Amir Kror and His Ancestry

Abdul Hai Habibi



In the ancient Vedic Arian language the word sura meant sun or figuratively, an enlightened and scholarly person. The roots of this word are seen in the Rig-Veda and Avesta. The ancient Arians regarded Suray as the Sun-god. Sur also meant a representation of a divinity or idol or sun,[1] which has firm roots in the ancient mythology and names of persons and places of India.

This same word has sometimes meant hero,[2] and in the form of sura has had a strong figurative meaning in Avesta.[3] 

According to Christiesen when the Kasis occupied Babylon in the 18th century (B.C.), the worshippers of this same Surya in Avesta were the (Hvar) and after that in the 14th century (B.C.) in the writings of the Arian Mithanis, this divinity is Mitra-Mehr or Shums,[4]  the Babylonian Ezid.

The worship of the sun and the images of Ezid i.e. God (Sur=Hur=Khur=Khir of which the "waw" is changed into a "ya" in one of the Pashto dialects) was also practiced since olden times among those of the Aryan race of Aryana and India, and they regarded its ray as the source of Khura (divine illumination) and heat and life. In the history of Afghanistan we have evidence that sun worship and sun-god statues were prevalent until the Kushan period and the introduction of Islam into this land (7th century). Because in the relics discovered at Surkh Kotal (7th century) and the marble idols of the present day Khair Khana pass (5th century) traces of this creed could be observed.[5] It could therefore be said that the real name of Khair Khana should be Khur Khana or Khurshed Khana (home of the sun), whence the remains of the Surya temple and two marble statutes of this deity were discovered, and the boundaries and foundations of its temple were unearthed as a result of archaeological diggings.[6]

Huen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim, who in May 630 A.D. and then upon his return from India in June, 644 (24 A.H.) had visited Kabulistan mentions a temple 70 Ii (about 23 miles) to the south of Kapisa in which the heavenly spirit Suna[7] (i.e. the same deity Surya) was worshipped. But later he went to the Sunagir (Tsu-na-hilu) mountain which is located in the country of Tso-ku-cha, i.e. Zabulistan, and people were worshipping and bestowing gold, silver, and enormous offerings to it.[8]

It seems that the Nepthalites of the 5th century also worshipped the ancient sun-god and destroyed Buddhist temples. The bust of this deity is engraved on some of their coins with flames bursting out from the back of its head. Jonker  also shows coins of this type on which the names of Dawar-Zabal can be observed,[9] which proves the prevalence of this faith in this land as in the time of the first and second century Kushans also one of the deities engraved on their coins was this same Surya (sun).[10]

The name of one of the victorious kings of the Hepthalites inscribed on the tablet discovered at Dara-i-Shali of Uruzgan to the north of Kandahar was Mer Kula=Mehr Kul=Mir Gul, i.e. from the Mehr family, which signifies the connection of the 5th and 6th century Hephtalite kings and their remnants till the beginning of the Islamic era with the faith of sun worship and the Surya deity.

During the period when Huen Tsang talks about the temples and the faith of Sura worship in Kabulistan and Zabul, we read in the Arabian and Islamic histories what Ahmad bin Yahya Bilzury (died 275 H/892 A.D.) writes in the chapter of Islamic conquests in Siestan and Kabul:

In the year 30 H./650 A.D., Rabe bin Ziad Harithi, the Arab governor, came to Siestan and two and a half years later Abdur Rahman bin Samara was appointed governor of Zaranj. He took the regions of Rokhaj and Dawar, besieged the people of Dawar in the Zur mountain, and confiscated the idol of Zur which was made of pure gold and had ruby eyes. He cut off its hands and took out the rubies, and giving them to the margrave he said, "my intention was to show you that this idol can do neither any harm nor good."[11]

Researchers had located this Surya temple in Zamindawar.[12] But when some time later I inquired from the people of Zamindawar (present-day Zindawar) about it, I found out that there exists, to this day, a village known as Deh-e Ar at a distance of three miles to the south of Musa Qala (capital of Zamindawar). In this village divided into the Zari Ulya and Zari Sufl[13] (upper and lower Zar) we can observe traces of the ruins of ancient buildings which are known among the local people by the name of Kafir Qala (fort of the infidel).



As described in the foregoing pages the word Surya—the subsequent Sur and Suri has an ancient background in the history of religions of Afghanistan whose altered form in the western dialects of Khurasan is Zur and Zuri. The exchange of Sur to Nur (khurshed or sun) is also characteristic of the eastern and western dialects. For example, Suma-Numa, Sind-Hind, whose 's' has been changed into 'z' in western Khurasan, and hence we call the well-known Afghan Suri tribe, who migrated from the slopes of Kisey Ghar (Sulaiman Mountain) to the east and India, Suri (Indian Kings of the Suri race such as Sher Shah Suri, belonged to this tribe) while in the western part of Ghor and Herat and Badghis they are called Zuris. The name Zur also influenced the denomination of cities and tribes. For instance Zurabad was the name of a city which still exists by this name to the south of Sarakhs and the farthest north-western corners of the Afghan border in Herat province. Yaqut has considered it Zurabz from the regions of Sarakhs[14] and its relative is Zurabzi.[15] Abu Bakr Mohammad bin Atiq bin Mohammad Surabadi Herawi, author of "Tafseer-ul- Surabadi and a contemporary of Alp Arsalan (445-465 H./1062-1072 A.D.) came from this place.[16]

One of the persons related to the Suri tribe was Mahawi Suri, the margrave of Merv who had the last Sassanid King Yazdi Gurd, killed by a miller in 31 H./651 A.D., and according to Tabari, had an audience with Hazrat Ali (the fourth Caliph) and obtained a letter from him authorizing Suri to collect tributes and taxes.[17]

This Mahawi Suri was a powerful ruler and, according to Firdowsi, conquered the citics of Balkh, Herat, and Bukhara.

To his first born he gave Balkh and Hari

And sent his armies in every direction,

He gave the soldiers money to prosper

Then toward Bukhara they marched

The warriors of the brave army.

If this legendary narrative of Firdowsi is not entirely true, at least its main points such as Mahawi's relationship with the Suri tribe and his contention with Yazdi Gurd are in accord with the relations by other historians. For the letter that Hazat Ali (May Go be pease with him) had issued and bore the date of 36 H./656 A.D is itself recorded by Jabari.[18]





Minhaj Siraj Juzjani, historian of the Ghorid court, speaks of other celebrated and powerful personalities of the Suris who were the ancestors of the kings of Ghor. Giving as his reference the Muntakhab-e Tarikh-e Nasiri one of the great men of Ghazni during the reign of Sultan Muizzuddin Mohammad Saam (c. 600 H./1203 A.D.) who had summarized the bulky volumes of Tarikh-e Baihaqi—this insightful historian regards Sur and Saam as two brothers of the lengendery Zahak. Sur, the elder brother, was in charage of the emirate of Ghor, while the younger brother, Saam, was the commander-in-chief of the army and their descendants were the emirs of Ghor in Mandesh, centuries before Islam. Another ruler from these Suris, Bistam bin Mehshad, ruled over the mountains of Shighnan, Bamian, and Tukharistan,[19] and according to Firdowsi the Mehrab of Kabul was also from the stock of the Arab Zuhak (Zahaki Tazi Guhor Dashti).

