Barakzai dynasty

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Barakzai dynasty
Country Afghanistan
Titles Emir, King
Founded 1826
Founder Dost Mohammad Khan
Final ruler Mohammad Zahir Shah
Current head Ahmed Shah Khan
Dissolution 1973
Bārakzai / BĀRAKZĪ
Dost Mohammad Khan of Afghanistan with his son.jpg
Amir-ul-Momineen, Amir-i-Kabir Dost Mohammad Khan, who established the Barakzai dynasty in 1826
Mahmud Tarzi and his wife Asma Rasmiya.jpg
Mahmud Tarzi, son of Ghulam Muhammad Tarzi, became the pioneer of Afghan journalism, he belonged to the Tarzi royal family
King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan in 1963.jpg
Mohammed Zahir Shah, was the last King (Badshah) of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973, he belonged to the Mohammadzai tribe
Shukria Barakzai in March 2011-cropped.jpg
Shukria Barakzai, is an Afghan politician, journalist and entrepreneur, and a prominent Muslim feminist. She belongs to the Barakzai tribe
Total population
several millions
Regions with significant populations
Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan
Pashto, Dari Persian,
Predominantly Sunni Islam, others
Related ethnic groups
other Pashtun tribes, other Iranian peoples

The two branches of the Barakzai dynasty (Translation of Barakzai: sons of Barak) ruled modern day Afghanistan from 1826 to 1973 when the monarchy finally ended under Mohammad Zahir Shah. The Barakzai dynasty was established by Dost Mohammad Khan after the Durrani dynasty of Ahmad Shah Durrani was removed from power. During this era, Afghanistan saw much of its territory lost to the British in the south and east, Persia in the west, and Russia in the north. There were also many conflicts within Afghanistan, including the three major Anglo-Afghan Wars and the 1929 civil war.

Emblem of Afghanistan.svg
Flag of the Abdali Afghan Tribes. Made from historical Texts & references.

History and background[edit]

The Pushtuns People Are son of binyamine Brother of Yousaf Nabi

The Barakzai dynasty was the line of rulers in Afghanistan in the 19th and 20th centuries. Following the fall of the Durrani Empire in 1826, chaos reigned in the domains of Ahmed Shah Durrani's Afghan Empire as various sons of Timur Shah struggled for supremacy. The Afghan Empire ceased to exist as a single nation state, disintegrating for a brief time into a fragmented collection of small units. Dost Mohammad Khan gained preeminence in 1826 and founded the Barakzai dynasty in about 1837. Thereafter, his descendants ruled in direct succession until 1929, when King Amanullah Khan abdicated and his cousin Mohammed Nadir Shah was elected king. The most prominent & powerful sub-clan of the Barakzai Pashtun tribe is the Mohamedzai clan, of which the 1826-1973 Afghanistan ruling dynasty comes from.[1]

According to Hyat Khan's history of Afghanistan, from their progenitor Bor Tareen, otherwise known as Abdal, are descended two main divisions: the Zirak and the Panjpai. The term Abdal, however, gradually superseded Bor Tareen and came into special prominence when Ahmad Shah Abdali, commonly known as Durrani, began his career of conquest. The Achakzi were once a branch of the large Barakzai tribe, but Ahmad Shah Durrani was worried over this large tribe as potential competition for control of Kabul’s throne and split the tribe into two separate components and since then the Achakzi have remained distinct and are a separate tribe today. Their original homeland was Maruf District, Kandahar Province.[2][3] [4]

Rachel's Tomb, near Bethlehem, 1891

Barakzai are also thought to be one of the Lost tribes of Israel and are sometimes associated with the Tribe of Benjamin (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין, Modern Binyamin Tiberian Binyāmîn).[5][6][7][8][9] It's said that Barakzai are the descendants of "Afghana" (born ~ 1000 BC) the grandson of King Saul of the Tribe of Benjamin is considered in Afghan folklore a tribal chief or prince of Bani Israel[10] (Israelite) origin and a progenitor of modern-day Pashtuns (ethnic Afghans),[11][12][13][14][15] the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and second largest in Pakistan. The ethnonym "Afghan" is believed to derive from his name.[11][12][13][14][15]

