Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tirahi people (a Dardic race)

 The Tirahis are a Dardic people who were once idol-worshipers and populated the whole mountain country of Tirah. Pir Roshan is said to have expelled the Tirahis from Tirah, on the account of secretly helping Mughals in infiltrating Tirah valley. Tirahi is a 'Dardic' dialect spoken in a few villages southeast of Jalalabad in Eastern Afghanistan.

According to Hayat-i-Afghani (page-470) , "Tirahis were notable people in 12th century A.D and completely dominated the country of Tirah (parts of Khyber and Orakzai agencies). They were idol-worshipers and were fierce enemies of Muslims. In 1204 A.D, Shahabuddin of Ghor, invaded their country and killed large numbers of them. The remnants were forcibly converted to Islam. Nowadays small numbers of them, Muslims, live in the country of Shinwaris. They speak a distinct language, probably derived from Sanskrit,  but has many Pashto words in it".

According to Imperial Gazetteer of India, "The original inhabitants of Tirah were the Tirahis, probably a Tajik race, who were driven out of the country by the Pir-i- Roshan, ' the apostle of light ' ; and and a remnant of them fled to Nangrahar." (Provincial series : North-West-Frontier", page-234)

According to Orakzais, their progenitor Sikander Shah, a Persian prince, about 1000 years ago, migrated to Kohat and took service with Muslim king of that area. The Tirahis of the hills being troublesome, Sikandar Shah then led an army against them and defeated them. Later he married a Tirahi woman and permanently settled in Tirah. (A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West ..., Volume 3, page-176)