Khattak The Tribe of Manasseh

Note: All references from books and texts have been italicized and bulleted.

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Introduction

Khattak or Khatak (Pashto: خټک, Urdu خٹک), is the name of an Afghan tribe belonging to the Karlan branch of the Afghans. The tribe’s history is quite ancient. One of the earliest references about them are found in the 4th century BCE in Median Empire (Media And Arachosia). They were called Sattagudai by Greek and other historians.

  • [Guardians of the Khaibar Pass: the social organisation and history of the Afridis of Pakistan David M. Hart Page 7]
  • [The races of Afganistan being a brief account of the principal nations, By Henry Walter Bellew - 2004 - 124 pages - Page 85.]
  • [An inquiry into the ethnography of Afghanistan: prepared and presented to the Ninth international congress of Orientalists, London, September, 1891 - The Oriental university institute, 1891 - 208 pages - pages 107,108,122.]
  • [A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province: Based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883 - Horace Arthur Rose, Sir Denzil Ibbetson, Sir Edward Maclagan - Printed by the superintendent, Government printing, Punjab, 1914 - Page 217.]
  • [Qabila: tribal profiles and tribe-state relations in Morocco and on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier - By David M. Hart - - 2001 - 254 pages - Page 152.]
  • [Afghanistan of the Afghans - Bhavana Books & Prints, 2000 - 272 pages - Ikbal Ali Shah (Sirdar.) - Page 95.]

However, their origin is much more ancient.

The tribe’s territory is located in the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province of modern day Pakistan. Historical records show an earlier eastward migration from Herat, Ghowr and Ghazni.

The tribe is settled along the western bank of the river Indus from as north upwards as Sammah; modern day Lund Khwar & Sher Garh near Malakand District to South through the district of Karak District, a stretch of territory more than 200 miles long. Their historic capitals are Akora Khattak, a town 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of the provincial capital, Peshawar and Teri, Kohat.

Their historical centers include Herat, Ghowr, Ghazni, Zhob, Karak, Tirah and Wana.

For the most part of their history, the Khattak were united under one combined leader, referred to as Malak, which according to Khushal Khan Khattak is a continuation of the Bani Israel title of Malak (king).

  • [Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 54, Issues 3-4, Pakistan Historical Society - 2006 - Page 86, also p77,81.]
  • [Dastar nama of Khushhal Khan Khattak, Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, 2007 - 254 pages.]

However, the combined title of Malak is not used anymore, solely for the reason that there is no combined Malak of all the Northern and Southern clans.

Origin

According to Nimatullah’s 1620 work ”History of The Afghans”, Khattaks are amongst the oldest of the Afghan tribes.

  • [Deportation by the Assyrians, Makhzan-i Afghani, page 37]

Their history has been closely knit with that of the Yusufzai Tribe from their first settlement around the mountains of Ghor and Ghazni to present day East-Central and North-Eastern Pukhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

  • [Herodotus, Book 3, 91, The Histories of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, Translation 1858–1860]

(In this and the two succeeding passages the historian is giving a list of the Achaemenian satrapies and their peoples.)

The Sattagudai and the Gandarioi and the Dadikai and the Aparutai, who were all reckoned together paid 170 talents.

Herodotus, without assigning a name to the satrapy, tells us that Darius’ yth Satrapy was inhabited by four tribes, the Sattagudai, the Gandarioi, the Dadikai, and the Aparutai.

  • [The Pathans 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957" printed St Martin's Press 1958 by MacMillan and Company Limited]

The earliest accounts of the Khattak tribe appear in the writings of Herodotus during the Fifth Century BC where he mentions the four ancient nations comprising the Pactyans he encountered in Pactya as the Gandarn, the Aparytae, the Sattagyddae, and the Dadicae. The first having long since been identified with the ancient inhabitants of that part of the Peshawar valley now known as the Yusufzai and Mohmand country. The second and third are identified with the Afridi, and the Khattak of the present day. The last, or Dadicae, are most probably represented by the nearly extinct tribe of the Dadi, who dwell amongst the Kakar, on the southern border of the ancient Sattagyddae country. It is curious to find these very nations now, after a lapse of more than two thousand years, retaining the identical names and the same positions as those assigned to them by the ancient Greeks author.

The first settlement of the Khattaks was at Shawal, a valley in the Waziri country lying to the west of Bannu, near the Pir Ghal peak. They migrated thence eastwards to the British district of Bannu and settled with the Afghan tribes of Honai and Mangal, who then held it. These tribes were driven out by the Shitaks, a clan allied to the Khattaks, also from Shawal, probably during the 14th century.

  • [Notes on the Tarikh-e-Murassa, Plowden, Maj.]
  • [Settlement Report of Bannu, Thorburn]

The Shitaks gradually drove back the weak Khattak communities previously settled along the left bank of the Kuram. The Khattaks thus pressed from behind gradually spread over the southern portion of the Kohat district. They first took Possession of the Chauntra Bahadar Khel and Teri valleys, and jointly with the Bangashes drove out the tribes previously occupying the north-eastern part of the district, and obtained the Gumbat, Pattiala and Zira tappas as their share

Bani Israel – The Ten Lost Tribes

Bani Israel (also Bna’i Israel) literally means, the children of Israel and refers to the Assyrian captivity of Israel and the ten lost tribes that settled in Media (and Arachosia) and never repatriated to the Holy Land. Numerous historians have identified these four tribes with four of the Ten Lost Tribes.

Gandarioi

Gandariori (Greek usage) Or the Yusufzai (Pashto usage) have been identified as the Tribe of Joseph (Biblical usage).

  • [Mountains Before the Temple, By Zechariah Donagan, Page 170, 2009 - 332 pages.]
  • [Ancient pillar stones of Scotland; their significance and bearing on ethnology By George Moore, George Moore - 1865 - 179 pages, page 7.]
  • [Mountain passages, Jeremy Bernstein, University of Nebraska Press, 1978, Page 256.]
  • [Afghan and Pathan: a sketch, George Batley Scott, The Mitre press, 1929 - 188 pages, Page 75.]
  • [All over the place: fifty thousand miles by sea, air, road and rail, Sir Compton Mackenzie, Chatto and Windus, 1948 - 292 pages, Page 231.]
  • [A British tale of Indian and foreign service: the memoirs of Sir Ian Scott By Sir Ian Scott, Denis Judd, 1999 - 287 pages, Page 64.]
  • [India as i Knew it, Page 341.Statistical, descriptive and historical account of the North-western Provinces of India, ed. by E.T. Atkinson [and others], North-western provinces, 1880 – Page 639.]

Aparutai

Aparutai (Greek usage) or Afridi or Apridi (Pashto usage) have been identified as the Tribe of Ephraim.(Biblical usage)

  • [War on Terror: Unfolding Bible Prophecy, Grant R. Jeffrey, The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group, 2002 - 240 pages, Page 56.]
  • [Forum on the Jewish people, Zionism and Israel , Volume 61, World Zionist Organization. Information Dept, 1988, Page 43.]
  • [The mystery of Israel's ten lost tribes and the legend of Jesus in India, Joshua M. Benjamin, Mosaic Books, 2001 - 150 pages, Page 19.]
  • [In the Footsteps of the Lost Ten Tribes, Avigdor Shachan, Laurence Becker, Devora Pub., 2007 - 452 pages, Page 89.]
  • [The exiled and the redeemed, Itzhak Ben-Zvi, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1961 - 285 pages, Page 200.]
  • [Encyclopedia of the Jewish diaspora: origins, experiences, and culture, Volume 1 By Mark Avrum Ehrlich, M. Avrum Ehrlich - 2008 - 1320 pages - Page 1129.]
  • [Afghanistan: the synagogue and the Jewish home, Zohar Hanegbi, Bracha Yaniv, Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1991 - 222 pages, Page 13.]

Dadikai

Dadikai (Greek usage) or Zazi or Jaji (Pashto usage) have been identified as the Tribe of Gad.(Biblical usage)

  • [Ariel , Issues 112-115, Israel. Miśrad ha-ḥuts, Israel. Miśrad ha-ḥuts. Maḥlaḳah le-ḳishre tarbut u-madaʻ, Israel. Miśrad ha-ḥuts. Maḥlaḳah le-ḳishre tarbut, Israel. Miśrad ha-ḥuts. Lishkah le-ḳishre tarbut, Cultural and Scientific Relations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2001.]

Sattagudai

Sattagudai (Greek usage) or Khattak & Shetak (Pashto usage) have been identified as the Tribe of Manasseh.(Biblical usage)

  • [Dastar Nama, Khushal Khan Khattak, Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.]
  • [Pakistan quarterly , Volumes 6-7, 1956 - Page 22.]
  • [The Modern review , Volume 86, Issues 1-5, Ramananda Chatterjee, Prabasi Press Private, Ltd., 1949 - Page 314.]
  • [Perspective , Volume 4, Pakistan Publications., 1971.Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 54, Issues 3-4, Pakistan Historical Society, 2006 - Page 86.]
  • [The races of Afganistan being a brief account of the principal nations, By Henry Walter Bellew, 2004 - 124 pages - Page 120.]

Khattak – The Tribe of Manasseh

Khattak origin from the Israelites is documented in numerous accounts and none is more convincing than the views of the Khattak themselves, and of their combined leader (of all Northern and Southern sub clans), Khushal Khan Khattak. In his book Dastar Nama, Khushal writes:

Khushal Khan further contends that Daniyal (Daniel) was from Malak Talut’s (Saul) progeny. Malak Talut (Saul) is from the offsprings of the brother of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham):
“The bravery and valour in the Pukhtuns are the effect of the milk of that lioness.”

  • [Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, Volume 54, Issues 3-4, Page 30]

This is further supported by the fact that Khushal who himself was elected a Malak of the Khattak tribe considered the word Malak, Bani Israel in origin and delcares it:

“a continuation of the Bani Israel title of Malak (king).”

Historically it is known that the tribal name Khattak came into usage when a leader of the tribe named Luqman was given the alias Khattak and that before this, the tribe was titled by its original name.

  • [A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province: Based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883, Horace Arthur Rose, Sir Denzil Ibbetson, Sir Edward Maclagan, Printed by the superintendent, Government printing, Punjab, 1914 - Page 248.]
  • [gazetteer of the dera ghazi khan district, 1883 - Page 127.]
  • [The Pakistan review , Volume 15, Ferozsons Ltd., 1967 - Page 23.]
  • [Quarterly journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 54, Pakistan Historical Society., 2006 - Page 85.]
  • [Report of the regular settlement of the Peshawar district of the Punjab, Edward George G. Hastings, 1878 - Page 80.]

Therefore, the tribal name Khattak replaced an older more ancient tribal name.

It is evident that the Yusufzai, the Afridi and the Jaji (Zazi) still retain their Bani Israel Tribal names, but for the Kattaks, this is derived indirectly from the fact that all of the Ten Lost Tribes can be accounted for in the different Afghan tribes that inhabit this region except Manasseh, since the Khattaks have been mentioned always in history with these three tribes, including by Herodotus.

  • [The Histories of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, Translation 1858–1860.]

Always reckoned together apart from all the other neighboring nations and the fact that it was the Tribe of Joseph that gave birth to Ephraim and Manasseh, it is therefore highly probable that the Khattaks are in fact the Tribe of Manasseh.

This is also confirmed by the fact that, wherever in Median Empire|Media and Arachosia (modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan), the Yusufzai have settled, the Khattak have settled beside them (except for a short period in their history when the migrated eastward to their present day abode again besides the Yusufzai in modern day Pakistan. Additionally, a sub tribe within the Khattak, called the Yusufzai-Khattaks (Lund Khwar, Jamal Garhi of District Mardan) are a union between the two tribes and thus share their heritage.

Additionally, The Khattak and the Afridi are grouped together in the Karalni Afghan tribes as being from the same origin.

  • [E.J. Brill's first encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1936 By M. Th. Houtsma, M. Th. Houtsma - 1993 - 611 pages - Page 921.]
  • [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal , Volume 47, Asiatic Society of Bengal, Bishop's College Press, 1878 - Page 268.]
  • [The Pathan customs, Sher Mohammad Khan Mohmand, 2003 - 113 pages - Page 70.]
  • [Perspectives on Hari Singh Nalwa, Prithīpāla Siṅgha Kapūra, ABS Publications, 1993 - 112 pages - Page 43.]
  • [Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan, 1996 - 2076 pages - Page 477. ]

They are always mentioned together and as being from the same origin.

  • [Pathans: compiled under the order of the Government of India at the Recruiting Office, Peshawar, Richard Thomas Incledon Ridgway, Manager of Publications, 1938 - Page 4. ]

The Tribe of Joseph also gave rise to the Tribe of Ephraim and the Tribe of Manasseh. Thus, since the Tribe of Ephraim and the Tribe of Manasseh have the same origin from the Tribe of Joseph thus too the Afridi and the Khattak have the same common origin.

Though, an Indian group, the Bnai Manasseh claim to be from The Tribe of Manasseh and ancient migrations may very well support this, however the tribal population sizes:

  • [http://www.asianews.it/index.php?art4148&len INDIA Indian converts to Judaism: lost tribes of Israel or economic migrants? - Asia News]
  • [http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3831308,00.htmlhttp://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1143299.html]

requires that the Tribe of Manasseh be proportionate to that of the Afridis (Tribe of Ephraim), and the only group fulfilling this is the Khattak. Population of the Afridi and the Khattak are more or less the same size.

We know that both the Afridi and the Khattak lived in the same geographical area at the beginning of the Muhammaden era.

  • [E.J. Brill's first encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1936, By M. Th. Houtsma - 1993 - 611 pages - page 921.]

:””at beigninning of mohammadan era khattaks occupied the Suleiman range and the northern part of the plains between these mountains and the Indus….””.

It is thus almost convenient to find that the last mentions of the Tribe of Manasseh in Media and Arachosia (mountains of Ghowr and Ghazni in modern day Afghanistan)..

  • [Mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes - Afghanistan, by Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, moshiach.com website]
  • [The Israeli Source of the Pathan Tribes, from the book, Lost Tribes from Assyria, by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978, in Hebrew by Issachar Katzir, at dangoor.com]
  • [website of The Scribe Magazine.Tribal groups, NOVA episode, PBS.Is One of the Lost Tribes the Taliban?, by Ilene Prusher, Moment Magazine, April 2007.]
  • [Afghanistan, The Virtual Jewish History Tour (retrieved 10 January 2007).]
  • [Introduction: Muhammad Qāsim Hindū Šāh Astarābādī Firištah, History Of The Mohamedan Power In India, The Packard Humanities Institute Persian Texts in Translation (retrieved 10 January 2007).]
  • [Bnei Menashe.com History page, A Long-Lost Tribe is Ready to Come Home, by Stephen Epstein, 1997]

also happen to be the very geographical area for the birth of the first mentions of Khattak.

  • [Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan Page 215.]
  • [The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch By George Passman Tate Page 10.]
  • [The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, translated and edited by A. Asher, Vol. 1, A. Asher and Co., London, U.K. - 1840.]
  • [history of the jews h Graetz vol 2.Edrisi 12th century, a treatise on geography.]
  • [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble, Asiatic Society of Bengal page 570.]
  • [The Holy Book of Tobit C XIV V 5-13.]

The Tribe of Gad

Some historians consider Khattaks to be the Tribe of Gad:

  • [http://av1611.com/kjbp/]
  • [(Gen 30:3-11, Gen 35:26; 46:16-18; Ex 1:4; I Chr 2:2, Isaiah 65:11),]
  • [http://www.answers.com/topic/peake-s-commentary-on-the-bible]

Gad, the word meaning to separate out or to “stand out”. The Modern day word Khattak the morphed form of the original however means a small hill that “stands out”.

  • [http://www.Khyber.org]

The Tribe of Gad is among theTen Lost Tribes that was taken by Assyrians and settled in the mountains of Ghor and Ghazni.

  • [(page 37 The History of the Afghans by Burnhard Dorn)http://www.wdl.org/en/item/3034/?qleng&igcu&view_typegallery]

Gad (Hebrew; to stand out, also Luck and Soldier) > Gadak (of Gad) also Satta+Gaddayee or Sattagudai (Herodotus) > Khadak (Kha in the old dialect of Pukhto (not Pushto) for the G of Hebrew) > Khattak (a hill that stands out).

This is also strongly echoed and verified in the words of Herodotus during the 5th century BC by the fact that of the Nations he mentions were “the Sattagyddae”, the Gaddae being the morphed form of the original Gad.

Sattagudai

Numerous historians identify the Khattak with the Sattagudai.

  • [The races of Afganistan being a brief account of the principal nations, By Henry Walter Bellew - 2004 - 124 pages - Page 85.]
  • [An inquiry into the ethnography of Afghanistan: prepared and presented to the Ninth international congress of Orientalists, London, September, 1891 - The Oriental university institute, 1891 - 208 pages - pages 107,108,122.]
  • [A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province: Based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883 - Horace Arthur Rose, Sir Denzil Ibbetson, Sir Edward Maclagan - Printed by the superintendent, Government printing, Punjab, 1914 - Page 217.]
  • [Qabila: tribal profiles and tribe-state relations in Morocco and on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier - By David M. Hart - - 2001 - 254 pages - Page 152.]
  • [Afghanistan of the Afghans - Bhavana Books & Prints, 2000 - 272 pages - Ikbal Ali Shah (Sirdar.) - Page 95.]

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:

Let us now refer to the third passage cited, in which Herodotus, without assigning a name to the satrapy, tells us that Darius’ yth
Satrapy was inhabited by four tribes, the Sattagudai, the Gandarioi, the Dadikai, and the Aparutai.

Bellew has gone further and identified the Sattagudai with the famous Khatak tribe, and the Dadikai with an obscure branch of Kakars whom he calls Dadi.”

Migration

Khattak origins are first noted in the mountains of Ghazni  &  Ghowr where they arrived from Herat. Over the following centuries they gradually migrated eastward to modern day Pakistan and Eastern Afganistan. In their migration they founded new cities and towns and established for themselves a wide stretch of territory. Some of the cities they founded or passed through have Bani Israelite names. These include:

Zhob

Tirah

Kerak

Dasht e Yahoodi and Qilla Yahoodi

Ghowr.

Conclusion

Some of the Afghan tribes are therefore the Ten Lost Tribes, these include:

Yusufzai – Tribe of Joseph

Afridi – Tribe of Ephraim

Zazai – Tribe of Gad OR

Gadoon – Tribe of Gad

Khattak – Tribe of Manasseh

Rabbani – Tribe of Reuben

Levani – Tribe of Levi

Ashuri – Tribe of Asher

Shinwari – Tribe of Simeon

Therefore for the question “Are Khattaks (or the Khattak) Jewish?” e.g. , the answer is, as far as the Khattaks are concerned, it is obvious they are as much Bani Israel or Jewish as the Yusufzai and the Afridis. However, they like all Afghans are NOT Jews. They are Jeiwsh.