The love story of Zaal and the beautiful daughter of Mehrab, Rodaba, Rustam's mother, is one of the most interesting stories of Firdawsi's Shahnama.

Minhaj Siraj referring to the Nasab-nama of Malikul Kalam Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah which begins with the name of Ala'uddin Jahansoz and ends with the name of Ghiasuddin Mohammad
Saam (c. 580 H./1184 A.D.), considers Malik Shinasp bin Khurank to have been the Suri family ruler during the first days of Islam. This name is composed of Shin and aspie, (horse) and as Huen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim, has mentioned it several times in his itinerary. Shin was a fine breed of horses in the northern and eastern parts of Afghanistan.[20]

I have not come across the ancestors of this family in other history books, but Minhaj Siraj who was associated with the Ghaznavid court enumerates the successors of Malik Shinasp and says that he (Malik Shinasp) embraced Islam during the caliphate of Hazrat AIi, and received a decree and a flag from the caliph.[21]

This is the first Suri ruler during in the Islamic period and around 36 H./656 A.D. about whom we know in Ghor. And as already mentioned, his contemporary Mahawi Suri ruled over Merv and, perhaps, both of these rulers were received in audience by the caliph.

Minhaj Siraj also did not know about the line of descent of the Suri family, since he does not know who the ancestors of Malik Khurnak, (Shinasp's father) or Sur (brother of the famous Zahak)

After Malik Shinasp till the rise of Abu Muslim Khurasani ( 130 H./ 747 A.D.) we lose track of the Suri rulers for one whole century until Minhaj Siraj again speaks of an indirect descendant of Malik Shinasp, Amir Polad, who should, at least, be a great grandson of Malik Shinasp and who, in the words of this author was in possession of the surroundings of the Ghor mountains and revived the name of his forefathers. When Ibn Muslim Mervzi rose and expelled the Omiads from Khurasan, Amir Polad led the army of Ghor to support Abu Muslim, did a great deal to help stabilize the Abassid dynasty, and held the fortress of Mandesh and the leadership of the Ghor mountains
for a long time."[22]

This much we know that the progenitor of the royal family of Ghor, before the Islamic era, was named after the goddess Surya=Mehr=Khurshed (sun). Thenceforth to Malik Shinasp this family was considered as belonging to the Suri race and a tribe by the name of Suri-Zuri was well known from Khurasan to Sind whose language was Pashto and later in the western parts, Dari. But after Malik Shinasp, they were related to two Shinaspani branches, and today also they are called Suri in the east and Zuri in the west.



We do not know the name of Amir Polad's father, the long time ruler of the capital of Ghor mountains, Mandesh. But from his own name composed of both Pashto and Dari components we can understand that he was born in an environment made up of the common culture of this land.

It could be said almost with certainty that the lofty peak of Koh-i-Baba (Baba Mountain), Shah Poladi and a region of the eastern Ghor, Dai Poladi are named after this Iron Amir.

From the Pashto work Pata Khazana we know his son, Jahan Pahlawan Amir Kror, who succeeded him. The word kror means strong and sturdy and that which has a hard core.

The author of Pata Khazana, Mohammad bin Daud Khan Hotak (1142 H./1729 A.D.) introduces an old Pashto poet by this name who is the writer of a Pashto epic. He has taken the background and poem of this poet from Larghuni Pashtana (Early Pashtuns) of Shaikh Kata bin Yusuf of the Matazai tribe (C. 750 H./1349 A.D.) whereas Shaikh Kata had extracted it from

Tarikh-e Suri of Mohammad bin Ali Busti (compiled c. 650 11./1251 A.D.) in Balishtan (southern Walishtan of Ghor and now a region of Terai, north of Kandahar).

Now, unfortunately, there remains neither Larghuni Pashtana nor Tarekh-e Suri, but what has reached us through the efforts of Mohammad Hotak in his biography of Pashto poets (Pata Khazana) is as follows:

Shaikh Kata Mathizay Ghoryakhel, who had reached celestial heights, in his book Larghoni Pashtana (Past Pashtoons) cites from Tarekh-e Suri  (History of Suri), which he had come upon in Balishtan that: Amir Kror was the son of Amir Polad, who became the governor of Mandesh in Ghor where he was known as Jahan Pahlavan. He is said to have conquered the fortresses of Ghor, Balishtan, Kheisar,, Tamran and Barkoshak and assisted the Caliphate.

      Amir Kror was a valiant fighter and challenged several people at a time. It is for this reason that he was known as Kror, meaning hard and strong. During the summer he stayed in Zamindawar where he had a palace resembling his citadel in Mandesh. In Zamindawar he spent his time hunting and in leisure. It has been stated in Tarekh-e Suri that these chieftains reigned over Ghor, Balishtan and Bost for several cen­turies. They are the descendants of Sur whose lineage goes back to the Sahak. Amir Polad heeded the call of Abu-al-Abas Safah against the Bani Umia. Mohammad Ibn Ali Albasti in Tarekh-e Suri  writes that in the call to war by the Abbasids Amir Kror scored many victories. Therefore, he wrote this poem known as wyârháná (glorification). Shaikh Kata, God's mercy be on him, has recorded this poem from Tarekh-e Suri.

Shaikh Kata relates from Tarekh-e Suri that Amir Kror was a just man, who was a good speaker and often wrote poetry. He died in 154 H./771 A.D. in the battle of Poshanj. After his death his son, Amir Naser, took control of the territories of Ghor, Sur, Bost and Zamindawar.

Since the Abassid call to war  Amir Kror gained many victories he composed some verses through which he  expressed his feelings of pride called fakhria (or poem in which merits of the author are enumerated). Shaikh Kata has quoted this poem from Tarikhi Suri [23].

            I am a lion, in this world there is none more powerful,

            In India, Sind, Takhar or Kabul,

            Nor is there any in the plains of Zabul.

            There is none mightier than me.


            The arrows of my strong will, like lightning fall

            On the fleeing enemy I boldly recall:

            Defeated in battle they have been all.

            There is none mightier than me.


            The skies above, round my victories revolve

            Under the thunder of my horse's hooves mountains dissolve,

            Conquer will I countless lands as battles evolve.

            There is none mightier than me.


            Under the lightening of my sword Jurm[24] and Herat lie

            Gharj,[25] Bamiyan and Takhar recant my battle cry;

            My name is known under the Roman sky,

            There is none mightier than me.


            My arrows fall on Merv, the enemy fears me

            On the banks of Haryaw-al-Rud[26] infantrymen quickly flee;

            Brave warriors tremble when me they see.

            There is none mightier than me.


            Conquer did I Zaranj[27] and respect to my sword accord,

            And the house of Sur the honor of kingship award

            But my kin I do reward.

            There is none mightier than me.


            To my subjects I show grace and remain kind

            To their  happiness and welfare I am not blind,

            For their prosperity, time I find.

