmir, and greater economic opportunities in the large cities in Punjab.

It is important to note that the Rathores were originally from the Thar desert region of Rajasthan or Rajputana. They belonged to a group of clans known as 'Rajput'. These warrior clans were recruited in large numbers by the Mughal army. When the Emperor Jahangir invaded Kashmir in the early 1600s, he took many Rajput Rathores with him. Some of the Rathores settled in Kashmir and embraced Islam. Over time, most of the Kashmiri Rathores started pronouncing their names as Rathur, except a few aristocratic families.

The Kashmiri families in Lahore remained a very tight knit group. Most Kashmiri migrants, including my ancestors, lived inside the walled city of Lahore in neighborhoods such as Mian Khan Ki Haveli. These families took pride in their heritage, and mostly married within the Kashmiri community. That tradition gave rise to the saying, "all Kashmiris have the same grandmother".

 
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