There is a difference and it is substantial whether considered from an Afghan or from the Jewish perspective.

All these Afghans do accept and realize their Bani Israelite origins from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel but they are staunch Muslims and have no intention whatsoever to leave Islam or migrate to the Holy Land.

Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghan names of Hebrew and Biblical Origin

Note: all references from books and texts are italicized and bulleted.

Introduction

Afghans, more precisely Pakhtuns, are descendants of the Assyrian exile from Ancient Israel thus called the Bani Israel or the Children of Israel. This is a basic statement that is ubiquitously observed from texts, scrolls and books from as far back as Herodotus in the 5th Century BC to internet articles today. Some of these claims are absurd and laughable, for example, Afghans are Bani Israel because Lex Luger an American wrestler (of Jewish descent) and the Afghan province of Logar sound familiar. On the other hand the multitude of places, names, facts, rituals, customs and ancient references from Morocco to Ceylon collectively point towards an undeniable plausibility.

In short any of these facts viewed separately can be the result of random occurrences. More likely however, from their sheer number, existence within a concise narrow region, references from the cultures around them and their own oral and written history indicates towards an oft overlooked mystery of human history. The Afghans or more precisely the Paktuike within the Karlani Tribes are most probably the children of the Assyrian Exile that never repatriated with their homeland. In a region marred by continuous warfare between countless civilizations, it is not surprising that the most lasting history of the Afghans is their own Oral Traditions carefully preserved from father to son like echoes of the past.

The Assyrian Exiles

Many sources have different conclusions as to what happened to the Assyrian Exiles after their flight out of Israel and centuries of captivity. All are conflicting. The more reliable point to a general migration towards modern day Afghanistan. Others, towards the South of the Caspian, the Caucasus, South Eastern Europe. Some stretch the imagination as far as modern day Germany and even into the depths of Africa.

A point to remember here is that, these exiles were treated even less than slaves as rebels, deprived of basic citizenship and education the mere adherence to their old religion was considered an act of treason. Israeli Monotheism was a great heresy to the ancient Assyrians.

Also, only a small fraction of this exile living in the western parts of the empire ever relocated back to Israel and that too after years of struggle went badly for the Assyrians. The major part of the exile however was exiled to the furthest reaches of the empire, the mountains beyond western media which is modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A convincing reference to this fact comes from Herodotus.

Afghana

The Maḫzan-e Afġān’ by Nematullah, written in 1612 at the Mughal Empire (Mughal court), traces the Afghan or Pakhtun origin from the super-Patriarch Abraham down to one named King Talut or Saul. It states that Saul had a son Irmia (Jeremia), who had a son called Afghana. Upon the death of King Saul, Afghana was raised by David, and was later promoted to the chief command of the army during the reign of King Solomon. The progeny of Afghana multiplied numerously. Some four centuries after Afghana, in the sixth century BCE, Bakhtunnasar, or Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babil, attacked the Kingdom of Judah and exiled the descendants of Afghana to Ghor located in the center of what is now Afghanistan.

However, Neither Afghana nor Jeremia son of Saul figure in the Hebrew Bible.

According to several scholars such as Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky (V. Minorsky, W.K. Frazier Tyler and M.C. Gillet), the word Afghan first appears in the 982 AD Hudud ul-‘alam, where a reference is made to them as:

  • [Willem Vogelsang, ''The Afghans'', Edition: illustrated Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2002, Page 18, ISBN 0631198415, 9780631198413]

Saul (somewhere in Ghowr and Ghazni), a pleasant village on a mountain. In it live Afghans

In the writings of the 17th-century Pashto poet Khushal Khan Khattak, the equation of ”Afghan” and ”Pashtun” is further confirmed:

  • [extract from "Passion of the Afghan" by Khushal Khan Khattak; translated by C. Biddulph in ''"Afghan Poetry Of The 17th Century: Selections from the Poems of Khushal Khan Khattak''", London, 1890]

Pull out your sword and slay any one, that says Pashtun and Afghan are not one! Arabs know this and so do Romans: Afghans are Pashtuns, Pashtuns are Afghans.

Afghanistan

Regarding the modern Sovereign state|state of “Afghanistan’, the Encyclopaedia of Islam states:

  • [M. Longworth Dames, G. Morgenstierne, R. Ghirshman, ''"Af<u>gh</u>ānistān"'', in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition]

Afghanistan (Af<u>gh</u>ānistān) has borne that name only since the middle of the 18th century, when the supremacy of the Afghan race (Pashtuns) became assured: previously various districts bore distinct apellations, but the country was not a definite political unit, and its component parts were not bound together by any identity of race or language. The earlier meaning of the word was simply “the land of the Afghans”, a limited territory which did not include many parts of the present state but did comprise large districts now either independent or within the boundary of Pakistan.

Zebulon

‘Zabulon’ or ‘Zaboules’, was, according to the Book of Genesis and Book of Numbers:

  • [Genesis 46:14]
  • [Numbers 26:26]

the sixth son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelites (Israelite Tribes & Tribe of Zebulun).

Zabul

Zabul is the Pushto & Arabic form of the Hebrew Zebulon. ‘Zabul’ (زابل ) is also a historic province of modern day Afghanistan.

Zabulistan

Zabulistan (Pashto & Arabic زابلستان ),  also spelled Zabolestan, is a historical region in the border area of today’s Iran,  Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Babur records in his Babur-Nama that Ghazni Province  is also known as Zabulistan.

  • [Babur-Nama Translated from the original Turki Text of Zahirud'd-din Muhammad BABUR padshah Ghazi by Annette Susannah Beveridge Vol1 and 11 Published by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers ,Page 217]

The name refers to a larger area in the past, as evident by the existence of a province in Afghanistan called Zabul at the foot of the Hindukush, (along the border with Pakistan).

Pahan / Pithon

The word Pathan is the written form of the original word Pathan from The Torah (Divrei Hayomin/Kings 2), noting their ancestor from the line of Saul ben Qish, the first King of Israel, who was King David’s father in law.

  • [Bani Israel in Pakistan; The Israeli History of the Pathan Tribes by Qazi Fazli Azeem.]

Pathan

Oxford Companion to Military History: describes Pathans:

Pathans is a name given to speakers of Pashtu (Pakhtu) living in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • [O. K. Caroe, The Pathans, 550 B.C.-A.D. 1957 (1958, repr. 1965)]
  • [J. W. Spain, People of the Khyber (1963)]
  • [The Pathan Borderland (1963)]
  • [and The Way of the Pathans (2d ed. 1973).]

The Pathans are noted as fierce fighters, and throughout history they have offered strong resistance to invaders. The British attempted to subdue the Pathans in a series of punitive expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th cent. but were finally forced to offer them a semiautonomous area between the border of British India and that of Afghanistan.

After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the new nation annexed the Pathan border regions, and a Pathan independence movement, called the Redshirts, was born. In the early 1950s, Afghanistan supported Pathan ambitions for the creation of an independent Pushtunistan (also called Pakhtunistan or Pakhtoonistan) in the border areas of West Pakistan. Several border clashes and ruptures of diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan ensued. In the early 1970s thousands of armed Pathan tribespeople pressed for increased autonomy within Pakistan, even demanding independence after the secession of Bangladesh (East Pakistan).

Assyria, Media & Arachosia

Khurasan

Greater Khorasan ( Persian/ Pashto خراسان باستان یا خراسان بزرگ ) (also written ”Khurasan”) is a historical region spanning northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and the southern parts of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

  • [Britannica web url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/316850/Khorasan ]

Khorāsān, also spelled Khurasan, historical region and realm comprising a vast territory now lying in northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and northern Afghanistan. The historical region extended, along the north, from the Amu Darya (Oxus River) westward to the Caspian Sea and, along the south, from the fringes of the central Iranian deserts eastward to the mountains of central Afghanistan. Arab geographers even spoke of its extending to the boundaries of Hindustan (India)

  • [Encyclopaedia Britannica Online]
  • [The Encyclopaedia of Islam, page 55.]

In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the term “Khurassan” frequently had a much wider denotation, covering also parts of what are now Soviet Central Asia and Afghanistan; early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of western Persia, sc. Djibal or what was subsequently termed ‘Irak ‘Adjami, as being included in a vast and ill-defined region of Khurasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sind.

The name “Khorasan” is derived from Middle Persian ”khor” “sun” + ”asa” “literally, like or akin to, but usually meaning arising from”, hence meaning “land where the sun rises”. The Persian word ”’Khāvar-zamīn”’ (Persian خاور زمین ), meaning “the eastern land”, has also been used as an equivalent term.

According to Brittanica:

Khorāsān, also spelled Khurasan, historical region and realm comprising a vast territory now lying in northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and northern Afghanistan. The historical region extended, along the north, from the Amu Darya (Oxus River) westward to the Caspian Sea and, along the south, from the fringes of the central Iranian deserts eastward to the mountains of central Afghanistan. Arab geographers even spoke of its extending to the boundaries of India.

In the times of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, the term Khurasan was used for the region comprising of modern day Afghanistan, the North Eastern parts of Iran, the Western parts of Pakistan and parts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

  • [The Encyclopaedia of Islam, page 55.]

Arab geographers spoke of its extending to the boundaries of India as far as the Indus River (Indus valley) in what is now Pakistan.

  • [The Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill 1979, Vol.5, page 56]

Early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of western Persia, or what was subsequently termed ‘Irak ‘Adjami, as being included in a vast and ill-defined region of Khorasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sindh.

However, sources from the 14th to the 16th century report that Kandahar, Ghazni and Kabul in Afghanistan formed the frontier region between Khorasan and Hindustan.

  • [Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354, Ibn Battuta, 2004 publisher Routledge, isbn=0415344735, 9780415344739, page=416]
  • [Baburnama]

Gozan

In referring to the place of exile of the tribe of Ruben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh, the book of I Chronicles 5:26 states that:

“Pul … and Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria carried them away… and brought them to Halah and Habor, and Hara and to the river Gozan.”

The text of II Kings 17:6 also speaks of Gozan as a river:

“… the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river Gozan and in the cities of the Medes”

Similarly II Kings 18:11. In II Kings 19:12 Rabshakeh speaks:

in the name of Sennacherib: “How the gods of the nations have delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; (as) Gozan, and Haran

In Isaiah 37:12 Gozan can be understood as a region or a people of a region. The correct translation of II Kings 17:6 and 18:11 is:

“in the confluence of the river Gozan.”

Biblical scholars looking for the place of exile of the tribes of Israel by Tiglath Pileser, and then of all the tribes of Israel by Sargon upon the fail of Samaria, decided that the river’s name was Habor and Gozan was the region. This is a violation of the texts. They identified Habor with the confluent of the Euphrates mentioned in Ezekiel 1:3:

“The word of the Lord came … unto Ezekiel” in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.

The spellings Habor and Chebar are different, and the river Khvoz (Chebar) is not Habor, and the latter is not a river at all.

When the exiles of Judah arrived in Babylonia ca. 138 years after the inhabitants of Israel were removed from their land, they did not find the Israelites in Chebar (Khvoz). It is also said that the Lord removed Israel out of his sight—or to a country far away and without communication with the motherland.

The Assyrians spread their dominion to the south as far as Ethiopia and Aden (Eden). The Assyrians crossed the Caucasus—this is known from Assyrian inscriptions themselves.

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela, the Spanish Jewish traveller claimed to have found the Ten Tribes in the regions beyond then Persia in Medes and Arachosia. Even to the extent that this region upto distant Scythia abounds in Assyrian relics of the seventh century B.C.E.

2 Kings 17:6:

In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

2 Kings 18:11:

The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,

2 Kings 19:12:

Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden that were in Telassar?

1 Chronicles 5:26:

The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river of Gozan, to this day.

Isaiah 37:12:

Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Telassar?

  • [The Jewish quarterly review Volume 18 , Dropsie University, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, page 93]

Thence it is four days’ journey to Tibet, the country in whose forests musk is found.

Thence it takes twenty-eight days to the mountains of Nisabur by the river Gozan. And there are men of Israel in the land of Persia who say that in the mountains of Nisabur four of the tribes of Israel dwell.

  • [War on Terror: Unfolding Bible Prophecy, Grant R. Jeffrey, page 57]

The territory mentioned -Jn.2 Kings lies northeast of ancient Nineveh in present-day southern Afghanistan. The River Gozan lies in northern Afghanistan.

Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews described the location of the ten tribes.

  • [The itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela: critical text, translation and commentary, Benjamin (of Tudela), page 58]

He also substitutes Oxus for Gozan. In the Middle Ages the Oxus was known under that name. In each of the localities Benjamin was told that river (Oxus) was called Gozan.

  • [Median empire : 728 BC–549 BC did not involve the caucasus]

Hara

Herat

Habor

Khyber

Pesh Habor

Peshawar

Kohath

  • [Genesis 46:11]
  • [Exodus 6:16,18]
  • [Numbers 3:17,19,27,29,30,]
  • [Numbers 4:2,15,18,34,37]
  • [Numbers 7:9,]
  • [Numbers 10:21,]
  • [Numbers 16:1,]
  • [Numbers 26:57,58,]
  • [Joshua 21:4,5,10,20,26]
  • [1 Chronicles6:1,2, 16,18,22,33,38,54,61,66,70]
  • [1Chronicles9:32,]
  • [1Chronicles15:5]
  • [1Chronicles23:6,12]

Kohat

References from the bible as well as the multitude Hebrew names and the legend of the Afghans as the Bani Israel represent one origin while another claim states it to be the name of a Hindu Raja. The two compared however, the former theory hold more weight.

Sons of Joseph

Yousuf Zai

Yusuf means Joseph and Yusufzai means children of Joseph. They also call themselves Bani-Israel meaning children of Israel. Their tradition is that they were carried away from their ancient homeland, and through the ages eventually settled into what is now Pakistan, Afghanistan and some other countries.

Israeli Tradition in Afghan Royal Family

The Afghan Royal Family has a well known tradition placing its origin in ancient Israel, they came from the Tribe of Benjamin.

First of all, many Afghani people claim this to be so. Rabbi Avraham Hacohen, president of the Jewish community in the Afghan city of Harath, testified that he heard former Afghani king Habib Allah Han proclaim:

“I am from the tribe of Benjamin.” In similar testimony, an immigrant to Israel recalls his childhood memory of King Habib Allah’s horseback tour of Harath (Herat): “The Jewish dignitaries of the city gathered, among them my father. My father coerced me to join in greeting the king. The King asked the Jews, ‘What tribe are you from?’ ‘We have no tradition regarding that, so we don’t know, O King,’ answered the head of the delegation. ‘Well, we do know,’ said the king. ‘We, the Mahmad Zei family, are all descendants of the tribe of Benjamin from the seed of King Saul, from the sons of Yonatan Afghan and Pithon.’”

  • [Based on an article by Rafael Berelson]

The  former  monarchy  in  Afghanistan  has  a  widely-spread tradition according  to which  their origin was  from  the  tribe of Benjamin  and  the  family  of  King  Saul.  According to this tradition, Saul had a son called Jeremiah and he in turn had a son called Afghana.  Jeremiah  died  at  about  the  same  time  as Saul  and  the  son  Afghana  was  raised  by  King  David  and remained in the royal palace during the reign of Solomon too. About 400 years later, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the Afghana family fled to the Gur region (Jat in our times). This is in  central  Afghanistan  and  here  the  family  settled  down  and traded with  the people of  the area.  In  the year 622, with  the appearance  of  Islam, Muhammad  sent  Khalid  ibn Waleed  to the  ‘sons  of  Ishrail’  to  spread  the  word  of  Islam  among  the Afghanistan  tribes.  He  succeeded  in  his mission,  returned  to Muhammad  with  seven  representatives  of  the  residents  of Afghanistan  and  with  76  supporters.  The leader of these people was ‘Kish’ (or Kesh or Qais).

According to the tradition, the emissaries succeeded in their assignment and Muhammad praised them for this. He (the Prophet) gave the name Abdur Rashid to Kesh, announced that Kesh was from the Royal line of the House of Israel and that through his seed God will strengthen his religion.

  • ["Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Afghan Tribal Names

Gadoon – Gad (also Jaji – Gad)
Rabbani – Reuben
Abdali or Naftali – Naphtali ( also Daftani – Naphtali)
Shinwari – Simeon or Shimon
Zamand – Zebulun
Levani – Levi
Afridi – Ephraim
Ashuri – Asher

Yusufzai – Tribe of Joseph

Khattak – Manasseh

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) themselves point out that the differences between the original names of the tribes and their present are because of the differences in dialect, accents and local languages, so that, for instance, Jaji was actually called Gaji for the tribe of Gad and so on.

Khattak

For a great part of two hundred years, the mainstream representation of the Karlani Paktuike tribes was represented by the Khattaks. These were the times of the downfall of the Mogul Empire and beginning of the British Raj. However it is interesting that being a prototype for the most probable descendants of the Assyrian Exiles, the Khattaks have not retained a more familiar tribal biblical name.

Referring to the Khattaks and Afridis, Sir Olaf Caroe The Pathans 550BC to 1957AD expresses:

This is not to assert that the ethnic or linguistic stock can be necessarily traced through to tribes of similar names today. The case would be rather that these were sub-stratum agglomerations of people who, through contact with later-comers, modified their language and were assimilated to later cultures, but retained in the more inaccessible places sufficient of their older selves to boast their original names. The theory does at least give a starting-point to Pathan history & the stock belief in the Bani Israel.

Ancient references to a Gandriori Nation states that the children of Isreal chief among them the sons of Joseph were living in Ghor. It is as this time that the 4 original Karlani tribes, namely Yusufzai, Khattaks, Afridis and the Zdazdi settled together as the Assyrian exile in Ghor. This is referenced by the account of Herodotus and the Darius Satrapies.

From the two accounts, it is deducible that either the Khattak might me a modified form of the tribe of Gad or the name might be a derivative title from the people of the original tribe. Herodotus refers to them as the Guddai or the Satta Guddai.

Pathan – Pithon

Hebrew personal names

The occurrence of pure Hebrew names among the Pushtuns is common place, even though; such names being those of the ancient prophets of Israel, and common to both Jews and Muslims are nowhere to be found among other Muslims. Of these, the specifically Pushtun kept include, Israel, Zabul (from Zebulon or Zabulon), Afghan (Afghana), Amran etc.

Similarly, whereas other Muslims usually prefer names of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, the usage of more Hebrew prophets is predominant among the Pushtuns. Hebrew names that are thus commonly used both by the Pushtuns and other Muslims include: Salman (Persian version of Shlomo or Solomon), Musa (Moses), Ibraheem (Avraham), Aazar, Yaqoob (Jacob), Yusef (Joseph), Shoaib (Jethro) etc.. One name, exclusively Pushtun is Natha; as in Natha paired with Khan, which may have its origins in the same root from which Nathan is derived.

