Quite remarkable that a Persian (Sayyid Ajjal) would leave many descendants in faraway China, and one of this descendants (Zheng He) would one day set out to explore the West (from the perspective of China). A nice reminder of how far a Y-chromosome lineage might travel, even in the span of a couple of centuries.
Present Y chromosomes support the Persian ancestry of Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar and Eminent Navigator Zheng He
Chuan-Chao Wang et al.
Sayyid Ajjal is the ancestor of many Muslims in areas all across China. And one of his descendants is the famous Navigator of Ming Dynasty, Zheng He, who led the largest armada in the world of 15th century. The origin of Sayyid Ajjal's family remains unclear although many studies have been done on this topic of Muslim history. In this paper, we studied the Y chromosomes of his present descendants, and found they all have haplogroup L1a-M76, proving a southern Persian origin.