Durrani tribe are their closest counters and then next closest to Yusuf Zi (Sons of Joseph) since Yūsuf was Binyāmîn's full brother, and Ephriti (Tribe of Ephraim) & Khattak (Tribe of Menashe) as their last closest in terms of the Lost Tribes of Israel and also in relations because Ephraim & Menashe were the sons of Yūsuf, which makes Ephraim & Menashe the nephew of Binyāmîn, who was the youngest son of Yaʿqūb with Raḥel.[16][17][18][19] [20] Even the name Barakzi and its most prominent & powerful sub tribe of Mohammadzi can be compared with the name of Ashkenazi, who are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. The term suffix - zi, the plural of Pashto zay, stands for "descendant", and in Avestan it is similar with zoi, "offspring", which is related to the English word "son".[21] However, research towards validating such claims has been inconclusive.[22][23][24]


Further information: Afghan (ethnonym)
Family Tree & Lineage
Afghana, legendary grandson of King Saul and ancestor of Qais Abdur Rashid

The legend describes Afghana as the grandson of King Saul (Talut). Afghana was the son of Irmia (Jeremia), and Jeremia in turn was the son of King Talut. This name is mentioned in the form of Abgan in the 3rd century CE by the Sassanians [25] and as Avagana in the 6th century CE by Indian astronomer Varahamihira.[26]

It is mentioned that Afghana was orphaned at a young age, and brought up by King David. When Solomon became the king, Afghana was made commander-in-chief of the army. Afghana is also credited with the building of the first temple (also known as Bait ul-Mukaddas or the Temple of Jerusalem):[27][28][29]

According to Tadhkirat al-Muluk, Afghana migrated to the place known as Takht-i-Sulaiman and generations later Qais Abdur Rashid a descendant of Afghana embraced Islam.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38] Qais Abdur Rashid's pedigree ascended in a series of thirty-seven degrees to King Talut (Saul) through Afghana.[39][40][41] The genealogy of the Royal Family of Afghanistan and the country's Mohammadzai Emirs & Kings who ruled it are Afghana's descendants and they strictly maintain the ethics and ways of the Pashtunwali.[42][43][44]

Current Khan of Barakzai tribe[edit]

Earliest Pashtun photograph in which Emir Sher Ali Khan is sitting with Prince Abdullah Jan and the Afghan Malaks in 1869.

Currently, Gul Agha Sherzai is the Khan of barakzai Tribe. He is Senior Advisor to the President of Afghanistan and also Governor of Nangarhar Province.

Barakzai Tribe in District Swabi of Pakistan[edit]

A family of Barakzai Tribe is residing in village Tordher of District Swabi of Khyber PukhtoonKhwa.


Mohammadzai are the most prominent & powerful sub-tribe of Barakzai, they belong to the branch of the Durrani confederacy, and are primarily centered around Kandahar. They can also be found in other provinces throughout Afghanistan as well across the border in the Pakistan's Balochistan Province.

Musahiban also known as Sultan Muhammed Khel or the Yahya Khel. Descendants of Sultan Muhammed Khan, ruler of Peshawar, brother of Dost Muhammad Khan. Mohammadzai Barakzai are closely related to Amanullah Khan. The family of Nadir and Zahir Shah.

Payendah Khel are descendants of Payendah Khan, head of the Mohammadzai branch of the Barakzai tribe during the reigns of Timur and Zaman Shah, who became rulers with the decline of the Sadozai dynasty.

The Tarzi family is a branch of the Mohammadzai of Afghanistan. Although a smaller branch of the Barakzai ruling dynasty, the Tarzi family has produced some of the most famous and affluent members. The founder of Tarzi family was Ghulam Muhammad Tarzi.

