Khawaja is also used as family name in South Asia. In South Asia they are chisti and the Chishti Order is explained in detail below: A number of Chishti family members are now living in different parts of South Asia especially in northern Punjab province of Pakistan and also in Indian state of Gujarat. They often bear the surname "Khwaja" and it is claimed that they are Sayyid.
Khawaja people usually marry within their own social affiliation that is "Sayyid or Khawaja". They marry regardless of status wealth or class discrimination. Depending on circumstances a group (clan) may be as small as few hundred families and as large as few thousand families. For example, in the Bhat clan's definition, their clan system is to be an entire group having very few sub-groups, whereas Khawajas are branched into a dozen or two sub-groups. For the Bhat clan (a Kashmiri clan) a group, by and large, usually shares an ancestral village in Kashmir as a reference point. Marriage into a family other than Khawaja family and between first cousins was discouraged in the past. Marriages to men outside the social group, i.e. the Khawaja clan (e.g. marrying outside such as Muslim Punjabi families), is now welcomed and accepted by a few Khawaja families, although some community elders may still discourage it. Although most of the departed Group of families who are out of the Family clan system (Baradari) are not following the antique family traditions.
Significant figures with the name, or using the title Khawaja in South Asia include:
When Khatri people from the western districts of the Punjab like Sargodha, Jhang, Jehlum, Chakwal, Faisalabad accepted Islam called themselves Khawaja and adopted Shaikh as title. They are thus called Khawaja Sheikh. Some of them have also adopted Mian as title. In recent years traders from a small town of Chiniot, in the Chiniot District, became prominent due to their contribution in the industries of Pakistan. These traders are known as Chiniotis or Chinioti Shaikhs. The famous trading family of Sahgals, Sahgal Khatris of Chakwal, are known simply as Punjabi Shaikh instead of Khawaja Shaikh. They use Mian as title. In Punjabi language Khoja is a distorted form of Khawaja.
The first censuses of the Punjab were conducted by Denzil Ibbetson and Edward Maclagan in 1883 and 1892. According to their reports, the Khawajas of Bhera in Shahpur, Sargodha District were converted from Khatris, and those from Jhang were said to be converted from Arora. At Chiniot in Jhang District, Majority of the Khawajas are Khatris, while some are Arora. They reported the following sections (gotras) of Khatris from Chiniot:
The sections of Khawajas from Bhera were reported as follows:
The sections of Khawajas from Pindi Bhattian were reported as follows: Sahgal and Wadhaun. These are all Khatri sections. In Raiwind district Lahore Shaikh families use their surnames which are actually Arora surnames, they have Arora ancestory.