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Ghoris were Pashtoon

Sayed Momin Sayed

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Pashtuns, although known and accepted by this region and the world, still have not found some of their historical evidences and have never intended to care for and preserve their history and honors, because of their tribal and traditional differences. In case if someone had endeavored to write down something of Pashtuns’ history, those have either been lost or destroyed by a large number of invasions, wars and violations against Afghanistan. There are many aspects of Pashtuns’ history which are still blurred and under question mark. 

Pashtuns were unaware that in the nineteenth century, the ideology of nationalism would be so common that their indifference would question the existence and dignity of Pashtuns by not maintaining their history. The fanatic nationalists of this region always tried to tie the history of the Pashtuns either to themselves or to deny the truth. But the Pashtuns of the twentieth century were wise and more knowledgeable than before. They have answered each and every false claim in a systematic and logical way. Although they had very little material left over from the Pashtuns history as evidence, they still used them greatly and with the help of field research, many of the allegations of the biases and bigots have been proved to be wrong.

One of these claims is that Ghoris were either Tajiks or, but not Pashtuns. This seems to be a very strange and outlandish claim. If Ghoris were Turks, why did Mahmoud Ghaznavi tyrannize his Turks like this, imprison Muhammad Suri and cause the bloodshed in the Ghor, although they were from the same ethnicity? And if they were Tajiks, it is said that, ” When Masoud Ghaznawi surrounds the fortress of the Suris, send his minister with an interpreter to Suri king. ” While the Tajik’s language was Dari why did the court of Ghazni need an interpreter, if the Language of the Ghoris was Dari. 

From these above considerations, it is proven that the Ghoris were pure Pashtuns, but when their reign expanded from the Ghor Mountains, they had to change the written language into Persian or Arabic so that all the people of this region could understand.

My article is an effort to elaborate on situation of the Ghoris and prove their Pashtunness. I have brought up the historical status of Ghor, the background of the name of this region, the situation of Zahak, the war of Mahmoud Ghaznavi and Mohammad Suri, and the current Ghori tribes. 

Yours sincerely: Sayed Momin Sayed

Special thanks to: Ustad Abdul Wahed Nasiry 

Suris and Ghoris 

The word ” ghor ” and its background

 In Avesta and Sanskit , the words ” giri and gir ” have been found , which means mountain , mountain is in a active use in Pashto , for example : mountains , Spin ghar , Babaghar ,Gharwal, Gharsanai, Gharzai, Gharpazhai, Ghartsan, Gharspa, Ghar soka, Gharshin, Gharnai, Spin Ghar,  Kashghar and others . Other related to (ghar) and (Ghor) terms that are names of various parts of the country, such as:

Ghorband (Parwan)

– Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Ghori (Baghlan)

Ghormach (Badghis)

Ghorian (Herat)

Jaghori (Ghazni)

Saghar (Ghor)

Ghorak (Kandahar)

At the same time, a Pashtun tribe name related to the above names should also be mentioned that Ghoriakhels consider themselves Sarbani Pashtuns and is said to be one of the descendants of Khorshabun, the son of Serban. Since their great grandfather was called Ghrai or Ghoria , so they also call their generation Ghoriakhel . In the history of Hayat e Afghani, Ghoria had four sons, Dawlatyar , whose descendants were two branches of Mohmand and Daudzai . The other three sons were Khalil, Chamkani , and Zaran . (Taleb: 2006,200)


 Much is said about the Ghoris, some say they are Turks, some say they are Tajiks and some call them Iranians, but most current historians have called these above theories baseless. they consider them as an ancient Pashtun tribe. And Ghor ‘s rulers are well-thought-out to be Pashtuns. Even some historical analysts have called Ghor the first place of Pashtun ethnicity and say that Pashtuns have gone from these mountainous areas to different parts of former Khorasan and today ‘s Afghanistan. This is also a worthy view, but we will not tie up the research margins, we have to enlarge the area of research until we reach the truth. Now we will provide the necessary information about the Ghoris.