Predigree of King Dost Mohammad Khan of Afghanistan. Figure shows the branching of the Abdal dynasty into the Popal (founder of the Popalzai; in figure spelled 'Fofal'), Barak (founder of the Barakzai), and Alako (founder of the Alakozai) line (the fourth branch Achakzai is missing).
History of Afghanistan principal ruling families. The figure shows the splitting of the Zirak line into the Popalzai, Alakozai, Achakzai and Barakzai branches.
Genealogy of the Barakzai rulers of Afghanistan from the Barakzai dynasty

List of Barakzai rulers[edit]

Heads of the House of Barakzai since 1973[edit]

The Emirate of Western Baluchistan[edit]

  • Bahram Khan Barkzai (Baranzahi) (1903—1919)
  • Mir Dost Mohmmad Khan Baranzahi (Barakzai) (1919—1928)

Nawabs of Kurwai and Basoda[edit]

Barakzai Feroze Khel

  • Muhammad Dalayer Khan (founder — 1730)


  • Muhammad Izzat Khan
  • Hurmat Khan
  • Muhammad Akbar Khan
  • Muhammad Muzaffar Khan
  • Muhammad Najaf Khan
  • Munawar Ali Khan
  • Sarwar Ali Khan
  • Shahed Ali Khan
  • Zafar Ali Khan
  • Niaz Ali Khan Bahadur


  • Ahsanullah Khan d.1786
  • Bakaullah Khan
  • Asad Ali Khan
  • Omar alikhan
  • Haider Ali Khan (became Nawab in 1897)
  • Ayub alikhan
  • Masood alikhan ( last Nawab in 1947)