Hebrew place names

There are also many Pushtun areas & locations, neighborhoods and villages, with names reminiscent of ancient Israel, the Torah and Hebrew origins. Infact, these are so common place and in all the regions of the Pushtuns (a great region spread over many countries and thousands of square miles) that their occurrence only in the Pushtun homeland and in all its entirety is more than pure coincidence.

The mountains the Pathan’s have been living in after the exile, are called by them, the Suleiman (Solomon) mountains.

The popular places that trace their origin in Hebrew include:

- Koh-e-Suleiman – Solomon Mountains
– Takht-e-Suleiman – Throne of Solomon (the highest peak in the Solomon mountains)
– Afghanistan – Afghana (the grandson of King Saul)
– Kohat – or Kohath, a city in NWFP, Pakistan, means assembly in Hebrew and it is also the name of the second son of Levi and the father of Amram or Amran.
– Zabul – A province in present day Afghanistan and in the days of Mahmood Ghaznavi the whole region of Afghanistan was known as Zabulistan – Zebulon was one of the sons of Prophet Jacob (AS).
– Khyber – a place near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. In the time of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Khyber was an ancient Jewish Citadel city near Yathrab (present day Medina).

- Peshawar – The Capital of NWFP province of Pakistan – PESH means the Pass and HAWAR means City i.e. The City after the Pass. Peshawar is a short drive from Khyber Pass. A Place named Habor or Havor is mentioned in Torah as the place of the exile of the tribes. The city of Havor is, they say, peh-Shauor (Pash- Havor’) which means  ‘Over Havor’.

Ten Lost Tribes in Khurasan (Afghanistan & Pakistan)

According to the Bible (Kings 02:17:06, Kings 02:18:11, Chronicles 01:05:26)

  • [http://av1611.com/kjbp/]

The ten tribes were exiled to Halah and Havor and the river Gozan and to the cities of Maday.  According  to  the tradition  of  the  Jews  of  Afghanistan and old Afghan historical texts, the river Amu in entirety was called Gozan. Therefore Historian Saadia Gaon states:

  • [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadia_Gaon]

“ River Gozan ” is the river north of the city of Balach in the north of Afghanistan. The river is known today as the “ Amu Darya ”, and is the border between Afghanistan and Russia. Afghanistan tradition states that the whole river was once known as the Gozen River.

“Habor” is located in the pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan , and is called Pesh-Habor in Afghani (Pesh means Pass) after the city of the pass. The city is known today as Peshawar.

“Hara” is the city of Harat near the Persian border. It is the third largest city in Afghanistan . The prophecy of Isaiah states that the exile will bring the tribes to the land of Sinim”:

“Behold , these shall come from far, and , lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim “

  • [( Isaiah 49:12).]

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela

In the year 1165, about 300 years after the travels of Eldad Hadani, Benjamin ben Jonah departs from Tudela on a journey in search of Jewish communities. In 1171 he returns to Spain and writes his memoirs, the famous “Journeys of Benjamin of Tudela.”

Regarding the tribes of Dan, Zevulun, Asher and Naftali he writes:

“…And it is said that in the Nasbor cities there are four tribes of Israel, Dan, Zevulun, Asher and Naftali… and the distance of their land is twenty days, and they have provinces and cities. On the one side they are surrounded by the river Gozan, and the yoke of the non-Jews is not upon them, and among them are scholars, and they sow and reap and go to war in the Land of Cush through the deserts.”

The area describes by Rabbi Bejamin, as the home of the Ten Tribes, is a mountainous area, divided by steep valleys. The cities of Nisbor are found in northeastern Iran, close to the border with Afghanistan. Rabbi Saadia Gaon in the 9th century and Moshe ben Ezra in the 11th century mention Afghanistan – then known as Khorasan – as the home of the Ten Tribes.

The Different places described by Benjamin are:

Nisbor – Nishapour (Iran)

Gozan – Oxus or Jehoon (Afghanistan)

Land of Cush – Kish or Qais Abdur Rashid in Zhob, Balochistan (Pakistan).

  • [http://www.kosherica.com/10lostTribes/index.asp]
  • [Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Gozan

The historical name of Amu River in Afghanistan, hence the Torah says:

The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul King of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath Pilnesser King of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Ruebenites, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, and Habor, and Hara and to the river of Gozan to this day.

  • [Kings II, 17 and 18; Chronicles 1:5:26)]

Kerak (Karak)

A City in Jordan and another in NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan), the ancient home of the Khattak tribe.

Logar

A province in Afghanistan and a localized form of a famous Jewish family name.

Kabul

In Hebrew Cab means dirty and Bul means city hence a dirty city, whereas others suggest, it means Cain and Abel.

Herat

The pearl of Khurasan – a city in Afghanistan, Hara is one of the places of the exile along with Habor and Gozan.

Kash/Kish/Cush or Kesh

Name of numerous personalities in Chronicles of Hebrew Bible – and a Dasht-e-Kash north of Helmand, a City of Kash mentioned in map of Afghanistan 1912 of the Library of Congress. There is also a Kash Rod in Nimroz Province of Afghanistan.

Kish is also the Biblical form of Qais Abdir Rashid (or Rasheed) the legendary Afghan leader during the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H.

Dasht-e-Yahoodi

The Jewish Plain – a famous place in Mardan district of NWFP, Pakistan.

Killa Yahoodi

or Jewish Fort – a place on Afghanistan Pakistan border.

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Bani Israelite Traditions & customs of the Afghans (Pashtuns/Pukhtuns)

Note: All references used are extensively given at the end for reference and consultation.
Note: All references from books and texts used within the article are italicized and bulleted.
Note: References will be continuously added for all the information provided in due time.
Note: Information provided is from different eras, therefore for the information of the reader, some of these custom are now extinct
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Deuteronomy 29:27
‘And the Lord uprooted them from upon their land, with fury,
anger and great wrath, and He cast them to another land, as it
is this day.’ ” Just as a day passes and it will never return, so
too, they will be exiled never to return.”
 
Rabbi Akiva says, “The ten tribes will not return, as the verse (Deuteronomy 29:27) says
 
Rabbi Eliezer says, “Just like a day is followed by darkness, and the light later returns, so too, although it will become ‘dark’ for the ten tribes, Gd will ultimately take them out of their darkness.”
 

Rabbinic literature on the subject

Of various accounts on the subject, only rabbinic literature provides direct and indirect references on the subject before the conversion of the Pashtun people to Islam.

The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal describes referencing the Book of Tobit:

[Holy Book of Tobit: Tobit C XIV V 5-13.]

[Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble, Asiatic Society of Bengal page 570.]

“The Jews at this time followed the advice of the prophet tobit escaped from Nineveh by stealth where could they have found a more secure retreat than towards the east in the direction of the mountain tracts now inhabited by the Afghans.”

Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble

According to the Tanach, after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom (circa 722 B.C.E.), several of the tribes that made up the Ten Lost Tribes, arrived in the region of the Gozan, the Hebrew pronunciation for the River Oxus and according to some for the Afghan city of Ghazni.

[Jewish communities in exotic places, Author: Ken Blady, Edition: illustrated, Publisher: Jason Aronson, 2000, ISBN: 0765761122, 9780765761125, Length: 422 pages, Page 197.]

[Forum on the Jewish people, Zionism and Israel , Volume 61, World Zionist Organization. Information Dept, , 1988 - Pages 41, 42 & 43.]

“…the Assyrian Exile were brought into Halah (modern day Balkh), and Habor (Pesh Habor or Peshawar), and Hara (Herat), and to the river Gozan (the Ammoo, also called Sehoon)…”.
[Tamerlane and the Jews, By Michael Shterenshis, Page xxiv.]
“..to Hara (Bokhara) and to the river of Gozan that is to say, the Amu, called by Europeans the Oxus….”.[The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch, By George Passman Tate, Page 11.]

Rabbi Saadia Gaon (892—942), writer of the Bible’s Tafsir in Arabic considered the Assyrian Exile to be in modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Iran.

[Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

[Geonica; The Geonim and Their Halakic Writings - page 59.]

[Jews in Islamic countries in the Middle Ages By Moshe Gil, David Strassler, Page 341.]

[The fire, the star and the cross: minority religions in medieval and early modern Iran - By Aptin Khanbaghi - Page 41.]

[Encyclopaedia Iranica , Volume 15, Issue 1 - Ehsan Yar-Shater - Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 2009 - 112 pages.]

[The illustrated encyclopedia of medieval civilization, Aryeh Graboïs, Octopus, 1980 - 751 pages.]

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela cites many large Jewish (Bani Israel) settlements in Media, Arachosia and Khurasan (Afghanistan).

[The Jewish quarterly review , Volume 1, Dropsie University, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Project Muse, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, 1966.]

[Encyclopaedia Iranica , Volume 15, Issue 1, Ehsan Yar-Shater, Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 2009 - 112 pages.]

[Hommage universel: actes du congrès de Shiraz 1971 et autres études rédigées à l'occasion du 2500e anniversaire de la fondation de l'empire Perse, Congress of Persian Studies (2, 1971, Šīrāz), Brill, 1974 - 444 pages - Page 300.]

Yahuda b. Bal’am, a noteworthy Rabbi and scholar of biblical knowledge put the “ten tribes” into Khorasan.

[Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

Tanchum Jerushalmi (thirteenth century) explains II Kings, 18, 11 by saying “these are the cities in the land of Khorasan.

[Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

Links between Afghanistan and the Holy Land

Moshe Gil writes in A history of Palestine:

[A history of Palestine, 634-1099 By Moshe Gil, Page 623.]

“People from distant Khurasan also reached Jerusalem.”

A history of Palestine, 634-1099, By Moshe Gil

 

Adele Berlin writes in Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes:

[Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes, Adele Berlin, Indiana University Press, 1991 - 205 pages.]

“Jacob as gaon of Sura, while Saadia conferred the exilarchate on David’s brother Hasan (Josiah; 930). Hasan was forced to flee, and died in exile in Khorasan ;”

Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes

 

Historical texts also indicate that Khurasan contributed heavily to tithes to the Holy Land.

[Saadia anniversary volume, American Academy for Jewish Research, The Press of the Jewish Publication Society, 1943 - 346 pages.]

[Texts and studies , Volume 2, American Academy for Jewish Research, Press of the Jewish publication society, 1943.]

[Ancient and medieval Jewish history: essays, Salo Wittmayer Baron, Rutgers University Press, 1972 - 588 pages.]

Oral Traditions

The personal identification of the Afghan (Pushtun) Tribes with their Israelite origin is expressed in various ways.

First of all, many Afghani people claim this to be so. Rabbi Avraham Hacohen, president of the Jewish community in the Afghan city of Heart (also Harath), testified that, he heard the former Afghani king Habib Allah Khan proclaim:

“I am from the tribe of Benjamin.”

In similar testimony, an immigrant to Israel recalls his childhood memory of King Habib Allah’s horseback tour of Herat:

“The Jewish dignitaries of the city gathered, among them my father. My father coerced me to join in greeting the king. The King asked the Jews, ‘What tribe are you from?’ ‘We have no tradition regarding that, so we don’t know, O King,’ answered the head of the delegation. ‘Well, we do know,’ said the king. ‘We, the Muhammad Zei family, are all descendants of the tribe of Benjamin from the seed of King Saul, from the sons of Yonatan Afghan and Pithon.’”

The  former  monarchy  in  Afghanistan  has  a  widely-spread tradition according  to which  their origin was  from  the  tribe of Benjamin  and  the  family  of  King  Saul.  According to this tradition, Saul had a son called Jeremiah and he in turn had a son called Afghana.  Jeremiah  died  at  about  the  same  time  as Saul  and  the  son  Afghana  was  raised  by  King  David  and remained in the royal palace during the reign of Solomon too.

About 400 years later, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the Afghana family fled to the Gur region (Jat in our times). This is in  central  Afghanistan  and  here  the  family  settled  down  and traded with  the people of  the area.  In  the year 622, with  the appearance  of  Islam, Muhammad  sent  Khalid  ibn Waleed  to the  ‘sons  of  Ishrail’  to  spread  the  word  of  Islam  among  the Afghanistan  tribes.  He  succeeded  in  his mission,  returned  to Muhammad  with  seven  representatives  of  the  residents  of Afghanistan  and  with  76  supporters.  The leader of these people was ‘Kish’ (or Kesh or Qais).

According to the tradition, the emissaries succeeded in their assignment and Muhammad praised them for this. He (the Prophet) gave the name Abdur Rashid to Kesh, announced that Kesh was from the Royal line of the House of Israel and that through his seed God will strengthen his religion.

  • ["Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Many Pukhtun village elders claim this as well.

VIDEO: They are ‘the seed of Israel,’ descended, they say, from Pithon of the tribe of Benjamin. Pithon, a great-grandson of King Saul, is mentioned among a list of hundreds of names chronicling the descendants of the Twelve Tribes

  • [Chronicles I 8:35]
  • [10. Chronicles I, 8:35]
  • [Book of Samuel]
  • [Hebrew Bible and Old Testament]

Other names of Afghani tribes resemble those of some of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel:  such as Rebbani/ Rabbani (Reuben); Levoni/ Levani (Levi); Ephriti/ Afridi (Ephraim); Yusuf Zai means Sons of Yusef (Joseph). The Ghaghi tribesmen claim their name is from Gad. Jewish names such as ‘Israel,’ are not used among the Muslims of any country except the Pashtuns. Jewish names have been seen on tombstones in far-flung graveyards around the country.

The great Torah Sage ‘Tiferet Yisrael’ wrote regarding the Ten Tribes:

“Many of the remaining became assimilated amongst the non-Jews.’

Regarding them is also the dispute between the Talmudic Sages Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezar, whether in the future those who remain but are assimilated will eventually be brought back to Judaism. For, although their identity as ‘Israel’ is forgotten, and the few Hebraic practices they have, are merely traditions handed down from their fathers, they themselves and many geographers consider them to be forgotten Jews.

  • [Tiferet Yisrael, Perek Chelek]
  • [Based on an article by Rafael Berelson]

A legend of the Pukhtuns, as recounted to Weil when she did field research among them in the 1980s along the Pakistani border, tells of “Jeremiah,” son of King Saul– not the more familiar Jeremiah of the Old Testament — who sired a child named “Afghana,” and whose descendants along with the Assyrian Exile of Israel that never repatriated, the legend maintains, made their way to Media and to Arachosia (Khurasan) which is modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan, that still bears that name.

Many Pashtuns, Mashal pointed out, believe themselves to be descended from a legendary figure named Kesh (Hebrew Kish or Cush) or Qais (Arabized), a descendant of the Royal line of Judah and exiled into Ancient Khurasan, present day Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The legend states that this exile truly is descended from Pithon, a tribal descendant mentioned in First Chronicles, 8:35.

Almost every contemporary, academic or journalistic work, including — Sir Olef Caroe’s The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns), to the most recent histories of Afghanistan— mentions this oral tradition.

British colonial official Mountstuart Elphinstone, writing in the early 19th century, compared Pashto to Hebrew in his book, The Kingdom of Caubul (also Kabul). Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, believed in the Jewish lineage of the Pashtuns, as did Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan. Once, when asked about his ancestors, Shah claimed that the royal family descended from the Tribe of Benjamin.

According to Ilene R. Prusher:

Jews I spoke with who had grown up in Afghanistan also immediately identified with Pashtun-Jewish links. Their parents or grandparents, they would tell me, had always said, that of all the peoples living in current day Afghanistan, they could expect Pashtuns to treat them well on account of their shared Israelite heritage.

VIDEO: Afghani Jews

Most  of  the  researchers  are  therefore of  the  opinion  that  the origin of  the Pathans  is  indeed  Israeli. The aliyah to Israel of Afghanistan Jews and the volume of evidence heard from them on this subject about the customs of the Pathans corroborate this idea.

  • ["Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Culture and Tradition

Accounts from Afghan Jews now living in Israel and researched done in this regard show considerable evidence. The  evidence  doesn’t  relate  to  all  the  Pathans  or  to  all  the tribes and  places.  However, it does prove the existence of Jewish customs among the Pathans.  The research on this subject still requires significant work, both quantitative and qualitative.

Most of these customs have been forgotten, not practiced anymore and among the Afghans of Afghanistan & Pakistan only a handful remain and even then most of the Afghans remain un aware as to their origins. Some of the customs discussed include:

side lock,  circumcision  within  eight  days,  a  Tallit  (prayer shawl) and four fringes (Tzitzit), a Jewish wedding (Hupah and ring),  women’s  customs  (immersion  in  a  river  or  spring), levirate  marriage  (Yibum),  honoring  the  father,  forbidden foods  (horse  and  camel  food),  refraining  from  cooking meat and milk, a tradition of clean and unclean poultry, the Shabbat (preparation  of  12  Hallah  loaves,  refraining  from  work), lighting  a  candle  in  honor  of  the  Shabbat,  the  Day  of Atonement (Yom Kippur) prayer (some of them pray turned in the direction of Jerusalem), blood on the threshold and on the two  Mezzuzot  (in  times  of  plague  or  trouble),  a  scapegoat, curing  the  ill with  the help of  the Book of Psalms (placing  the Book  under  the  patient’s  head),  a  Hebrew  amulet  (Kamia), Hebrew  names  (also.  for  neighborhoods  and  villages),  Holy Books (they especially honor  ‘the Law of Sharif’ which  is  the Law  of  Moses),  and  rising  when  the  name  of  Moshe  is mentioned.

  • ["Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Lifting the bride and the groom by their friends at their wedding ceremonies is still practiced among the Khattaks, Yusufzai and Afridis of Pakistan, even to this day. A custom which among the Jews is practiced by Hasidim.

 Family tree Scrolls

Besides the oral tradition related by the elders of the tribe, there are also interesting testimonies of keeping of scrolls of genealogy among the tribes, reaching back to the Fathers of the Jewish nation and ancient Judah.

There is  interesting  evidence  about  the  preservation  among the  tribes  of  family  trees  on  their  origin,  and  on  their relationship  to  the  fathers  of  the  Israeli  people.  These family trees are well preserved. Some of them are penned in golden lettering on deerskin.  The  names  of  the  tribes  speak  for themselves: the tribe of Harabni (in the Afghan tongue) is the tribe  of  Reuben,  the  Shinwaree  is  Shimeon,  the  Levani  –  Levi,  Daftani – Naphtali, Jaji – Gad, Ashuri – Asher, Yusuf Su, sons of Josef, Afridi – Ephraim, and so on.

