Monday, February 29, 2016

Afghans in Hudud-i-Alam



Hudud-i-Alam is one of the earliest book about geography which mentions Afghan people , written in Persian language in 983 A.D by unknown author from Juzjan. Following are some excerpts from the book translated by V.Minorsky and edited by C.E.Bosworth.

"Saul, a present village is a pleasant village on a mountain. In it lives Afghans. (page 91)

" Ninhar (Nangarhar) , a place of which the King makes show of Islam (musalmani numayadh) , and has many wives, (namely) over thirty Muslim, Afghan, and Hindu (wives). "The rest (wa digar mardum) of the people are idolators. In (Ninhar) there are three large Idols." (page-91)

Gardez is mentioned as "frontier town between Ghaznin and Hindustan, situated on the summit of a mound and possessing a strong fortress with three walls. The inhabitants are Kharjiites." (page 91)

Khaljis are also mentioned :"In Ghaznin and in the limits of the boroughs which we have enumerated, live the Khalaj Turks who possess many sheeps. They wander along climates , grazing grounds and pasture-lands. These Khalaj Turks are also numerous in the provinces (hudud) of Balkh , Tukharistan, Bust, and Guzganan." (page-111)

On page 111, Kabul is described as " a borough possessing a solid fortress known for its strength. Its inhabitants are Muslims and Indians , and there are idol-temples in it. The royal power of Raja of Qannauj is not complete untill he has made a pilgrimage to those idol-temples , and here too his royal standard is fastened."

Ghur or Ghor is described as : "a province amid mountains and rugged country. It has a King called Ghur Shah. He draws his strength from the mir of Guzganan. In the days of old this province of Ghur was pagan (Kafir) ; actually most of the people are Muslims. To them belong numerous boroughs and villages. From this province come slaves , armour, coats of mail, and good arms. The people are bad-tempered, unruly, and ignorant. They are white and swarthy" (page-110)

"Lamghan, it is emporium of Hindustan and a residence of merchants and it possesses idol-temples" (page-92)

 Even before Hudud-i-alam, there is mention of Afghans in book al-tanbih by Masudi, written in 965 A.D. It states that "the rubat or fortified caravanserai of Badakhshan stands over against various kinds of Turks viz of Vakhan, Tibet and Ayghan". (Awghan has been pronounced as Ayghan). Barmazid-67