Pashto Fourteen Hundred Years Ago


Abdul Hai Habibi


Fourteen hundred years ago, i.e during the first century of the Islamic era, there were a number of royal families who lived in the Kabul and Hindukush valleys and the cities of Pashtunkhwa. These families were the remnants of the former Hepthalites (Abdali), Huns (Khanan) and the Kushanis. As described by Ibn Khardaba these people were: the Kabulan Shah, the Sheran Shah of Bamian, the Dawaran Shah of Zamindawar[1] and the Hepthali (Abdali) of Zawul (Zabul). The Mehrgul (Mir Kahol) inscription, found in Shali valley of Uruzgan, suggests that all these families were related.

We do not know much about the history of these families. We just know some of their names from coins and it is not clear what their language was? But the names have been written in Greek, Saradangari and sometimes in Kala Mangali scripts.[2]

It is not the purpose of this treatise to write about the origin, history or events of these royal families but we want to delve into their language. These kings lived in the middle of Pashtunkhwa (land of the Pashtuns) and Zabulistan so if their language was not Pashto then what was it? And the question arises what happened to that language?

It is not logical to assert that the language of a nation suddenly disappears and dies. It takes centuries for a language to die. Hence we can say with certainty that the language of these people was Pashto or a dialect, which was close to Pashto.

In order to solve this historical controversy I present all the documents and evidence which I have at hand.


(1) The Baghlan Stone Inscription

Baghlan is located 441 km. to the north of Kabul in former Takharistan which was an old center of civilization. European archeologists and scholars have been engaged in excavations there. They have managed to find the remains of an old temple which was probably a fire-worshipping temple. Inscriptions written in Greek letters, in a local language, have been excavated from the temple. As yet the local language of the inscriptions has not been deciphered and it is not clear what language it is?

The find indicates that during the first centuries of the Christian era (two thousand years ago) fire-worshipping was prevalent there. This temple is located on the Surkh Kotal mound, which is 15 km. from the city of Pule Khumri, in the direction of Aibak. The German scholar, Franz Shentel, has read a few lines of the inscription and one sentence is: کیر دومی بغولانگ kir dumi bagolaang.[3]

Professor Henning says that the inscription contains the old name of Baghlan (Bagolang بغولنگ) whose Sughdi form was Baghdang or Baghdanj,  in which the letter dal (د) was converted to lam (ل) and the last part of the word ang انگ got converted to aan آن and took the form of Baghlan. In old Persian (Baghdanga بغدانگه ) means a fire-temple.[4]

Now we will evaluate this word. Bagha بغه or Baga بگه was the moniker of God in all Aryan languages. The Bagha of Avesta, the Baga of old Persian, the Bahga of Sanskrit and the Bago of Russian are all from this origin. This name is very common in old names such as Baghpur (the Arabic form of which is Faghfur), meaning the son of god; Baghistan (Beistun meaning the place of a bagh بغ). Baghdad, Baghshur, Baghni and Baghlan are names of cities, baghan yasht (the flickers of fire), Baghar (in Behsud of Daizangi), Baghawai (in Sare Pul), Baghak (in Samangan) and Baghyar (in Kuram valley).

This word is in use in Pashto until the present time and unlike Avesta its form is not (bagha بغه) but it is close to the (baga بگه) as mentioned in the Darius inscription of Beistun.[5]

At the present time baga is used for big and magnificent, which are manifestations of God. It is said that so and so is a bug بگ person, meaning he is a big and capable person. It is possible that bagha or baga was also a descriptive noun and not a substantive noun and was later converted to a substantive noun such as Rahman, Ghafur and other such nouns.

The old (bag) of Pashto is present in some former names until now such as Bagram, Bagrami of Kabul, Bagal of Herat, Bagla of Ghazni, Bag Lak of Daizangi, Bagapai of Taloqan, and Bagi of Taranak.

We also see the later part of the word (ang) in the names of old cities and places such as Salang (a valley north of Kabul), Yakawlang (in Daizangi), Bashlang (a city in Helmand valley), Alishang (a valley in Laghman), Zarang (a city in Seistan), Poshang (to the west of Herat), Geirang (a city in Merv), and Warang (a pass in Ghor). Arab geographers converted the last part of the word (ang) to (anj) and have written the names of these cities as Poshanj, Bashlanj, Mastanj, Zaranj and Jeranj.[6] Professor Henning indicates that this (ang) and the Arabic (anj) means a fire-temple and the excavated fire-temple of Bagolang is a good example of this word. Names of fire-temples have been written on coins of kings of the Kabul and Hindukush valleys, who lived during the 7th Century CE.

Later in Pahlavi language his ang (fire-temple and fire) was called athar اتهر and aazar آذر, which means fire. Three large fire-temples have been mentioned in the 17th chapter of Bandhish, one of which was called Azar Ferobagh, located on the Roshan mountain of Kabul.[7]

It is not clear where this Roshan mountain was located but from the form of Pahlavi name in which the old ang has been written as aazar we can ascertain that it referred to the mentioned Baghlan fire-temple and it is possible that Baghlan may have been a part of Kabul during that time.

At any rate this (ang) meant  fire and a fire-temple was also called an ang. In Avesta we see that (dazhدژ means bad and ang means fire) which was the antithesis of wahishta  وهیشته (heaven) and the present day word (dozakh دوږخ meaning hell) has been extracted from this same root.[8]

From the time of Zoroaster until the Islamic period, fire worshipping was practiced from the Indus to the Oxus and Dajla rivers and there were fire temples everywhere in this region. Hence  this ang is present in the names of a lot of cities which indicates that these places became famous as fire-temples.


Ang in Pashto

The old root of ang انگ is present in Pashto until the present time. Angaar انگار and angaara انگاره mean a very radiant fire and fire embers. The first part of the word is ang. Angal in Pashto means movement and speed, which are manifestations of a fire. The first part of this word is also ang and the addition of the letter lam ل is an indicator of an adverb such as borjal, katal, Zawul and Kawul. Angaza, which means speed and intensity, has an ang at the start of the word. Angola means a sharp and harsh voice. It is possible that the English anger and angry and angel, which signifies brightness, may have the same root.

Mullah Faizullah Kakar has used the word in its exact form:

        Even though I may hide the feelings of my heart

        But my heart will burn like a balaang.

This balaang بلانگ is a complex word composed of bal (which means lighted) and ang (fire) i.e. a lighted fire.

We need to emphasize that the Bagholang بغولنگ (the Sughdi Baghdang بغدنگ) and the old Persian Baghdanga بغدانگه have the letter dal د between the bag and ang and at times this dal transforms into a lam ل in Pashto such as dewar=dewal (wall), gharbel=ghalbel (sieve) and other such words. Originally this word was (Bagodaang) and in Pashto it is conveyed as bagho ang meaning the fire of god and in accordance to the rules of conversion of letters in Pashto Baghodang became Baghdang and Bagolang. Later the ang of the word got converted to aan and this aan is used in the names of places such as Gulraan (in Herat), Shamalaan (in Helmand), Baghlan (the old Bagodang) and other places which have an aan in the end of the name.

There is strong historical precedence of this word. In Chinese books the name of Badakshan, two centuries BCE, has been noted as Tsa-nag-lang. Later in 630 CE, Hsuan Tsang, in his travel log mentions Po-to-jang-na and in Yuan Shi, Ba-da-ha-sheng has been written.[9] The ang part of the word later became aan and the name was converted to Badakshan. Another example of this structure can be seen in the name of Sang Charak, located in the Gozgan mountains. Former geographers have written this sang as saan in their texts.[10]

From this evaluation we see that the three parts of Bagodang or Baghlan (bago-da-ang) has old roots in Pashto and this word is used until the present time and the ancient form of this word is purely Pashto.

Now that you are aware of the old roots of Bagodang, Bagolang and Baghlan in Pashto I postulate that some other described words of the fire-temple inscription of Baghlan are also Pashto.


Kirdo-me کیردو می

This word is also composed of two parts, kirdo in present day Pashto is karie dei کړی دی (has done). We need to bear in mind that Pashtuns have different dialects and I am of the belief that those dialects which are used by tribes who live in mountainous areas, such as the Afridi, Wazir, Musaid and Wardak, are close to the original pronunciations of the words. Dialects spoken near cities come under the influence of religion and other languages. The pronunciation of the words in the Beiston inscription is close to those spoken by these tribes and the sounds in the Baghlan inscription are similar.

Pashtuns living in the mountainous regions pronounce karie dei in different forms. The Kakar’s say karai da کړې ده others pronounce it as (kairda کیړده kerayee do کیړایی دو and kereya da کیړیه ده) and some use the original kirdo کیړدو.

The later me می is a detached pronoun which is present and used in Pashto and hence kerdo-me is a Pashto verb and the whole sentence is: kirdo-me Bagolang = karie dei me Baghlan (I have done Baghlan, I have built Baghlan).

It needs to be stated that the kral=kawal کړل= کول verb has several meanings in Pashto and one of its old meaning is to build and construct something. The Kakars say sang halta borjal wakawa meaning a tower was built from stones and the people of Kandahar say miro pa shaar ki kor karie dei meaning Miro built a house in the city.

The root of kral کړل is close to kar of Avesta and kardan of Pahlavi and Persian and the meaning of to build is included in this word from ancient times. In the twentieth passage of Khurda Avesta, among the names of fire-temples, we see the name (menio-kerdo).[11] Menio or meno (comes from the Pashto root of manal) meaning the khurd (small, minute) of Persian[12] and kardaw is absolutely kerdo, which means to build and construct thus this fire-temple was built by Menio.

In Old Persian and Pahlavi (karta, kard) appears in the names of cities meaning constructed such as parsa karta (Bazaar Kard and Persepolis in Fars) and other cities such as Belash Kard, Khusrao Kard, Yazd Kard, Bagh Kard[13] which means built.

During the first centuries of Islam, when present day Persian was developing from Pahlavi, kardan meant to build or construct. Khwaja Abdullah Ansari Herawi has used kunam (to do) and bekard (did) to mean to build.[14]

So the kirdo me bagolang of the Baghlan inscription is (karei dei me baghlan) of Pashto meaning I built Baghlan. In this sentence the detached pronoun shows us the form of old grammar of the language and some Pashtun tribesmen use this (me) exactly in this way at the end of the word.

All of the excavated inscriptions have not been read as yet and it is possible that after they are fully read we may find other facts too. But from those words which have been read we can see traces of Pashto and it is possible that the language of these kings from Pashtunkhwa may have been Pashto. 

