History of Afghanistan

Alternative Titles
Sirāj al-tavārīkh
Sirāj al-tawārīkh

Translated and edited by R. D. McChesney and M. M. Khorrami

The most important history of Afghanistan ever written (originally written in Persian), Sirāj al-tawārīkh or The History of Afghanistan. It was commissioned as an official national history by the Afghan prince, later amir, Habib Allah Khan (reigned 1901-1919). The author, Fayz Muhammad Khan, better known as “Katib” (The Writer), was a scribe at the royal court. For more than twenty years, he had full access to government archives and oral sources and thus presents an unparalleled picture of the country from its founding in 1747 until the end of the nineteenth century. The roots of much of the fabric of Afghanistan’s society today—tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, and the economy—are elegantly and minutely detailed in this immense work.

Full-text searchable with links to the original Persian text to be added in the future.

See the User Guide for advice on how the online edition compares to the print with respect to page numbering, footnotes, and layout. See the Preliminaries for advice on the transliteration scheme employed.

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Last modified: 01/29/2014