Surti Muslims (Surtees) adhere to Hanafi Sunni Islam. They originated from the districts of Surat and Ankleshwar in the state of Gujarat, India. Outside of India, Gujarati-speaking Sunni Muslims are also regarded as Surti or Surtees. A large number of Gujarati-speaking Muslims have immigrated throughout the world, especially to Pakistan, United Kingdom, South Africa, United States of America and Canada. The majority follow Darul Uloom Deoband for their religious guidance. They have established many mosques and Islamic schools throughout the world and have produced a large number of well-respected Ālim and Hifz. They are a Gujarati Muslim community.
Further it has been suggested that the Vohra merchant caste are largely descended from the union of Arab merchants with Hindu women, who settled in Gujarat in medieval times.
A large community of Surti Muslims especially Vohras(Sunny) are settled in Burma (now Myanmar). Majority in Rangoon (now Yangon). Mandalay and Molmein - three big cities of Burma but pockets of them can be found all over Burma. Their existence can be traced back to 18 century A.D. to Burmese monarchy period. During the rule of Mindon King in 19th.Century, his financial Minister was Ismail Mulla - a Surti Vohra. It is believed some other Surti Vohras were also King's advisers. On their suggestions, particularly of his minister Mulla, Burmese king Mindon made first ever contact with Hijaz (now Saudi Arabia). Sent a delegation with gifts for the ruler and built a BURMESE RABAT (meaning a free guest house)in Mecca to facilitate Burmese Muslim pilgrims. The seat of Government was then in Mandalay.
After the occupation of Burma by British in 19th. Century (1886~1948) more Surtis migrated from SURAT, Gujarat, India - their place of origin - to Burma and settled at Rangoon which developed into a city & capital of Burma during British Rule. Among them prominent were migrants from Rander, Variav, Kathore, Waracha, Barbodhan, Bharuch etc. - the villages of Surat District in India. They were religious minded business class of people. They built Madressas (elementary religious schools), Schools, Clinics, Hospitals, Markets and residential cum business buildings throughout Burma, especially at Rangoon & Mandalay. Surti Bara Bazar Company is notable as this company built Bazars at many big cities and town in early 20th. century. The Surti Bara Bazar at Rangoon & Mandaly were huge consisting of many blocks of the cities. These bazars are still existent though the company was Nationalised immediately after achieving independece in January 1948. These Surti Sunni Vohra though a small community in Burma were in fact the back bone of Burmese economy till 1962 when the military Dictator General Ne Win, took over the country & Nationalised all businesses & industries.
The Nationalisation rendered joblessness and some of the Surti Muslim Vohras migrated to India- their origin, Pakistan and U.K., U.S.A. etc. in search of lively hood.