Hussaini Brahmins in Karbala


Abdul Rasood Syed

THE mournful tragedy of Karbala reminds us of a great sacrifice given by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of
prophet Mohammad (SAW) alongside his kinsfolk and companions for the sake of Islam. He scarified everything what he had in terms of men and material only to uphold the dignity and veracity of Islam. Yazid, the incarnation of evil, tyranny, hypocrisy, mendacity, and malfeasance wanted Imam Hussain to take pledge of allegiance on his hands and thereby affirm his despotic and immoral style of governance. Imam Hussain made an outright rejection to his coercive and illegitimate demand.
Imam realized that his submission before Yazid would, for sure, tantamount to endorsement of his autocratic and unjust government that was erected in utter contravention of the pristine and democratic principles of Islam. Thus, the fierce battle between the truth and falsehood ensued on 680 AD. Imam Hussain, the epitome of selflessness, intrepidity, courage and forbearance with his small contingent of faithful followers faced the storm of tyrant forces boldly. Nearly, all of the members of Imam’s household and companions took the bear of martyrdom one by one even six years old infant Hazrat Ali Asghar was not spared and was decapitated ruthlessly. Chronicle accounts reveal an interesting fact that seven brave Brahmin warriors from Lahore also died while fighting for Imam Hussain (A.S) in the Battle of Karbala. According to one account, their father Rahab Dutt, an old man who traded with Arabia in those days, had promised the holy prophet (S.A.W) to standby his grandson in his fight to uphold the truth.
After the battle, Rahab Dutt met one of the family members of Prophet Mohammad (S.AW) and narrated the whole story. According to Vipin Mohan, who claims to be a Hussaini Brahmin “the family member of the Holy Prophet Mohammad told our ancestor Rahab Singh Dutt that from now you are not just Brahmins, but Hussaini Brahmins, we will always remember you”. The martyr’s list at Qum verifies the claim advanced by these mohyal Brahmins. Moreover, it is also recorded in history that when the third thrust by Yazid’s forces came, the Dutt Brothers refused to let them pass. The seven Punjabi swordsmen stood their ground till they were felled by hundreds of horsemen. In lieu of the loyalty of Dutt family to that of the Holy Prophet (SAW) was coined the famous saying” Wah Dutt sultan, Hindu ka Dharm, Musalman ka Iman, adah Hindu Adha Musalman”. Since then, so the belief goes, Muslims were instructed never to revert the Dutts to Islam. Today they are popularly known as Hussaini Brahmins, who lived in Lahore till 1947. Now, most of them are settled in India. The famous Indian celebrities Sunil Dutt and his son Sanjay Dutt are the Hussani Brahmins. This fact was revealed by Sunil Dutt while making donation for Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital. The hospital’s archive maintains the record of his following words: “For Lahore, like my elders, I shall shed every drop of blood and give any donation asked for, just as my ancestors did when they laid down their lives at Karbala for Imam Hussain.
Moreover, the famous man of letters Intazar Hussain also wrote a column captioned as “Brahmins in Karbala” on Hussaini Brahmins in which he mentioned his encounter with a Hussaini Brahmin woman in India. He wrote that while he was speaking on Prem Chand’s play “Karbala” that was based on the legend that was about a group of seven Hindu Brothers who had somehow reached Karbala and fought for the cause that Imam Hussain stood for. When he said that Hussaini Brahmins seem to have vanished from the social scene in India; all of sudden, a woman stood up and challenged his statement claiming that her name was Nonica Dutt and she belonged to Hussaini Brahmin family.
Nonica Dutt was a professor of history at Jawaher Lal University. Intazar Hussain further argued that he had an exclusive sitting with Nonica in which she enlightened him with more information about Hussaini Brahmins. She said that her ancestor Rahab Dutt had sacrificed all of his seven sons in the battle of Karbala. He was the only survivor of the battle who went from kufa to Afghanistan and from there came back to India. He had brought with him a holy hair of Imam Hussain which is ensconced in the Hazrat Bal shrine in Kashmir. She added an interesting and amazing fact about the hussaini Brahmins; she told that all direct descendants of Rahab Dutt are born with a light slash mark on their throat, a sort of symbol of their sacrifice for Imam Hussain in Karbala. She further told about the ritual carried out in her family on the birth of every child. She said, “Among Brahmins, after the child birth, the ritual of moondan is performed which is executed in the name of Imam Hussain”. Apart from this, the Hussani Brahmins also believe that in the Kalanki Purana, the last of 18 puranas, as well as the Ather Veda, refers to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) as the Avatar of the Kali Yug of the present age. They believe that family of the Holy Prophet (SAW) is Om Murti, the most respected family before Allah Almighty.
— The writer is a Legal practitioner-cum-columnist based in Quetta Balochistan.