            There is none mightier than me.


            In the mighty mountains, respected is my command,

            The world is mine, my name is famous through the land

            For days, nights, months and years; understand

            There is none mightier than me.



Shaikh Kata referring to Tarikh-e Suri relates that Amir Kror was a just man and wrote good poetry. He died in the battles of Poshanj in 154 H./770 A.D. [28] and was succeeded his by his son, Amir Nasir, who took control of the country and became the master of the lands of Ghor, Sur, Bost, and Zamindawar." [29]

From this recent historical document whose relation is known, we know two men from the Sur family: Amir Kror and his son, Amir Nasir. These two emirs are not mentioned in other sources; and the latter was ruling over Ghor, the surroundings of Bust and Zamindawar around 160 H./776 A.D.

His father's epical poem is in old Pashto which describes the position, victories, bravery and belligerence of its author and contains such words that are not used in Pashto today.

Minhaj Siraj who is our only ancient source with regards to the Suri family says nothing about the rulers of this family after Amir Polad (C. 30 H./747 A.D.) to the time of Harun-ur-Rashid (c. 170H./ 786 A.D.) and this gap of 40 years is filled by the narrative of Tarikh-e Suri that has reached us through Pata Khazana.



The poetical piece that Amir Kror left behind and was recorded in Tarikhi Suri of Mohammad bin Ali Busti and subsequently copied by Shaikh Kata in his book Larghuni Pashtana and has reached us through a third medium (Pata Khazana) is the earlier Pashto poem at our disposal to date, and not definitely the earliest or most ancient piece of Pashto poetry. For it is possible that there would be another work or even works older than Amir Kror's epics which have not come to hand and of which we do not know as yet. But from the viewpoint of maturity of its style, manner of expression, and content this ancient piece shows that Pashto poetry should have passed through its earlier stages already to reach this degree of literary maturity. And this poem is about one century older than the older preserved Dari poems of Abu Nafs Sughdi and Abas Meruzi (2nd century H), Hanzala Badghisi (died 220 H./834 A D), Feroz Mashrioi (280 H./893 A D.) and Abu Saleek C'argoni (280 H./893 A.D.)

The sequence or chain of eloquence in the Pashto language does not begin with this epic of Amir Kror, but it is the only piece left to us from those days. And as we see, this chain has been continued in the court of Ghor during the later periods also.

(1) With respect to the metrical structure and poetical measure it does not resemble any of the recorded structures or meters that have been imitated from the Arabic or Dari prosody of Khalil bin Ahmad in the later Pashto poetry. But we know that the singers of popular Pashto songs always exist in every village and tribe, and they have many varied and independent meters which are based on the number of syllables and stress or accent, which signify the prosodic character of the language.  This epical poem of Amir Kror, whose literal translation was given in the foregoing pages, is based on these special poetic measures. That is to say in each stanza first there are two rhyming hemistiches of fourteen syllables each. These ale followed by a shorter hemistich of six or seven syllables ending in the repeating hemistich of six syllables. This last repeating hemistich is called kasr in Pashto.

(2) This old poem, with its poetic measure, has also a special feature from the viewpoint of linguistics, for it is entirely free of foreign words, and with the exception of the Arabized proper names that have entered it, all the other words are Pashto words. It also contains words that are not used any longer, but in their roots they show a connection with the living words, which indicates that there were wide rules of derivation and grammatical changes in this language some of which are not seen today. For example zaran (brave) derived from zra (heart) dashan (enemy) an adjective derived from dush (horrid), and palan (foot) an adjective derived from pal (footstep).

3) There are some words in this old poem which do not convey their original old meaning and are no longer used in the language. For instance, the word mun which in Hindi means heart, soul, and will.[30] According to Alberuni, actually it is heart, and also since the locality of will is the heart, it is called mun,[31] and this word as used in Amir Kror's poem conveys the meaning of will and determination. And perhaps, the gerund manal meaning to accept also comes from this root.

The words atal (champion, hero, genius), dariz place of standing, hask which is now an adjective, high, and nmanz comes horn the root of nmunz, nmanzal and the namaz of Dari. These are instances of the gradual change of language during the last ten centuries. And we know also that Pashto language at that time was much purer than it is today.

4)  In olden times (about the composition of this epic) among the adverbial particles and suffixes of place we had "iz" and it conveyed the meaning of adverb of place. For example, in this poem we have the word dariz from adre and "iz" which together mean the Arabic mumber and mawqaf (pulpit and stand) and today we no longer have such adverbs of place. But in the writings of the middle poets also there were such particles of adverb as a sample of which we have only two other words: khatiz (i.e. place of rising--East) and lwediz (or place of setting-West) instead of which we use lmar khata and lmar lweda today.

5) As regards content also this old epic is a "pure and unmixed" poem for, there is the pure and simple feelings of rule implied in it contained by admixtures of other literary qualities. Its thought too—like its poetic mold—is pure and unadulterated. From this we could infer that though the Arabized names of places like Jurum and Hariwalrod are indicative of the author's association with the Abbassid Arabs, the helpers of Abu Muslim Mervzi, and the missionaries of the Abbas family caliphate who were certainly Arabic speakers—the intellectual influence of the Arab culture was not widely spread. For the word Jurum (Garamser) as attested by Billazuri, has been used in a poem by Ibn Mufarrigh, an Arab poet (around 60 H./ 679 A.D.) from the first half of the first century (H.) to refer to this same Garamser of southern Afghanistan,[32] and was present till the time of Minhaj Siraj (13th century).

6) Considering the maturity and beauty of this poem together with its verbal and conceptual ripeness, it could safely be said that Pashto poetry has had a good background at the time when this piece was composed by its author, and is not a newborn without any precursor. Since we see that the various kinds of Pashto poetry continue with considerable force and solidity after this period also, we can state that Pashto was an original language with a strong foundation and capacity and solidity for expressing a variety of ideas and epical, emotional and literary content a thousand years ago. And following that during the Islamic period it has brought into existence a literature that is rich and full of content in Central Asia one of whose cradles was the land of Ghor and the courts of the Suri family rulers.



As mentioned earlier, the Sur family were ruling during the pre-Islamic period, a time about which historical legends have been written. The Sur kings ruled over the vast lands of Ghor and Badghis to the mountains of Bamian and Shighnan. And the only source for historians in this regard are the writings of the historian of Ghor,  Minhaj Siraj Juzjani.