(2) The Rozgan Inscription

Another reason which provides us the use of Pashto by these royal families is their names. For example one family that was in power during the time of the Chinese traveler, Hsuen Tsang (630 CE) and Woo Kong, another Chinese monk (760 CE), in Kandahar, Atock as far as Taxila was named Kashtarian. According to Marquart this name was (Kasha Tariya کشه تریه), which occurs in Old Persian and Sanskrit also.[15]

I have provided a detailed explanation of this word in the first volume of Pashto Literature. The original word is (ksha tura کښه توره meaning a swordsman) and according to Khair-al-Bayan of Pir-e Roshan (tur kash تور کښ) [16]). There was a king by the name of Laka Turman, akin Turman meaning a swordsman, which is a Pashto name.

Other Brahman kings, who were in power during the first part of the 7th century CE in Kabul and its surrounding area are: 

Kalar کلر: Famous as Lalya. His name is Kawi Lar, meaning one who is intelligent and a leader. I will provide an explanation of kawi later, but lalya is the Pashto lala, the title of an elder, and in Afghanistan a Hindu is also called lala.

Saamand سامند: The first part of the name sa is seen in sahu and it occurs in coins as saha. The second part comes from (mandal) meaning exalted. It has been written as samanta also.

Kamro or Kamlo کمرو یا کملو: The letter (rae ر) has been converted to a (lam ل), it means colorful and beautiful. The name, Kamro, exists in Pashto until the present time.

Jiya Pala جیه پاله: Dzaya=zayee ځیه=زئی means a nurturer, the protector of a nation or nurturer of life.

Anand Pala آنند پاله: Annand means nurturer of affection. Khushal Khan says:

        I will bereave about my country, religion and heart

        As long as I am free from your anxiety I will be annand.

                                                                        (Khushal’s Divan, p. 413)

Tarojan Pala تروجن پاله : Torojan palunkie means a brave nurturer.

Sepala Pati سپاله پتی: The leader of an army. In Persian it is sepahbad.[17]

Padma پدمه: With dama (relaxation) meaning with grandeur.

Khudoya Ka خودویه که: The khudoye of the Afridis meaning happy, opulent.

Wanrraka ونړکه: Wrrak وړک meaning conqueror whose short form is warr وړ.

From the resources available we know the names of these kings just from coins.[18]

During this time, when the downfall of the Kushans was taking place, in the first part of the third century CE, Keidara formed the Lesser Kushani empire in Bactria. Kawi, in Pashto literature appears as kawa. In Veda it means a leader and knowledgeable person and in Avesta it means a chief.[19] This word occurred at the beginning of a number of names such as Kushan, Kaikhusrao, Kawa etc. Hence Keidar (kei lar, kei larunkei) means a leader, chief and intelligent person. This word is in use until the present time among the people of Nuristan in the form of katur.[20] The old ruins, on top of a mound to the west of Kandahar city, are known as keitur کیتور. Mullah Abdul Baqi writes:

        Go climb the keitur

        To see the beautiful site.

Keidar is a Pashto moniker and one of his son was named Pero[21] and the names Pero, Pera, Pir and Pirak are in use in Pashto until the present time. After these kings, when the Hephthali (Abdali) came to power in 425 CE, their supreme king was known as Akhshanor (460 CE). In Arabic books his name appears as Akhshanwar, Akhswawan and Khashnawaz but according to Christensen the root of this word is related to khashyon خشیون, which in Sughdi means a king.[22]

Kohzad, the author of History of Afghanistan, states that this akshanur means pur gahar (a necklace bedecked with jewels)[23] but he does not provide an explanation of the word as to how it has derived? Since he does not provide any philological analysis therefore his statement does not seems to be correct.

Christensen’s statement seems to be correct and this word can be analyzed as follows: khash=kash=kaṣ are from the old root of kash tari= kaṣ turie from which akshan=kashan=kṣhan have formed. The second part of the word is (warr=wanarr وړ=ونړ) which in Pashto means victorious therefore kaṣnurr=kaṣonarr=khashyon=akshnawar all are related to the same root which in Pashto means kaṣ warr meaning kashtarya the victorious, tur kash the victorious. The battles of this Turkaṣ Warr king with the Sassanid, Feroz Shah, are famous.[24]

Among these Hephthalite (Abdali) kings, who ruled in Zabul, and have been mentioned as Jawali=Zawali in coins Turamana (Turaman) and his son Mehra Kola (Mehrkol, Lmar Kahol) were famous kings in India around 500 CE.

Two inscriptions found in Uruzgan, 40 miles north of Kandahar, in the Shali valley are linked to this Mehra Kola, who was a renowned conqueror of the Abdali tribe.

Bower, Professor of history at Oxford University, has seen these tablets and has written an article about them in the Journal of Peshawar museum. He states: The Uruzgan inscriptions are similar to the three tablets found in Tochi (Waziristan), housed in the Peshawar museum. The Waziristan inscriptions have not been read as yet which are in Mongolian and Greek characters. Tablet 41 of Peshawar museum from Waziristan, contains some Arabic words in Kufi script in which Allah (God) and Mohammad are visible, while the rest are Mongolian characters. Professor Bower writes: One of the tablet from Uruzgan has clear letters in Greek script which are: bagus shaho zawalo mehrozki. He adds this king, whose name appears in the inscription, may be the Hun king, Mehra Kola, who ruled around 500 CE but we do not know his actual name. The translation of these words is: The auspicious Zabuli king Mehra.[25]

Now we will look deeply into the structure of the word:

1. Bago باگو is baga, bagha and the bag of Pashto, which means magnificent and god (its description was provided in the word Baghlan). After this word we see the letter (seen س) to which Bower has added (rei ری) and reads the word as seri سری. It is possible that the letter seen س is part of the word bagos (bagwees or bagwez) and eyz ایز=eydz ایځ=eys ایس is the Pashto supplement which means god, holy, sanctified.

2. Shaho  شاهو or saho ساهو exists in Pashto. It is said that this word and shah, shar and sher stem from the ancient Kashtaria kas tur.[26] Shar was the title of the kings of Gharjistan and sher was the title of the Bamian kings[27] who were the contemporaries of the Zabul and Kabul kings. Among the Pashtuns the Shahuzi and Shahokhel tribes are present until the present time.[28]

3. Zawalo زاولو is a word related to zawul which is also pronounced as jawul and jawalo. Zabul or Zabulistan was a parcel of land between Ghazni as far as the banks of the Helmand river. The present day Jaghuri, Ajristan and Ruzgan were its central regions. The inscription is in Shali valley, and the road leading from Kandahar to Ruzgan, Ajristan, Jaghuri and Ghazni passes through this valley.[29] The relative letter (wow و) is present in Pashto adjective nouns such as kehta-kheto, breet-breto, and ghwazh-ghwazho.

4. Another word in this inscription is Mihrozki مهروزکی , which according to Bower is the namesake Mehra Kola.

In the first volume of Pashto Literature (p. 75) I clearly stated that kola in Vedic language means house and household, now we call it kahol, kol or kala. This word appears in the poetry of Sheikh Reza and Sheikh Nasr Ludi as kahala and in Memoirs of Saints of Suleiman Maku (1215 CE) it is written as kol.[30] The Pashtuns, until this day, say Payand Kol (the family of Payand) and Mamad Kol (the family of Mohammadzai).

Mehr in Pashto is (mir, mar, lmar and nur). The Tarins of Lorlai until this day call lmar (sun) mir. Hence Mehra Kola=Mir Kol=da lmar kahol=the family of Lmar. This name is commonly in use in Pashto such as Mir Khan, Miro, Mira (feminine Mura) and the old Mir Kol has become Mirgul. Its old purport has now been forgotten. Shahgul (Shah Kahol) and Mahgul (Maha Kahol) also have the same root.

We need to take into consideration how the old Mehra Kola, which was also in use in Sanskrit, and appears in coins as the name of a family, became Mehrozki. This problem is also easily resolved in Pashto. From old time we have the name Mirwais in Pashto. In the Mardan region, to the north of Peshawar, we have a place by the name of Mirwais and the leader of the Hotak, Mirwais Khan Kandahari, is well-known. This name is a testament from the old times and Pashtuns commonly use its short form as Miroski and Mirotski and this is the exact form as it appears in the Ruzgan inscription.

Mir means the sun. Wais, Weisa  or Weisa meaning a village, tribe or household, appear in Sanskrit and Avesta too. Wais Pati was the keeper of a household.[31] According to the German researcher, Geiger, a family was called a wais in Reg Veda also.[32] Hence Mirwais is Mehr Kola and Mehr Kol, meaning the family of sun. Miroski is a short form of the word, of which there are many examples in the past, which will be discussed later.

From this inscription we see that Mehroski=Mirwais=Mir Kahol=Mir Kola was an auspicious king of the Pashtun Hephthalites (Abdali) and the people at that time considered their king as holy and his title was god and divine.[33]

There is another grammatical reason why I suggest that the inscription is close to Pashto. The structure and combination of words is based on Pashto rules. In Pashto the adjective comes before the substantive, while in Persian, it is the reverse. In Pashto we say tor aas (black horse) which in Persian is asp siyah (horse black).

In this inscription all the adjectives come before the substantives such as:

        “khudai shah zawuli mirotski”

We see here that the three adjectives come before the substantive and it is possible that this may be due to the structure of the language. In a coin, which contains the name of a king from Pars (220 BCE), we see that the adjectives come after the substantive.

        “bagh dat, pur traka, zi baghi, baghkurt” [34]

Meaning: bagh dat (name of a king), pur traka (name of a family), zi (means son), baghi baghkurt (god baghkurt, the father’s name).

I presented some reasons which shows the use and presence of Pashto words during the initial period of the spread of Islam. Now I will come to the main topic, which is the Loykan or Lawekan family.


Who Were the Loykan?

We know little about the history of this family and only the name of Loyak or Lawekan has been mentioned. Damez, the renowned English numismatic historian, writes: 

Around 859 CE the local governor of Ghazni was named Shah Lawek, but he had a controversial personality, and he was united with the Hindu kings of Kabul and it is suspected that he was also a Hindu. Later Balkatagin, under the tutelage of the Samanians, took control of Ghazni and minted a coin there in 970 CE for the first time. After Balka, Piri, became the king of Ghazni, who united with Lawek and the Hindu king of Kabul until Subuktageen attacked him in 958 CE from Parwan and captured Ghazni.[35]

This Loyak was not an individual but a large family which ruled in Ghazni, Gardez and other adjacent areas. They were united with the kings of Kabul and the Ratbels of Zawul. Historians have mentioned them as follows:


Abu Sa’ed Abdul Hai bin Zuhak bin Mahmud Gardezi, who lived around 1049 CE, writes about the forays of Yaqub Lyce Safari:

“Yaqub captured Ghazni and then went to Gardez (Gardes) to fight against Abu Mansur Aflah bin Khaqan, the amir of Gardez, but the Amir accepted to pay a bounty of ten thousand dirhams. Then Yaqub captured Balkh in 870 CE and destroyed the Nawshad (Nawshar) temple there.[36]

Aflah, the amir of Gardez, was from the Loykan family. Information regarding him will be provided later.