  • ["Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

These scrolls, now almost extinct from the ravages of decades long wars, were well preserved and some are written in gold on the skins of a doe. No less interesting and significant are the names of the tribes which bear close resemblance to the Tribes of Israel. The Rabbani Tribe is really Reuben, the Shinwaree Tribe; Shimon, the Levani; Levi, the Daftani; Naphtali, the Jaji; Gad, the Ashuri; Asher, The Yusefzai;  Joseph, and the Afridi Tribe; Ephraim. These are the names of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

The Pukhtuns themselves point out the differences between the original names of the tribes and their present names are because of the different dialects of the languages so that, for instance, Jaji was actually called Gaji for the tribe of Gad and so on.

A family tree scroll found in Lund Khwar is particularly interesting. This is an area which was referred to by the Mughals as the Dasht e Yahoodi (The Jewish Waste/ moor or desert). This area has always remained a great center of the Afghans ever since their exile into Arachosia. Lund Khwar has been home to the three main Pakistan Afghan Tribes of Israelite origin, the Yusufzai, the Khattak and the Afridis. Scrolls belonging to the Yusufzai and the Khattak noble families of the area show their lineage from a grand ancestor even going as far into the past as Kish (Cush or) Qais Abdur Rashid (or Rasheed) during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H..

Sadly, like all of their other Bani Israelite heritage, these scrolls too are now a forgotten and do not exist anymore sans rarely.

 

Sabbath & votive candles 

(relates information from a the 1980s, which is bound to have changed much since then)

Among the peoples and tribes living in the ancient Khurasan and parts of Pakistan and Iran, only the Pukhtuns have the custom of the Sabbath. Although changed and almost forgotten over the millennia of exile, some portents of the original still remain. The Sabbath is still considered a day of rest and they do not labor, cook or bake. Some Pushtuns still prepare a resemblance to the 12 Hallot (traditional Jewish bread, Leviticus 24:5) in honor of the Sabbath as was done in the ancient temple. One of the significant indicators proving the Israeli origins of the Pushtuns is the lighting of votive candles to honor the beginning of theSabbath, usually on Friday and mostly by rural folk. After lighting, the candle is covered usually by a large basket; this was the natural way to conceal their true origins from the strangers and nations among whom they live to this day. The candle is usually lit by the grandmother of the homestead or some other elderly lady.

This custom is common practice even today, both among the Eastern Pushtuns (Khattaks, Yusufzai, Afridis and others) and also the western Pushtuns (Ghilzai, Durrani/ Abdali etc.). However, as the region they inhabited came under the influence of Islam, this custom changed slowly over time, the true origins lost, and has now more or less transformed into the Muslim custom of lighting candles on the graves of saints and martyrs. However, there are still peculiarities that differ from the Islamic custom, for example, being lit only by the elderly women past their menopause, on Friday evenings and later being covered to conceal them.

Yom Kippur

(For the reader, some of these custom are now extinct)

Pukhtuns until very recent times had the custom of Yom Kippur. There are accounts of some of the members of the Levani Tribe who came to the Jewish synagogue on Yom Kippur each year in Afghanistan. They would stay there until sundown without uttering even one word. On being inquired about the origins of this, they spoke of the tradition of the Temple on this day and of the high priest and his work there.

Honor one’s parent

The commandment to honor one’s parent is kept in exemplary manner in these tribes. The son must obey the parents in all matters. When the father enters the room, all stand and bow their heads in his honor. This was an Israeli tradition as well.

 

Tallit (also called Saader or Kafan) and other cloths

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) have a sort of small Tallit called Kafan, Saadar or chaadar in some parts and accents.

This is a 4 cornered garment which they tie strings similar to the fringes (Jews call them Tzitzit and Pushtuns call them Zundee or Zoondee) and is one of the oldest Jewish traditions going back to the Torah; a sign of their Israeli origin.

They also have a bigger Tallit which they call Saader or Ja’ iy-Nemaz. It is a garment 2-3 meters sq., and it is made to cover the head and part of the shoulders, and is used for prayer by spreading on the ground in the Muslim fashion. It usually has no fringes.

These can be regarded as the prayer shawlssimilar to those of their Jewish counterparts in the West

  • [Based on an article by Rafael Berelson]

Notice the similarity even to this day in the form of this article of clothing and its usage not to mention the fact that both the words Tzit Tzit and Tzunday sound similar.

Some of these cloths, in the olden days, in parts of Afghanistan and among the Yusufzai and Khattaks of Pakistan, were decorated with a symbolthat closely resembled the lamps lit by Jews at Hanukkah.

  • [San Fran]
  • [Ilene R. Prusher  - The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic and The Jerusalem]
  • [Report: http://www.momentmag.com/]

Circumcision on the 8th day

(For the reader, some of these custom are now extinct)

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) have the custom of circumcision on the 8th day. This is a known Jewish custom, and is the oldest Jewish tradition. Muslims have the custom of circumcision as well but it is not required to be necessarily on the 8th day.

Kosher Meat

(For the reader, some of these custom are now extinct)

Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) have the custom of Kosher, dietary laws same as Jews, similar to the Halaal of Muslims but there are as usual, peculiarities. Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) do not eat horse or camel meat, which is most common in their area, and common among the Uzbek, Tajik, Kazakh and other Mongol descended tribes, but of course forbidden to Jews.

Meat & Milk

(For the reader, some of these custom are now extinct)

There is some evidence to their not eating meat and milk together, which is also an ancient Israeli tradition. Various accounts of these are present, for example, among the Yusufzai and Khattaks of Mardan (part of Pakistan) and among others.

Pure & Impure birds

(For the reader, some of these custom are now extinct)

Pushtuns have a tradition regarding, differentiating between pure and impure birds which means permitted and not permitted birds similar to the Torah.

Scapegoat

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) have custom of scapegoat. In ancient Israel there was the custom to put sins of the nation onto a goat or heifer and send the goat away to desert or out in the wilderness. This custom of scapegoat was done to atone the sins of the nation (Leviticus chapter 16). Similar custom is found even today among the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns), e.g.:  Among the eastern tribes (Yusufzai, Khattaks & others), western tribes (Ghilzai, Durrani & others) as well as, the Southern Tribes ( Kaakar, Sherani & others).

Periodical distribution of Land by Lot

There still exists among the Pushtuns, the tradition of the Periodical distribution of land by lot. This, in addition to other customs is present in the Book of Leviticus as heritage of the Bani Israel, and modern Muslim historians like Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan accept them as indicators, if not proof of their Israelite heritage. They are the only tribes in the area to practice all of these customs, as the ancient Bani Israel did 2,300 years ago.

  • [Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 30, 34]
  • [http://wakeupproject.com/forum/]

Tefillin (phylactery) & Pushto Torah

(For the reader, some of these custom are now extinct)

(For the reader, this para is related to the Afghans during the 19th century, though a similar article called the Taaweez is still used today)

Some, still wear a small box known to Jews and rabbis as the Tefillin (phylactery), containing a verse of the Holy Book. This is an ancient custom of Israel.

The original ancient Jewish box had the verse of Shema Israel, that is:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”

  • [(Deuteronomy 6:4)]

This custom of Tefillin came from a verse of the Scriptures,

“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes”

  • [(Deuteronomy 6:8)]

However, today, except for a few far flung rural communities in Northern Afghanistan (Taloqan etc.), this tradition is more or less extinct.

However with the advent of Islam, a modified form of this tradition exists in the form of apparels called Taaweez. These are small metallic boxes that contain verses of Unity and Glory of Allah (Arabic name for YHWH). Interestingly, many of these Taaweez both in Afghanistan and Pakistan bear the symbol of the Star of David.

Pic: Afghan Pashtun Pukhtun Taaweez with Star of David

Many accounts and documents still exist relating to the Pushto version of the Torah, written by ancient Pushtun rabbis and religious scholars.

In particular, the Yusufzai and Khattaks of Mardan, Sawabi and Swat are mentioned in several scholarly works of possessing such ancient manuscripts. Pushto Torah

Family names of the Lost Tribes

It is interesting to note that the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) retain family names of the Lost Tribes such as Asher, Gad, Naphtali, Reuben, Manasseh and Ephraim. Among them there are people who are called by these names, which are of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. However, the original names or accounts regarding some of these tribes such as the Khattaks has been lost forever.

No less interesting and significant are the names of the tribes which bear close resemblance to the original Tribes of ancient Israel. Some tribes with visible similarities with Hebrew names are:

Yousuf Zai – Sons of Joseph

Khattak – Manasseh. Khattak is a the name of the Tribal chief before whose time the tribe came into being by the assimilation of various local indigenous clans into the tribe of Manasseh. Before this time, some of the tribe of Manasseh migrated eastward into India.
Gadoon – Gad (also Jaji – Gad)
Rabbani – Reuben
Abdali or Naftali – Naphtali ( also Daftani – Naphtali)
Shinwari – Simeon or Shimon
Zamand – Zebulun
Levani – Levi
Afridi – Ephraim
Ashuri – Asher

Pathan – Pithon

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) themselves point out that the differences between the original names of the tribes and their present are because of the differences in dialect, accents and local languages, so that, for instance, Jaji was actually called Gaji for the tribe of Gad and so on.

Yusuf means Joseph and Yusufzai means children of Joseph. They also call themselves Bani-Israel meaning children of Israel. Their tradition is that they were carried away from their ancient homeland, and through the ages eventually settled into what is now Pakistan, Afghanistan and some other countries.

Similarly many Hebrew inspired names of people, tribes and places are commonly found among the Pashtuns and Pashtun areas of Pakistan/Afghanistan.

 

Peculiarities and paradoxes

It is a known fact among the Pushtuns and most historians that, of the all Pushtun Tribes, the ones with known descent from the four sons of Kesh are the actual descendants of Kesh (Kish) or Qais, and therefore descendants from the line of the kings of ancient united Israel. Kesh (Kish) was from Judah and later exiled into ancient Assyria, Persia (ancient Khurasan) and later into current day Afghanistan and Pakistan.

However, it is also a known fact that, whereas, some of these tribes retain their original names more or less, others do not. For example, the youngest son of Kesh had seven sons, and his descendants are as follows:

Karlani or Karlanri  > Mehsud, Wazir (or Waziri), Khattak, Afridi, Orakzai, Daawar, Bangash.

As we can see, the Afridis share the same descent with the Mehsuds, Wazirs, Kattaks and the rest. Of these, the closest in descent to one another are the Afridis and the Khattaks. However, whereas the Afridis claim to be descended from the Ephraim, the original ancient tribe name for the Khattaks has been lost forever. This could most probably be because the Khattaks represent a new tribe that took shape from the Afridis and the Yusufzai. From The ancient home of the Khattaks after their eastward migration from ancient Afghanistan into present day Pakistan is a city named Kerak, surprisingly similar sounding to the ancient Kerak. Though many Khattaks reside today as far north east as Mardan, Sawabi and Peshawar but the occurrence of this Hebrew name with no other plausible origin is interesting in its own right.

Note

Though many Afghans consider Qais (Kish) as their unified grand father or progenitor, the reality of the matter is that, Kish was only the selected leader of the Afghan delegation which traveled to Medinah to meet the Prophet Muhammad. He was therefore their chieftain at the time. This delegation is said to have comprised of 76 people representing all Afghan tribes.

The reason for his representation of the Afghan delegation was that he represented the continuous unbroken line of the Royal House of Israel from King Saul through Jeremia and Malak Afghana.

For this reason he was the un crowned king of all of the Yusufzai, Khattak, Afridi and other tribes at the time in Ghor.

During his life time all Afghan Tribal elders from all the tribes (Yusufzai, Khattak, Afridi etc.) were considered as part of an assembly under the Royal house of Ghor.

This Royal house of Ghor was established when Malak Afghana first settled in Afghanistan.

Qais Abdur Rashid (Kish) through his lineage from Malak Afghana represented the unbroken line of King Saul of Israel.

In modern times however, this house does not exist in its original purity but Qais (Kish) through his four sons (some consider only three, i.e. Sarban, Gurgusht and Karlan) spread his house among all the different Afghan tribes. This was originally done to spread the message of Islam which Qais (Kish) had converted to. Eventually all the tribes began tracing their ancestry to Qais (Kish). Though these tribes (not all Afghan Tribes but only the ones with Bani Israelite lineage, this includes, Yousuf Zai, Khattak, Gadoon, Jaji, Rabbani, Abdali, Shinwari, Zamand, Levani, Afridi and Ashuri) in their originality were the Ten Tribes of Israel exiled into Assyria and Media, they now trace their lineage from Qais (Kish).

This is correct in the fact that Qais (Kish) mingled his blood (through his four sons) in all these tribes but incorrect in the fact that these tribes existed even before Qais (Kish). Qais (Kish) was not their progenitor but a historical figure during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

In conclusion both Qais (Kish) and these tribes are Bani Israelite in origin but after Qais (Kish), the Afghan tribes trace their lineage from Qais (Kish) in honor of his Royal blood from King Saul.

Some scholars suggest that, of these, the Waziris, are actually the Naaziri of ancient Israel, since among other things, both have the custom of letting long hair.

 

Israeli Tradition in Afghan Royal Family

The Afghan Royal Family has a well known tradition placing its origin in ancient Israel, they came from the Tribe of Benjamin.

First of all, many Afghani people claim this to be so. Rabbi Avraham Hacohen, president of the Jewish community in the Afghan city of Harath, testified that he heard former Afghani king Habib Allah Han proclaim, “I am from the tribe of Benjamin.” In similar testimony, an immigrant to Israel recalls his childhood memory of King Habib Allah’s horseback tour of Harath (Herat): “The Jewish dignitaries of the city gathered, among them my father. My father coerced me to join in greeting the king. The King asked the Jews, ‘What tribe are you from?’ ‘We have no tradition regarding that, so we don’t know, O King,’ answered the head of the delegation. ‘Well, we do know,’ said the king. ‘We, the Mahmad Zei family, are all descendants of the tribe of Benjamin from the seed of King Saul, from the sons of Yonatan Afghan and Pithon.’”

  • [Based on an article by Rafael Berelson]

The  former  monarchy  in  Afghanistan  has  a  widely-spread tradition according  to which  their origin was  from  the  tribe of Benjamin  and  the  family  of  King  Saul.  According to this tradition, Saul had a son called Jeremiah and he in turn had a son called Afghana.  Jeremiah  died  at  about  the  same  time  as Saul  and  the  son  Afghana  was  raised  by  King  David  and remained in the royal palace during the reign of Solomon too. About 400 years later, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the Afghana family fled to the Gur region (Jat in our times). This is in  central  Afghanistan  and  here  the  family  settled  down  and traded with  the people of  the area.  In  the year 622, with  the appearance  of  Islam, Muhammad  sent  Khalid  ibn Waleed  to the  ‘sons  of  Ishrail’  to  spread  the  word  of  Islam  among  the Afghanistan  tribes.  He  succeeded  in  his mission,  returned  to Muhammad  with  seven  representatives  of  the  residents  of Afghanistan  and  with  76  supporters.  The leader of these people was ‘Kish’ (or Kesh or Qais). According to the tradition, the emissaries succeeded in their assignment and Muhammad praised them for this. He (the Prophet) gave the name Abdur Rashid to Kesh, announced that Kesh was from the Royal line of the House of Israel and that through his seed God will strengthen his religion.

  • ["Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Hebrew personal names

The occurrence of pure Hebrew names among the Pushtuns is common place, even though; such names being those of the ancient prophets of Israel, and common to both Jews and Muslims are nowhere to be found among other Muslims. Of these, the specifically Pushtun kept include, Israel, Zabul (from Zebulon or Zabulon), Afghan (Afghana), Amran etc.

Similarly, whereas other Muslims usually prefer names of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, the usage of more Hebrew prophets is predominant among the Pushtuns. Hebrew names that are thus commonly used both by the Pushtuns and other Muslims include: Salman (Persian version of Shlomo or Solomon), Musa (Moses), Ibraheem (Avraham), Aazar, Yaqoob (Jacob), Yusef (Joseph), Shoaib (Jethro) etc.. One name, exclusively Pushtun is Natha; as in Natha paired with Khan, which may have its origins in the same root from which Nathan is derived.

Hebrew place names

There are also many Pushtun areas & locations, neighborhoods and villages, with names reminiscent of ancient Israel, the Torah and Hebrew origins. Infact, these are so common place and in all the regions of the Pushtuns (a great region spread over many countries and thousands of square miles) that their occurrence only in the Pushtun homeland and in all its entirety is more than pure coincidence.

The mountains the Pathan’s have been living in after the exile, are called by them, the Suleiman (Solomon) mountains.

The popular places that trace their origin in Hebrew include:

  • Koh-e-Suleiman – Solomon Mountains
  • Takht-e-Suleiman – Throne of Solomon (the highest peak in the Solomon mountains)
  • Afghanistan – Afghana (the grandson of King Saul)
  • Kohat – or Kohath, a city in NWFP, Pakistan, means assembly in Hebrew and it is also the name of the second son of Levi and the father of Amram or Amran.
  • Zabul – A province in present day Afghanistan and in the days of Mahmood Ghaznavi the whole region of Afghanistan was known as Zabulistan – Zebulon was one of the sons of Prophet Jacob (AS).
  • Khyber – a place near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. In the time of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Khyber was an ancient Jewish Citadel city near Yathrab (present day Medina).
  • Peshawar – The Capital of NWFP province of Pakistan – PESH means the Pass and HAWAR means City i.e. The City after the Pass. Peshawar is a short drive from Khyber Pass. A Place named Habor or Havor is mentioned in Torah as the place of the exile of the tribes. The city of Havor is, they say, peh-Shauor (Pash- Havor’) which means  ‘Over Havor’.

Biblical Origins of the name

According to the Bible

The ten tribes were exiled to Halah and Havor and the river Gozan and to the cities of Maday.  According  to  the tradition  of  the  Jews  of  Afghanistan and old Afghan historical texts, the river Amu in entirety was called Gozan. Therefore Historian Saadia Gaon states:

  • [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadia_Gaon]

“ River Gozan ” is the river north of the city of Balach in the north of Afghanistan. The river is known today as the “ Amu Darya ”, and is the border between Afghanistan and Russia. Afghanistan tradition states that the whole river was once known as the Gozen River.

“Habor” is located in the pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan , and is called Pesh-Habor in Afghani (Pesh means Pass) after the city of the pass. The city is known today as Peshawar.

“Hara” is the city of Harat near the Persian border. It is the third largest city in Afghanistan . The prophecy of Isaiah states that the exile will bring the tribes to the land of Sinim”:

“Behold , these shall come from far, and , lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim “( Isaiah 49:12).

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela

  • [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_of_Tudela]

In the year 1165, about 300 years after the travels of Eldad Hadani, Benjamin ben Jonah departs from Tudela on a journey in search of Jewish communities. In 1171 he returns to Spain and writes his memoirs, the famous “Journeys of Benjamin of Tudela.”