This insightful man who was associated with the Ghorid court from his childhood and, as he himself says, was brought up under the protection of the queendom of Malika Jalali Mahi Mulk, daughter of Sultan Ghiasuddin Mohammad bin Saam Ghori, had seen the genealogy of the Kings of Ghor in 602 H./1205 A.D. which was versified by  Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah Meruzi, in the harem of this queen.[33]  Also he had the Muntakhab-e Nasiri (a book which was an abridgment of the numerous volumes of Tarikh-e Baihaqi written by a dignitary of Ghazna during the reign of Sultan Muiwddin Mohammad Saam)[34] and in addition to that he wrote a valuable narrative on the dynasty of Sur and the Ghorid Kings in Tabaqat-e Nasiri from the history of Ibn Haizam Nabi and what he had heard from the elders of Ghazna.[35]

During the time in which Minhaj writes, on the basis of what he has heard, there are myths about rulers like Zahak and Bustam who were two brothers. Then, giving as his reference the Muntakhab-e Nasiri, he introduces their two other brothers, Sur and Saam, whose posterity ruled the mountains of Ghor and whose capital until the Islamic era was the Mandesh of Ghor.[36] From that origin emerged successful kings, the old idol-temples were replaced by the cry of Islam, the pulpit, and the arch and reached the far corners of the cities of India. During the Islamic period we know the following rulers of the Suri family:



As already stated this margrave or frontier official was a contemporary of Hazrat Ali (c. 31-36 H./651-656 A.D.) whom ancient Arab historians like Alyaqubi, Bilazuri and also the Shahnama of Firdowsi have mentioned. Most probably he had newly embraced Islam and was received in audience by Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam.



One of the famous men of the Suri family, during the reign of Sultan Masud (about 425 H./I033 A.D.) was Suri bin Al-muataz, chieftain of his tribe, governor of Nishapur, and a patron of scholars who never failed to heed the advice of Abu Mohammad Muala Baihaqi.[37] But Abdul Jabar bin Hasan Baihaqi who was appointed as Chief of Information of Khurasan by the Sultan antagonized him and had lampooned him extensively both in the Arabic and Persian languages. Following is an example of these sarcasms:

Amir, look toward Khurasan,

Suri keeps on bringing riches and goods
If his hand of oppression stays unchecked,
To you he'd bring a grave task.

It is the same Sur from the famous men of Masud Ghaznawid's sultanate whom Baihaqi mentions repeatedly in the events of Khurasan by the name of Suri, head of the government of Khurasan and Bulfzl Suri Muataz.[38] Toward the end of Masud's reign we find him in Ghazna where, as public prosecutor, he reads at the order of the Sultan rolls of the crimes committed by distinguished personalities of the court to them. Sabashi, one of the seniors of Ghazna, tells the Sultan, "Khurasan is in the grip of this Suri. Now don't let him lay his hands on Ghazna."[39] And these were the events of the year 431 H./1039 A.D. when Suri was still living. Now this Suri, an ambitions and tumultuous courtier, does not have a good name among the historians and, perhaps, his libelling by Abdul Jabar Baihaqi was not altogether improper and impertinent.



The description given by Minhaj Siraj regarding this progenitor of the Ghorid Kings was presented earlier. Referring to the versified genealogy of Mervzi, Minhaj Siraj says that because of their being consanguineous, the Ghorid kings were all called Shaspanians. It is this same Shinasp from the descendants of Zahak who grew up in the cities of Ghor, developed into an agile and strong man, and earned a name for himself. There is a strong probability that he embraced Islam during the caliphate and at the hand of Amir-ul-Moomineen Ali (May God be pleased with him), and received a decree and a flag, and whoever belonging to that dynasty ascended the throne that decree and flag of Hazrat Ali were given to him, and the love of Imams and members of the Prophet's household was rooted in their belief.[40]

The Shinasabani family sultans were divided into four categories as follows:

1. The sultans of Ferozkoh,
2. The sultans of Bamian,

3. The sultans of Ghazna, seat of the sultanate of Sultan Muaizuddin Mohammad Saam.

4. The sultans of India who inherited the sultanates of that country[41]



Based on Tabaqat-e Nasiri, a short statement about this sultan was given in the preceding pages. According to Minhaj Siraj, the emirate of Ghor was left to his nephews after his death, and
thenceforth till the reign of Amir Banji Naharan nothing is known about them.



JAHAN PAlHLAWAN AMIR KROR son of Amir Folad (139-154 H./756-770 A.D.).

With whom we are already acquainted.


AMIR NASIR son of Amir Kror whom we aIso know from Pata Khazana (as related by Shaikh Kata from Tarikh-e Suri) as being ruler of the lands of Ghor, Sur, Bust, and Zamindawar.[42]


AMIR BANJI BlN NAHAHA.N (c. 170 H./786 A.D.)

       Minhaj Siraj does not list the direct descendants of Amir Folad after describing the latter himself, and it is evident that he did not know of his son, Amir Kror, and his grandson, Amir Nasir. This gap as already stated is filled by revelations of Tarikhe Suri.

He considers Amir Banji Naharan as the senior Shanaspi Amir whose mention in Ghor was prevalent, was regarded as one of the great rulers of Ghor, and that all the sultans were his progeny whose lineage reaches the same Zahak (Sahak). The Amir was a handsome man with good morals, and endowed with high qualities. Accompanied by one of his contemporary emirs of Ghor, Sheesh bin Burhan, he went to the court of Harun-ur-Hashid, and (Amir Banji) was granted the emirate of Ghor with the fine title of Amir-ul Moomineen. He brought the decree and flag from the Caliph, as the sultans of Ghor were so entitled till the rise of Moghuls in Ghor and India.

But the other emir, Sheesh, was appointed the Commander-in-Chief of Ghor, and both of them were honored by visiting the seat of the Caliphate, until the time of Minhaj Seraj, the emirate of Ghor remained with the Shinaspanian and the position of the commander-in-chief with the Sheeshanian.[43]


AMlR SURI BIN MOHAMMAD (c. 253 H./866 A.D.)

Here again there is a gap of one century (three generations) in the progeny of the emirs of Ghor, and Minhaj Siraj himself also says that "from the reign of Amir Banji till this time
nothing was found related to the emirate of Ghor. As these categories of the Shinaspani sultans were prepared in Delhi, and the Islamic countries were divided due to sedition by the Moghul heathens, it was not possible to copy from the history book that I had seen in the cities of Ghor." [44]

This Suri emir who lived during the time of Yaqub Lais Saffari's rise in the middle of the 3rd century (A.H.) was in possession of most of the lands of Ghor. When Yaqub conquered
Bust and the cities of Dawar, Tagin Abad, and Rukhaj, the peoples of Ghor found sanctuary in their mountains, and the progenitor of the Shinaspani Mandeshis was this same Amir Suri, whose
palace and capital were at the foot of the Zarmurgh mountain.[45]

But what some of the historians like Jahan Ara and Muntakhab-e Tawarikh have said about Amir Suri as being the grandson of Amir Banji does not corroborate with historical norms. For as explicitly stated by Minhaj Siraj, Amir Banji was a contemporary of Harunur Rashid (c. 170 H./786 A.D.), and if we count three generations as one century, Amir Suri should have lived about 233 H.847 A.D., and following that there is an interval of one and a half centuries between him and his son, Mohammad bin Suri, a contemporary of Sultan Mahmud (c. 400H./1009 A.D.) which seems unlikely that each would have lived a hundred years.


AMlR MOHAMMAD BIN SURI (c. 405 H./I014 A.D.)

