Sunday, December 20, 2015

Persian story about origin of Afghans

During a discussion at the Mughal emperor Jahangir's court about the origins of the Afghans, the Persian ambassador amused the monarch by presenting the following account to support the contention that the Pashtuns were descended from devs (demons):

Books of authority recounted that King Zuhak, hearing of a race of beautiful women that lived in far off western countries, sent an army thither, which was defeated by the beautiful women, but afterwards, a stronger expedition being sent under Nariman, they were reduced to sue for peace and gave in tribute a thousand virgins. When, on its return march, the army was one night encamped close to a wild mountainous country, there suddenly came down upon it a phantom, smote and scattered the troops in all directions, and then, in that one night, ravished all the thousand virgins. In due course of time all became , and when Zuhak learnt this, he gave orders that the women should be kept in the remote deserts and plains lest the unnatural offspring should breed strife and tumult in the cities. This offspring was the race of the Afghans.

This narration of Afghan origin led one Afghan noble Khan Jahan Lodi to engage his subordinate Khwaja Naimatullah for an in-depth inquiry into the history of origin of the Afghans. Naimatullah deputed five Afghan men including, Qutub Khan, Sarmast Khan Abdali, Hamza Khan, Umar Khan Kakar, and Zarif Khan Yousafzai to their respective territories to probe into the origin of the Afghan races and collect all possible data. The effort initiated by Khan Jahan Lodhi with the assistance of Haibat Khan Kakar the Royal events writer (wakai navees), and Naimatullah Harvi resulted in the form of Makhzan-e-Afghani. In that presentation the Pukhtoons were referred as one descendents of Bani Israel