The principal language of Barakzai is Pashto. Formerly, Persian was used as the language for records and correspondence; until the late nineteenth century tombstones were also inscribed in Persian. The language of the Barakzai tribes in Pishin, Quetta, Gulistan and Dukki (Distt. Loralai) is just like the language spoken in Kandahar. Those who have settled away from Pishin speak local languages (Pushto), such as Multani or Saraiki in Multan, Hindko in Hazara, Urdu in Bhopal and Sindhi in Sindh. Barakzai, a dialect of Pashto, is the language spoken by Harnai Barakzai.[45][46][47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Afghanistan". CIA. The World Factbook. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  2. ^ Shariat and Tasawwuf
  3. ^ The Legendary Qais Abdur Rashid
  4. ^ Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel: Genetic study sets out to uncover if there is a 2,700-year-old link to Afghanistan and Pakistan
  5. ^ Pashtun Bani Israelite Origins
  6. ^ Hebrew Pashtun Article 1
  7. ^ Hebrew Pashtun Article 2
  8. ^ Alden Oreck, The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Afghanistan from Jewish Virtual Library
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Socio-economic Behaviour of Pukhtun Tribe By Dipali Saha, Dipali Saha - 2006 - 282 pages - Page 124.
  12. ^ a b India and the Afghans: a study of a neglected region, 1370-1576 A.D., Amrendra Kumar Thakur, Janaki Prakashan, 1992 - 231 pages, Covers the history of Bihar during the Afghan rule in India. Page 2 & 9.
  13. ^ a b Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, Volume 22, Research Society of Pakistan, 1985 - Page 4.
  14. ^ a b Pukhtun economy and society: traditional structure and economic development in a tribal society, Akbar S. Ahmed, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980 - 406 pages - Page 128 & 129.
  15. ^ a b Niamatullah's history of the Afghans , Volume 1, Niʻmat Allāh, Nirod Bhusan Roy, Santiniketan Press, 1958 - Page 5 & 9.
  16. ^ Amir Mizroch (2010-01-09). "Are Taliban descendants of Israelites?". The Jerusalem Post. 
  17. ^ "Israelites fund scholarship to study DNA link to Taliban"
  18. ^ Sachin Parashar (2010-01-11). "Lucknow Pathans have Jewish roots?". Times of India. 
  19. ^ Rory McCarthy (2010-01-17). "Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel". The Observer. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Amir Mizroch (2010-01-09). "Are Taliban descendants of Israelites?". The Jerusalem Post. 
  23. ^ Sachin Parashar (2010-01-11). "Lucknow Pathans have Jewish roots?". Times of India. 
  24. ^ Rory McCarthy (2010-01-17). "Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel". The Observer. 
  25. ^ name="Britannica-Abgan">"History of Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  26. ^ name="Afghan">Ch. M. Kieffer (December 15, 1983). "Afghan". Encyclopædia Iranica (Encyclopædia Iranica Online ed.). Columbia University. 
  27. ^ Pathan tribal patterns: an interim study of authoritarian family process and structure, Ruth Einsidler Newman, Foreign Studies Institute, 1965 - 111 pages.
  28. ^ Among the wild tribes of the Afghan frontier, Theodore Leighton Pennell, Oxford University Press, 1975 - 323 pages - page 31.
  29. ^ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Edited by James Hastings, Volume 1, James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie - 2001 - 343 pages - Page 159.
  30. ^ The people of India, Sir Herbert Hope Risley, William Crooke, Oriental Books Reprint Corp.; exclusively distributed by Munshiram Manoharlal, 1969 - 472 pages - Page 64.
  31. ^ Balochistan: land, history, people, Ihsan H. Nadiem, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007 - Balochistān (Pakistan) - 160 pages - Page 16.
  32. ^ Pakistan pictorial, Pakistan Publications, 2003.
  33. ^ Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India: Baluchistan and the first Afghan war, India. Army. Intelligence Branch, Nisa Traders : sole distributors, Gosha-e-Adab, 1979 - Page 19.
  34. ^ Balochistan Through the Ages: Tribes, Baluchistan (Pakistan), Nisa Traders : sole distributors Gosha-e-Adab, 1979 - Page 104.
  35. ^ Imperial gazetteer of India , Volume 5, Sir William Wilson Hunter, Great Britain. India Office, Clarendon Press, 1908.
  36. ^ The guardians of the frontier: the Frontier Corps, N.W.F.P., Mohammad Nawaz Khan, Frontier Corps, North West Frontier Province, 1994 - 498 pages.
  37. ^ Balochistan: land, history, people, Ihsan H. Nadiem, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007 - - 160 pages, Page 16.
  38. ^ Pakistan pictorial, Publisher: Pakistan Publications, 2003.
  39. ^ Niamatullah's history of the Afghans , Volume 1, Niʻmat Allāh, Nirod Bhusan Roy, Santiniketan Press, 1958.
  40. ^ Census of India, 1901 , Volume 18, Part 1, India. Census Commissioner, Edward Albert Gait, Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1902 - Page 88.
  41. ^ Settling the frontier: land, law and society in the Peshawar valley, 1500-1900, Robert Nichols, Robert Nichols (PhD.), Oxford University Press, 2001 - 321 pages.
  42. ^ Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society , Volume 39, Pakistan Historical Society, Pakistan Historical Society, 1991.
  43. ^ Tadhkirat al-Muluk: A Manual of Safavid Administration, Translated by V. Minorsky, Publisher: Gibb Memorial Trust; 2nd edition (December 1, 1980) Language: English, ISBN 978-0906094129, Paperback: 360 pages.
  44. ^ Meaning and Practice, Afghanistan Country Study: Religion, Illinois Institute of Technology (retrieved 18 January 2007).
  45. ^ Pakistan and the emergence of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan By Rizwan Hussain Page 16
  46. ^ page 64 India and Central Asia By J. N. Roy, J.N. Roy And B.B. Kumar, Astha Bharati (Organization)
  47. ^ Study of the Pathan Communities in Four States of India, (retrieved 30 January 2008)
  48. ^ [1]
  49. ^ [2]
  50. ^ [3]

External links[edit]