As stated earlier Yaqub Lais Safari (254-265 H./867-878 A.D.) took the slopes of the Ghor mountains from Zamindawar, Zawalistan, Rukhaj and Tagin Abad (c. 252 H./866 A,D.) but the Suris and the people of Ghor took refuge in the heights of the Ghor mountains. and stayed in safety.[46]

When Amir Subuktagin bin Jawq (qara bijkum-black yak) ascended to the throne of sultanate on 27 Shaban, 366 H./976 A.D. in Ghazna, he ordered his armies to march on Zamindawar, Qusdar, Bamian, and Takharistan and seized these places.[47] He organized several expeditions from Bust to seize the mountains of Ghor and killed many people.[48] When after his death his son, Sultan Mahmud, ascended the throne, Amir Mohammad Suri had attained the emirate of Ghor and having seized the territories of that region, he sometimes obeyed the Sultan and sometimes defied his authority, denying to pay the assigned tribute. At last, accompanied by a large force, Sultan Mahmud went toward Ghor and surrounded Mohammad in the Ahangaran fort, a place which exists to this day by the same name.

Mohammad put up a strong resistance, but came out of the fort only after a long interval of time to make peace with the Sultan and begin to serve him. The Sultan took him and his son, Keesh, to Ghazna in captivity. When he was taken prisoner, he could not endure the abjectness of imprisonment and by using the poison he had packed under the stone of his signet ring, he died in Gelan (between Muqur and Ghazna).[49] According to Baihaqi, this struggle and resistance, and finally his captivity, ended in the year 405 H./1014 A.D.[50]

Aside from Tabaqat-e Nasiri, the acounts of the battles of Sultan Mahmud with Malik  Mohammad Suri have been written by other historians also such as Ibn-e Aseer (Alkamil v. 9,
p. 61), Hamdullah Mastawfi (Tarikh-e Guzidah p. 406, 767), Baihaqi, Utabi, Firishta, Rawzatussafa etc. Unsuri, the poet of Sultan Mahmud's court,  also alludes to this event in his ode
of the Sultan's conqnests:

The capture of Suri's son and the conquest of Ghor,
Cannot be contained in the poems every moment.

But what we have in Pashto literature regarding this courageous ruler of Ghor cannot be found in any of the Arabic or Persian history books. In the biography of Pashto poets i.e. Pata
Khazana, there is a description of Shaikh Asad Suri, one of the early Pashto poets, as follows:

In his book Larghuni Pashtana, Shaikh Kata has an account from Tarikh-e Suri according to which Asad Suri lived in Ghor. There he enjoyed great respect during the reign of the Suri family. Shaikh Asad was the son of Mohammad, who died in 425 H./1033 A.D. in Baghnain.[51] Shaikh Asad (May God have mercy on him) wrote very good poetry. It is related that Sultan Mahmud engaged in a battle with Amir Mohammad Suri in Ghor and surrounded him in the fort of Ahangaran. At this time Shaikh Asad was also in the Ahangaran fort. When Sultan Mahmud captured Amir Mohammad Suri and took him as a prisoner to Ghazni, because Amir Mohammad Suri was a courageous, just, and resolute ruler he took his life instead of being taken a prisoner. And Shaikh Asad who was a close friend of Amir Mohammad Suri, lamented  his death in a bolala[52]  the Arabic word for which is qasida (elegy).[53]

The elegy that Asad Suri has composed to lament the death of Amir Mohammad Suri will be presented below so readers may get acquainted with the poet's style of ode writing, his imaginative
expression, his beginning and ending of the elegy together with some of the laudable qualities of his deceased sultan and, following that we will take an analytical look at the literary characteristics of this ancient Pashto poem.

            What can I complain about heaven's power

            That wilts the smiling spring flower,

            Every tulip that blooms in the desert plain

            Is stripped of its petals and left to wane.

            Many a cheeks has his slap blue turned,

            And countless piteous heads under the soil spurned.

            Kings lose their crown and lie dead,

            And the blood of the weak is shed.

            Afraid is the lion from his might,

            Every oppressor fears his fearsome sight.


            His arrows pierce the warrior's shield

            Brave men run from him in fear and yield.

            See the powerful deprived of their strength,

            Oh, how the heavens prevail at length;

            See the mighty subdued with one blow

            Deprived of their armor and glow.

            O heaven the cloak of cruelty you have worn

            That not a flower stalk is without a thorn.

            On the afflicted mercy you do not show,

            And grief on the bereaved you sow.

            From your cruelty my heart is afflicted,

            Many lovers, from love's nest you have evicted,

            From your transgression the clouds cry

            Your inauspiciousness make springs go dry.

            Your limitless cruelty has no end,

            And the poor you do not befriend.

            To no one you are kind

            A cruel course you always find;

            Nor true lovers do you entwine

            But the cruel you enshrine.

            See the injured cry in pain

            And the afflicted call in vain.

            Many a hearts you have seen stop beating,

            And you deceive the witty while they are cheating.

            The pampered you kill with a lightening flash,

            And rip holy garments of the saints in a dash.

            Great kings do you dethrone,

            And from your vengeance the lords groan.

            Your arrows have pierced our hearts again,

            And thousands have been injured in vain.

            Affliction on the people of Sur befell,

            When Mohammad, our king, elsewhere did dwell.

            First he was imprisoned by the foe

            And then put on death's row.

            With his fortitude Ahangaran lived in peace,

            And his justice was known as far as Greece.

            When a captive of Mahmud's army he became

            And sent expeditiously to Ghazna to defame.

            As imprisonment to the brave is like death,

            To heaven did transpire his breath.

            As dark soil obliterated his shrine,

            He resembled a lion with chains around its spine.

            From grievance the Ghorids wore garments black

            Darkness befell in every cirque and crack.

            See the mountains are all crying,

            In bereavement the waterfalls are drying,

            The verdant greenery of the mountains is gone

            Nor do the partridges sing among the herds of mouflon.

            See the tulips blossom no more in the valleys

            Nor does the bami[54] smile in the alleys.

            From Gharj[55] come not the caravans of musk,

            Nor do the caravans of Shar[56] reach Ghor at dusk.

            With warm tears the spring clouds unfurls

            And April may not rain down its pearls.

            Because Mohammad from this world has gone

            And all Ghor is grieving in his memory thereon

            In Sur's surroundings dark is the skyline

            And on these lands, the sun does not shine,

            Where young maidens laughed and danced,

            Where virgins tiptoed and pranced.

            Silent is Ghor, bereaved of their king

            Like hell, burns there every thing.

            O heaven, curse on you for taking Mohammad away

            And not letting this lion, among us stay,

            O stone hearted heavens, why are you still intact,

            O mountains of Ghor, why don't you contract,

            O earth why with trembling do not you crumble

            Turn upside down so that these words are lost in the rumble.

            A chivalrous lion among us is dead,

            All Suris are in agony, and tears they shed.

            Mohammad, on Ghor you illuminated light,

            Your justice was inviolate and right;

            A brave warrior you were and so you did die,

            Upholding dignity, you did not lie.

            With your departure the Suri are sad today

            Remember will they, your name with pride and say:

            O king, may heaven be your resting place[57]

            And forever be with you God's grace.