Seyasat Nama of Nezam-al-Malik, which was written in 1092 CE, mentions the battles of the leaders of Kabul and Ghazni with Alaptageen, and states that Alaptageen fought with the amir of Bamian, who was named, Sher Bareek, captured him and then pardoned him. He then attacked Kabul and captured the son of Kabul Shah. This prince from Kabul was the son-in-law of Loyak and the amir of Ghazni, Loyak, fled and went to Sarkhas.[37]

From these events we know that name of this family was Loyak and it seems they were relatives of the Kabul Shah. In 962 CE Alaptageen managed to capture Ghazni from Loyak and after his death the following year his son, Eshaq, became the king of Ghazni. Loyak once again attacked Ghazni but the Samani king, Mansur bin Nouh, backed Eshaq, who managed  to recapture Ghazni.

After Eshaq’s death in 976 CE, Amir Piri, became the ruler of Ghazni, but the people of Ghazni called Amir Loyak, who with the help of the son of Kabul Shah, attacked Charkh (located south of Kabul ) but Amir Subuktageen managed to subdue them and on the 24th April 977 CE declared himself as king of Ghazni.[38]



Menjah Seraj Jouzjani (1286 CE), while discussing the life of Subuktageen, writes: Alaptageen captured Ghazni and Zawulistan and expelled Amir “Lawuk” from Ghazni. After the death of Alaptageen, eight years later, his son Eshaq became the ruler who engaged in battle with “Lawuk” but was defeated and he fled to Bukhara. He sought help from Mansur bin Nouh, and once again captured Ghazni. After him Malikaa Tageen became the king, and after him Amir Piri sat on the throne but the people once again recalled “Lawuk.” Lawuk brought the prince of Kabul with him but Amir Subuktageen attacked them in Charkh, killed a lot of men, and managed to capture two elephants from them.[39]

In different compilations of Tabaqat-e Naseri this name appears as “Anuk” also, which does not seem to be a correct rendering. The later Loyak, who was defeated by Subuktageen in Charkh of Logar, has been mentioned as Abu Bakr and Abu Ali Lawek. It seems as though he was a Moslem and from the three appellations, Lawek, Anok and Loyak, the latter form seems to be correct.



Mohammad bin Ali bin Mohammad bin Hasan bin Abubakr Shabankara, who wrote Majma’-al-Ensab in 1325 CE, states:

“After capturing Bamian, Alaptageen, went to Kabul and at the time an infidel was the ruler of Kabul who was named ”Loyal” (Loyak). He sent his son with 3000 soldiers to face Alaptageen who managed to capture Loyak’s son, pardoned him and sent him back to his father and told him he was on his way to conduct a jihad in India, but the infidel did not convert to Islam so Alaptageen besieged Ghazni and captured it after two months and four months later Loyak and his son, who were in the fortress, were captured. When they assumed they had become Moslems Alaptageen released them, but they were deceptive and escaped to India and came back with an army. This time Alaptageen sent Subuktageen to face them and they were defeated, 30 elephants were captured from them. However, Loyak managed to flee.”

This extract is from a hand-written manuscript of Majma’-al-Ensab, where instead of Loyak, his name appears as Loyal also. This is a mistake of the scribe while the real name is Loyak.

The name comes from the Pashto loy (big, great) and in different dialects it is written as loy, luwai, and lawi. The Lawik of Tabakat-e Naseri and the Loyak of Seyasat Nama are both correct and are two dialects of one word. But Anok seems to be a mistake of the scribes. [40]

Loi in Pashto means magnificent, big, elder and chief. Chiefs of tribes are known as loyan until this day. Like Ratbel, Sher, Kedar and Kashtari this word was also the name of a family. Later when I present the Pashto couplet of Loyak, you will see that loyan and loya also appear in the poem. The name, Loyak, is the diminutive noun of loi and such diminution was common in Pashto, especially in the names of royal families.

The Pahtuns in Paktia, until the present time, call the Afghan royal family as Payendak or Payendak Kahol, since they take their lineage from Sardar Payenda.

Such diminution is commonly seen in the names of historical personalities such as Barak, Atcak, Sanak, Khatak, Hotak, Shenak, Zmarak, Sherak, Babrak and Kheyrak, and many other such names are seen among the Pashtuns. The famous vizier of Sultan Mahmud, Hasnak, had a similar moniker. Close to the Loykan period some historical names were similar such as Forad, who was a king in India.[41] The author of Majmal-al-Tawarekh considers him to be the great leader of the Hindus.[42] Al Biruni in Tahqeq Maalhind, Firdawsi in Shahnama and Rashiduddin in Jame’-al-Tawarekh have mentioned him as Foor. In the translation of Maha Bahart this names is Parj. Plotek, the Greek historian, has written it as Prus and Arab historians have mentioned him as Foor Malek-al-Hind.[43]

Abu Al Farj Runi, the Persian poet of Lahore, while praising a king of Ghazni, mentions the name Rai Furak.[44]

Another such diminutive name is Mehrozksi (Miroyask), was mentioned earlier in the explanation of the Rozgan inscription. Khodoyaka (Khudayak) was also described earlier. While discussing the names of ancient kings, Ibn Khardaba, mentions Ghozak, Neyzak and Furak.[45]

As such Loyak is a diminutive form which confirms with the way Pashtuns name people. In that they call a king (shah) shahak or shahu or call baba (elderly person) babak and bako does not indicate defamation of a person but it is a postulation of respect.


A Pashto Couplet of the Loyaks

The late Baz Mohammad Kandahari Qaderi, who had a convent in Malir area of Karachi, had found a Persian book among the Baluch people of Dera Ghazi Khan. The front and back pages of the book were missing and hence we do not know the name of the author or when it was written but from the writing and paper I estimated that it may have been written around 1495 CE. The characters are in the later Naskh style and a lot of the words are missing dots. Every chae چ is written like ج, pae پ like ب and gaf گ like ک and it looks as though the scribe was not familiar with the language and a lot of the words have been muted or it is possible that the original copy was written as such.

This booklet contains a few narrations about the benevolence of Sheikh Sarwar and only 33 pages leafs of the book remain. The language and the style, in which the Persian was written, resembled the Persian prose written during the Ghaznavid and Ghorid periods and it is possible that the booklet was written during the 13 century CE.

Other narrations of the book did not have any historical value and contained strange beliefs of Sheikh Sarwar. The late Baz Mohammad gave me the book for review in 1957 and I returned it back after reading the manuscript and I do not know what happened to the booklet after that?

The 15th page of the booklet contained a piece which was of utmost historical value. Therefore I copied it exactly as it appeared in the manuscript. After two years of studying it I managed to read it with deep perception and corrected the ambiguous words. Since I do not know the name of the book and neither do we know the name of the author so based on the subject of the book I will give it the title of Keramat of Sakhi Sarwar and whenever I mention Keramat, it is a reference to the booklet.



I will now analyze every word of the passage: 

1. Abu Hamed: This name can be clearly read but I do not know who this Abu Hamed was? I was not able to find this name in historical books.

2. In Keramat the second word is written as Al-Rawali, the correct form of which is Al-Zawali. Zawul or Zabul was the ancient name of the Ghazni region. A large number of authors and personalities are linked to the Zawali lineage. For example Qazi Shahabuddin Dawlat Abadi, a famous scholar was the grandson of Omar Al-Zawali.[46] This is the ancient Zawul which has been mentioned in the Rozgan inscription also. Hence Abu Hamed Zawuli was from the Zabulistan region.

3. Tarekh-e Ghazna: I do not know any book by this name. I checked a large number of referebces but historians have not mentioned a book under this name and neither do they recognize Abu Hamed Zawuli. It is possible this was an unknown book and author, written in India. Hasan Sagani was a famous scholar and linguist from India and I will write about him later.

I know a book by the name of History of Mullah Mohammad Ghaznavi. Skeikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Rasul Cheshti (death 1682 CE) was in possession of this book since he has referenced it in his book Marat-e Masudi, and states that Mullah Mohammad Ghaznavi came to India with Sultan Mahmud and wrote this history.[47]

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Cheshti was a famous Indian writer and author of Marat-al-Israr and Marat-e Masudi and several other books and was a genuine Sufi and does not seem to have lied. Tarekh-e Mullah Mohammad Ghaznavi existed during his time and the late historian, Sherani, has also mentioned it.[48]

However, it looks like the Ghaznavid history of Mullah Mohammad is different from this history of Ghazni since Skeikh Abdul Rahman Cheshti explains that Mullah Mohammad was a contemporary of Sultan Mahmud, indicating that he lived during the 13th century, but the mentioned Abu Hamed heard this narration from Hasan Saagani and Imam Saagani was a person who lived during the 13th century.

4. Hasan Saagani or Sagani? He was a famous scholar from Lahore and an imam of Arabic language. In Keramat he has been mentioned as (Sangani), which is an incorrect spelling, the correct spelling is Saagani or Sagani, which is the Arabized version of Chagani. Chagan or Chaganian is a large region to the north of the Oxus river.[49]

Imam Hasan Saagani (Sagani) was born in Lahore in 1182 CE and studied in Ghazni and Baghdad and was fluent in Arabic language. As a result he was famous in Iraq, Egypt and Hejaz (Saudi Arabia) also. He is the author of a large number of books. He died in Baghdad in 1252 CE and was buried in Mecca. His famous books are: Ketab-al-Shawarid fe al-Lughat, Sharha al-Qelada al-Samtiya, Ketab-al-Muftal, Ketab-al-Arouz, Mashareq-al-Anwar, Musbah al-Daji, Al-Shams al-Munera, Sharha al-Bukhari, Darat al-Sahaba, Ketab-al-Farayez, Al-Ubab al-Zaakher, which is an unfinished dictionary of Arabic.[50]

This recount in Keramat, which has been copied from Hasan Saagani, shows that this book was written after 1204 CE at a time when Saagani lived. Since he spent time studying in madrassas in Ghazni therefore his description of the events in Ghazni must be correct.[51]

An important book written by Imam Saagani is Al-A’ubab, a manuscript copy of which is preserved in Istanbul, and a film copy of the book is at the Islamic Research Library in Karachi. Beside Arabic words, Saagani, has written some Persian words also and states that in the “Ghaznavi” language the words are such and such and that he heard these words from people in Ghazni.[52] From this we can deduce that Saagani lived in Ghazni and was familiar with the events which took place in the city.