Sayed Bahadur Shah Zafar Kakakhel writes about the Ghoris: ” The aim of Ghor is the mountainous area that is made up of the Hindu Kush chain. The area is between Herat, Farah, Kandahar, and the current Hazara jat. The whole region is mountainous and has an impact on the people. According to the writings of their Pashtun historians, this region is considered the home of the Pashtuns. The people of this region have always been successful in protecting and enjoying their independence, but during the reign of Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznavi, the region and its citizens accepted taxes. At the time, Amir Mohammad Suri was the ruler of Ghor. Previously, there were four groups in Ghor called Suri, Taimani , Jamshidi and Firuzkohi . Ghor ‘s royal rule was with the Suris. It is mostly thought that The Suri Pashtuns are also called ” Zori ” by Arab historians (Zafar, 2009:289).

It is believed from that the Ghorids used to rule the area of Ghor and its surroundings. In my opinion, they were not able to find a better area than Ghor at that time as a capital. The first reason was that it was the homeland of Suris, and the second main reason was that it was very difficult for the invaders and attackers to attack the area, as its name suggests, it is a mountain locked land. But finally, Mahmoud Ghaznavi toke over their area, the Ghori sultanate and monarchy was vanished for few years. 

Suris were a tribe of Afghans from Khorasan and Ghor, who still live around Zorabad ( Zorabd ) in northwestern Herat province . Maulana Akbar Shah Najibabadi writes that Ghor is a large and mountainous area in the eastern mountainous areas of Herat. Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznawi conquered the area and made it a province of his kingdom. At the beginning of the second century AD, the inhabitants of Ghor had accepted Islam and all the Pashtun tribes were here. Mahmoud Ghaznawi had appointed one of the same Pashtuns in Ghor province, who had already existed in royal Ghori family. (Najibabadi: 1430 A.D., 363) 

Prof. Habibi ‘s opinion on this is as follows:

The Suris tribe ruled the mountains of Takharistan , Ghor , Herat and Khorasan and was referred to as GharShah , which is the word ” mountain ” in Pashto . This ancient mythical character is attributed to Zahak. This name is Ferdowsi ” Zahak ” and in Pashto sources it is “Sahak” in the order of history. Tabari, Al-Bironi, and Ibn Balkhi call him “Beur Sp Azdahaq” and in Masoudi he came to “Dahak”. According to Tabari, it is arabic as “Azdahaq”. In Avesta , it is referred to as ” Dahak-aji Daha ” , which is ” Azhdaha ” in Dari and ” Azhdahar ” in Pashto . It is also used in Khorasani names such as Abdul Hai Gardezi , son of Zahak , the author of Zinulakhbar . and Zahak Sheibani around “around 287”, in Bamiyan , the city of Zahak , and the famous former Aryan tribe of Sahaka , a place name is Sekstan or Sistan , they are different versions of the name Zahak just like  ” Sahak ” and ” Sahakzai ” all shows that this word exists in Pashto for a long time. (Habibi, 1999:245)

Here we take Mr . Abdul Baqi Durrani ‘s speech, Dr . Baqi Durrani writes: ” Ghor , Bamiyan , Gozgan and Herat were ghorian governments , ghoris were muddy Suris , who were a strong Afghan tribe of Ghor and Khorasan , and according to Islam , the leaders of this tribe ruled under the surnames of the Gharshah which in Pashto means (king of the Mountains) . (Durrani, 2008: 198)

Zahak ( Sahak , Sahak ) was the son of Alwan , he was the son of Arand Asp , he was the son of Ghaz , he was the son of The Arm , he was the son of Sam , and he was the son of Noah . Some narrate that when Zahak was defeated, his two brothers and two sons went to Nahawand. His older brother was Sur, he became an amir , and his younger brother , Sam , became commander  .

Amir Sur had a daughter and commander Sam had a son, they both got engaged when they were children. They were in love with each other; Commander died; his son was a brave and knowledgeable young man who found antagonists. those enemies complained to Amir Soori , muddle up the boy’s uncle who was at the time his father –in-law , he (Amir sur) decided to marry his daughter  to other king . The girl heard it, told her cousin son, and they both fled from there and came to the Mountains of Ghor and indwelled in Mandish . It was God ‘s will, and the great and great kings of their progenies came to being. Their families became known as Shansab. In India and Sindh, Amir Poolad, Amir Banji, second Amir Suri, third Mohammad Soori, Sultans, Kings and Emperors reached the borders of Turkey and Iraq to southern India. (Haddad, 2004:222-223)