 (1) This elegy is the oldest Pashto poem discovered so far which bears resemblance to the style of the c. 400 H./1010 A.D. ode writers of the Persian language and the panegyrists of the courts of the Samanids and the Ghaznavids. As far as meter is concerned, every hemistich of the elegy has eleven syllables with the rawi of "I''' and the ridf "aa" such as tar, yar, bahar, etc. (note: rawi is last Ietter of the rhyming words which is the same throughout the poem).

It appears from this elegy that all the formalities and traditions of wriiting odes in the Dari language that are observed in the odes of the poets of the court of Ghazna such as Anwari, Farukhi, Asjidi, etc, had also influenced Pashto literature and the poets of the court of Ghor.

We do not know of any earlier Pashto elegy which is entirely similar to and congruous with the literary standards of the contemporary Dari poets, and most of the ancient Pashto poems that have come to hand, have their own special, free Pashto measures.

(2) With respect to the main theme also we see that the naseeb (a sweet song inserted in the ode that comes just before the main theme) and gurez (digression), have been rendered like those in Dari odes, and at the end of the elegy there are the tasalia (condolence) and the duaa (invocation).

(3) Unlike other old Pashto poems, many Persian and Arabic words have entered into this elegy, which denote a sort of susceptibility and literary following on the part of its composer.

(4) Though Arabic and Persian elements can be seen in this poem, there are many original Pashto words in it which are no longer used and which point to the evolution of the language.

(5) The smoothness of style, eloquence of the composer and the power of his words appear in this elegy. The author of this piece has been able to express his deepest feelings of sorrow in it and this itself is among the merits of ode writing.

(6) If we take a comparative look at it and, for instance, compare it with the famous elegy that Farukhi had composed for Sultan Mahmud, we see some distinctive features in it such as: Farukhi's elegy "The city of Ghazni is not the same as I saw it yester year," is the work of a master poet, and the two elegies are alike also as far as time is concerned. The differences between them is the way in which the scenes are depicted and the mourners described. Farukhi has painted the picture of the disturbed and distressed state of the city mourners at the death of the Sultan with great poetical skill, and describes the grief and sorrow of the citizens and the courtiers in such painful words as: I see households full of wailing, crying, wailing and crying that injure the heart. I see streets and alleys in turmoil.

All crying in anger, ebullient;

I see sidewalks empty and doors of shops.
All closed, and everyone blocked.

I see the Hajis in sorrow, wearing black,
One has lost his cap the other, his turban.

I see soldiers confused and bewildered,
Eyes filled with tears, enervated by sorrow.

By such power of eloquence and vivid imaginative portrayals of scenes, Farukhi has been able to show in the Sultan's elegy the deepest feelings of the people, but, before him, Asad Suri has employed a different manner of depicting his scenes. That is to say he has wrapped the same points and the same pictures of sorrow and mourning in the beauty of nature, and has resorted to a description of the beautiful and aestheticism, which itself shows the difference and nature of the poet's environment from that of Farukhi, but at the same time he has so composed his ode to describe the beauty of nature also which denote his innovation in imagery.

Farukhi paints a picture of the closed shops of Ghazna, of the mournful Hajis who have lost their caps and turbans in their excessive grief, and the disconcerted crying soldiers, where as Asad Suri makes the lamentation of the waterfall, the tears of the springs, and the withering of the mountain flowers all of which are elements of the beauty of nature to serve as means of portraying and expressing the sorrow of the populace.

The interesting similarity in those two elegies is that in the middle of Farukhi's elegy seven couplets begin with the interjections of ah and darda (from dard meaning pain) both of which express grief as in the following:

Ah w darda w daregha ki chu Mahmud Malik,
Hamchu har khare dar zeri zamin rezad khwar.
Ah w darda ki kunun birahmanani hama Hind,
Jay sazand butan ra digar as now ba bahar.


Ah! Alas! 'tis a pity that a king like Mahmud,
Goes under the earth like any thorn, abandoned.
Ah! Alas! that now the Brahmins of all India,
Will make places anew for idols in the temple.

And then there are nine couplets that begin with the address of khez shaha! (Rise, 0 King!)[58] and these repetitions of exclamations and addresses certainly provoke pity and sorrow
and signify Farukhi's inculcatory skills and poetical strength. These same addresses in Asad Suri's elegy are directed at the oppressive sky, and then he says to the earth and the mountains of
Ghor: tremble and turn upside down and be reduced to dust so the cry of departure of the lion-hearted is raised.

In composing an elegy the greatest strength of the poet lies in how he can arouse feelings of sorrow in his readers, and make them share his grief. We see that both Farukhi and Asad
Suri have been able to achieve that goal in their particular ways, and this was a tradition of the poets of that time.

We now come to the ending of the elegy which again is a criterion of the force of the poet's words and his skill of imaginative innovation. Asad Suri praises his extolled at the end of
his elegy for his justice, pride, and honor and says that if today the Suri people bemoan his death, tomorrow they will be proud of his name and his dynasty. Here the poet thinks of the general societal and tribal pride, and with this thought in mind, prays for him, and invokes God's mercy for him. But at the end of Farukhi's excellent ode which from the literary viewpoint is extremely eminent and forceful, we see that all of a sudden a personal cause which has remained in the subconscious of the panegyrist poet emerges and addresses the deceased sultan as follows:

Through thy kindness the market of poets was so brisk,
You passed away and that market's slackened at once.

Farukhi was a poet and the dullness of his poetry was one of the significant causes of writing an elegy for a man whose departure had no doubt greatly harmed the political unity of
the country and the progress of Islam in the East.

This explicitness about the sale of poetry and the dullness of the trade of the hyperbolic eulogists, though a matter of personal concern and regret for Farukhi, was certainly not a grave
issue to be included in such bombast in the elegy of a great man like Mahmud. The writer of the elegy could, with his strong poetical verve, have divulged his deceased acclaimed patronage of literature, like the following couplets praising Mohammad, son of Mahmud;

None knows the worth of a gem but a jeweler,

'Tis a man of letters who knows the worth of the literary men.[59]

Were that a superior and powerful poet like Farukhi did not take his literary wares to the bazaar and sidewalk of literary trade!

10.  Rule of Shinaspani kings of Ghor in Khurasan and India. So far we discussed briefly Amir Kror's dynasty (i.e., the Suris of Ghor) and matters pertaining to their literary activities, wherein our main object was the introduction of this Amir and his family. In order that our investigation of this family may be completed, we will describe briefly the remaining members of this great family of Afghanistan whose local and limited rule was later expanded into a vast empire in the middle of Asia and who gained noteworthy successes in the Indian sub-continent, and spread the Islamic culture of Khurasan up to the shores of the Ganges river.

