Oct. 29, 2018

Recently more than 3,000 people Attended the ‘Ashraf Sangamam 2018,’ the get-together of the All Kerala Ashraf Collective at the Kozhikode beach in Kerala.


  • Although Islam does not recognize any castes, Muslim communities in South Asia apply a system of social stratification. 

  • It developed as a result of ethnic segregation between the foreign conquerors (Ashraf) and the local converts (Ajlaf), as well as influence of the indigenous Hindu culture.

  • Ghaus Ansari (1960) named the following four broad categories of Muslim social divisions in India:
    • ASHRAF, who claim foreign-origin descent from Balochs, Afghans, Arabs etc. e.g. Sayyid, Mughal, Baloch, Pathan, and Sheikh

    • Converts from upper castes e.g. Muslim Rajputs

    • Converts from other "clean" castes e.g. Darzi, Dhobi etc.

    • Converts from untouchable castes which are considered clean by Muslims and part of Ummah e.g. Bhangi

  • The non-Ashrafs are categorized as ‘AJLAF’.

  • The untouchable Hindu converts are also categorized as ‘ARZAL’. They are relegated to menial professions such as scavenging and carrying night soil.

Source : The Hindu