Its Luhani or Nuhani (لوحاڼي ) , not Lawani (لواڼي)

By Khan Barmazid

Nuhani or Luhani Pashtuns are erroneously referred to as “Lawani” in modern Pashto literature of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Abdul Hai Habibi and Abdul Shakoor Rashad (and many others who have followed them) have confused Nuhanis/Luhanis (a branch of Lodis) with Lawanis (a branch of Miyanas).

Khushal Khan Khattak calls them Luhani (لوحاني) in Swat-nama [1] :-

نور مې ځای په څوتره ، لوحاني دی
که څوک وي، نه ناکام د کرلاڼی دی

In the footnotes, Abdul Hai Habibi says that Nuhani or Luhani is Indianized form of Lawani (لواڼي) or Lawan (لوڼ). Abdul Hai Habibi is incorrect here. Nuhani is original. Makhzan-i-Afghani informs us that Luhanis are descendants of Nuh [2]. H.G.Raverty says that as in the case of some other Semetic words, the “n” in the Nuh is sometimes changed for “l”, thus Luh and Luhani. According to Raverty, the last mode of writing is comparatively modern. [3]

Abdul Hai Habibi and other authors have confused Luhani with Lawani (a branch of Miyana tribe of Pashtuns) and Lawan (a branch of Panni tribe of Pashtuns). According to Makhzan-i-Afghani, Lawani was one of the 12 sons of Miyana [4]. While Lawan (لوڼ) was one of the sons of Panni. [5]

Dawlat Nuhani was 17th century Pashto poet and a follower of Bayazid Ansari. He has been erroneously referred to as Lawani by 20th century authors from Afghanistan (the error which is reproduced and repeated by authors from Pakistan) but he refers to himself as “Nuhani” (نوحاني) in his poetry. [6]

The earliest sources which mention Nuhani Pashtuns, are inscriptions of Lodi period. In an inscription dated to 1496 A.D, a Nuhani noble of Sikandar Lodi is mentioned. The mode of writing in that inscription is Nuhani (نوحاني), not Lawani [7]. Babur also refers to them as Nuhanis. [8]

Ameer Khan, a Lohani Chieftain’, 1836. By Godfrey Thomas Vigne. Source


1- Swat-nama of Khushal Khan Khattak, edited and annotated by Abdul Hai Habibi, p-17
2- “History of the Afghans” by B.Dorn, p-50
3- “Notes on Afghanistan and part of Baluchistan”, by H.G.Raverty, p-486
4- “History of the Afghans” by B.Dorn, p-43
5- Tarikh Khan Jahani wa Makhzan-i-Afghani, Persian text, p-635
6- “Da Daulat Lawani diwan”, edited by Abdul Shakoor Rashad, p-232
7- “Lodi and Sur inscriptions from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh”,by W.H.Siddiqui, p-27
8- “Babur-nama”, translated into English by A.S.Beveridge”, p-455


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