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.
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.
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.
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.