Regarding the tribes of Dan, Zevulun, Asher and Naftali he writes: “…And it is said that in the Nasbor cities there are four tribes of Israel, Dan, Zevulun, Asher and Naftali… and the distance of their land is twenty days, and they have provinces and cities. On the one side they are surrounded by the river Gozan, and the yoke of the non-Jews is not upon them, and among them are scholars, and they sow and reap and go to war in the Land of Cush through the deserts.”

The area describes by Rabbi Bejamin, as the home of the Ten Tribes, is a mountainous area, divided by steep valleys. The cities of Nisbor are found in northeastern Iran, close to the border with Afghanistan.The and of Cush meaning Kish or Zhob where Kish (Qais abdur Rashid) lived and died.

Rabbi Saadia Gaon in the 9th century and Moshe ben Ezra in the 11th century mention Afghanistan – then known as Khorasan – as the home of the Ten Tribes.

  • [http://www.kosherica.com/10lostTribes/index.asp]
  • [Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Gozan

The historical name of Amu River in Afghanistan, hence the Torah says: “The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul King of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath Pilnesser King of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Ruebenites, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, and Habor, and Hara and to the river of Gozan to this day.” (Kings II, 17 and 18; Chronicles 1:5:26).

Kerak

A City in Jordan and another in NWFP, Pakistan, the ancient home of the Khattak tribe.

Logar

A province in Afghanistan and a localized form of a famous Jewish family name.

Kabul

in Hebrew Cab means dirty and Bul means city hence a dirty city, whereas others suggest, it means Cain and Abel.

Herat

The pearl of Khurasan – a city in Afghanistan, Hara is one of the places of the exile along with Habor and Gozan.

Kash/Kish or Kesh

Name of numerous personalities in Chronicles of Hebrew Bible – and a Dasht-e-Kash north of Helmand, a City of Kash mentioned in map of Afghanistan 1912 of the Library of Congress. There is also a Kash Rod in Nimroz Province of Afghanistan.

Dasht-e-Yahoodi

– or the Jewish Plain – a famous place in Mardan district of NWFP, Pakistan.

Killa Yahoodi

– or Jewish Fort – a place on Afghanistan Pakistan border.

Archeological finds

The region has several archeological sites pointing to a Hebrew origin.

Some of these include:

Gardez

which has ruins of an ancient fortress built by a famed Israelite warrior named Gabur.

Ghazni Province

where Pashtuns make pilgrimages to the tomb of an ancient “Hebrew (Ancient Afghan) saint” called Zikria;

Balkh Province

an ancestral area with many ancient ruins and which once boasted a large Jewish population mentioned in several contemporary Arabic Historical Chronicles.

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) usually pray in mosques. However there are many old synagogues scattered throughout Afghanistan. Abandoned today, these were well respected and adored till modern times. They contained scrolls of the Torah, some of which existed till the late 1940s.

Apart  from synagogues, Sifrei Torah, Hebrew place names and tribal  family  trees,  there  also  exists  evidence  on  important archeological  finds:  near  the  town  of Herat  in Tchcharan, old graves were  found on which the writing was  in Persian and  in the Hebrew  language.  The graves date from the 11th to the 13th centuries. In an opposite fashion, so it seems, there are a number of inscriptions engraved on rocks in ancient Hebrew script near the town of Netchaset and Mardan (Pakistan).  In  the  ‘Dar  el  Amman’  museum  in  Kabul,  the  capital  of Afghanistan,  there  is  a  black  stone  found  in  Kandahar,  on which is written in Hebrew with a similar one found in Mardan (Pakistan.

Mr.  Chiya  Zorov  of  Tel  Aviv  notes:

When the Bolsheviks rose to power in Russia, they divided the large area  of  the  southern  part  of  central  Russia  into  smaller districts such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, etc. In Tajikistan, is located the city of Dushanbe. It started to develop and grow during the period when Stalin gained power and many Jews then began to stream into Tajikistan.  They found that the tribes there once in contact with the Bukharan Jews light candles on Friday evening and eat a dish made of meat stuffed with rice called Pacha, which is characteristic of the Bukharan Jews and is eaten on Friday night. It is known widely that the Bukharan Jews migrated from what is current day Afghanistan.

Rabbi Saadia Gaon discussed at length with the Hacham Hivay Habalchi and in the opinion of the speaker, in that period (10th century) the Jews were inclined to assimilate into Islam and it was about this that they were arguing.  The scholar Ibn Sina, born in Bukhara, also lived at the time. The  teacher Tajiki said  that he,  too, belongs  to  the Jews who converted into  Islam  and  are  called Tchale. As recounted, the meaning of his name is Even Sina – son of Sina (and up to this day in many languages, and also in Hebrew, the words are similarly pronounced – Sinai, Sin Sina) and perhaps  this  is why he  called himself Ben Sinai,  in other words, son of the Torah which came forth from Sinai.

Nawab Hoti of Mardan

The  Nawab Hoti of  Mardan  (near Peshawar) was  a  scholar  who  completed  his studies  at  the University  of  London. He also visited a Jewish man called Carmeli, who contributed with Mr. Hiya Zorov in scholarly work. The Nawab Hoti, a researcher on the Origins of Pushtuns from the Israelites was of the opinion that Pushtuns of Pakistan and Afghanistan were once Jews. The Nawab also published a book on this subject called “The Israeli descent of the Afghans”. In the book, the Nawab cites from the Yusufzai, Khattak and other Pushtun tribe elders of their ancient tradition that they  are among  the  people  of  the  First  Temple  from  the  Ten Tribes,  who of Assyrian exiles settled first in current day Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afterwards they were joined by the Jewish exiles from the Second Temple Exile.

  • [Translated from Hebrew by Issachar Katzir, from "Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978.]

Stones on Graves

There is a Pushtun customary tradition of placing stones on the graves of one’s loved ones. Even today, one may find stones scattered on nearly every grave in the Pushtun cemeteries in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is a peculiar Pashtun way of marking a visit to the deceased. This custom however, is not found among any other of the nations in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Travelling through the region, one may not come across any other people but these who prefer pebbles over flowers on a loved one’s grave.

  • [Ilene R. Prusher  - The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic and The Jerusalem]
  • [Report: http://www.momentmag.com/]

Features

Racial features vary among the Pushtuns, since, throughout time, the original Pushtun cast has mixed and mingled with the different Nations and Armies passing through. Therefore, among the Pushtuns, one may find both true Semitic or Arabian features, as well as Aryan features. The majority of the Pushtuns possess features which may be likened to a Middle Eastern or Iranian origin, for example the Yusufzai, Khattak, Durrani etc. There are among them tribes for example Nooristanis, Afridis, Niazis etc. with racial features more likened to Aryans, Punjabis and other peoples.

Some accounts related to this subject are as follows:

Dr. Joseph Wolff says:

I was wonderfully struck with the resemblance of the Yusufzai (sons of Joseph) and the Khyberi (Afridis, Shinwaris and Khattaks) to the Jews”.

  • [Rev. Joseph Wolff, D.D. LL.D, Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in the years 1843-1845]
  • [John W. Parker, London, 1845). Vol. 1 2nd Edition. P. 17.]

Moorcroft also says of Khyberis(Afridis, Shinwaris and Khattaks):

They are tall, and of singularly Jewish cast of features… they have been named by themselves Bani Israel, children of Israel from time immemorial.

Missions and travelers to Afghanistan in the British colonial era have stated how they resembled the Jews of the area and to some extent their language. The British missions to Afghanistan used to call them Jews, and that, when not wearing their traditional clothing Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) are indistinguishable from other Jews of the area. Among the 21 nations of Afghanistan only the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) and the Jews have Semitic features, their faces are longer and lighter, and some even have blue eyes.

Colonel G. Malleson of the British Army did not believe that the Afghans were Bani Israel, but commented on the issue of physical features:

This no doubt has its weight

  • [History of Afghanistan by Colonel G. Malleson, C.S.I. (W.H. Allen & Co, London, at the India Office, 1878), p 39.]

“Even when he leaves his native heath behind he takes his manner with him. He will come down, a stalwart manly looking ruffian with frank and open manners, rather Jewish feature… He is certain to be filthy and he may be ragged, but he will saunter into a viceregal durbar (Royal court) as proud as Lucifer and with the air and manner a diplomatist might envy. Not in the least like any Indian subject.”

  • [Oliver, Across the frontier, Pathan and Baluch (London: Champman and Hall Ltd., 1890) p 224]

Pakhtun Physical features: The Historians opinion

Racially, there is a considerable difference between the various Afghan tribes. The Pathans of Bajaur are closely related to the Kalashes of Citral, probably because they are to a large extent Afghanized Dards. On the other hand the broad-headed Pathans of Balochistan resemble their Baluch neighbors. In the plains of Peshawar there is some admixture of Indian blood, and among the Ghilzai tribe of Afghanistan there are traces of Turkish influence. But in general it may be said that the Afghans belong to the Irano-Afghan branch of the dolichocephalic Mediterranean race. The skull index is 72-75, and the average height 170 cm. (Hill tribe Pathans), and 163 cm. (Afghans of Afghanistan). The nose is prominent, frequently convex, of the “Semitic” type. Similar noses are found also among Balochis and Kashmiris. “The Afghans are usually brunets (black haired), but at the same time show a persistent minority of blondism, which may reflect some Nordic admixture.

They are heavy-bearded”.

A recent book by Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan sums up the physical characteristics:

The Pathans of the hills are usually tall, fair skinned and have ivory complexions

Kashmir was under direct control of the Durrani Afghan Empire in the 1800s, and the majority of the population there were the Yousufzai Pakhtuns who had moved eastward from Peshawar. They were living in Kashmir in great numbers, about 600,000 families who were later forcibly subdued for about 40 years by the Sikhs.

Dr. Bernier, A French traveler in the frontier villages of Kashmir around the 1880’s remarked on the striking physical similarity of the locals with Jews. He noted that their expressions and manners were distinguishable from the other people in this land. He finally adds that:

You are not to ascribe what I say to mere fancy, the Jewish appearance of these villagers having been remarked by our Father, the

Jesuit, and some other Europeans long before I visited Kashmir”.

The Jesuit Dr. Bernier points to is Dr. Joseph Wolff who says:

“I was wonderfully struck with the resemblance of the Youssoufszye (sons of Joseph) and the Khyberi, two of their tribes, to the Jews”. Moorcroft also says of Khyberis “They are tall, and of singularly Jewish cast of features… they have been named by themselves Beni Israel, children of Israel from time immemorial.”

Bernier was also referring to George Forster who wrote in 1808:

“On first seeing the Kashmirians in their own country I imagined from their garb, the cast of their countenance which was long and of a grave aspect, and the forms of their beard, that I had come among a nation of Jews”.

Colonel G. Malleson of the British Army did not believe that the Afghans were Beni Israel, but commented on the issue of physical features:

“This no doubt has its weight”.

  • [Bani Israel in Pakistan; The Israeli History of the Pathan Tribes by Qazi Fazli Azeem.]
  • [B. S. Guha, Census of India, 1931, i, iii A, p. xi]
  • [Coon, Races of Europe, p 419[4] Coon, Races of Europe, p 420]
  • [Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 31]
  • [William Jesse, History of the Afghans, (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2002) p. 8.]
  • [An English translation of the French Caravan Journeys by General J. P . Ferrier (1st Regiment of Chasseurs D’Afrique, 1845).]
  • [François Bernier “Travels in the Moghul Empire” (Constable, London, 1891, Pg. 930-932).]
  • [Rev. Joseph Wolff, D.D. LL.D, Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in the years 1843-1845, (John W. Parker, London, 1845). Vol. 1 2nd Edition. P. 17.]
  • [George Forster, Letters on a journey from Bengal to England. (Faulder,London, 1808) (Vol. II, page 20).]
  • [History of Afghanistan by Colonel G. Malleson, C.S.I. (W.H. Allen & Co, London, at the India Office, 1878), p 39.]

Pakhtun Physical features: Oral Tradition

By their own historical tradition, the Pakhtun tribes are descended from the Israelite tribe of Benyamin, specifically from King Saul’s children. This will explain their unnatural tall height which is uncharacteristic of Jews in the middle-east. King Saul is known in the Quran as “T alut”, which means “T all” in Arabic. In the T orah, specifically in the Book of 1 Samuel, Saul is described as an unusually tall and handsome man. In this context, the Pakhtun tribes are amongst the tallest people in the area and were known to Mahatma Gandhi’s India as the “mountain giants”. Lord Curzon, the British viceroy to India commented about them:

“I know these men. They are brave as lions, wild as cats, docile as children…It is with a sense of pride that one receives the honest homage of these magnificent Samsons, gigantic, bearded, instinct with loyalty, often stained with crime”.

Pakhtun (Pathan) features are well shaped and good looks are common, as can be compared to their alleged progenitor, King Saul of Israel.

  • [Ekhnath Easwaran, Badshah Khan, (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2001) p 64.]
  • [Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 31]
  • [Bani Israel in Pakistan; The Israeli History of the Pathan Tribes by Qazi Fazli Azeem.]

Pakhtun Emotional Characteristics: Israeli history

Saul’s entire reign as the first King of the Beni Israel was marked by a religious tilt, and Israeli historians comment on his strict observance of religious obligations, as for instance in the case of Jonathan and the altar-stone of Aijalon, and in depicting him as possessed from time to time by the spirit of Jahweh.

On his campaigns he took with him a priest who was expert in the use of the ephod, and did not fail to consult him. An entirely probable tradition relates that he prohibited those who consulted the dead and familiar spirits. If he condemned these practices, it must not be supposed that he considered them fraudulent; on the contrary, it was because he regarded the spirits of the dead and the spirits of the elohim as rivals of Jahweh, the sole God of Israel.

Saul’s intensely religious character is reflected in the Pakhtun tribes, which spawned the Taliban, the former regime of Afghanistan widely condemned for their ‘extreme’ interpretation of Islam.

Many historians have reconfirmed that the Pakhtuns are in no way a united people. They have many sub clans and are constantly feuding with each other. Nothing except the danger of a common enemy can unite them.

This is a direct reference to the Beni Israel tribes which united under King Saul only to fight the common Philistine enemy. Israeli Jews today write in their own words:

“Israelis have long joked that the surest way to destroy the country is for the Arabs to give it peace. Then the tensions within Israeli society would pull it apart”.

  • [Adolphe Lods, Israel: From its Beginnings to the middle of the 7th Century, (Wiltshire UK: Routledge, 1996)]
  • [1 Sam. xxviii. 3, 9]
  • [Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 34]
  • [Christopher Dickey and Daniel Klaidman, How will Israel Survive, Newsweek (New York: April 1,2002) p 16.]

Side Locks (Peot)

(For the reader, many of these customs and ways are now extinct)

Like the Jews of the area, Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) grow beards and in old times, side locks which further served to make them indistinguishable from Jews. However, today, though the beards are still common among them, the side locks are no more to be found.

The Pathans are quite strict about not shaving their sidelocks (peot), which is in accordance with the Torah command, ‘Don’t shave the sides of your head’ (Leviticus 19).

  • [Based on an article by Rafael Berelson]
  • [San Fran]

 

Amultes or Taweez

Amulets written in Hebrew. Some contain the phrase “Shema Israel” and it is secretly written by the head of the tribe and it is forbidden to open it.

However, these days, it has been replaced by Taweez. These usually contain the Ayat ul Kursi which is a verse about the Glory and Power of Allah (Arabic for YHWH).

Interestingly, many of these have the Star of David which is also the symbol of the seal of Solomon etched or imbued on them.

.

.

Symbols; Star of David (The Shield)

And the symbol of Shield of David (Star of David) is found in almost every Pathan house. The wealthy make it out of expensive metals and the poor out of simple wood. It can be seen in towers, in schools and also in tools, bracelets, and jewelry. I saw it at least 20 times in a variety of places. In Minerajan, the center of Afghanistan, there are even schools that have the Shield of David on the door or in the stone above the door.

the Star of David symbol is prevalent in almost every Pathani home! The great Torah Sage ‘Tiferet Yisrael’ wrote regarding the Ten Tribes: ‘Many of the remaining became assimilated amongst the non-Jews*.’

  • [Based on an article by Rafael Berelson]

Symbols; Menorah and Nars

Less than an hour later, we passed through a typically poor village on the road back toward Kabul. Paint markings on some of the buildings caught my eye. They resembled five-branch menorahs. I asked Mashal what they were.

“Oh, we call it nars,” he replied. “People in the countryside put this up to mark a celebration, such as a birth or wedding.”

“Do all the peoples in Afghanistan do that, or just the Pashtuns?” Iasked.

“This is only for the Pashtuns,” he said.

It seemed uncanny. Menorah…nars. They sounded as if they shared the same root. And unlike the Star of David, which did not originate with the Jews, the menorah symbol had never belonged to another people.

  • [Ilene R. Prusher  - The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic and The Jerusalem]
  • [Report: http://www.momentmag.com/]

 

Other Symbols

(Some of these remain though usually not used in a Hebrew sense, whereas others are now extinct)

Likewise, if anyone travels in the local bus transport of the Pakistani Pashtun areas, he or she would see fascinating art works in their buses but strikingly all these art works have Israelite origin, these peculiar diagrams include:

1. Peacocks (Torah was written with peacock feathers)
2. The Symbolic ark
3. The Mogen David or the Star of the David – also found in the Israeli flag
4. Tree of Life of Kaballah
5. Fish of the Sabbat/Shabbos
6. The heart shape lamp of the Sabbat
7. Number of Leaf petals signifying Kaballah practices.

Language

Pashtu surprisingly has many Hebrew words.

Self  Name

The Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) are also called Afghans, or sons of the Pashtu which is their language, were mostly called “Bani-Israel” meaning children of Israel even though they live today as devout Muslims.

Pushtunwali (Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns)’ Law) Resembles the Torah

The legal system which is known as Pashtunwali, the law of the Pashtu, is very similar to the Torah, which is the holiest Jewish book and the book of ancient Jewish way of life. There are pages and even complete books among the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) and they honor greatly what is called Tavrad El Sharif (the Torah of Moses), and they rise at the mention of the name of Moses even though it is not important in Islam.

Hospitality

They are warriors and carry arms from a young age, they are hardworking, wise, truthful and extremely loyal and they also have a worldwide reputation for exemplary hospitality.

Weddings

Even today in the marriage ceremonies of the Afghan tribes Yusufzai, Khattak, Muhmand and Afridi among others, especially in Mardan, the groom and the bride while in the marriage bed are lifted by the male friends of the groom and by family several times in a repetitive up and down motion. This is a custom similar to the wedding custom of some Ashkenazi and Hassidic Jews. This is peculiar in that this customdoes not exist among any other peoples in the region around the Afghans, like Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis, Tajik, Uzbek or Hazara.