Minhaj Siraj has shown the Shinaspani dynasty sultans as comprising the following four categories:

1. The sultans of Ferozkoh of Ghor.

2. The sultans of Bamian.
3. The sultans of Ghazni.

4. The sultans of India who inherited the sultanates of that country.



1. Malik Shinasp Ibin Khurnak from the successors of Sur, brother of the legendary Zahak (c. 36 11./656 A.D.)

2. Amir Folad from the grandsons of Shinasp (c. 130 H./747 A.D.)

3. Jahan Pahlawan Amir Kror son of Amir Polad (139-154 H./756-770 A.D.)

4. Amir Nasir son of Amir Kror (c. 160 H./776 A.D.)

5. Amir Banji bin Naharan (choice of Amir-ul-Moamineen Harunur Rashid) (c. 170 11./786 A.D.)

6. Amir Mohammad Ibin Suri (c. 405 H/I014 A.D.)

7. Amir Mohammad Ibin Suri (c. 405 H./I014 A.D.)

8. Amir bu Ali Ibin Mohammad Ibin Suri (c. 420 H./1028 A.D)
Malik Mohammad Suri had two sons: Sheesh, the younger and favorite son of his father who together with his father was taken to Ghazna, and sent back to Ghor after the death of
his father, and Amir bu Ali Ibin Mohammad Suri, who according to Minhaj Siraj, was a man of good character, had the emirates of mountains of Mandesh during his father's rule, was liked by the people, and obeyed Sultan Mahmud. Therefore, after the death of his father, his emirate over Ghor was recognized by the court of Ghazna. This righteous king did many good things and built places for public welfare, constructed mosques and madrasas in Ghor, and established many pious foundations. He respected the imams, the ulema (religious scholars) and the ascetics. Minhaj Siraj goes on to say that people lived in comfort and tranquility during his time, and his brother, Sheesh, was also under his guardianship. At last, Abbas, son of Sheesh, seized power and captured his uncle Amir bu Ali and took control of the lands of Ghor,[60] and these events took place during the reign of Masud of Ghazna, after the death of Sultan Mahmud (421 H./1029 A.D.)


9. Amir Abbas ibn Sheesh ibn Mohammad (c. 450H./1057 A.D.)

Unlike his father who was a soft natured man and obedient to the sultans of Ghazna, Amir Abbas was an extremely virile, brave and dauntless young man. He gathered a number of young men around him, captured his uncle, and took the lands of Ghor. He was politic, shrewd and unjust. He usurped people’s property, and people turned away from him. They sought the help of sultan Ibrahim ibn Masud, the grandson of Sultan Mahmud (451-492 H./1058-1098 A.D.). When Ibrahim marched upon Ghor, they delivered Abas to the Sultan who took him to Ghazna in captivity and handed the lands of Ghor to his son, Amir Mohammad.

Minhaj Siraj has several stories regarding the inauspicousness of Abbas’s reign, the harshness of his character and even his dog-fights, but with all his oppression and injustice, Abbas had a full share of the knowledge of astronomy, and had built a tall palace with 12 towers in Khita Sanga of Mandesh, Ghor, which was the observatory for the places where the sun rose, showing also at what degree and at which sign of the zodiac the sun was on a particular day. Moreover, Abbas had a hand in the construction of the magnificient buildings of Ghor also.

10. Amir Mohammdad ibn Abbas (c. 470H./ 1077 A.D.)

He was appointed king of Ghor by Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznawi after the latter subdued Ghor at the request of the nobles and senior citizens of that emirate. According to Minhaj Siraj, Amir Mohammad was a man of a very good disposition. He was also a just emir and a promoter of scholars, and all the people of Ghor obeyed him. As far as possible he endeavored to revive the traditions of charity and munificence. He had good relations with the court of Ghazna and obeyed it. In his time the people of Ghor lived in comfort, tranquility and peace.

11. Malik Qutbuddin Hasa ibn Mohammad ibn Abbas (c. 510H./1116 A.D.)

He is considered the grandfather of the great sultans of Ghor. He was a just, auspicious, and handsome emir. But the people of Tagab, Wajiristan province (or Aharistan of today) rebelled against him and Qutbuddin subdued them. In the battle an arrow hit his eye and he died of that wound. At this time his son, Shahabuddin (Mohammad Khurnak Ghori) ruled over these regions.

12. Abussalateen Malik Izzudin ibn Hasan (c. 530 H./1135 A.D.)

He too was a king of laudable qualities and good character, in whose reign Ghor and the cities of the mountains prospered and people lived in comfort. He was also called Abul Mulook, for his seven sons ruled these lands. They were:

a)       Malik Shahubuddin Mohammad Khurnak, Malik of Madin Ghor (c 550 H./ 1154 A.D.)

b)        Malik Fakhruddin Masud, the emir of Bamian and Takharistan (540-557 H./1145-1162 A.D.)

c)       Sultan Alauddin Husain, King of Ghazni, Ghor and Bamian (544-551 H./1149-1155 A.D.)

d)       Sultan Saifuddin Suri, King of Ghor and Ghazni (killed 544 H./1149 A.D.)

e)       Sultan Bahauddin Saam, King of Ghor (544 H./1149 A.D.)

f)         Malikul Jibal Qutbuddin Mohammad, emir of Ghor and Ferozkoh (c. 540 H./1145 A.D.)

g)       Malik Shujauddin Abu Ali, emir of Jarmas of Khurasan and Ghor (c. 540 H./1145 A.D.)

Relations between Izauddin and the Saljoqi state and /Sultan Sanjar (511-552 h./ 1117-1158 A.D.) were extremely friendly and he sent gifts to the Saljouq court, and his sons expanded the authority of the Ghori State throughout Khurasan.

14. Sultan Alauddin Husain Jahanzoz (noted above)

15. Sultan Saifuddin Suri (noted above).

16 Nasruddin Hussain ibn Mohammad Madini (killed in Ferozkoh, Ghor, c. 5550 H./ 1154 A.D.)

17. Sultan Saifuddin Mohammad bin Alauddin Husain (killed at Zarq of Mervrod c. 555 H./1159 A.D.).

18. Sultan A’azam Ghisa-ud-Dunya-wa-Din, Mohammad ibn Bahauddin Saam (558-599 H./1162-1202 A.D.), conqueror of all Khursasan.

19. Alauddin Mohammad ibn Shujauddin abu Ali, king of Ghor (599-612 H./1202-1215 A.D.)

20. Sultan Ghiasuddin Mahmud ibn Sultan Ghiasuddin Mohammad Saana (599-607 H./ 1202-1210 A.D.).

21. Sultan Bahauddin Saam bin Mahmud (607 H./1210 A.D.).

22. Alauddin Atsiz Husain son of Sultan Alauddin Jahansoz (killed in Ghor 607 H./1210 A.D.).

23. Sultan Alauddin Mohammad bin Abul Ali, the last of the Ghorid kings 610-612 h\H./ 1213-1215 A.D.)


  1. Malik Fakhruddin Masud bin Izzuddin Husain (listed under Cat. 1, No, 12).
  2. Sultan Shamsuddin Mohammd bin Masud (553 H./1162 A.D.)
  3. Sultan Bahauddin Saam bin Shamsuddin (587-602 H./1190-1205 A.D. )
  4. Sultan jalaluddin Ali bin Bahauddin (602-612 H./1205-1215 A.D.)
  5. Sultan Alauddin Masud bin Shamsuddin Mohammad (c.  590 H./1193 A.D.)



