Muslim conquests of Afghanistan

The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan began during the Muslim conquest of Persia as the Arab Muslims migrated eastwards to Khorasan, Sistan and Transoxiana. Fifteen years after the Battle of Nahāvand in 642 AD, they controlled all Sasanian domains except in Afghanistan.[1] Fuller Islamization was not achieved until the period between 10th and 12th centuries under Ghaznavid and Ghurid dynasty's rule who patronized Muslim religious institutions.[2]

Khorasan and Sistan, where Zoroastrianism was well-established, were conquered.[3] The Arabs had begun to move towards the lands east of Persia and in 652 AD they captured the city of Herat, establishing an Arab governor there.[4] The Muslim frontier in modern Afghanistan had become stabilized after the first century of Hijri calendar as the relative importance of the Afghan areas diminished.[5] From historical evidence, it appears Tokharistan (Bactria) was the only area heavily conquered by Arabs where Buddhism flourished.[6] Balkh's final conquest was undertaken by Qutayba ibn Muslim in 705.[7] Hui'Chao, who visited around 726, mentions that the Arabs ruled it and all the inhabitants were Buddhists.[8]

The eastern regions of Afghanistan were at times considered politically as parts of India. Buddhism and Hinduism held sway over the region until the Muslim conquest.[9] Kabul and Zabulistan which housed Buddhism and other Indian religions, offered stiff resistance to the Muslim advance for two centuries, with the Kabul Shahi and Zunbils remaining unconquered until the Saffarid and Ghaznavid conquests.[3] The significance of the realm of Zun and its rulers Zunbils had laid in them blocking the path of Arabs in invading the Indus Valley.[10]

The Caliph Al-Ma'mun (r. 813–833 AD) was paid double the tribute by the Rutbil. His were the last Arab expeditions on Kabul and Zabul.[11] The king of Kabul was captured by him and converted to Islam.[12] The last Zunbil was killed by Ya'qub bin al-Layth along with his former overlord Salih b. al-Nadr in 865.[13] Meanwhile, the Hindu Shahi of Kabul were defeated under Mahmud of Ghazni.[14] Indian soldiers were a part of the Ghaznavid army, Baihaki mentioned Hindu officers employed by Ma'sud.[15] The 14th-century Muslim scholar Ibn Battuta described the Hindu Kush as meaning "slayer of Indians", because large numbers of slaves brought from India died from its treacherous weather.[16]

The geographer Ya'qubi states that the rulers of Bamiyan, called the Sher, converted in the late 8th century. Ya'qub is recorded as having plundered its pagan idols in 870 while a much later historian Shabankara'i claims that Alp-Tegin obtained conversion of its ruler in 962.[17] No permanent Arab control was established in Ghur[18] and it became Islamised after Ghaznavid raids.[19] By the time of Bahram-Shah, Ghur was converted and politically united.[20]

In the late 15th century, Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, arrived from Fergana and captured Kabul from the Arghun dynasty.[21] Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb ruled parts of the eastern territory.[22][23][24]

The Pashtun habitat during their conquest by Mahmud was located in the Sulaiman Mountains in the south of Afghanistan. They were enlisted by both Sabuktigin and Mahmud according to Tarikh-i-Yamini.[25] Prior to Pashtun migration to the Kabul River valley, Tajiks formed the dominant population of Kabul, Nangarhar, Logar Valley and Laghman in east Afghanistan.[26] The Pashtuns later began migrating westward from Sulaiman Mountains in the south, and displaced or subjugated the indigenous populations such as Tajiks, Hazaras, the Farsiwanis, before or during 16th and 17th centuries. The successive wave of Pashtun immigration displaced the original Kafir and Pashayi people from the Kunar Valley and Laghman Valley, the two eastern provinces near Jalalabad, to the less fertile mountains.[27]

Before their conversion, the Kafir people of Kafiristan practiced a form of ancient Hinduism infused with locally developed accretions.[28] The region from Nuristan to Kashmir was host to a vast number of "Kafir" cultures.[29] They were called Kafirs due to their enduring paganism, remaining politically independent until being conquered and forcibly converted by Afghan Amir Abdul Rahman Khan in 1895–1896[30] while others also converted to avoid paying jizya.[31]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Hind was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Nile Green (2017). Afghanistan's Islam: From Conversion to the Taliban. Cambridge University Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780520294134.
  3. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Green was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Historic Cities of the Islamic World, ed. C.E. Bosworth, (Brill, 2007), 153.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference André was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference Musk was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Gibb32 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference MuskHui was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (1951). The History and Culture of the Indian People: The Age of Imperial Unity. G. Allen & Unwin. p. 635.
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Wink was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference Majumdar1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Ahmad Hasan Dani, B.A. Litvinsky (January 1996). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The crossroads of civilizations, A.D. 250 to 750. UNESCO. p. 470. ISBN 9789231032110.
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference Bayne was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference Afghanistan Page 15 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference Fadl was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference Ransom was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ Cite error: The named reference monasteries was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ Cite error: The named reference Variorum was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference Satish2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ Cite error: The named reference Habib was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  21. ^ Dale, Stephen Frederic (2004). The garden of the eight paradises: Bābur and the culture of Empire in Central Asia, Afghanistan and India (1483–1530). Brill. pp. 15, 150. ISBN 90-04-13707-6.
  22. ^ Ibn Battuta (2004). Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325–1354 (reprint, illustrated ed.). Routledge. p. 416. ISBN 978-0-415-34473-9.
  23. ^ Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah (1560). "Chapter 200: Translation of the Introduction to Firishta's History". The History of India. Vol. 6. Sir H. M. Elliot. London: Packard Humanities Institute. p. 8. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  24. ^ Samrin, Farah (2005–2006). "The City of Kabul Under the Mughals". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 66: 1303–1308. JSTOR 44145943.
  25. ^ Cite error: The named reference Ninhar was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  26. ^ Harlan 1939:127
  27. ^ Cite error: The named reference DostMuhammad was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  28. ^ Cite error: The named reference nuristan.info was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  29. ^ Cite error: The named reference academia was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  30. ^ Cite error: The named reference Pellat was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  31. ^ Cite error: The named reference Katib was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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