Saturday, 5 March 2016

Afzal Khan Khattak

J. Enevoldsen

Afzal Khan Ḵhattak (b.1664-65), chief of the Ḵhaṭtak tribe, Pashto poet, and author of Tarikh-i-Murassa . He was the eldest son of Ashraf Khan (1635 to 1693-94); in 1672-73 Ashraf succeeded his father Ḵhushal Khan in the chieftaincy of the Khaṭtak tribe, but in 1681 he was betrayed into the hands of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb by his brother Bahram and died in captivity. Afzal Khan was arrested by the Mughals in 1686-87 and carried to Kabul; he returned two years after the death of Ḵhushal Khan (1689) to assume the chieftainship of the Ḵkaṭtak tribe, which he held for sixty-one years. Based on a reading of a tariḵh in the diwan of Afzal’s son, Kaẓem Khan Sayda, S. Riҳtin and ʿA. Ḥabibi (Paҳtanə šuʿarā, Kabul, 1941-42, I, pp. 229-30) give the date of Afzal’s death as 1183 H (1769-70), but this diwān had already been put into final form in 1181. The date of his death is uncertain.

H. G. Raverty’s statement (Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans, London, 1867, p. 269) that Afzal, upon the assumption of the chieftainship, put his uncle (and rival) ʿAbd-al-Qader to death does not bear examination; the latter translated the Golestan of Saʿdī in 1124/1712. Another uncle of Afzal’s, Gawhar Khan, writing in 1120/1708, gives testimony to Afzal’s good chieftainship and to his consuming literary interests, which were aimed at (1) collecting his illustrious grandfather’s works and having them copied to save them from oblivion, and (2) inspiring Gawhar Khan and other members of the family to use their talents in translating into Pashto some of the great works in Persian and Arabic. Afżal himself made a number of translations, chiefly historical: the Tarikh of Aʿṯam Kufi, the Siar of Mollā Moʿīn, and a tafsir of the Koran; when he “had ruled for twenty-five years and was fifty-three years old,” he began a translation of the ʿIar-e danes, Abu’l-Fazl’s simplified Persian version of the Anwar-e Sohayli by Ḥosayn Waʿeẓ Kasefi, which was completed in 1716 under the name ʿElmḵana da danes.

Afżal Khan Ḵaṭak began writing his main work, the Tariḵ-e-moraṣṣaʿ, about 1708. It is an uneven history of the Afghans in Pashto, compiled from various sources. The first and last parts are translations from the Persian work Makhzan-e Afghani written by Nematallah in 1611. The second part (about half the volume) contains an account of the Yusofzays and kindred tribes, based mainly upon the Taḏkerāt al-abrār by Akhund Darviza, the Ṭabaqat-e Akbari, the Jahangir-nama, and other Persian sources, and an extensive account of the history of the Ḵhaṭtaks, particularly of the author’s grandfather. It includes long extracts from the bayaz (notebook) of Ḵhushal Khan and relates events up to the year 1723-24. This part of the book was used by H. G. Raverty as source material for his Notes on Afghanistan (London, 1888). Afzal Khan Ḵhaṭtak is buried in Ziarat Kaka Saḥeb near Nowshera.


Afżal Khan, Tārīḵ-emoraṣṣaʿ, ed. D. M. K. Mōhmand, Peshawar, 1976; excerpt in H. G. Raverty, Gulshan-i Roh, London, 1860, pp. 1-54; repeated in T. P. Hughes, The Kalid-i Afghani, 2nd ed., Lahore, 1893, pp. 205-40; tr. in T. C. Plowden, Translation of the Kalid-i Afghani, Lahore, 1893, pp. 167-208.
Selection from ʿĪār-e dāneš: B. Dorn, A Chrestomathy of the Pushtu or Afghan Language, St. Petersburgh, 1847, pp. 1-23.
See also Gawhar Khan Ḵaṭak, Qalb al-sīr (ms. in Peshawar Museum). J. F. Blumhardt and D. N. MacKenzie, Catalogue of Pashto Manuscripts in the Libraries of the British Isles, London, 1965, no. 46, 157; on Ašraf Khan, see no. 79, and Raverty, Selections, pp. 249-70.
(J. Enevoldsen)

Source: Encyclopedia Iranica

Documentary about Khushal Khattak

Khushal Khan Khattak documentry by Luffy_69

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