  1. Sultan Saifuddin Ghori (listed under Cat. 1, No. 12).
  2. Muizzuddunya-wa-din, Sultan Mohammd bin Bahauddin Sam, conqueror of India after Sultan Mahmud (569-602 H./1173-1205 A.D.)
  3. Alauddin Mohammad bin Bahauddin Mohammad Saam Bamiani (602-603 H./1206-0207 A.D.)

So far we presented in brief the list of the Suri and Ghorid kings of the Sur and Amir Kror’s family who had gained victories throughout Khursasan and India and had ruled those regions. Category 4 of these rulers, whom Minhaj Siraj has called Nuizzia, Mohammad Ghori in India, was omitted. For, these great kings, though they have gone to India from Afghanistan with the Suri sultans and are the cause of glory of this land, and are not directly related to the dynasties of Amir Kror and the Suris of Ghor.

This is the story of Amir Kror's family, the most ancient Pashto poet known so far, who have among them from the 7th to the 12th centuries, conquerors and victorious men and promoters of culture and knowledge from Khursasan to the remote corner of India. The splendid and glorious Islamic culture which prevails today all over the Indian sub-continent and Central Asia has been partly promoted by this dynasty. May everlasting praise be to their souls!

It should be mentioned that the continuation of this literary movement in the court of Ghor is evident also from one other excellent Pashto ode which was written by Skarandoi bin Ahmed,
magistrate of Ferozkoh, in praise of Sultan Shahabuddin Mohammad Saam (Muizuddin) conqueror of India, and which was  recorded by Mohammad Hotak. author of Pata Khazana, in the
same tradition of Shaikh Kata from Mohammad bin Ali Busti.[61]

Skarandoi was a contemporary of the two brothers, Sultan  Ghiasuddin and Muizzuddin (c. 600 H./1203 A.D.), and had written elegies for both of them. This ode is one of the important odes of Pashto which begins with a beautiful tashbeet (beginning couplets of an ode) of the spring scenes and paints a picture of the courageous Afghan fighters crossing the Indus and eulogises the conquests of Sultan Muizzuddin Mohammad in the eastern areas of the country and the Indian sub-continent. This elegy is not inferior at all to the ode of Asad Suri as far as eloquence, solidity of words, beauty of imagery, and preservation of some of the obsolete words are concerned. It shows also its proximity to the general  Khurasanid and Dari trend of ode-writing.



[1] Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 1234. Oxford 1964.

[2] Hindi-English Dictionary, p. 488, London, 1866.

[3] Daudpoor, Yashtha. Vol. 1, p. 265. Tehran, 1968.

[4] The worship of Mazda in ancient Iran, p.32. Tehran 1947.

[5] Rosenfield. The Royal Art of the Kushans, p. 192.

[6] Hacken. Relics of Khair Khana pass, translated, Kohzad, Kabul, 1936.

[7] Suna, which in Arabic has been changed into Zun (see Majame-ul-Buldan, 4/28 and Al-Muraba of Jawaliqi, p 166 was the same idol of the sun goddess which in the Indo-European languages had the root (su-en or sa-uen) and in the Anglo Saxon it was (sunne, in German (sonne) and was changed to sun. English (Webster’s New Dictionary 146, 1957). Hence (sunagir) in Pashto is (sughar) and the present day (chunghar) is also from the remnants of this denomination meaning (sun mountains). The Snarod (Seistan) or Sunabad (Toos) and Suna Khan or Suna Kheil (names of Afghan distinguished men) are also from this category. 

[8] Si-yu-ki, 1st book on Kia-pi-shi, 12th books on Tsu-su-cha (Zabul).

[9] Kohzad, History of Afghanistan, Vol. 2, pa. 577.

[10] Rosenfield. The art of the Kushanid Period. 294.

[11] Bilazuri. Futuh-ul-Buldan, p. 486.

[12] Lee, Strange. Geography of the Eastern Caliphate. Urdu translation, p. 521. Hyderabad, 1930.

[13] Habibi, A.H. Afghanistan after Islam. P. 1054, Kabul 1978.

[14] Marajiat-ul-Ittlas, Vol. 1, p. 512, Cairo, 1978.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Haji Khalifa. Kashf-uz-Zunon, Vol. 1, p. 310.

[17] Futuh, 505. Tarekh-e Yaqubi, Vo,. 2, p. 184.

[18] Tarekh-ul-Ummame wal Mulook, Vol. 3, p. 557.

[19] Minhaj Siraj, Tabaqat-e Nasiri, Vol. 1, p. 320, Kabul 1963.

[20] See Si-ku-ki.

[21] Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 324.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Pata Khazana, p. 30, Kabul 1944.

[24]  Juroom plural of Jurm, Arabicized form of garam meaning Garamser and the southern parts of Afghansitan.

[25] Gharj is the Arabicized form of ghar and Gharjistan is the Arabicized form of Gharistan in the southwest of Ghor.

[26]  Harivalrud is the Arabicized form of Harirod and this form indicates the influence of Arabic decorum on Amir Kror.

[27]  Zaranj is the Arabized form of Zaranj and is the name of the capital of Seistan.

[28] Poshanj is the Arabized form of Pashang, the present-day Ghorian to the south of Heart.

[29] Pata Khazana, p. 30, Kabul, 1944.

[30] Hindi Dictionary, p. 703.

[31] Kitab-ul-Hind, Vol. 11, p. 45.

[32] Futuh-ul-Buldan, p. 440.

[33] Tabaqat-e Nasiri, Vol. 1, p. 319.

[34] Ibid, p. 322.

[35] Ibid, p. 327.

[36] Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 323.

[37] Ali bin Zaid Baihaqi. Tarikh-e Baihaqi, p. 398. Hyderabad, 1968.

[38] Tarekh-e Baihaqi, p. 530. Meshad, 1971.

[39] Ibid, p. 876.

[40] Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 320.

[41] Ibid, p. 323.

[42] Pata Khazana, p. 30, Kabul 1944.

[43] Tabaqat, Vol. 1. P. 326.

[44] Ibid, p. 327.

[45] Ibid, p. 328.

[46] Ibid. p. 327.

[47] Ibid, p. 328.

[48] Ibid, p. 329.

[49] Ibid, p. 329.

[50] Tarekh-e Baihaqi, p. 117.

[51] Baghnain is the Baghni of today connected with Zamindawar and the southern mountains of Ghor.

[52] Bolala in old Pashto meant ode from the infinitive bolal meaning to call and mention.

[53] Pata Khazana, p. 7, Kabul 1944.

[54] Bami is the name of a flower which was also used as a masculine proper name.

[55]  Gharj is Gharistan=Gharshistan=Gharjistan, located between Heart, Ghor, and Mervrod (see Ma’said p. 129). 

[56] The governor of Gharjistan was called shar whose capital was Bsheen (see Hudud-ul-Alam, p. 58).

[57]  Pata Khazana, p. 48.


[58] Diwan of Farukhi, p. 90, Tehran, 1966.

[59] Ibid, p. 93.

[60] Tabaqat, Vol. 1, p. 330.

[61] Pata Khazana, p. 50, Kabul.