Their wedding is like Jewish. Wedding ceremony with the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) includes a marriage canopy and rings similar to the Jewish custom. There are wedding customs: Some Afghans marry under a cloth that is similar to the chuppa.

  • [Ilene R. Prusher  - The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New Republic and The Jerusalem]
  • [Report: http://www.momentmag.com/]

Levirate marriage

Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) have custom of levirate marriage, which is the custom when a husband dies without children, his brother marries the widow to keep the name of the house. This custom no longer exists today, but was an ancient Israeli custom mentioned in the Bible

  • [(Deuteronomy 25:5-6).]

 

Women

Women of the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) keep laws similar to the Jewish laws regarding menstruation. During this time and for 7 days after, no contact is allowed with the husband. After this period, the woman immerses in a river or spring or in a bathhouse if a natural spring is not available. This is exactly the same as the Israeli tradition going back to the days of the Bible.

In plague outbreaks

“Passover Practice” of sacrificing an animal and smearing the doorway to avert death and calamity
2. Placing the sins of the people upon a heifer or goat which is driven out in the wilderness in the manner of the biblical scapegoat
3. Stoning to death of blasphemers
4. Periodical distribution of land by lot (17)

At the time of plague the Pushtuns (or Pukhtuns) slaughter a sheep and sprinkle its blood on the doorpost of their homes. This is what the Israelites did in ancient Egypt during the plagues that occurred there.

In Illness

An interesting testimony relates to the placing of a wrapped book of Psalms of the Bible under the pillow of the ill in order to heal that person.

Conversion to Islam

This tradition was first published in 1635 in a book called Mahsan-I-Afghani and has often been mentioned in the research literature. According to this tradition, King Saul had a son called Jeremiah who had a son called Afghana. Jeremiah died at about the time of King Saul’s death and Afghana was raised by King David and remained in the royal court during King Solomon’s reign.

About 400 years later in the time of disorder of Israel, the Afghana family fled to a land called Gur which is in central Afghanistan. They settled and traded with the people of the area and in the year 662, with the arrival of Islam, the sons of Israel in Gur converted to the prophet with 7 representatives of the Afghan. The leader of the sons of Israel was Kish like the name of Saul’s father.

According to this tradition Muhammed rewarded them and Kish’s Hebrew name was changed to Arab-A-Rashid by Muhammad and was given the task of spreading Islam among his people. This is the roots of Afghan Royal Family.

So Afghan Royal Family has the tradition of ancient Israel – Benjamin Tribe of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Another book, Taaqati-Nasiri, states that in the 7th century, a people called Bani Israel settled in Ghor, southeast of Herat. According to Taaqati-Nasiri as well as Pashtun legend, the Bani Israel soon accepted Islam, after their leader, Qais, met with the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

References used for this article

(All of these reference books were consulted and utilized for this article but were not mentioned at every single point taken from these texts due to the cumbersome nature of this article. However it is advised to read them all for further reference and for actual source and facts from the authors.)

  • [W.M. Jr. Thackston, The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, Modern Library; Modern Library Pbk. Ed edition (September 10, 2002)]
  • [Al-Asha-ah, Page 240 also Page 108 of “Islam main Imam Mehdi Ka Tassawar” by Maulana Professor Muhammad Yousuf Khan, Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, Pakistan]
  • [Book 041, Number 6979, Sahih Muslim]
  • [Page 215, Kitab-al-Fitan and Page 108 of “Islam main Imam Mehdi Ka Tassawar” by Maulana Professor Muhammad Yousuf Khan, Jamia Ashrafia, Lahore, Pakistan]
  • [Sahih Trimdhi]
  • [Book 041, Number 7034, Sahih Muslim]
  • [Persian Jews, Wikipedia, http://www.wikipedia.org/]
  • [Afghanistan The Virtual Jewish History Tour]
  • [Ferishta, History Of The Mohammedan Power In India, The Packard Humanities Institute Persian Texts in Translation]
  • [Chronicles I, 8:35, Book of Samuel, Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.]
  • [ William Jesse, History of the Afghans, (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2002) p. 8.]
  • [An English translation of the French Caravan Journeys by General J. P. Ferrier (1st Regiment of Chasseurs D’Afrique, 1845).]
  • [François Bernier “Travels in the Moghul Empire” (Constable, London, 1891, Pg. 930-932).]
  • [Rev. Joseph Wolff, D.D. LL.D, Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in the years 1843-1845, (John W. Parker, London, 1845). Vol. 1 2nd Edition. P. 17.]
  • [George Forster, Letters on a journey from Bengal to England. [Faulder, London, 1808] (Vol. II, page 20).]
  • [History of Afghanistan by Colonel G. Malleson, C.S.I. (W.H. Allen & Co, London, at the India Office, 1878), p 39.]
  • [Oliver, Across the frontier, Pathan and Baluch (London: Champman and Hall Ltd., 1890) p 224]
  • [Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, The Durand Line-it’s Geo Strategic Importance, (Islamabad: Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, 2000) p. 34 & 30]
  • [ John Pilger, New Statesman, December 16, 2002]
  • [Grace Halsell, Forcing God’s Hand, Amana Publications (2002)]
  • [Noman Hanif, Pakistan’s Tableeghi Jamaat and Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Central Asia, ICSSA, July 24, 2007]
  • [http://www.rediff.com/, Tablighi Jamaat Under US Scanner, July 14, 2003]
  • [http://info.jpost.com/C008/Supplements/TenTribesChallenge/Aafreedi.html [navraas jaat afridi]]
  • [http://navrasaafreedi.blogspot.com/2010/01/pashtun-clue-to-lost-tribes-of-israel.html]
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Background and Exile from ancient Israel

According to the Bible (Kings 02:17:06, Kings 02:18:11, Chronicles 01:05:26), the ten tribes were exiled to Halah and Havor and the river Gozan and to the cities of Maday (Media). According to the tradition of the Jews of Afghanistan, the river Gozan is ‘rod jichan’ (river in Persian is rod), one of the tributaries of the Emo-daria, which descends in the vicinity of the town of Maimane (current day Afghanistan). The city of Havor is, as they say, peh-Shauor (Pash-Havor’) which means ‘Over Havor’, and today serves as the centre of the Pathans of Pakistan. This whole area populated the ancient Assyrian Exile.

There are researchers who claim that all the Jews living in southern Russia and Central Asian states, along the Emor-daria’ are the descendants of the ten tribes – the Bucharins, etc.

As we know, a group of ”B’nei Yisrael’ some of whom settled in Israel, is also found in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The existence of the Pathan tribes is therefore in the heart of the area in which the ten tribes are found.

  • [http://av1611.com/kjbp/]
  • [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadia_Gaon]
  • [Lost Tribes from Assyria" by A Avihail and A Brin, 1978]

Around 722 BC, Israeli civil war and changing strategic interests forced Assyria to deport ten tribes to the east, towards Persia (Iran). A hundred years later, the Babylonians deported the remaining tribe of Yehudah and some Benjaminites to Babylon (Iraq). The Yehudah returned to Israel with the help of Cyrus the great of Persia, but the other ten tribes never retuned.

The search for the “T en tribes of Israel” is a very controversial issue because their descendants lost most of their Israelite traditions and do not possess the T almud (Oral T orah similar to the hadith of the Muslims). Perhaps the focal point which has dissuaded Israelites from searching openly for their brethren is the Israelite civil war after King Solomon’s reign, which pitted Yehudah (Judah) against all the other tribes and eventually brought their collective downfall. Hence the descendants of the “Lost Tribes” have lived and spread in the lands east of Israel which are now known as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Burma and even western China.

  • [Bani Israel in Pakistan; The Israeli History of the Pathan Tribes by Qazi Fazli Azeem.]

Rabbinic literature on the subject

Of various accounts on the subject, only rabbinic literature provides direct and indirect references on the subject before the conversion of the Pashtun people to Islam.

The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal describes referencing the Book of Tobit:

[Holy Book of Tobit: Tobit C XIV V 5-13.]

[Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble, Asiatic Society of Bengal page 570.]

“The Jews at this time followed the advice of the prophet tobit escaped from Nineveh by stealth where could they have found a more secure retreat than towards the east in the direction of the mountain tracts now inhabited by the Afghans.”

Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble

According to the Tanach, after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom (circa 722 B.C.E.), several of the tribes that made up the Ten Lost Tribes, arrived in the region of the Gozan, the Hebrew pronunciation for the River Oxus and according to some for the Afghan city of Ghazni.

[Jewish communities in exotic places, Author: Ken Blady, Edition: illustrated, Publisher: Jason Aronson, 2000, ISBN: 0765761122, 9780765761125, Length: 422 pages, Page 197.]

[Forum on the Jewish people, Zionism and Israel , Volume 61, World Zionist Organization. Information Dept, , 1988 - Pages 41, 42 & 43.]

“…the Assyrian Exile were brought into Halah (modern day Balkh), and Habor (Pesh Habor or Peshawar), and Hara (Herat), and to the river Gozan (the Ammoo, also called Sehoon)…”.
[Tamerlane and the Jews, By Michael Shterenshis, Page xxiv.]
“..to Hara (Bokhara) and to the river of Gozan that is to say, the Amu, called by Europeans the Oxus….”.[The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch, By George Passman Tate, Page 11.]

Rabbi Saadia Gaon (892—942), writer of the Bible’s Tafsir in Arabic considered the Assyrian Exile to be in modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Iran.

[Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

[Geonica; The Geonim and Their Halakic Writings - page 59.]

[Jews in Islamic countries in the Middle Ages By Moshe Gil, David Strassler, Page 341.]

[The fire, the star and the cross: minority religions in medieval and early modern Iran - By Aptin Khanbaghi - Page 41.]

[Encyclopaedia Iranica , Volume 15, Issue 1 - Ehsan Yar-Shater - Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 2009 - 112 pages.]

[The illustrated encyclopedia of medieval civilization, Aryeh Graboïs, Octopus, 1980 - 751 pages.]

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela cites many large Jewish (Bani Israel) settlements in Media, Arachosia and Khurasan (Afghanistan).

[The Jewish quarterly review , Volume 1, Dropsie University, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Project Muse, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, 1966.]

[Encyclopaedia Iranica , Volume 15, Issue 1, Ehsan Yar-Shater, Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 2009 - 112 pages.]

[Hommage universel: actes du congrès de Shiraz 1971 et autres études rédigées à l'occasion du 2500e anniversaire de la fondation de l'empire Perse, Congress of Persian Studies (2, 1971, Šīrāz), Brill, 1974 - 444 pages - Page 300.]

Yahuda b. Bal’am, a noteworthy Rabbi and scholar of biblical knowledge put the “ten tribes” into Khorasan.

[Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

Tanchum Jerushalmi (thirteenth century) explains II Kings, 18, 11 by saying “these are the cities in the land of Khorasan.

[Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

Links between Afghanistan and the Holy Land

Moshe Gil writes in A history of Palestine:

[A history of Palestine, 634-1099 By Moshe Gil, Page 623.]

“People from distant Khurasan also reached Jerusalem.”

A history of Palestine, 634-1099, By Moshe Gil

 

Adele Berlin writes in Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes:

[Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes, Adele Berlin, Indiana University Press, 1991 - 205 pages.]

“Jacob as gaon of Sura, while Saadia conferred the exilarchate on David’s brother Hasan (Josiah; 930). Hasan was forced to flee, and died in exile in Khorasan ;”

Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes

 

Historical texts also indicate that Khurasan contributed heavily to tithes to the Holy Land.

[Saadia anniversary volume, American Academy for Jewish Research, The Press of the Jewish Publication Society, 1943 - 346 pages.]

[Texts and studies , Volume 2, American Academy for Jewish Research, Press of the Jewish publication society, 1943.]

[Ancient and medieval Jewish history: essays, Salo Wittmayer Baron, Rutgers University Press, 1972 - 588 pages.]

Conclusion

  • The biblical places of the refuge and exile of the Ten Lost Tribes in Media and Arachosia are therefore the regions which lie between Herat, Peshawar and the Oxus River.
  • Hara is Herat
  • Gozan is the river Oxus or Jehoon
  • Havor or Habor is Pesh-Havor or Peshawar.

These are exactly the ares which i modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan are the home and heartland of the Afghan (Pashtun/Pukhtun) people.

Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Uncategorized, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hebrew and Israelite traditions and customs of the Afghans (Pashtuns/Pukhtuns)

Introduction

The ethnic origin of the Afghans (also Pushtun; Pukhtun or Pathan) has always puzzled ordinary people, scholars and historians alike, but not the Pathans or Afghans themselves. They are different both externally and in their character traits and traditions from other groups around them, such as the Turks, the Mongols, the Chinese, or the Indo-Aryans. The word Pathan is a Pashto derivative of the original word Pithon, the great grandson of King Saul.

  • [http://wakeupproject.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=2303&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=96c3e24fc3c3e6328dbc1531542ef7ad]
  • [10. Chronicles I, 8:35, Book of Samuel, Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.]
  • ["The Lost Tribes in Assyria, by Rabbi Avihail A. and A. Brin, Translation: S. Matlofsky, Jerusalem: Amishav, 1985, pages 97–106]


It is also difficult to trace their past history in a region that has seen the passage of numerous nations and peoples throughout history and which has always been a focal point in history’s great conflicts. That is why; definitive clues to their true origins can be traced from the old customs and traditions or oral history that has been handed down from generation to generation. This is not surprising, since the transmission of such oral traditions and familial heritage has always stood the test of time in a region that has always been marred by war and constant change, where borders and kingdoms change every few years or so.
The Pashtuns or Pukhtuns have been living in the Afghanistan area for more than 2,000 years. Their language Pashtu/Pukhto borrows widely from the Arabized Persian of their neighbors (now Iran), yet it was a purely spoken dialect. There was no formal Pukhto/Pushto written script, the first Pushto book appearing about the 1500s. Hence the traditions, customs, tribal genealogy and law orally transferred from father to son. The first book on Pashtun genealogy, the Makhzan-al-Afghani was written in 1613, and contained for the first time a printed table of descent from Abraham to the Pashtun tribes.

  • [http://wakeupproject.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=2303&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=96c3e24fc3c3e6328dbc1531542ef7ad]
  • [Ferishta, History Of The Mohammedan Power In India, The Packard Humanities Institute Persian Texts in Translation]

From their ancient customs, one can point to a connection between the Pathans and the Jewish people. They make up about half of the population of Afghanistan, in the region called Pashtunistan, on the eastern border of Afghanistan. Over ninety per cent of the inhabitants are Sunni Muslims. Later modernization has penetrated into this State, and even less in the hilly areas near the border. In these places, the Pathans continue to live in the tribal framework as their fathers and forefathers did. The legal system operates according to the Pashtunwali,” the Pashtun Laws, parts of which are similar to the laws of the Torah.

  • [The Lost Tribes in Assyria, by Rabbi Avihail A. and A. Brin, Translation: S. Matlofsky, Jerusalem: Amishav, 1985, pages 97–106)]
  • [The Indian Jewry & The Self-Professed 'Lost Tribes of Israel' by Navras Jaat Aafreedi in collaboration with Professor Tudor Parfitt, director of the Centre of Jewish Studies, London University and Dr Yulia Egorova.]
Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Uncategorized, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journey of the Ten Lost Tribes from Israel to Khurasan

Note: All references from books and texts are given in italics and bulleted.

 

After the destruction of the Holy Temple at Jerusalem (Beyt al Muqaddas), the Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar enslaved the Children of Israel and took them to Media. From there onwards, the Tribes themselves and under the guidance of the Holy Prophet Tobit sought refuge in the mountains of Ghowr and Ghazni in Khurasan or Arachosia. Some parts of this journey are clearly recored in historical texts and others easily deduced like missing links in a chain of events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Uncategorized, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bani Israeilite Origin of the Afghans and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel

Note: All references from books and texts are italicized and bulleted.
 
 

Simply put, the theory that the Pashtun people originate from the exiled Lost Tribes of Israel is more than just a theory. There is a widespread chain of facts, events and proofs throughout the ages to solidify its validity. Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan. However the truth of their origins have always remained elusive.
Those who advocate the theory cite oral history and the names of various clans, which resemble the names of the Israelite tribes that were exiled by the Assyrian Empire 2,700 years ago, as evidence for this claim. Numerous ancient texts, such as the[Rig Veda, composed before 1200 BCE, which mentions the “Paktha” as an enemy group [Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture" By D. R. Bhandarkar] (e.g. in 4.25.7c), and Herodotus in his Histories composed circa 450 BCE which mentions the Pashtuns as “Paktyakai” (Book IV v.44) and as the “Aparytai” = Afridis (Book III v.91) in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pashtun (Afghan) Oral Traditions and History

Afghans (Pashtuns) who are a dozen or so tribes living in modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan in a region which used to comprise the Land of greater Khurasan maintain through their oral traditions and history that they are the Bani Israel (also Bnai Israel) or the Children of Israel. Through history transferred from generation to generation in a land which only knows perpetual war, it is this mode of preservation of history that has worked in the 2,700 years or so of their captivity and bondage.

Considering that they were sent into exile deprived of their culture, religion and language, this has proven to be the most reliable source of their history. Overtime they adopted the culture, language and religion of the peoples around them but they did not forget their past.

It is thus heart warming to know that an old Pashtun (Afghan) grandfather in his 70s or 80s, whether a Yusufzai, Afridi or Khattak living in Pakistan or a Zazai, Rabbani and Ghilzai living in Afghanistan would tell his little grandchildren:

“We are Afghans, we are Pashtun/Pukhtun, and Afghans (Pashtun/Pukhtun) are the Children of Israel.

We are not Jews but we are Jewish.

We were taken from the Holy Land and made captive, sent into exile in Arachosia but

We have made Arachosia into Khurasan our home

We may be divided among Afghanistan and Pakistan but

We are Afghans and Pashtuns/Pukhtun and we are Pathan and we are the the Bani Israel, the Lost Children of Israel”.

  • [Pukhtun bard songs and hymns.]

Pashtun Medieval texts

Some anthropologists lend credence to the oral traditions of the elder Pashtun tribes themselves. For example, according to the Encyclopaedia of Islam’, the theory of Pashtun descent from Israelites is 1st traced to the medieval text, Maghzan-e-Afghani, a history compiled for Khan-e-Jehan Lodhi in the reign of Mughal Emperor Jehangir in the 16th century CE.
Some sources state that the Maghzan-e-Afghani, was developed from the well known oral tradition of the Afghans about their descent and origin from the Israelites.
However, as far as Afghan or Pashtun texts and oral tradition is concerned, the well established tribes among the Afghans like the Afridi, Yusufzai, Khattak, Zazai, Rabbani etc. do maintain a bani Israelite origin.