One of the names of this clan is Bastam , which means ” Goshtham , Westham ” in the name of The Hero. Ferdowsi also mentioned it in Shahnameh. The man ruled Sheghan, Bamiyan, Takharstan and Ghor. After that, his two sons sat in power , one of them was Amir , called Sul or Sur , and the other was a war Commander called Sam . The Suri Pashtuns belong to Sur. This clan is called Mahouri Soori Race by ferdowsi. Balazari of Jabal Zor and the famous idol that Heun Tsang (609 AD) saw in the name of Sona. Ibn Fandaq also mentions The Great Suris of Khorasan during the time of Sultan Masoud in The History of Behiqi. And recently, Sher Shah Suri rose up from this tribe and established a Pashtun monarchy in India. (Habibi, 1999:246)  

The author of Afghanistan ‘s great history considers the Ghorian rule to be before Islam and says that even after advent of Islam, they resisted a lot.  The main reason was the mountainous location of Ghor, which made it problematic and tougher for the Islamic army. Ghulam Mohammad Ghabar writes in his work ” Afghanistan on the Path of History ” under the title ” Afghanistan during the Ghori Government “.

Translation: Suri families were the rulers of Afghanistan before Islam. One of the most famous people from this family is Mahuya Suri, who, during the emergence of Islam in the seventh century, was the ruler of Maru who killed Sassanid Yazdgar. Mahuya Suri became a Muslim with the Islamic army and arabs , but the Syrians of Ghor were able to maintain their independence against Arab and Afghan Islamic rulers for centuries. The geographical situation of Ghor, the long roads, the strong military forts at the top of the mountains and the harsh winter, together with the sacrifices of the people, have ensured regional independence. He was the first of ghor ‘s local rulers (Amir Poolad Schensby) , who joined the National Movement of Afghans in the Eighth Century and joined Abu Muslim Khorasani against the Umayath government (Ghabar , 1967:129). 

Before Islam, Ghor province had regional rule, in which the Suri family was in power. They used to call their king (Gharsha ) Which is a Pashto surname and means (king of the mountain) . Members of this family accepted the holy religion of Islam during the caliphate of Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam, led by Shansab or Bharam Shah Suri in the first century AD. After that, their regional rule lasted until the 4th century. Before Islam, the famous ruler of this family was Bastam and Mashakh . After accepting Islam, in the first, second and third centuries, Amir Pulad Ghori, Amir Banji Ghori, and Amir Suri, the son of Muhammad, and Amir Karrour Suri, were famous rulers. (Ershad: 2005, 41-42)


In the Kingdom of the Ghorids, the mountains of Sulaiman , known as the Mountains of Kasi , was a very famous and historical area in the ancient pashtun sites , the foothills of these mountains are about 600 kilometres long and Many Pashtuns have long lived in the foothills of these mountains , in Tarikh e Firishta , Tazkirtalaulia , Manhaj Saraj ,Tabaqat e Nasiry ,and hidden treasures these rulers  have been mentioned. And Information about them is secured, in addition to this ” Elphinstone “writes: ” All traditions agree that Pashtuns have lived in Ghor in many ancient times and it seems that they had already were the dwellers of the Sulaiman mountains, in their broad sense, the mountains of Sulaiman means all the southern mountains in Afghanistan. It seems that they, according to the Tarikh e Firishta , were present in the 9th century in Afghanistan . They had settled in the northeastern mountains. (Lalpurwal, 2010: 3-4)

The first person to accept Islam in Ghori kings was, Shansab, the son of Khorang, after him came his son Amir Polad, subsequently came the Jahan Pahlawan (Amir Kror) the first known Pashto poet who was the monarch of Ghor, and ruled all the mountains and surrounding areas of Ghor. According to the historians and the book ” History of Ahmad ibn Ali Basti “, he was the emir of Ghor in 139-756 A.D. also known as Jahan Pahlavan. (Habibi, 1999:246)  

He had Khissar , Tamran and Barkushk ( the famous Qalai of Ghor ) and Balashtan  in the north of Kandahar under his sword. He was such a strong hero that he fought lonely could fight ten people and that is why his name was (Kror) that means hard and tough in pashto. The power and rule of this family (Suri) was as far as Landawar , Bast , and Walshtan. Amir Kror , who was also a friend of Abu Muslim in the wars of the Caliphate revolution from Umaymayeh To Abasids , The book of hidden treasure  narrates a Pashto epic and heroic verses from Amir kror where he  considers him to be the owner of a good speech. In his ancient epic, Amir Karwar Pahlavan considers his government ‘s region from Maru and Herat to Garmsir , Gharj and Takhar , saying that Zaranj ( Sistan ) has been taken over by the force sword by me. (Habibi, 1999:248)

