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Durrani[pronunciation?] (Pashto: ‎) [1] is a Sarbani Pashtun tribal confederation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They have been called Durrani since the beginning of the Durrani Empire in 1747.[2] Durrani are found throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan; although large concentrations are found in southern Afghanistan, they are also found to a lesser extent in east, west and central Afghanistan. Many Durranis are found in North Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab, as well as in Azad Kashmir provinces of Pakistan. The Durrani Pashtuns of the Afghan capital Kabul are usually bilingual in Pashto and Dari Persian.

Relationship to other Pashtuns & founding mythology

The Durrani are a part of a broader tribal grouping known as the Tareen, who are a component of the Sarbani - the largest subdivision of Pashtuns. That is, the Durrani have traditionally claimed descent from the legendary founding father of all Pashtuns, Qais Abdur Rasheed,[3] through Sarban (founder of the Sarbani tribes and reputedly the first son of four fathered by Qais), a son of Sarban named Sharkhbun, and a son of Sharkhbun named Tareen (founding father of the Tareen tribes). Tareen is said to have had three sons - Tor, Spin and Abdal - who correspond to the three major tribes comprising the Tareen.[4][5] Abdal is considered to have founded the Durrani, also known as the Abdalis.[6]


Ahmad Shah Durrani established the Durrani Empire in 1747, and the name Durrani originates from that period.

They were known in the past as Abdalis, from approximately the 7th century until the mid-18th century when Ahmad Shah Durrani was chosen as the new Emir and the Durrani Empire was established.[7] One of Ahmad Shah's first acts as Emir was to adopt the title padshah durr-i durran ('King, "pearl of the age").[8] He united the Pashtun tribes following a loya jirga in western Kandahar and changed his own name from Ahmad Shah Abdali to Ahmad Shah Durrani. Since that period, the kings of Afghanistan have been of Durrani extraction.

The origin of the Abdali is probably the Hephthalites though it is disputed.[9][10] The Zirak line begins with Sulaiman Zirak Khan. Zirak was father of Popalzai, Barakzai, and Alakozai.[11]

According to Hayat Khan's history of Afghanistan from their progenitor Bor Tareen, otherwise known as Abdal, are descended their two main divisions the Zirak and the Panjpai.[] The term Abdal, however, gradually superseded that of Bor Tareen and came into special prominence when Ahmad Shah Abdali commonly known as Durrani, began his career of conquest. The Achakzai are, in strictness, a branch of the durrani, but Ahmad Shah, Durrani himself an Abdal/Bor Tarin/Tareen, fearing the growing numbers of the Achakzai, separated them from the parent stock, Barakzai. Since then, their organization has remained distinct. It is still used, though sparingly, for the Achakzai, who have become localised in Toba and are regarded as a separate political unit from the rest of the Tarin/Tareens.

Durrani prince tomb in Kohat

Branches or subtribes

The Panjpai branch are mainly found in the western Kandahar, Helmand and Farah area, and they include Alizai, Noorzai, Ishakzai or Sakzai, and Maku.

The literacy rate of the Durrani is the highest among all the Pashtun tribes and they are also considered the most liberal of the Pashtun tribes. The Durranis continue to live close to other people of Afghanistan and culturally overlap in many ways with the Tajiks whom they often share more cultural and socio-economic traits in comparison to the more tribal Pashtuns such as the Ghilji, which is the other major Pashtun tribe.

Durrani / Bor or Abdali Tareen

The Bor or Abdali Tareens inhabit Pakistan and Afghanistan comprise chiefly these sections:

The Bor/Abdali Tareens came to be known as 'Durranis' after Ahmad Shah Abdali became Emir of Afghanistan, and gradually this term superseded their original name.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Runion, Meredith L. (2017-04-24). The History of Afghanistan, 2nd Edition. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610697781.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Durrani
  3. ^ Olaf Caroe, 'The Pathans', 1957, np
  4. ^ Ghulam Rasul Haider The Pashtuns- A monograph on tribal claims of their origins. Peshawar, University of Peshawar Press, 1988, pp. 11-13.
  5. ^ Haider, 14
  6. ^ Haider, 13
  7. ^ "Treaty of Kalat between Balochistan and Afghanistan in 1758" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved .
  8. ^ The Afghans (2002) By Willem Vogelsang. Page 229.
  9. ^ http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDISS_derivate_000000007165/01_Text.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDISS_derivate_000000007165/01_Text.pdf?hosts=
  11. ^ Life of the Amîr Dost Mohammed Khan, of Kabul: with his political ..., by Mohan Lal, Volume 1. Page 1-3.
  12. ^ Nawab Muhammad Hyat Khan, "Hayat i Afghan" (Orig. in Persian 1865) trans. by H.B Priestley "Afghanistan and its Inhabitants", 1874; Reprint Lahore: Sang i Meel Press, 1981

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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