Accounts in other sources

Bukhtawar Khan in his most valuable universal history ”Mirat-ul-Alam”, The Mirror of the World, gives a vivid account of the journeys of the Afghans from the Holy Land to Ghor, Ghazni and Kabul. Similarly Hafiz Rahmat bin Shah Alam in his ”Khulasat-ul-Ansab” and Fareed-ud-Din Ahmad in ”Risala-i-Ansab-i-Afghana” provide the history of the Afghans and deal with their genealogies.
Two of the most famous historical works on the subject are ”Tarikh-i-Afghana” ‘History of the Afghans” by Nimat Allah al-Harawi, which was translated by Bernard Dorn in 1829, and ”Tarikh-i-Hafiz Rahmatkhani”, by Hafiz Muhammad Zadeek which he wrote in 1770. These books deal with the early history of the Afghans, their origin and wanderings in general. They particularly discuss the Yusuf Zyes (Yusufzai or Yusefzai), “Sons of Joseph” and their occupation of Kabul, Bajoor, Swat and Peshawar.
The theory of the Semitic origin of the Pukhtoons has been supported by many Pukhtoon writers and leaders, including Khushal Khan Khattak.

  • [Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 54, Issues 3-4, Pakistan Historical Society - 2006 - Page 86, also p77,81.]
  • [Dastar nama of Khushhal Khan Khattak, Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, 2007 - 254 pages.]

And also by Bacha Khan (Ghaffar Khan who traes his lineage from Qais Abdur Rashid the grandson of King Saul (Talut)), Hafiz Rahmat Khan, Afzal Khan Khattak and Qazi Attaullah Khan. A number of orientalists like H.W. Bellew, Sir William Jones and Major Raverty have also subscribed to this view on the basis of Pukhtoon physiogonomy, and the striking resemblance of facial features between Pukhtoons and Jews.
Rajmohan Gandhi, while describing Bacha Khan when they met towards the end of Bacha Khan’s life says:

We found Abdul Ghaffar Khan lying on a rumpled bed. Tall and gaunt, he looked like a sick Jeremiah outside the gates of Israel.

  • [Ghaffar Khan, nonviolent badshah of the Pakhtuns, Rajmohan Gandhi, Penguin Viking, 2004 - On the life and achievements of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, 1890-1988, Indian nationalist and active politician in Pakistan after 1947 - 300 pages - Page 10.]

Calling on the Afghans, who were now divided and weak, Bacha Khan gave a fitting simile in regard to Afghan heritage and descent:

You may have read the story of the Israel and Prophet Moses in the Quran. When Prophet Moses exhorted the Bani Israel to come forward and oppose the tyrant, they replied that they were weak and could not face the enemy.

  • [Abdul Ghaffar Khan: faith is a battle, Dinanath Gopal Tendulkar, Published for Gandhi Peace Foundation by Popular Prakashan, 1967 - India - 550 pages.]

He said to them:

O Pashtuns! Your house has fallen into ruin. Arise and rebuild it, and remember to what race you belong.

He goes on to say:

I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet, but you are not aware of it. That weapon is patience and righteousness. No power on earth can stand against it.

The family tree of Bacha Khan traces his genealogy from Baitan and Qais Abdur Rashid, a legendary ancestor of the Afghans.

Arachosia or Khurasan

Rabbinic literature

Several references are present in Rabbinic literature. One of the earliest being from the book of the Holy Prophet Tobit.

  • [Holy Book of Tobit: Tobit C XIV V 5-13.]
    [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble, Asiatic Society of Bengal page 570.]

Holy Prophet Tobit

During the Assyrian captivity of Israel, when the tyranny of the Assyrian kings grew to extreme and the Bani Israel sought advice from the Prophet Tobit (a bani Israeilite Prophet Hazrat Tobit A.S.), he declared:

The Jews at this time followed the advice of the prophet tobit escaped from Nineveh by stealth where could they have found a more secure retreat than towards the east in the direction of the mountain tracts now inhabited by the Afghans.

  • [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble]

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela Media Arachosia Khurasan Afghanistan Pakistan

Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela

Probably one of the greatest contributions in the search for the Ten Lost Tribes is from Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela who cites many large Jewish (Bani Israel) settlements in the Median Empire (Media), Arachosia and Khurasan (Afghanistan), especially in the Ghowr and Ghazni regions of modern day Afghanistan. These are areas traditionally associated with Afghan tribes like the Yusufzai, Khattak, Afridi and Zazai.

  • [The Jewish quarterly review , Volume 1, Dropsie University, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Project Muse, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, 1966.]
  • [Encyclopaedia Iranica , Volume 15, Issue 1, Ehsan Yar-Shater, Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 2009 - 112 pages.]
  • [Hommage universel: actes du congrès de Shiraz 1971 et autres études rédigées à l'occasion du 2500e anniversaire de la fondation de l'empire Perse, Congress of Persian Studies (2, 1971, Šīrāz), Brill, 1974 - 444 pages - Page 300.]

Rabbi Yahuda b. Bal’am

Yahuda b. Bal’am, a noteworthy Rabbi and scholar of biblical knowledge put the “ten tribes” into Khorasan.

  • [Jews 1945 Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

Rabbi Tanchum Jerushalmi

Tanchum Jerushalmi (thirteenth century) explains II Kings, 18, 11 by saying “these are the cities in the land of Khorasan.

  • [Jews 1945 Historia judaica: a journal of studies in Jewish history, especially in legal and economic history of the Jews, Volumes 7-8, Guido Kisch - Historia Judaica, 1945.]

Rabbi Saadia Gaon

Rabbi Saadia Gaon (892—942), an Arab Jewish literary authority on the Mishna and Halakah and writer of the Bible’s Tafsir in Arabic considered the Assyrian Exile to be in modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Iran.

  • [Geonica; The Geonim and Their Halakic Writings - page 59.]
  • [Jews in Islamic countries in the Middle Ages By Moshe Gil, David Strassler, Page 341.]
  • [The fire, the star and the cross: minority religions in medieval and early modern Iran - By Aptin Khanbaghi - Page 41.]
  • [Encyclopaedia Iranica , Volume 15, Issue 1 - Ehsan Yar-Shater - Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 2009 - 112 pages.]
  • [The illustrated encyclopedia of medieval civilization, Aryeh Graboïs, Octopus, 1980 - 751 pages.]

According to the Tanach, after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom (circa 722 B.C.E.), several of the tribes that made up the Ten Lost Tribes, arrived in the region of the Gozan, the Hebrew pronunciation for the River Oxus and according to some for the Afghan city of Ghazni.

  • • [Jewish communities in exotic places, Author: Ken Blady, Edition: illustrated, Publisher: Jason Aronson, 2000, ISBN: 0765761122, 9780765761125, Length: 422 pages, Page 197.]
  • • [Forum on the Jewish people, Zionism and Israel , Volume 61, World Zionist Organization. Information Dept, , 1988 - Pages 41, 42 & 43.]

the Assyrian Exile were brought into Halah (modern day Balkh), and Habor (Pesh Habor or Peshawar), and Hara (Herat), and to the river Gozan (the Ammoo, also called Jehoon).

  • • [Tamerlane and the Jews, Tamerlane and the Jews, By Michael Shterenshis, Page xxiv.]

to Hara (Bokhara) and to the river of Gozan (that is to say, the Amu, (called by Europeans the Oxus).

  • • [The Kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch, By George Passman Tate, Page 11.]

Links between Khurasan and the Holy Land

 

The Oral tradition of the Afghans that there was contact between Afghans and their cousins in the Holy Land is also lent credibility in that, travel was common between the two.

 

  • [A history of Palestine, 634-1099 By Moshe Gil, Page 623.]

People(Afghans) from distant Khurasan also reached Jerusalem.

  • [A history of Palestine, 634-1099, By Moshe Gil]

Travel between the two peoples was common.

  • [Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes, Adele Berlin, Indiana University Press, 1991 - 205 pages.]

Jacob as gaon of Sura, while Saadia conferred the exilarchate on David’s brother Hasan (Josiah; 930). Hasan was forced to flee, and died in exile in Khorasan

  • [Biblical poetry through Medieval Jewish eyes]

Historical texts also indicate that Khurasan contributed heavily to tithes to the Holy Land.

  • [Saadia anniversary volume, American Academy for Jewish Research, The Press of the Jewish Publication Society, 1943 - 346 pages.]
  • [Texts and studies , Volume 2, American Academy for Jewish Research, Press of the Jewish publication society, 1943.]
  • [Ancient and medieval Jewish history: essays, Salo Wittmayer Baron, Rutgers University Press, 1972 - 588 pages.]

The Assyrian Exile sought refuge in Khurasan because from ancient times it had been a place of exile for many Jewish outcasts and thus was known commonly as a distant safe refuge.

  • [Евс & Славс, Wolf Moskovich, С. Шварцбанд, Анатолий А. Алексеев, Исраэль Академий оф Сциенцес анд Хуманитыес, 2008 - 430 pages.]

European explorers and researchers

Sir Alexander Burnes in his ”Travels into Bokhara”, which he published in 1835, speaking of the Afghans said:

The Afghans call themselves Bani Israel, or the children of Israel, but consider the term Yahoodi, or Jew, to be one of reproach. They say that Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, after the overthrow of Israel, transplanted them into the towns of Ghore near Bamean and that they were called after their Chief Afghan they say that they lived as Israelites till Khalid summoned them in the first century of the Muslims having precisely stated the traditions and history of the Afghans I see no good reason for discrediting them… the Afghans look like Jews and the younger brother marries the widow of the elder. The Afghans entertain strong prejudices against the Jewish nation, which would at least show that they have no desire to claim – without just cause – a descent from them.

  • [Sir Alexander Burnes, ''Travels into Bokhara'', Vol. 2:139-141.]

Burnes was again in 1837 sent as the first British Envoy to the Court of Kabul. For some time he was the guest of King Dost Mohammad Khan. He questioned the King about the descent of the Afghans from the Israelites. The King replied that:

his people had no doubt of that, though they repudiated the idea of being Jews but not Jewish or Israelite.

William Moorcroft (explorer) traveled during 1819 to 1825 through various countries adjoining India, including Afghanistan. He says:

The Khaibarees, are tall and have a singularly Jewish cast of features.

  • [Moorcroft, ''Travels in Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Punjab region|Punjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir, in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz and Bokhara'', 12]

J. B. Frazer in his book, ”An Historical and Descriptive Account of Persia and Afghanistan”, which he published in 1843, says:

According to their own tradition they believe themselves to be descendants from the Hebrews… they preserved the purity of their religion until they met with Islam.

  • [J.B. Frazer, ''A Historical and Descriptive Account of Persia and Afghanistan'', 298]

Joseph-Pierre Ferrier wrote his ”History of the Afghans” in 1858. It was translated by Capt. W. M. Jesse. He too was disposed to believe that the Afghans represented the Ten Tribes of Israel. In support of his view he recorded, among others, a very significant fact:

When Nadir Shah marching to the conquest of India arrived at Peshawar, the chief of the tribe of Yoosoof Zyes (Sons of Joseph) presented him with a Bible written in Hebrew and several other articles that had been used in their ancient worship and which they had preserved. These articles were at once recognized by the Jews who followed the camp. So the presence of Bibles among Afghans show their Jewish origin.

Sir Olaf Caroe

The Pathans 550BC to 1957AD :

This is not to assert that the ethnic or linguistic stock can be necessarily traced through to tribes of similar names today. The case would be rather that these were sub-stratum agglomerations of people who, through contact with later-comers, modified their language and were assimilated to later cultures, but retained in the more inaccessible places sufficient of their older selves to boast their original names. The theory does at least give a starting-point to Pathan history & the stock belief in the Bani Israel.

Writings of explorers

George Moore published his famous work ”The Lost Tribes” in 1861. He gave numerous facts to prove that these tribes are traceable to India. After giving details of the character of the wandering Israelites, he said:

And we find that the very natural character of Israel reappear in all its life and reality in countries where people call themselves Bani Israel and universally claim to be the descendants of the Lost Tribes. The nomenclature of their tribes and districts, both in ancient Geography, and at the present day, confirms this universal natural tradition. Lastly, we have the route of the Israelites from Medes (Media) to Afghanistan and India marked by a series of intermediate stations bearing the names of several of the tribes and clearly indicating the stages of their long and arduous journey.

  • [George Moore, ''The Lost Tribes'']

Moore goes on to say:

Sir William Jones, Sir John Malcolm and the missing Chamberlain, after full investigation, were of the opinion that the Ten Tribes migrated to India, Tibet, and Cashemire [Kashmir] through Afghanistan.

  •  [George Moore, ''The Lost Tribes'']

Moore has mentioned only three eminent writers on the subject. But reference can also be made to General Sir George Macmunn (”Afghanistan from Darius to Amanullah”, 215), Col. G.B. Malleson (”The History of Afghanistan from the Earliest Period to the outbreak of the War of 1878”, 39), Col. Failson, (”History of Afghanistan”, 49), George Bell (”Tribes of Afghanistan”, 15), E. Balfour (”Encyclopedia of India”, article on Afghanistan), Sir Henry Yule (”Encyclopædia Britannica”, article on Afghanistan), and the Hon. Sir George Rose (Rose, ”The Afghans, the Ten Tribes and the Kings of the East”, 26). They, one and all, independently came to the same conclusion.
Another, Major H. W. Bellew, went on a political mission to Kandahar and published his impressions in his ”Journal of a Mission to Kandahar”, 1857-8. He then wrote in 1879 his book ”Afghanistan and Afghans”. In 1880 he was sent, once again on another mission to Kabul, and in the same year he delivered two lectures before the United Services Institute at Shimla (Simla): “A New Afghan Question, or “Are the Afghans Israelites?” and “Who are the Afghans?” He then published another book: ”The Races of Afghanistan”. Finally he collected all his facts in ”An Enquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan”, which was published in 1891.
In this work he mentions ”Killa Yahoodi” (“Fort of the Jews”) (H.W. Bellew, ”An Enquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan”, 34), as being the name of the eastern boundary of their country, and also speaks of ”Dasht-i-Yahoodi” (“Jewish plain”) (ibid., 4), a place in Mardan District.

He concludes: “The Afghan’s accounts of Jacob and Esau, of Moses and the The Exodus, of the Wars of the Israelites with the Amalekites and conquest of Palestine, of the Ark of the Covenant and of the election of Saul the King|Saul to the Kingdom, etc., etc., are clearly founded on the Bible (Biblical) records, and clearly indicate a knowledge of the Old Testament, which if it does not prove the presence of the Christianity at least corroborates their assertion that the Afghans were readers of the Pentateuch.” (Ibid., 191)
Thomas Ledlie wrote an article in the ”Calcutta Review”, which he subsequently elaborated and published in two volumes. He expressed his views on the subject very clearly:

The Europeans always confuse things, when they consider the fact that the Afghans call themselves Bani Israel and yet reject their Jewish descent. Indeed, the Afghans discard the very idea of any descent from the Jews. They, however, yet claim themselves to be of Bani Israel.

  • [Thomas Ledlie, More Ledlian, ''Calcutta Review'', January, 1898]

Ledlie goes on to explain:

Israelites, or the Ten Tribes, to whom the term Israel was applied – after their separation from the House of David, and the tribe of Judah, which tribe retained the name of Judah and had a distinct history ever after. These last alone are called Jews and are distinguished from the Bani Israel as much in the East as in the West.

[Ibid., 7]

Winston Churchill on Afghans

Sir Olaf Caroe, The Pathans 550BC 1957AD:

Perhaps it would be fair to conclude the Herodotean argument with the words of Winston Churchill on Fair Rosamond: 24
Tiresome investigators have undermined this excellent tale, but it certainly should find a place in any history worthy of the name. If Pathans themselves are in doubt, or hanker after more traditional forebears, let them remember that Herodotus was the first to call the people around Paktuike the bravest of all the people in those parts.”

Modern researchers and writers

Among more contemporary writers Dr. Alfred Edersheim says:

Modern investigations have pointed the Afghans as descendants from the Lost Tribes.

  • [Dr. Alfred Edersheim, ''The Life and Times of Jesus, the Messiah'', 15]

Sir Thomas Holditch in his ”The Gates of India” says:

But there is one important people (of whom there is much more to be said) (Afghans) who call themselves Bani Israel, who claim a descent from Biblical Kish and from Shem, son of Noah, who have adopted a strange mixture of Mitzvot (Mosaic Law) in Ordinances in their moral code, who (some sections at least) keep a feast which strongly accords with the Passover,… and for whom no one has yet been able to suggest any other origin than the one they claim, and claim with determined force, and these people are the overwhelming inhabitants of Afghanistan.

  • [Sir Thomas Holditch, ''The Gates of India'', 49.]

There are many additional references, recorded incidents, manuscripts and artifacts related to the Hebraic history of the Pashtuns for the dedicated objective researcher who seeks them out.
In his 1957 classic ”The Exiled and the Redeemed”, Itzhak Ben-Zvi, second President of Israel, writes that:

Hebrew migrations into Afghanistan began, “with a sprinkling of exiles from Samaria who had been transplanted there by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria (719 BC). From the recurrent references in the Book of Esther to the “one hundred and twenty seven dominions” of Xerxes I of Persia|King Ahasuerus, the deduction is permissible that eastern Afghanistan was among them.

  • [''The Exiled and the Redeemed'', 176]

Ben-Zvi continues:

“The Afghan tribes, among whom the Jews have lived for generations, are Moslems who retain to this day their amazing tradition about their descent from the Ten Tribes. It is an ancient tradition, and one not without some historical plausibility. A number of explorers, Jewish and non-Jewish, who visited Afghanistan from time to time, and students of Afghan affairs who probed into literary sources, have referred to this tradition, which was also discussed in several encyclopedias in European languages. The fact that this tradition, and no other, has persisted among these tribes is itself a weighty consideration. Nations normally keep alive memories passed by word of mouth from generation to generation, and much of their history is based not on written records but on verbal tradition.
This was particularly so in the case of the nations and the communities of the Levant. The people of the Arabian Peninsula, for example, derived all their knowledge of an original paganism, which they abandoned in favor of Islam, from such verbal tradition. So did the people of Iran, formerly worshipers of the religion of Zoroaster; the Turkic peoples (Turkish and Mongol tribes), formerly Buddhism (Buddhists and Shamanists); and the Syrians who abandoned Christianity in favor of Islam. Therefore, if the Afghan tribes persistently adhere to the tradition that they were once Hebrews and in course of time embraced Islam, and there is not an alternative tradition also existent among them, they are certainly Jewish.

  • [''The Exiled and the Redeemed'']

Further reading

  • Bellew: ”Races of Afghanistan”
  • Yu. V. Gankovsky, Syed Bahadur Shah Zafar Kaka Khel: ”Pukhtana”
  • Sir Olaf Caroe (1958), ”The Pathans”
  • [http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1262339436797 Are Taliban descendants of Israelites?], By AMIR MIZROCH, jpost.com, Jan 9, 2010.