5. Bardaab Bamian: This word has also been adulterated by scribes and I think that the correct form is “bar darb Bamian” meaning on the Bamian gate. The city of Ghazni used to have four gates and one of them was known as “Bab-al-Bamian.”[53] It looks as though the northern gate of Ghazni was called “Bab-al-Bamian” or “Darb-e Bamian” and the road to Bamian lead from this gate.

6. Marlat مرلت? This word first appears as marlat and then as markat and I am of the belief that both forms are incorrect and the actual word is mazgat مزگت. From the interpretation of (masjid kaabir) great mosque we see that the original form of the word is mazgat and the two other forms are incorrect.

In Old Persian mazgat means the Arabic masjid (mosque) and it is possible that masjid may be the Arabized form of the word. The root of these words is common with the nmazdak  نمزدک and mazdak مزدک of Pashto.[54] In former literature of Pashto mazdak meant a mosque and Marwat tribesmen call a mosque a mazdak until the present time.[55] Asad Tousi, the former compiler of Persian words, states: “In Persian mazgat is a mosque.”[56]

7. Aflakh Loyak افلخ لویک: According to the narration in Keramat there used to be a large mosque near the Bamian gate in Ghazni which was called Masjid-e Aflakh Loyak. This mosque was first built by the grandfather of Aflakh, Khanan, and he was the first person in the Loyak family to embrace Islam, but later changed his mind and became an apostate. Later his grandson, Aflakh, reconstructed the mosque. Originally an idol-worshipping temple existed at this location.

This Aflakh Loyak is the same person whom I mentioned from Zein-al-Akhbar of Gardezi. However, in the hand-written manuscript of Gardezi the name appears as Aflakh bin Mohammmad bin Khaqan, whose nickname was Abu Mansur.[57]

This shows that the father of Aflah افلح (Aflakh افلخ) had truly embraced Islam and adopted a Moslem name, but Mohammad’s father Khaqan (who has been mentioned as Khanan, in Keramat) was an idol worshipper, who later embraced Islam, but then became a heretic.

Even though Gardezi does not say that Abu Mansur Aflah was from the family of Loykan but according to Keramat we see that he was a Loyak. But his name in Gardezi’s manuscripts appears as Aflah while in the imperfect copy of Keramat, the name of his spelling is Aflakh. It is possible that Gardezi’s recording is correct since aflakh does not have any meaning in either Arabic, Pashto or Persian and such a name does not appear anywhere else. It is possible that when, for the first time this family converted to Islam, its was given the name of Aflah افلح which comes from the word falaah فلاح of Arabic. Moreover, it is speculated that this was the first mosque of the Islamic period built in Ghazni.

8. Beyhana بیحانه? This word appears twice as beyhana and mahana, which actually is buth-khana (idol-worshipping house). Its context is also related to “sanam” (idol). It is possible that a huge idol-worshipping temple existed at the location where a large idol was kept which was called a loyak and  “sanam loyak.”

We need to bear in mind during that time kings were symbolized in idols and their idols were kept in temples. The Baghlan fire-worshipping temple contained idols of kings. From the Rozgan inscription we know that kings had the titles of gods and people considered them holy. It is possible that the idol belonged to the first Loyak and was considered a sanctity. It is likely, when the Moslems dominated the area, and Khanan or Khaqan, was forced to convert to Islam, he was unable to destroy his idol and buried it encased in a silver coffin, so it would remain safe from the destruction of Moslems and not get destroyed after being buried in soil. 

9. Wahwear Loyak وحویر لویک? This is how it appears in Keramat but I think that this word is wajwear وجویر. It is possible that this Loyak was a contemporary of Kabul Shah and Ratbels and was their relative. A large region to the southwest of Ghazni is still known as Ajristan. Menhaj Seraj Jouzjani mentions it as “Wajir” and “Wajiristan.” This place was an important province of the Ghori dynasty.[58] During the Ghaznavi period, a region in Ghazni was called “Hajwir” and the author of Kashf-al-Mahbub, Ali bin Osman Hajwiri Ghaznavi (died around 1102 CE) was linked to this area and he repeatedly calls himself as Hejwiri Ghaznavi.[59] According to prince Darashekwa, Hajwir, was a region of Ghazni. This recount in Keramat, which has been copied from Hasan Saagani, shows that the book was written after 1204 CE, a time when Sagani lived. Since he spent time studying in the madrassas in Ghazni therefore his description of the events in Ghazni is assumed to be correct. [60]

Hence, Wajwir, Hajwir and Wajir are different spelling of present day Ajristan and this place is famous under the name of Wajwir Loyak, and exists until the present time, or perhaps this is an old name and this Loyak is linked to that place.

10. Bar hedmat rasal wa kabulsah بر حدمت رسل و کابلساه? These words have also been mutilated and the correct form was: “bar khedmat retbel wa kabulshah” meaning Wajwear Loyak made the idol-temple for Kabul Shah and Ratbel.

Ratbel was the title of the royal family whose sphere of influence, during the early Islamic period, spread from Zabul as far as Seistan and they fought against the Islamic forces for two and half centuries until the time of Subuktageen.

It looks as though the Ratbels were friendly with the Zabul and Kabul kings and had a blood relationship with them. When Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese traveller, came to Zabulistan Kabul Shah went with him as far as Zabulistan and then returned to his domain.

According to Kangaham, Hiuen Tsang returned by way of Attok, Banu and Apuken (Afghan) to Ghazni on June 25, 643 CE.[61] It is possible that the Ghazni Loykan rule started during the early Islamic centuries and they were in power until the time of Subuktageen 976 CE.

However, Ratbel has been written in different forms by historians and scribes have further adulterated the word such as Ratel, Ratpel, Ratbal, Zanbel and Zanel etc. The scribe of Tarekh-e Seistan and Majmal-al-Tawarekh, the late Bahar Khurasani, considers the word to have been formed from zenda pael of Persian and considers it to be Zantabel or Zanbel.[62]

But Raverty states: This name is a concise form of the Indian Ranthabel or Ratan Pal[63] but Arab historians such as Belazari, Yaqubi, Tabari and Mas’udi have recorded the name as Ratbel which is the actual form of the word and its plural is Ratabela, such as Qeyasara, Numarda, Faraghana, Tarakama, Afghana and others. This name was famous among Arabs and the Arab poet, Farzdaq, who was a contemporary of the Ratbels mentions the name in his poem in praise of Suleiman bin Abdul Malik, as Ratbel.[64]

Based on this the name was Ratbel for certain and later Arabs used it to name their sons such as Ratbel bin Saleh, who was a famous believer in Mohammedan traditions. Zubeidi has included his name under Al-Ratbel in his dictionary. [65] Alama Dahbi has related a number of sayings of the Prophet to him.[66]

These accounts show that the true form of the word was Ratbel and not anything else[67] since Zabtabel does not fit in the poem of Suleiman bin Abdul Malik and ruins the rhyming pattern of the poem. If we are to consider the name Zanbel then it does not fit with Al-Ratbe. These linguists consider zanbel to be a different word and it has not been accounted to be a name.

I think that the last part of the word (bel) is close to the (pal) mentioned by Raverty and the word is Ratpel since (pal) in old names is related to palal. Both palal and pelal are present in Pashto dialects and (rato) is seen in Indian names and in Avesta.

In Gatha is means a spiritual leader and it has been used for Zoroaster as an adjective noun who was  given the title of Rad-e Jahan.[68] In Persian (rad) means a knowledgeable person. In Sanskrit this word means the god of love and Venus.[69]

The root of this word is seen in rato راتو of Pashto which is a female name meaning a spiritual lover and the male name, Ratgul, is similar where (rat=rut) is a spiritual leader while gul is the historic kola and kahol (household) which means from the family of the beloved leader. However, the scribe has Arabized this name as Rahato? Rahat Gul?

Based on this historical evaluation Ratpel is an attractive Pashto name meaning protector of love, a beloved leader or the protector of the god of love and devotion and  Arabs were correct in selecting this name for their sons.

11. Besarash Khanan بسرش خانان? The narration in Keramat calls Wajwir Loyak’s son Khanan. However, in the two manuscripts of Gardezi’s Zein-al-Akhbar, which are now in London, this name appears as Khaqan, as stated earlier. The name Khaqan is not prevalent in Pashto but Khanan is used extensively especially by the Ragun and Rawalsenan Mullah Khel tribes. It is possible that in Zein-al-Akhbar, scribes converted Khanan to Khaqan, which was a famous name.

At any rate Khanan or Khaqan was the son of Wajwir Loyak, who embraced Islam in this family for the first time and converted the temple of the Ghazni gate into a mosque and buried the Loyak idol there. Later he rescinded Islam. In this sentence besarash is the Persian pesarash (son).

12. Kabulan Sah کابلان ساه? The correct form is Kabulan Shah and this is another version of Kabul Shah which occurs in certain books in this form. Ibn Khardaba mentions Kabulan Shah among a series of kings.[70]

13. Khajal خجل? This is how it appears in the deficient copy of Keramat and it seems that it was a name among the Kabul Shahan. It is not clear what the correct form of the name is? I think this name is Khanchal خنچل as it has been mentioned by former historians. Ahmad bin Wazeh Yaqubi (died 905 CE) writes that Caliph Al-Mehdi sent emissaries to several kings in 780 CE and asked for their allegiance. Most of the kings accepted his order and one of them was Malik Kabul Shah who was known as Khenjel.[71]

This Kabul Shah who lived around 780 CE has been recorded as Hanhal in Yaqubi’s history but it is Khajal in Keramat and the two spelling are close and it looks as though scribes have incorrectly changed the name.

In Keramat the first letter is (khe خ) and in Yaqubi the second letter is (noon ن)  and the third (jeem ج) and the last letter in both manuscripts is (lam ل). From these letters we can form Khejel and according to my evaluation this word is Khanchal as in former Arabic and Persian texts there was no differentiation between the letters (jeem ج and chey چ).

If we are to analyze this word it will be: Khen Chal where khen is an abbreviation of khan such as the Pashto word Khantama. This name is in use among the Kakar until now where khan+tama means from the lineage of Khan. Tama is an old word, which was in use in Avesta also, such as Giotama (meaning from the lineage of Gio=Buddha)[72] and martam=mardum (marr tama) meaning from the lineage of the dead and in Avesta marta means death[73] or Spintama, the name of the Zoroastrian family.[74]

There are a lot of words which have tama at the end and khantama means from the family of khan tumani which means from the lineage of khan meaning pure. The Pashto Khangul (khan+kahol) is exactly this very name.

Based on this the first part of Khenjel has been derived from (khen خن) which is an abbreviation of khan. Some Pashtuns pronounce Khanmarrie خانمړی as Khenmerie خنمړی and Khangul خانگل as Khengul خنگل.

The second component of the word is (chal چل) which in Pashto means mode and walk. The poet, Mullah Meran Kandahari, says:

        He does not understand the mode of love

        He is just a polluted fly making noise.

Khanchal خنچل, which means a person of high and leadership behavior, was a Pashtun individual who spoke Pashto.

14. Ba lesan-e khaljiya ke loyak guft بلسان خلجیه که لویک گفت: It is not clear who this Loyak was? It looks as though Khanchal Kabul Shah sent the couplet through a Loyak and it is possible that this Loyak was in Kabul with Khenchel. We know of the relationship of these two families from historical documents and it is possible that this Khenchel was a relative of Loyak.

What needs consideration here is to figure out what language was the Kheljia language? I have a plethora of historical and linguistic reasons that Khelji are the present day Ghalji, who have been living in the mountainous country of Ghazni for centuries and they originally come from Zawilistan. I will present a few reasons to elucidate this issue.

Khelji, Ghalji or Ghalzi are in essence (gharzi meaning mountain dwellers). [75] We see this word in gharj, gharcha, ghalcha and many other historical words and sometimes the letter (ghein غ) has been converted to (khe خ). Thus Ghalji becomes Khelji.

The Kheljian of India, who ruled there for centuries, were the Pashtun Ghalji tribesmen. There are a number of place names related to them such as Khalj in Rozgan, Khalj in the Helmand basin,[76] and Khalj of Ghazni, which Yaqut, in Ma’jam al-Baladan (pp. 2-381), considers Khalj to be close to Ghazni as a region of Zabulistan.

Among the names of tribes and places sometimes خ has been converted to غ such as Kherkhez-Qarghez and the present day Sagar of Ghor which Menhaj Seraj has recorded as Sakhar but in essence it is Surghar (red mountain).[77]

The statement that the Khalji people are the offspring of Genghis Khan’s son-in-law, Khalej Khan, does not have any historical merit as noted by Mohammad Qasim Fereshta from Nezamuddin Ahmad Bakshi Herawi’s Tabaqat-e Akbari. [78] It is not possible that in a span of 600 years millions of people and a plethora of tribes are born from the lineage of one person.

The Khalji or Ghalji lived in these regions three centuries before the birth of Genghis Khan and were famous in the area. The author of Hudud-al-Alam in 982 CE states: “The Khalj people live in the environs of Ghazni. They are a pastoralist people in Bost, Gozgan, Balkh and Takharistan and own pastures and livestock.” [79]

Before him another Islamic geographer, Ibn Khardaba (845 CE) also mentions the name Khaljia and states that the Kharlaj Turakan have winter quarters near Taraz and close to this place are the winter grazing grounds of the Khalj (Khaljia) people. [80]

 Ibrahim bin Mohammad Astakhri (951 CE) states:

“The Khalj were a group of Turkmen who a long time ago came to the mountainous region between India and Seistan, and were in possession of large herds of sheep. Their clothes, language and behavior was like the Turkmen.” [81]

Some scholars of the Orient are of the opinion that the Ghalji are remnants of the Hepthalites. Marquart writes: “Khalj or Khulaj are the leftover people of the Hepthalites, who in Syrian books have been mentioned as Khwlas around 1159 CE.” [82] Later in 1173 CE ambassador Reimerchaus has written this word as Khuleir and we see this form exactly in the book of Mohammad bin Ahmad Khwrazmi (981 CE). He states: The Khalj and Kabjiya[83] Turkmen are remnants of the Hayatala, who lived in glory and royalty in Takharistan.[84]

Historians have written about these Khalji people together with Afghans and it looks as though they were close to each other and belonged to the same nation. Abu Nasr Mohammad bin Abdul Jabar Utbi (1024 CE), while describing the conquests of Subuktageen, writes: “Afghania and Khalj  were forced to serve him.” [85] lbn Asir has also mentioned the same narrative.[86]

Minarski states that these Khalj were Turkic people and are the ancestors of present day Ghalji Afghans. Bartold and Haig corroborate this statement in Islamic Encyclopedia.[87]

It is close to reality to state: Khalji or Ghalji and the Abdali have close affinities to ancient Hepthalites and Zabuli kings since the Hepthalites (Hayatala) were kings in Zabulistan where present day Ghalji and Abdali live. Figures from the time, minted on coins, resemble those of the Pashtuns living in this area. Their high browed noses, large eyes, thick hairs and strong bodies resemble Pahtuns. Maison writes: The former Kafirs of Nuristan called Pashtuns Odal who are known as Abdali now (Maison’s travelogue, p. 8, vol. 1 1842, London).

Ahmad Shah Abdali says:

        The Ghalji and the Awdali are one nation

        As long as they are pure of heart.

So Khalj or Ghalji are not the progeny of those Turkic and Ghazan, who during the Ghaznavid period and later during the reign of the Saljoks came to Khorasan, but the present day Ghalji are linked to Hepthalite Aryan tribes who lived in Takharistan and Zabulistan before the rise of Islam. The forays of these Ghalji people started in India together with the Hepthalites, which continued until 1398 CE. They established a large dynasty in India and spread Islam as far as Bengal. The title Khan with their names is an altered form of the word Hun. This is because the letter ha () converts to the letter khay (خ) such as Hwarazm which became Khwarazam and the hanum of the Turkmen which was converted to khanum. The famous Turkic linguist and lexicographer, Mahmud Kashgari (1074 CE) writes: “The Ghazan are composed of 24 tribes but the two Khalji tribes do not consider themselves to be a part of them and are of a different lineage.” [88]

This same author does not at all mention the Khalj or Khaljis among the Turkic tribes. He himself was of Turkic lineage and knew the language and customs of his people. His statement in this regard is well-founded and old.

Mohammad bin Najib Bakran (around 1204 CE) states: “The Khalj are a tribe that live in the environs of Khalj and Zabulistan in the plain of Ghaznain. Because of hot weather their skin turned dark, they became nomadic and their language changed. The word Khalh خلح is an abbreviated form of خلج Khlalj.“ [89]

From this statement it is clear that the Khalj were separate from Turkic tribes and there was conjugation between the words Khalh and Khalj. In Tabaqat-e Naseri, Menhaj Seraj, talks about a number of tribes in India and calls those who are of Turkic origin Turks and those who are Khaljian (plural) as Khalji. These people left the Garamser area of Ghor to establish a dynasty in India. Individuals such as Malik Khan Khalji, Mohammad Bakhtyar Khalji, Mohammad Sheran Khalji, Ali Mardan Khalji, Hesamuddin Ewaz Hussain Khalji, Ghiasuddin Khalji [90] and many other Khalji leaders were separate from the Turkic leaders. The Indian historian, Zia Barni (around 1357 CE) in a special chapter in his History of Feroz Shahi, writes that the Turkic people are the royalty, but when Malik Jalaluddin Khalji, ascended the throne in India, he writes: the people were very concerned as to how a Khalji can take over the Turkic throne. He states: “The Khalji leader made the people very concerned.” [91]

We know from this statement that the Khalji were not of Turkic origin otherwise why should people be concerned about the loss of power of the Turks.[92] These Khalji people, who left a magnificent civilization and administration in India, were the Khalji people from Afghanistan.[93]

Bartold says: “As of the fourth Islamic century (900 CE) we see that the Khalji people lived in Southern Afghanistan from Seistan as far as India. They are the remnants of the Pashtun Turkic people, who according to Astakhri, came to this land during ancient time. The present day Ghalji Pashtuns, who live in the Tarnak and Arghandab valleys, are from the same lineage.” [94]

These Turkic people who came to Zabul in old times, were the Hepthalites (Hayatala, Hun) people who amalgamated with the Pashtuns 1500 years ago. Since the Pashtuns were the majority of people living in the area they became Pashtuns and when they established an empire in India they had totally amalgamated with Pashtuns and Pashtuns considered them as Ghalji. Khushal Khan Khatak considers Sultan Jalaluddin Ghalji (1290-1296 CE) to be a Ghalji and writes:

        Once again Sultan Jalaluddin ascended the throne

        Who is a Ghalji from the land of the Afghans[95]

These historical statements suggest that the Khaljis were Pashtuns. They are the Ghalji people who live in the Ghazni valleys and mountains and according to the author of Jahan Nama their language was different, which was Pashto, which all the Ghalji people speak. In Keramat it has been called “the Khaljia language.” The language of Loyaks was also Pashto since the mentioned couplet is in Pashto which will be discussed later.

15. Hinduwan sah هندوان ساه? This word is Hinduwan Shah. In Pahlavi and Old Persian literature India (Hind) was known as Hinduwan.[96] In the appendages of Shahanshahi,[97] which contains the story of Zabuli Afghans and their associated Kohzad people, it is stated:

        Near Zabul there is a road

        With a high, dangerous mountain,

        To one side of which there is a plain

        While another plain leads to Hinduwan.

        In which a lot of kuch (families) have settled:

        Afghans, Hazara, Kurd and Baluch.[98]

The plain mentioned here is the vast plain which exists between Argun and Waza Khwa from which roads led through the Kuram and Gomal valleys to India. The kuch کوچ are the kechi کیچی and kabjiya کبجیه who are known as kuchi کوچی (nomads) among the Ghalji tribesmen to this day. They move with their tents from this plain to the banks of the Indus river during the winter months.

Abu Mansur Mu’faq bin Ali Herawi around 971 CE says: “Those medicinal plants which are available in Hinduwan cannot be found in these climes.” [99]

Hence Hinduwan Shah is Hindustan Shah (Indian king).

16. Neysa نیسه? This word is nabsa نبسه which in present day Persian is nawasa نواسه (grandchild) and lmasey لمسی, namsey نمسی , nusey نوسی in Pashto. Baihaqi has written its singular form as nabsa and plural as nabsagan.[100] The word has been written as nabsa in an old Persian text, preserved in Cambridge. Fakhr Mudabir Mubarakshah writes: “Sendenbal the nabsa (grandson) of king of Kabul once again came from Hindustan.”[101]

Amir Khusrao also mentions nabsa in his writings.

According to Gardezi, Aflah was the grandson of Khaqan (Khanan), therefore this word is nabsa (grandson) and the neysa  نیسه mentioned in the text does not have any meaning. Baihaqi’s usage of this word shows that it was commonly used in Ghazni.

17. Bashani benast بشانی بنست? These words are most likely ba shahi beneshast (ascended the throne). In Pahlavi and early Persian, shahi شاهی meant a throne and nation also.[102]

The following words are: budhkhana-e loyak barkand wa mazdak bekard  بتخانه لویک برکند و مزگت بکرد meaning The Loyak temple was destroyed and a mosque built in its place.

18. Sultan Sakhi Sarwar سلطان سخی سرور: This person has a great deal of fame in India and Punjab and is considered to be a renowned saint. Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Lahori writes: His name is Sayed Ahmad and he was famous as Sakhi Sarwar Sultan and he is a saint from Multan. People call him “Lakh Data” and his lineage goes back to Hazrat Ali (son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad). His father’s name is Zein-ul-Abedeen who lived in Karsi Kot of Multan and married Ayesha Kaho Kahri, who gave birth to two sons, Sayed Ahmad and Abdul Ghani. Sayed Ahmad went to Baghdad to see Hazrat Abdul Qader Jailani and Shahabuddin Suharwardi and later studied under Mohammad Eshaq Lahori, in Lahore. Mufti Lahori recognizes his benevolence and he was martyred near the Shah Kot mountain in 1181 CE, where his shrine is present to this day.[103]

Based on his spiritualism and augustness he was famous as “Sultan.” He is considered to be a renowned propagator of Islam in India second only to Sheikh Ali Hajweri. In Jalandar Hindu tribes call themselves “Sultani” and consider themselves associated to him.[104] During the 15th and 16th centuries CE this Sultani sect was very famous and the Jaat (gypsies) of Punjab were all Sultani and visited the Shrine of Sakhi Sarwar in February. However, during the time when Sikh were in power, Dewan Sawalmal, the governor of Multan, prevented them from making this pilgrimage. According to the Jalandar Gazette these Sultani Hindus were present  in the area until the 19th Century.[105]

This Sakhi Sarwar who has been considered to be a contemporary of Hazrat Abdul Qader Jailani (1078-1166 CE) and Sheikh Shahabuddin Suharwardi (1144-1235 CE) was famous in Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan, located on the route from Khorasan to India. As a result Pashtuns were also his disciples and it is possible he visited Ghazni to pursue his studies when the Ghaznavid were in power and Ghazni was a center of learning.

The imperfect copy of Keramat shows that the book was written to show his munificence and all its narrations deal with his dispositions one example of which is the present narration and the finding and excavation of the Loyak idol in the Ghazni mosque.

19. Baeen mazlat باین مزلت? This word is mazgat مزگت (mosque) for certain since mazlat does not have any meaning.

20. Kashf sudas کشف سدس? This word is shudash شدش meaning it was discovered for him.

21. Dar taalut در تالوت? The correct form is dar taboot در تابوت (in the coffin) in present day spelling.

22. Az shahr-e ghazna barjast از شهر غزنه پرجاست? Barjast does not have any meaning here. The correct word is barkhast برخاست (to get up).

The narration in its correct form:

ابو حامد الزوالی را در تاریخ غزنه، از حسن صغانی روایت است: که در بلده غزنه بر درب بامیان مسجد یست عظیم، که انرا مزگت افلخ (افلح؟) لویک خواندندی، و این بتخانه عظیم بود، که وجویر لویک، برخدمت رتبیل و کابلشاه کرده بود.

چون پسرش خانان (خاقان) به مسلمی آمد، صنم لویک را نیارست شکستن، و آنرا دران مزگت بزمین اندر کرد، و بتابوت سیمینه در نهاد.

کابلان شاه خنچل، این بیت فرستاد بلسان خلجیه، که لویک گفت:

خانان (خاقان؟) باز هندوان شاه شد، و چون نبسه او افلخ (افلح؟) بشاهی بنشست، بتخانه لویک بر کند و مزگت بکرد.

چنین روایت کنند:

چون سلطان سخی سرور، باین مزگت شد گفت: بوی صنم شنوم، نیک دید و کشف شدش، زمین بر کافت و صنم لویک بر کشید در تابوت شیمینه نهاده، انرا بشکست و سیم را (به) بنای مسجد داد، و بکرامت آن ولی الله، بوی کفر و هندوئی از شهر غزنه برخاست (ورق ١٥ خطی).


Abu Hamed Al-Zawali in Tarekh-e Ghazni, while referencing Hasan Saghani, states: That near the Bamian Gate in Ghazni there is a grand mosque know as the Aflakh (Aflah?) Loyak mosque, which used to be a colossal idol temple built by Wajir Loyak for Ratbel and Kabul Shah.

Since his son, Khanan (Khaqan) converted to Islam, he did not break the Loyak idol and buried it in the mosque in a silver casing.

Kabulan Shah Khenchel sent this couplet, in the Khaljia language, in which Loyak says:[106]

Khanan (Khaqan) converted back to being a Hindu and when his grandson, Aflakh (Aflah?) ascended the throne he destroyed the Loyak temple and converted it to a mosque.

It has been narrated:

When Sultan Sakhi Sarwar went to see the mosque he said: I smell an idol, since he had good intentions he located the idol, dug up the ground and took out the Loyak idol encased in silver. He broke the idol and gave the silver to the mosque’s foundation. Based on the benevolence of this saint the stench of blasphemy and Hinduism disappeared from the city of Ghazni. (page 15 of the hand-written manuscript).


Pashto Couplet of the Khalji Language

We shall now pay attention to the words of this “Khaljia language” couplet. I assume that it is Pashto:


په زمي کزنه ښخید لویک لوی انو بویله لویا

کښه تور به براغلوم (بلوم؟) ممله تیزیو په ملا


pa zami kazna sakhaed loyak loy ano boyala loya

kse tur ba barghulam mamla tezyo pa mla


In current Pashto spelling it is written as:

په زمی غزنه ښخید لویک لویانو بایله لویا

کښه تور به براغلوم (بلوم؟) ممله تازیو په ملا

Analysis of the words:

1. zami زمی: Present day mzaka مځکه (earth) which is zamin زمین in Persian. This word exists in its exact form in old Persian literature. Fakhruddin Gurgani (1055 CE) says: There was no living being on zami .[107]

Nezami states: The structure which is in the sky and zami زمی.

Asad Tusi (death 1073 CE) says: The earth is the resting place of every human, the house of the Almighty is zami.[108]

In Avesta zam meant the earth and in Pahlavi zamik meant against the sky[109] and zamiyad was the goddess of earth. [110] It looks as though that formerly zami was used in Pashto also which became zmaka or mzaka which is close to the Pahlavi zamik.

 2. gazna گزنه: In essence this word is kazan کزن, which is an imperfect spelling of gazna=gazna. In Sughdi language this word is gazank گزنک and in Ma’ani’s books it appears as gazan گزن, which means a treasure.[111] In Sanskrit it was kajan or jagan. The Arabized form of this word is al-kanz, as written by Abu Mansur Mowhub bin Ahmad al-Khezr Jawaleqi (1073-1145 CE).[112]  Hence kanz is the Arabized form of the Persian ganj,[113] whose old form was gazna=ganza=ghazna.

In Persian a graveyard is called a marghuzan مرغوزن or marghazan مرغزن which has an old root (marr+ghazan=the treasure of the dead=graveyard).

This word was in use in Herati Persian.[114] Emami Herawi and Menowcheri have used this word as margazan in their poetry.

Marghazar and marghazan[115] nowgazan=ghazan: means a storage and treasure and Gazna was the old name of Ghazni in Pashto. lt was called Gazna because the treasures of kings were kept there. Thus Ghazna is the linguistic transition of Gazna.

3. sakhaed loyak ښخید لویک: Based on the context of burying of Loyak idol and the digging of earth, as mentioned in this narration, this word is sakheda ښخیده (burying) of Pashto extracted from sakh (buried) and sakhawal (to bury). Now we say sakh so. I think that the infinitive of sakhedal had its own derivatives and sakh kedal is the later altered form of the word in the language. The subjunctive yad ید is very close to the Herawi dialect of Persian, such as khurdaid (khurd).

Therefore sakhaed loyak ښخید لویک means Loyak was buried. There are a lot of such examples in Tabaqat al-Sufia of Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, which was written in the Herawi dialect.[116]

4. loi ano لوی انو: In present day spelling it is written as loyano لویانو. It seems that the root of Loyak is also loi and the Pashtuns use loyan also. This word is used at present time such as: da keli loyan aw meshran sara ra ghund shwal د کلی مشران او لویان سره را غونډ شول (the elders and leaders of the village gathered).

5. boyela بویلا: This is an old pronunciation of (byela بایله). Byelal and boyelel (to lose) have the same meaning. Pashtuns living in mountainous regions still use boyela meaning (lost). The different pronunciation is due to dialectical differences in expressing vowels. As I said earlier there were settled differences among the Musaid, Wazir, and Afridi dialects in the past. Boyela (byelowala, byelo, byla) is a past perfect which is baakht باخت (lost) in Persian.

6. loya لویا: The present day loy لوی, from the same root which is a noun of instrument. Such words were commonly used in the past but are rare now. For example now we use khanda خندا (laugh), zhara ژړا (cry), runa رڼا (brightness) natsa نڅا (dance) but do not use dzghala ځغلا, shenrra شنړا, zala ځلا, zargha زرغا, zalma زلما, shkela ښکلا mala  ملا etc. There were many such words in use in Pashto in the past and their use is seen in former poetry.[117] In the first line of the couplet loyan and loya are both from the same root and this shows that the Loyak title is from a similar root.

7. ksa tr کسه تر: This word was kasha ter کشا تر= ksha tur کښه تور. The first part ksa is from ksel کښل (to take out, to draw) while the second word is tura توره (sword), where the ha () is deleted such as turan تورن , turyalei توریالی.

The word tura توره has a strong linkage with ancient words. As mentioned earlier (turanama=turman) and tarojan pal and kashtaria was the name of a king, governor, victorious  and military leader in Sanskrit, Old Persian, Sughdi and Avesta. The words shah, shaar, keshwar have been derived from the same root and in Khair-al-Bayan of Pir Roshan (tur kash تور کښ) has been used.[118]

Prior to 1836 CE, Sir Alexander Burns, found a marble tablet written in Sanskrit which details that a meat-eating nation Turshcas تور کښ  was dominant there. This inscription was written by a Brahman, Seri Tillaka, [119] and it seems that these meat-eating Turschas were the Hepthalites (Huns) and they were called tur kash=ksa tur=kashtaria because of their bravery. This word appears exactly in this Pashto couplet. Kashtariya, kash tur, or tur kash, meaning a military personality, was present in Pashto in former times.

8. bara ghulum برا غلوم : This word is likely (ba baraghulum) which, due to the meter of the couplet, is read as (bara-ghal-wam) and its infinitive is baragulum or baraghlal. From its injunction it looks as though baraghalul is similar to the (agaal آغال, braglal براغلل, baragledan براغلیدن) of Persian. Ferdowsi has used this word as (baraghali برآغلی) in his poetry.[120]

This infinitve appears as barghlanedan برغلانیدن and warghalanedan ورغلانیدن in Persian also which, at the present time, is shkaral ښکارل or parawal پارول (to incite) in Pashto and in Persian it has been described as “to incite someone to fight.” [121] Baihaqi has written it as “baragalanedan برآغالانیددنand “آغلید agaleed.” [122]

In this Pashto couplet ‘ksa tur ba barghalum کښه تور به براغلومmeans: I will incite the army meaning I will bring my army to your aid.

 In Amir Krorr’s poem in Pata Khazana, the word yarghelm یرغلم appears[123] and I had read this word as parghalm پرغالم since in the poems of Khushal Khan and other poets of the middle ages parghalal and yarghalm have been used to mean to attack. It is possible that the yarghalm of Amir Krorr may be barghalam from the infinitive of barghalal. This word has an old root and Amir Krorr was a king during the time of the Loyaks who was a ruler in Ghor and Badghis, to the west of the Loyak domain. The closeness of the language between these two rulers is likely.

9. balom بلوم: From the structure of the couplet this word is composed of two parts (ba-lom). But I have been unable to find a sensible meaning of the word. I was also unable to find a word which fits in this context. Hence this word remains obscure.

10. mamla مملا: This word is probably an interdiction of (ma mala) meaning do not cooperate. Toward the end of the couplet mla has been used. Mal in Pashto means a helper, assistant and friend. Maltya and maltob means to cooperation and accompaniment.

Shaikh Asad Suri, a former Pashto poet (1034 CE), in his poem has used mla meaning to help the poor.[124] Malikyar Gharshin (1176 CE) states: Freedom fighters come, gather around, to help Shahab.[125]

Sometimes mali ملی has been used to mean to stay. Abdul Qader Khan writes: God ruin this world as friends leave it while the foe stays. In another instance he says: The ignorant will believe in a structure whose foundation is in flooded water.[126]

It is possible that (ma mala مه مله) in this context means do not stay and will not stay.

The word’s last letter alif (ا) is in use in this form instead of ha () in the Ghalji, Wardak and Afridi dialects such as ma kawa, ma khwra, ma dza.

11. tezyow تیزیو: Based on the rhyming structure of the couplet this word should be read as (ti-zi-yow). It is possible that the word tazyow تازیو has been converted to tezyow تیزیو based on the rule of the conversion of letters in different dialects.

From ancient times Arabic language and  Arabs have been referred to as tazi تازی. In current linguistic structure we say (ma mela da tazeyow pa mla مه مله د تازیو په ملا) meaning do not continue cooperating with the Arabs.

Since Loyak Khanan of Ghazni was forced to embrace Islam another Loyak wrote to him from Kabul in this couplet: “It is pitiful that the Loyak idol has been buried in the soil of Ghazni and since you have lost your might I will send reinforcements and you should abstain from cooperating with the Arabs.”

The Musaid and Wazir Pashtun tribes pronounce tazi تازی as tezi تیزی the old name for Arabs which was commonly used in Pahlavi and Persian also. During the time of Arab attacks Firdowsi has used this word to mean the Arabs, as tazi and its plural form tazian. He also refers to the Arab language as tazi also.[127]

Most researchers say that tazi has been derived from tayee طائی since the Banuti بنوطی Arab tribe was close to Iranians therefore all Arabs were named after this tribe.[128]

There is historical evidence where a nation has been named after a tribe such as Yunan (Greece) which has been named after the Yuniya tribe, and Fars (the Arabic name for Iran)  has been named after the Parsiya tribe which the Greeks called Persia and later became Pershia.[129]

We see another example in the couplet where the language of the Pashtuns has been referred to as “lesan-e ghaljia” (the language of the Ghalji) which is a reference to the whole Pashtun nation.

Tazi is a very old name. During the time of the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE) Chinese authors have written this name as Ta-shi. In 960 CE the Ta-shi, Amir of the Faithful, sent a delegation of 20 ambassadors to the Sung kings and a Tazi ambassador was sent to the court of Liao-Shi, the Chinese emperor. [130]






Now that you have seen the 1400 years old style of Pashto writing and read a Pashto couplet of the Loyak family, together with the linguistic and historical analysis of the words, I will provide a summary of the literary and linguistic results of this research.

1. Loykan: A royal family in Zabulistan and Ghazni who were related to the Kabul Shah kings. Their name has been derived from the Pashto word loy لوی (great) and their language was Pashto. The oldest Loyak king was named Wajwir (Hajwir) who lived around 622 CE.

2. This couplet is an example of the language of the Loyaks.

3. Their dialect is similar to the dialect of present day Wardak, Musaid and Wazir people.

4. They possessed idols but later converted to Islam.

5. Their struggle against the Safavid and Ghaznavid kingdoms lasted for several centuries.

6. They seem to be close to the Ghalji (Khalji) people as their language was called the “Khaljia language.”

7. The root of Gazna, which was the old name of Ghazni, can be seen in Sughdi and Persian. In Pashto it was Gazna گزنه.

8.  A Loyak, who was a Pashto poet, and was contemporary of  Khanan Loyak and Khenjel Kabul Shah probably lived around 760 CE. Like Amir Krorr Suri he is an old Pashto poet and his contemporary.

9. The Loykan family was annihilated by Subuktageen (796 CE).

10. Around 816 CE Pashto had similarity with Pahlavi in the eastern parts of its sphere. Words used in this couplet, such as zami زمی, gazna گزنه, baraghulum براغلوم and tazi تازی have close affinities to the Sughdi and Pahlavi languages. However, Amir Krorr’s poem, which was written during this time, is devoid of such influence and the dialect spoken in the mountainous country of Ghor, had not come under the influence of foreign languages. The culture of the Sassanid period had cast an influence over the language spoken in Zabul and Ghazni. This is not unusual since Ghazni and Zabul were on the crossroad of trade routes between India, Iran and Trans-Oxiana and Arabs also traveled through the region. Thus they left their cultural and linguistic influence on the people of the area.

11. During the early Christian era when the White Huns (Arian people) came to Zabulistan from Takharistan, the Hepthalites (Abdalians) settled in Arghandab and Helmand valleys and mountains as far as Kozak and amalgamated with the native Pashtuns who lived there. We can see the old root of this word in the name of the Abdali (Durrani) people who live in this area. Another group named (Ghalji, Khalji and Ghardzi) also mixed with the local Pashtuns.[131] Whatever the language of these people was at the time it converted to Pashto in Zabulistan, an area extending from Ghazni to Seistan. As a result we see Turkish words in the Pashto language, such as, hun هون which became khan خان, ulus اولس (nation), jerga جرگه (council), yarghal یرغل (attack) etc.

When the Huns (Khanan) were impacted by Islamic forays they moved to mountainous areas and  they continued to speak in their dialect such as the dialect of the Wardak, Musaid and Wazir tribes.

However, those people who lived in the lower regions came under the linguistic and cultural influence of other neighboring areas. The dialect of present day Abdali people is an example of such influence.


Historical Narrative of the Loyaks

Loyak Wajwir (Hajwir, Wajwir) lived around 738 CE and was in the service of Ratbel and Kabul Shah. Loyak Khanan, son of Wajwir (mentioned as Khaqan by Gardezi), embraced Islam but later changed his mind, was a contemporary of Khenchel Kabul Shah. Another Loyak, who lived at the same time, around 760 CE, who is the author of the Pashto couplet, was named Mohammad bin Khaqan (Gardezi). He has an Islamic name and was a Moslem. Around 826 CE, Aflakh, son of Mohammad (the Abu Mansur of Gardezi) was defeated by Yaqub Lyce in Gardez in 872 CE.

Abu Ali (Abu Bakr) Laweik (Tabaqat-e Naseri) or Mutlaq Loyak (Seyasat Nama), father-in-law of the son of Kabul Shah, was defeated by Subuktageen in Charkh, together with his son-in-law, in 1168 CE.










[1]Al-Masalek wa al-Mamalek of Ibn Khardaba, p. 170, Leiden. 

[2]There is an inscription in Mangawi script in the Peshawar Museum, which is from the Hun (Khanan) period. 

[3]The Italian East and West Journal, November 1957.

[4]Ariana Journal, Asad 1336 Solar Hijera (1958 CE).

[5]Yasna, passages 1 to 204.

[6]Ahsan-al-Taqaseem, p. 306-312. Astakhri, p. 239.

[7]Yasna, passages 1 to 132.

[8]Yashtha passages 2 to 170.

[9]Middle Age Research on Chinese Texts. 1887, London.

[10]Astakhri, p. 270. Hudud-al-Alam, pp. 19-60.

[11]Khurda Avesta, translated by Pur Dawud, p. 137, Bombay.

[12]Yasna 1 to 20, translated by Pur Dawud, and Mazd Yasna and Persian Poetry by Mu’ayan, p. 301.

[13]Sabk Shenasi, 1 to 31.

[14]Tabakat-al-Sufia, Istabnul manuscript.

[15]Islamic Encyclopedia, pp. 1 to 643, as referenced by Iranshahar.

[16]The details of this word will be provided later in the Pashto couplet.

[17]An explanation of pati has been provided in the first volume of Pashto Literature, p. 75.

[18]Afghanistan by Languart Dame, in Islamic Encyclopedia.

[19]See its details in Pashto Literature, vol. 1, p. 102.

[20]Charles Mason Travelogue, pp. 1-232, London.

[21]History of Afghanistan, pp. 2-437.

[22]Sassaniyan, p. 385 as referenced by Mueler’s Matoon-e Sughdi, pp. 1-108.

[23]Tarekh-e Afghanistan, pp. 2-457.

[24]Sassaniyan, p. 384.

[25]Peshawar Museum Journal, December 1953.

[26]Iranshahr by Marquart.

[27]Ibn Khardaba, p. 39, London 1889. Tarekh al-Yaqubi, pp. 3-131.

[28]See Makhzan-e Afghani of Nematullah, Hayat-e Afghani and Sulat-e Afghani.

[29]Ariana Journal, Zawul, Kawul by A.H. Habibi, vol. 61.

[30]See Pata Khazana, p. 71. Pashtana Shua’ra, vol. 1, p. 65.

[31]Cambridge History of India, pp. 1-91.

[32]The Civilization of Eastern Iranians, pp. 1-244. See details of this word in History of Pashto Literature, pp. 1-77.

[33]The upper part of the inscription contains some Arabic words among which the word (Hasan) can be read. The other word seems to be kharpul or kharpost. I think this may be Malik Tajuddin Hasan Salar Kharpost, who was governor of Tulak in Ghor and upon his order, Qazi Menhaj Seraj, in 1224 CE, went on his journey (Tabaqat-e Naseri 1-698). It is possible that the inscription was written after 1204 CE as the characters are written akin to the Ghori period. 

[34]Sabk Shenasi, pp. 1-130, Tehran.

[35]Islamic Encyclopedia, pp. 2-154.

[36]Zein-al-Akhbar, p. 6, Tehran.

[37]Seyasat Nama, p. 122, Tehran.

[38]Afghanistan After Islam, p. 69, Tehran.

[39]Tabaqat-e Naseri, pp. 1-268, Quetta.

[40]This historic Pashto word has been misinterpreted by scribes, due to the fact that they were not familiar with it, and have written it in different forms. In Dehli’s Sultan Naseruddin Mahmud’s court, a renowned Persian poet, Fakhr-al-Malik Omaiduddin Loyaki, the chief revenue officer of India (born 1205, died 1284), has been recorded. He was from the remaining lineage of this family. He was known as Omaid Loyaki. Scribes have adulterated this name and have written it as Nunaki, Tulaki, Bumaki, Lobaki and Delmi in different books (see Bazm-e Mamlokia, p. 203 and the Old Poets of Persian by Dr. Iqbal Hussain). Abdul Qader bin Malokshah Badwani, the author of Muntakhab-al-Tawarekh, has written this word correctly as Loyaki. However, in the printed version of the first volume of this book (published in Calcutta in 1868), the word appears as Tulaki (p. 70), Nunaki (p. 96) and Loyaki in page 3.

Dr. Rashid is in possession of a correct copy of Muntakhab-al-Tawarekh, which was probably written during the time of the author. In page 15 the name clearly appears as Omeid Loyaki. It looks as though other scribes read the word incorrectly and adulterated it. Some scholars have stated that this word is Tulak and that Tulak was a city in Delam.

What is correct is that Tulak did not exist in Delam and neither is Omaid from Tulak. The correct form of the word is Loyaki and the mentioned poet came from the lineage of this old family. Since he lived in Sanam in India he has been referred to as Sanami also.

[41]Tarekh-e Baihaqi, pp. 1-100.

[42]Majmal-al-Tawarekh, p. 108.

[43]Tarekh-al-Yaqubi, pp 1-116, 1939, Najaf.

[44]Dewan-e Runi, p. 65, 1926, Tehran.

[45]Al-Masalek Al-Mamalek of Ibn Khardaba, vol. 41.

[46]Sajat al-Marjan, p. 39.

[47]Persian Literature, C.A.Storey, reprinted in 1984, London.

[48]Criticism on Sher-al-Ajam, p. 57, Delhi.

[49]Hudud-al-Alam, Tehran.

[50]Sajat al-Marjan, p. 28, Tazkera-e Ulama-e Hind, p. 48, Bazm-e Mamlukia, p. 28.

[51]See Hasan Saagani’s life in Ma’aref Azamgarh, 1959, by Mawlawi Abdul Hakim and Ma’jam-al-Matboaat, pp. 2-128.

[52]Al-A’ubab manuscripts film copy.

[53]Ahsan-al-Taqaseem of Maqdasi, p. 303.

[54]See details in History of Pashto Literature, pp. 1-69.

[55]Da Marwato Kasrona, p. 84, Pashto Academy.

[56]Lughat-e-Fars, p. 51, Tehran.

[57]Zein-al-Akhbar, p. 6.

[58]Tabaqat-e Naseri, vol. 1, pp 393, 396, 412, 436, published by Habibi, Quetta.

[59]Kashf-al-Mehbob, Leningrad.

[60]Safenat-al-Awlia, p. 56. Indian publication.

[61]Ancient Geography of India, pp. 1-266.

[62]Annotations of Tarekh-e Seistan, p. 91 and Majmal, p. 422.  

[63]Some Notes on Afghanistan, p. 63.

[64]Diwan-al-Farzdaq, p. 325, Al-Ma’reb of Juwaleiqi, p.163.

[65]Taj-al-Arous, Al-Ratbel account.

[66]Alama Dahbi’s Mushtaba-al-Nesba.

[67]See details in Dr. Baluch’s article, Sarosh, June 1958 issue.

[68]Ferordin Yasht part 152.

[69]Dunkan Forbes Indian Dictionary, p. 426.

[70]Al-Masalek Al-Mamalek of Ibn Khardaba, p. 170.

[71]Tarekh-e Al-Yaqubi, pp. 3 to 131, Najaf 1939.

[72]Buddha by Julius, 1905.

[73]Yashtaha, pp. 2 to 42.

[74]Yasna, p. 19.

[75]In the annotations of Shahnama we come across the life of Kak Kohzad, the leader of these people who lived in the mountainous regions of Zabul. Kohzad is the exact Persian translation of gharzi. (Annotations of Shahnama vol. 5. p. 33).

[76]Astaghri has also mentioned this Khalj among the cities of Helmand (Astakhri, p. 245).

[77]Tabakat-e Naseri, p. 1-387. Quetta.

[78]Tarekh-e Fereshta, p. 1-88.

[79]Hudud-al-Alam, p. 64, Tehran.

[80]Ibn Khardaba, p. 28.

[81]Astakhri, p. 245.

[82]Iranshahr, after p. 251.

[83]These people have been mentioned as Kahchi by Baihaqi, Kuchi by Menhaj Seraj, Kafas by the Arabs, Kuch in Shahnama, and Kamchak Hepthalites by the Armenian historian, Kalan Katonas. They are the present day Kuchi (Passhtun nomads)

[84]Mafateh-al-A’loom, p. 72.

[85]Tarekh-e Yamyani, p. 26.

[86]Al-Kamel, pp. 8 to 348.

[87]Minarski’s annotations on Hudud-al-Alam, p. 348, Oxford.

[88]Diwan-e Lughat-e al-Turk, pp. 3 to 307.

[89]Jahan Nama, hand-written sheet 17, as referenced by Minorski.

[90]Tabaqat-e Naseri, pp. 1 to 495, compiled by Habibi, Quetta.

[91]Tarekh-e Feroz Shahi, p. 173. Calcutta.

[92]Khalji were not Turks, see details in History of Indian Congress, 1939.

[93]Tazkera-e Bahadur Islam, pp. 2 to 331.

[94]Islamic Encyclopedia, pp. 3 to 874.

[95]Khushal Khan’s Divan, p. 669, compiled by Habibi, Kandahar.

[96]Sabk Shinasi, pp. 2 to 27, Tehran.

[97]These appendages have not been provided by Firdawsi but another poet have added them to Shahanshahi after 1204 CE but the story bears some historical truth.

[98]Annotations of Shahshahi, vol. 5, p. 33,, Tehran.

[99]Al-Abniya a’n Haqayeq al-Adwiya p. 1, handwritten manuscript.

[100]Tarekh-e3 Baihaqi, p. 221 to 673, Tehran.

[101]Aadab-al-Harb wa al-Shujaa’ya, p. 29, Lahore.

[102]Sabk Shenasi, pp. 1 to 429.

[103]Khezena-al-Asfiyah, pp 2 to 248.

[104]Jahalandar’s Gazette, p. 121.

[105]Aab-e Kowsar, p. 91.

[106]This couplet and its meaning will be treated later.

[107]Weis wa Ramin, p. 3.

[108]Farhang-e Dehkhuda, p. 66.

[109]Yashtaha, 8,13,95.

[110]Mazd Yasna and Adab-e Farsi, p. 432.

[111]Saltanat-e Ghaznavian, p. 357, according to Ben West.

[112]Al-Ma’reb min al-Kalam al-Ajami, 1942, Cairo.

[113]Suwa al-Sabeel ela Ma’refat al-Ma’reb wa al-Dakheel, 1903, Lahore.

[114]Tabaqat-al-Sufia, p. 213, hand-written manuscript.

[115]Divan-e Menowcheri, p. 66.

[116]Habibi’s dictionary of Tabaqat al-Sufia.

[117]Pata Khazana, pp. 239-234.

[118]See details in Pashto Adabiyato Tarekh, pp. 1-45.

[119]See the English translation of the inscription: Kabul, p. 120-121, 1842 London. The inscription was moved to the Calcutta museum by Burns.

[120]Lughat-e Fars, p. 325.

[121]Burhan-e Qata’e, vol.1.

[122]Tarekh-e Baihaqi, vol. 2, pp 752-805.

[123]Pata Khazana, p. 33.

[124]Pata Khazana, pp. 41 and 234.

[125]Pashtana Shu’ara, vol. 1, p. 56. Kandahar.

[126]Abdul Qader’s Divan, Kandahar.

[127]Shahnama, vol. 5, p. 302.

[128]Bartold in Islamic Encyclopedia, vol. 2. in the article on Tajiks.

[129]Farhang-e Shahnama, p. 84.

[130]Middle Age Findings in Chinese Texts, Petrich Meydor’s publications,1887, vol. 1. p 266.

[131]Some authors consider Pashtuns to be related to the Huns. But this statement does not have any historical bearing since long before the Hun period, Pashtuns have been mentioned in Rig Veda and in the History of Herodotus as Pakhat and Paktwes, who were living in the region between the Indus and the Oxus rivers. It is clear that the Pasht=Pashtuns lived in Pashtunkhwa (the Pakti Eka of Herodotus) three to four thousand years ago. The White Huns who came to this land during the early centuries of the Christian era, amalgamated with the Pashtuns and became Pashtuns and adopted the Pashto language.