His epic poem is an ancient epic work of Pashto in Khorasan. That depicts his strong spirit, national pride, and his ambitions of expedition and ruling the world. In this epic poem, we see old Pashto words that are no more in use and are outdated in Pashto. Amir Karwar was killed in the War on 154-800 AD, the War on the west of Herat. And after that, his son Amir Nasir ruled Ghor, Bost and Zamandawar. (Around 160-776 AD). (Habibi, 1999:248)

Mahmoud Ghaznawi ‘s onslaught of Ghor and its reasons

After Sabegtagin , Mahmoud Ghaznawi , who was a turk from his father ‘s side and one of Zabul ‘s Ghilzais by his mother’s side , sat on the throne. Ghazni, Zabul and other Pashtuns were satisfied. But whenever they went to attack India, they were angry with the Pashtuns of Ghor. And their ministers also used to warn and tell him to take his precautions, since the Pashtuns of Ghor could attack Ghazni in your absence. The Sultan of Ghazni never wanted to attack Ghor, but at the help of his close lying Turks, he attacked Mohammad Suri, who was a Pashtun Amir of Ghor, and was distrusted by Mahmoud Ghaznavi, and then detained Mohammad Suri and was sieged for a long time, consequently he (Mohammad e Suri) committed suicide with eating poison. Mahmoud Ghaznavi replaced him with his son Bo Ali, the ruler of Ghor, and his subordinate. Jowzjani said in nasiry States about this incident:

 When the throne was conquered by Amir Mahmoud Sabaktagtin, the Ghorian Emirate was ruled by Amir Mohammad Suri and grasped the Property of Ghor, until he obeyed Sultan Mahmud, but sometimes he went for the insurgents and rebelled against Ghaznavis, and he pretended to be a reformer. He spent a long time of detention and was sieged by Mahmood Ghaznavi and bloodshed, moreover after a long time he came down from the castle for the Sack of peace and served Sultan Mahmud. (39)

And we narrate from Ibn Athir ‘s “History of Sistan ” about the fortress of the Ahangaran that was surrounded by Mahmoud Ghaznawi : and the Ahangaran was a major vital forts of the Ghor. (31) Hamdullah Mostofi , in Nazhatul-Qolob mentions. Ahangaran is the major and significant fort of Ghor and is a province famous and the city. It is a big city and its tropical weather is good for its well-being and its fruit is grapes and melons and determines its location between the lines of 99 lengths and 35 widths of the country. (32)

The various Ghori tribes

It is said that there are four major tribes in Ghori Pashtuns: Dawlatyar, Khalil, Zarani and Chamkani. The current capital of Ghor, Chaghcharan, to the east, still has a village called Dawlatyar, which is linked to the Pashtun tribe of Dawlatyar in Ghor. (Lalpurwal, 2010: 3-4)

Mr. Zalmai Hewadmal considers a large branch of the Pashtuns called ” Ghoriakhel ” one of the former Ghorids and says that they are Ghori Pashtuns. Let ‘s take a look at his viewpoint.

Mr . Ustad Zalmai Watanmal writes: ” Ghor is an ancient and historical region of Afghanistan, where the kingdoms have passed and the kings of this region have also played a major role in spreading the holy religion of Islam. One of the ancient Pashtun residences is the Ghor area, that is also clearly related to other Pashtun tribes in addition to the Suris of Ghor. ” A large tribe in the Pashtun tribes is the Ghori or Ghoriakhel Pashtuns. According to traditional history and relative research books, mention a man named Ghoriya in the descendants of Kand bin Khorshabun bin Saban. According to the book Makhzan-ul Afghani, the man ‘s real name was Sheikh Ibrahim, but as he was a child in Ghor, he was known as Ghori, and his descendants are still called Ghori or Ghorizak .

There is still a village called Dawlatyar to the east of Ghor ‘s current city, Chaghcharan , which is called Dawlatyar, tribe of Ghori Pashtuns . According to professor Abdul Shokor Reshad ‘s research, these Ghori Pashtuns have fled Ghor after the Attacks of Changiz Khan (624 AH) and have been transported to the south and east. In addition to the Ghoriakhel Pashtuns, Ghor was the former home of many other Pashtun tribes, and many Pashtun tribes have gone from this region to other areas and have been spread and dispersed. These historical traditional stemma and documents show that in the early Islamic era, most of ghor ‘s inhabitants were Pashtuns and their language was Pashto. (Watanmal: 2000,17-18).

This seems to be a very good reason and a very good answer to the criticism of those who say that the original residents of Ghor were not Pashtuns, if they were, why did these great Pashtun tribal groups leave this mountainous land and abandoned it? But one thing they have forgotten is that Afghanistan has always lost a lot of things because of foreign invasions, and many nations have lost their poor and good housings and dwellings. Because of the wars, many people have now left their homelands, gone to cities or migrated to other countries. Most of them are young people who have become adults in the as immigrants and are not now aware of the names of their father’s and grandfather’s villages and districts. At that time, the Pashtuns were also compelled by the same kind of situation and became thrown out of throne because of the calamity of war, so most of the young Pashtuns of the new generations forgot their old pomposity, even the imagination of their former kingdom became an impossible thing to recall, for them. 

But a few centuries later, in India, Farid Khan, known as Shir Shah Suri, forcibly captured Humayun Mughal’s throne and forced him to flee. Mr. Sahibzada Hamidullah writes in his book Shir Shah Sur: Shir Shah is a man and A famous king who ruled for five years in 1530 to 1535. The real name of Shir Shah was Farid Khan, his father ‘s name was Hassan Khan, and his grandfather ‘s name was Ibrahim, who was a Suri by tribe. Some say that they lived close to Peshawar, including all the Suri tribe, including Sher Shah, saying that we are former Ghori Pashtuns who have returned to Peshawar for some reasons. They considered themselves descendants of the rulers and Amirs of Ghor. And Sher Shah himself is one of the descendants of the rulers of Ghor. (Sahebzadeh,?:8)

Some families are still descendants of Ghoris in India and Karachi, Pakistan, who have lost their language, but still they consider themselves Pashtuns and call themselves Ghori Pathans. For the strength and inference of our argument, I presume the following text is of necessity:

Ghouri Ghauri or Ghori Pathans are a widely spread community of people in Pakistan. They are often called Sindhi Pathan, Mahajir or Khan Their primary language is Urdu which is contrary to what they claim that their tribe lived in Afghanistan in the province of Ghorr speak Pashto. They migrated to India under the monarchy of Kalhora (ڪلهوڙا). These people were great traders, religious and educated peoples. After the independence of Pakistan, they migrated towards Pakistan in great numbers. In the 17th Century, several Khateek clans in Punjab were converted to Islam. The Muslim Khateeks of Punjab have two clans, the Rajputs and Ghori Pathan.Karachi is the city in which they are located in a great majority. Ghori Pathans in great numbers were also settled in Layyah District of Pakistan. The famous Ghoryani Wala Mohala in Layyah has the majority of Ghori Pathans settled. These peoples developed much faster than other Pakistanis a small town in Azad Kashmir. Ghori is a Pashtun tribe, from the Bettani tribal confederacy, who live in Pakistan. (Wikipedia)


From this article, we conclude that the Pashtunness of the Ghori rulers are as bright and clear as the sun. If anyone denies their Pashtunness, they will make the study of the history of the Ghoris even more difficult and it will lead them to nothing, so if they do not consider Ghoris to be Pashtuns and ignore their Pashtunness, they will not be able to prove Ghoris from any other tribe which will cause history to be shattered blurred.  Above, we mentioned Mahmoud Ghaznavi ‘s attack on the Pashtuns, which shows the Turkish detestations for the Ghoris. We mentioned the linguistic and morphological ties of Ghor ‘s word, which has pashto roots and no one can deny it. The Surname (Gharshah) of the former Ghori rulers, a surname of Pashto-language, implies the critic ‘s ignorance. Sher Shah Suri, the great Pashtun leader, claimed that he was a Pashtun. This also indicates the Pashtunness of the Ghoris. We mentioned the current ethnicities of Ghoris. In Pakistan and India, we mentioned those Ghoris who consider themselves Pashtuns but have forgotten their language. All of these are concrete evidences of the Pashtunness of the Ghoris.



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