External links

  • *Alden Oreck, [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Afghanistan.html The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Afghanistan] from Jewish Virtual Library
  • *[http://www.momentmag.com/Exclusive/2007/2007-04/200704-Taliban.html Is One of the Lost Tribes the Taliban?]
  • *[http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/10/20/MN.DTL Taliban may have origin in ancient tribe of Israel: Anthropologist finds many similarities]
  • *[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/17/israel-lost-tribes-pashtun Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel: Genetic study sets out to uncover if there is a 2,700-year-old link to Afghanistan and Pakistan]
  • *[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/6967224/Taliban-may-be-descended-from-Jews.html Taliban may be descended from Jews]
Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Uncategorized, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Qais Abdur Rashid

Note: References from books and texts are bulleted and italicized.

Qais Abdur Rashid (575 – 661) (قيس عبد الراشد’ ) also known as Kesh, Qesh and Imraul Qais is the legendary ancestor of the Afghan (Pashtun race), the first Ethnic Pashtun who travelled to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia during the early days of Islam.

  • [http://www.pakhtun.com/index.php/about-pashtuns/origins-of-pashtuns/pashtun-origins?start=1 Claims About Origin, by Syed Zubir Rehman]
  • [http://www.gl.iit.edu/govdocs/afghanistan/Religion.html Meaning and Practice], ”Afghanistan Country Study: Religion”, Illinois Institute of Technology]

Qais Abdur Rashid is thirty-seventh in descent from King Saul or Malik Talut (Hazrat Talut A.S.).

  • [Dawn, [http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/archive/040404/dmag9.htm The cradle of Pathan culture], by Alauddin Masood, April 4, 2004.]
  • [Pakistan pictorial, Pakistan Publications, 2003.Niamatullah's history of the Afghans , Volume 1, Niʻmat Allāh, Nirod Bhusan Roy, Santiniketan Press, 1958 - Page 5.]

Qais Abdur Rashid was born in Zhob region of modern day Baluchistan, Pakistan.

  • [http://www.scribd.com/doc/15687191/Pashtun-Tribes-Pukhtun-Tribes-]
  • [http://en.pashtunfoundation.org/bodytext.php?request=827]

Upon hearing about the advent of the promised Last Messenger of God (YHWH or Allah) as promised in the Torah, he was sent by his tribe to Medina in Saudi Arabia. He met the Prophet of Islam Muhammad P.B.U.H. and embraced Islam there, and was given the name ‘Abdur Rashid’ by Muhammad P.B.U.H.

In introducing Qais Abdur Rashid, the Messenger of Allah P.B.U.H. mentioned to his companions, here is a prince of the line of the kings of Israel to witch both Qais and the companions attested.

The Prophet also gave him the ominous and truly prophetic title of Batan from which the word Pathan (modern day usage) has descended. It is also important to note here that Pathan is also the name of one of the progenitors of Qais (Kish) and a a grandson of Abraham (Hazrat Ibrahim A.S.) mentioned in the bible.

Qais returned to the region of Afghanistan (ghazni, Ghour and Zhob) and introduced Islam to his tribe.

  • [http://www.khyber.org/pashtohistory/ethnology-arabs.shtml]

Before they Became Muslims, It is also claimed that the famous warrior companion, Khalid ibn al-Walid, introduced Qais Abdur Rashid to the Prophet.

The Afghan historians proceed to relate that the Israelites (children of Israel), both in Ghore and in Saudi Arabia, preserved their knowledge of the unity (Monotheism) of Allah (God) and the purity of their religious belief, and that on the appearance of the last and greatest of the prophets Muhammad the Afghans of Ghore listened to the invitation of their brethren in Arabia, the chief of whom was Khalid ibn al-Walid (Khauled or Caled), son of Waleed, so famous for his conquest of Syria, and marched to the aid of the true faith, under the command of Kyse, afterwards surnamed Abdool Resheed.

  • [Life of the Amir Dost Mohammed Khan; of Kabul, Volume 1. By Mohan Lal, 1846,  pg. 5, Mohan Lal, 1846]
  • [''History Of The Mohamedan Power In India'' by Firishta (Muhammad Qāsim Hindū Šāh Astarābādī Firištah)]

Qais Abdur Rashid is buried on top of the ”Qais Mountain”, known locally as ‘Da Kase baba Ghar’,  (literally Mount of Qais the father) which is in the Sulaiman Mountains near Zhob.

Pashtuns (Afghans) from Pakistan and Afghanistan visit the place and offer sacrificial animals, charity and offerings at the tomb.

It is said that prayers are accepted and God’s mercy received at the shrine of this Patriarch.

Nearly all of the major Pashtun tribes are linked or associated with Qais Abdur Rashid and his descent from King Saul (Hazrat Talut) through Malik Afghan.

Though Qais Abdur Rashid is not the direct ancestor or progenitor of all Afghans Pashtun/Pukhtuns), he was the grand leader of the Afghans at the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. and the first Muslim Afghan.

Afghans refer to him as Qais the father and all tribes associate themselves with him out of respect for he is recognized as the 1st Afghan who reverted to Islam. Therefore even though Afghans lived and existed long before him ever since the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in ~ 587 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar II, in essence he is the 1st Afghan.

Misconceptions

The common misconception about Qais Abdur Rashid (Kish) is that he is the blood father of all modern day Afghan (Pashtun) people and that all tribes are descended from him.

In fact, he was only a leader (Chieftain) of the group of seven Tribal elders (Tribal leaders) sent along with a group of 76 Afghans (Pashtuns) to meet the Prophet Muhammad in Medina.

  • The Lost Tribes in Assyria, by Rabbi Avihail A. and A. Brin, Translation: S. Matlofsky, Jerusalem: Amishav, 1985, pages 97–106

In the year 622, with the appearance of Islam, Muhammad sent Khalid ibn Waleed to the ‘sons of Ishrail’ to spread the word of Islam among the Afghanistan tribes. He succeeded in his mission, returned to Muhammad with seven representatives of the residents of Afghanistan and with 76 supporters. The leader of these people was ‘Kish’ (or Kesh or Qais). According to the tradition, the emissaries succeeded in their assignment and Muhammad praised them for this. He (the Prophet) gave the name Abdur Rashid to Kesh, announced that Kesh was from the Royal line of the House of Israel and that through his seed God will strengthen his religion. The Lost Tribes in Assyria

It is to be noted that Qais Abdur Rashid is not the direct blood father of all modern day Afghan Tribes. In truth he was only the head of the delegation the Afghans sent to meet the Prophet at Medinah and Makkah. This delegation comprised of 76 members and representatives from all the Afghan tribes which also represented all the Ten Lost Tribes Of Israel. However, Qais was selected because he was among them the direct descendant of King Saul (Hazrat Talut A.S.) and therefore represented the purest blood of the line of the Kings Of Israel.

When different Afghan tribes relate their ancestry from him, or call him the father, it is out of honor and respect. This in no way is to be taken literally.

Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Uncategorized, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghana

Note: References from books and texts are bulleted and italicized.

.

.

Note: References from books and texts are bulleted and italicized.

Afghana

Afghana

Afghana (born ~ 1000 BC), also known as Malak Afghana was according to Afghan (Pukhtun/Pashtun) tribal traditions  a Bani Israel (Israelite) prince and is the legendary progenitor of the Pashtun people (Afghans).

  • [Kharnam, Encyclopaedic ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia 2005, publisher Global Vision, isbn=978-8182200623, page=20]
  • [Socio-economic Behaviour of Pukhtun Tribes By Dipali Saha, Dipali Saha - 2006 - 282 pages - Page 124]
  • [India and the Afghans: a study of a neglected region, 1370-1576 A.D., Amrendra Kumar Thakur, Janaki Prakashan, 1992 - 231 pages, Covers the history of Bihar during the Afghan rule in India. Page 2 & 9]
  • [Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan , Volume 22, Research Society of Pakistan, 1985 - Page 4]
  • [Pukhtun economy and society: traditional structure and economic development in a tribal society, Akbar S. Ahmed, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980 - 406 pages - Page 128 & 129]
  • [Niamatullah's history of the Afghans , Volume 1, Niʻmat Allāh, Nirod Bhusan Roy, Santiniketan Press, 1958 - Page 5 & 9]

The word Afghan is considered to be derived from his name.

 House of King Saul [Hazrat Talut]

According to the Tanakh, Saul was the son of Kish (Bible), of the family of the Matrites, and a member of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the twelve  [12 Tribes of Israel].

  • [ bibleverse |1|Samuel|9:1-2|,  |1|Samuel|10:21|, |1|Samuel|14:51|, |Acts|13:21|]

He came from Gibeah.

  • [A Dictionary of the Bible: Red-Sea-Zuzims edited by William Smith, William Smith - 1863 - Page 1151.]

Saul married Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz. They had four sons and two daughters. The sons were Jonathan (Samuel), Abinadab, Malchishua and Ish-bosheth. Their daughters were named Merab and Michal.

[bibleverse|1|Samuel|14:51|] lists three sons – Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchi-shua – and the two daughters. But see also [bibleverse|2|Samuel|2:8| & |1|Chronicles|8:33|]

Saul also had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, who bore him two sons, Armoni and Mephibosheth. [bibleverse|2|Samuel|21:8|]

Saul was slain at the Battle of Mount Gilboa [bibleverse|1|Samuel|31:3-6|, |1|Chronicles|10:3-6|], and was buried in Zelah, Judea, in the region of Benjamin in modern-day Israel. [bibleverse|2|Samuel|21:14|]
When Saul first became king, he followed Samuel’s bidding. Eventually, as Saul disobeyed God, God told Samuel to anoint a new king.

Afghan oral traditions, legends and Historian and scholars especially Muslim writers suggest that King Saul [Talut] had five sons not four. The fifth being Irmia (Jeremia).

  • [A grammar of the Pukhto, Pushto, or Language of the Afgháns, By Henry George Raverty - - 1860 - 204 pages - page 6.]
  • [Volume 13 of Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics - Editors: James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie, Louis Herbert Gray - Publisher C. Scribner's sons]
  • [The rise of the Indo-Afghan empire, c.1710-1780 By Jos J. L. Gommans - 1995 - 219 pages - Page 164.]
  • [Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 23, Issues 5-7 By James Sykes Gamble, Asiatic Society of Bengal - 1855 - page 555.]
  • [Origins and History of Jats and Other Allied Nomadic Tribes of India By B.S. Nijjar - B.S. Nijjar - 2007 - 440 pages - Page 421.]
  • [The Calcutta Christian observer, Volume 1 - 1832 - page 294.]
  • [Notes and queries , Volume 59 - William White - Oxford University Press, 1879.]
  • [Jesus in India: Jesus' deliverance from the cross & journey to India By G̲h̲ulām Aḥmad, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian - 2003 - 160 pages - page 117.]

Malak Afghana

Malik Afghana

Afghana always referred to as Malak (Hebrew for leader or king). Malak Afghana was the grandson of king Saul (Talut). Afghana was the son of Irmia (Jeremia), and Irmia (Jeremia) in turn was the son of Saul (Talut).

It is mentioned that Afghana was orphaned at a young age, and brought up by king David. When Solomon became king, Afghana was promoted as the commander-in-chief of the army.

  • [The Scripture gazetteer: a geographical, historical study, Volume 2, By William Fleming, p64.]
  • [The Analytical review, or History of literature, domestic and foreign on an enlarged plan , Volume 25 - 1797 - Page 379.]
  • [Illustrations of prophecy, By Joseph Lomas Towers - 1796 - 799 pages - page 590.]
  • [The people of India By Herbert Risley, W. Crooke - 1999 - 472 pages - Page 64.]
  • [The Century , Volume 30 - The Century Co., 1885.The Century: a popular quarterly, Volume 8; Volume 30 - Making of America Project - Scribner & Co., 1885.]

Additionally, he is also credited with the building of the first temple [Beyt/Bayt al Muqaddis].

  • [Pathan tribal patterns: an interim study of authoritarian family process and structure, Ruth Einsidler Newman, Foreign Studies Institute, 1965 - 111 pages.]

Malak Afghana, grandson of Malak (King) Saul (Talut) who was King Solomon’s Commander-in-Chief, and builder of his temple in BC 1005.

  • [Pathan tribal patterns: an interim study of authoritarian family process and structure]

Rabbinic literature state that the First Temple stood for 410 years and, based on the 2nd-century work [Seder Olam Rabbah], place construction in 832 BCE and destruction in 422 BCE. [Missing years (Jewish calendar) 165 years later than secular estimates].

  • [ Eisen, Yosef.  Miraculous journey: a complete history of the Jewish people from creation to the present pg. 56. Targum Press 2004, ISBN 1568713231]

The son of Berkia was Afghan (or Afghana), and the son of Irmia was …Afghana made frequent excursions to the mountains, ….

  • [The Bible Cyclopedia: containing the biography, geography and study, Volume 2, By John Parker Lawson, p64.]
  • [Olaf Caroe, The Pathans: 550 BC - AD 1957]
  • [The first Afghan empire in India, 1451-1526 A. D. - Awadh Bihari Pandey - Bookland, 1956 - 320 pages - Page 35,36.]
  • [The Sunday at home , Volume 25 - Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) - Religious Tract Society, 1878.]
  • [Pakistan, the cultural heritage - Aḥmad Shujāʻ Pāshā - Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1998 - 191 pages - Page 33.]
  • [Multān under the Afg̲h̲āns, 1752-1818 - Ashiq Muhammad Khān Durrani - Bazme Saqafat, 1981 - 199 pages.]
  • [Pakistan journal of history and culture , Volume 1 - National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research (Pakistan) - National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, 1980.]
  • [Cambridge anthropology , Volumes 22-23 - University of Cambridge. Dept. of Social Anthropology - Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University., 2001 - Page 89.]

According to Tadhkirat al-Muluk, Malik Afghan sought refuge and safe haven in the place known as Takht-i-Sulaiman and generations later, Qays ‘Abd al-Rashid a descendant of Malik Afghan embraced Islam.

  • [Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 39, Pakistan Historical Society, Pakistan Historical Society, 1991.]
  • [Tadhkirat al-Muluk: A Manual of Safavid Administration, Translated by V. Minorsky, Publisher: Gibb Memorial Trust; 2nd edition (December 1, 1980) Language: English, ISBN 978-0906094129, Paperback: 360 pages.]

Qais Abdur Rashid

Qais Abdur Rashid (575 – 661) also known as Kesh, Qesh and Imraul Qais  is the legendary ancestor of the Afghan (Pashtun) race, the first Ethnic Pashtun who travelled to[Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia during the early days of Islam.

  • [http://www.pakhtun.com/index.php/about-pashtuns/origins-of-pashtuns/pashtun-origins?start=1 Claims About Origin], by Syed Zubir Rehman]
  • [http://www.gl.iit.edu/govdocs/afghanistan/Religion.html Meaning and Practice], ”Afghanistan Country Study: Religion”, [[Illinois Institute of Technology]] (retrieved 18 January 2007).

Qais Abdur Rashid’s pedigree ascended in a series of thirty-seven degrees to King Talut (Saul) through Afghana.

  • [Niamatullah's history of the Afghans , Volume 1, Niʻmat Allāh, Nirod Bhusan Roy, Santiniketan Press, 1958.]
  • [Census of India, 1901 , Volume 18, Part 1, India. Census Commissioner, Edward Albert Gait, Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1902 - Page 88.]
  • [Settling the frontier: land, law and society in the Peshawar valley, 1500-1900, Robert Nichols, Robert Nichols (PhD.), Oxford University Press, 2001 - 321 pages.]
  • [The people of India, Sir Herbert Hope Risley, William Crooke, Oriental Books Reprint Corp.; exclusively distributed by Munshiram Manoharlal, 1969 - 472 pages - Page 64.]
  • [Balochistan: land, history, people, Ihsan H. Nadiem, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007 - Balochistān (Pakistan) - 160 pages - Page 16.]
  • [Pakistan pictorial, Pakistan Publications, 2003.]
  • [Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India: Baluchistan and the first Afghan war, India. Army. Intelligence Branch, Nisa Traders : sole distributors, Gosha-e-Adab, 1979 - Page 19.]
  • [Balochistan Through the Ages: Tribes, Baluchistan (Pakistan), Nisa Traders : sole distributors Gosha-e-Adab, 1979 - Page 104.]
  • [Imperial gazetteer of India , Volume 5, Sir William Wilson Hunter, Great Britain. India Office, Clarendon Press, 1908.]
  • [The guardians of the frontier: the Frontier Corps, N.W.F.P., Mohammad Nawaz Khan, Frontier Corps, North West Frontier Province, 1994 - 498 pages.]

Death

According to legend, Malak Afghana after his death was buried in Ghowr, Afghanistan.

In other folklore however, Qais Abdur Rashid in his old age, when he felt his time was near, asked his sons, to bury him in the Sulaiman Mountains (Zhob) at the spot where his ancestor Malak Afghana was buried.

  • [Balochistan: land, history, people, Ihsan H. Nadiem, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007 - - 160 pages, Page 16.]
  • [Pakistan pictorial, Publisher: Pakistan Publications, 2003.]

Related Links

[http://www.islamicrepublicofafghanistan.com/the-legendary-qais-abdur-rashid/ The Legendary Qais Abdur Rashid].

[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/17/israel-lost-tribes-pashtun Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel: Genetic study sets out to uncover if there is a 2,700-year-old link to Afghanistan and Pakistan].
[http://www.kulanu.org/pathan/israeliteorigins.html Pashtun Bani Israelite Origins].
[http://www.dangoor.com/74069.html Hebrew Pashtun Article 1].
[http://www.dangoor.com/74039.html Hebrew Pashtun Article 2].
Alden Oreck, [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Afghanistan.html The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Afghanistan] from Jewish Virtual Library.

Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome

Flag Greater Khurasan Land of the Afghans

Historical / Traditional Flag of Greater Khurasan, the Land of the Afghans

Welcome to Muslim Bani Israel.

Here are some features of this site:

  1. History and Heritage of the Afghans.
  2. References and Research material about the subject including rare and easily available books and texts.
  3. Contributions from readers and interested people around the globe.

About the background: Created and donated by an Afghan artist based in Los Angeles.

All material here is from the contributions of many different people, Afghans and non Afghans.

All material here can be used in any way and is in the public domain.

Posted in Abdali, Afghan, Afghan Tribes, Afghana, Afghanistan, Afghans, Afridi, Bani Israel, Bnai Israel, Durrani, Ephraim, Gad, Khattak, Khurasan, Kish, Malak, Manasseh, Muslim, Pakistan, Pashtoon, Pashtun, Pathan, Popalzai, Pukhtun, Qais Abdur Rashid, Ten Lost Tribes, Tribe of Joseph, Yusufzai, Zazi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment