Afghan National Anthem

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Surūd-e Millī
English: Afghan National Anthem
سرود ملی

National anthem of Afghanistan
LyricsAbdul Bari Jahani, 2006 (2006)
MusicBabrak Wassa [de], 2006 (2006)
AdoptedMay 2006 (2006-05)
Preceded by"Fortress of Islam, Heart of Asia"
Audio sample
"Millī Surūd" (instrumental, abridged)

The "Afghan National Anthem" (Persian: سرود ملی‎ - Surūd-e Millī, Pashto: ملی سرود‎ - Millī Surūd; lit.'National anthem') was adopted and officially announced as such by a Loya Jirga in May 2006. According to article 20 of the Afghan constitution, the national anthem shall be in Pashto with the mention of "God is Greatest" as well as the names of the ethnicities in Afghanistan[1] The lyrics were written by Abdul Bari Jahani and the music was written by German-Afghan composer Babrak Wassa [de].[2]


National anthem (1926–1943)[edit]

Afghanistan's first national anthem was adopted during its period as a monarchy. It was instrumental and had no lyrics.[3]

National anthem (1943–1973)[edit]

This was Afghanistan's second national anthem, during when it was a monarchy.[4]

National anthem (1973-1978)[edit]

National anthem (1978–1992)[edit]

Another national anthem was adopted after the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was set up in 1978. Its lyrics were written by Sulaiman Layeq on behalf of the government of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) headed by Nur Muhammad Taraki, who decided to change the national symbols after the Marxist coup d'état of 1978.[5][6][7] The music was composed by Jalīl Ghahlānd and was arranged by Ustad Salim Sarmad.[8][9] It is known alternatively by the title of "Garam shah lā garam shah" (English: "Be Ardent, Be More Ardent"), which is also the song's incipit. Like many national anthems, it was sometimes sung abbreviated with only the chorus and the first stanza. In 1987, Afghanistan officially abandoned communism but this song was kept as the national anthem until 1992, when it was discontinued.

National anthem (1992–1999, 2002–2006)[edit]

From 1992 to 2006, Afghanistan used a mujahideen battle song composed in 1919 by Ustad Qasim as its national anthem.[10][11] It is also known alternatively by the title "Fortress of Islam, Heart of Asia" (Persian: قلعه اسلام قلب اسیا‎), which is also the song's incipit.[12][13][14]

During the late 1990s, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the Taliban took control over most of Afghanistan from the UN-recognized government and ruled most of the country until late 2001. The Taliban outlawed music throughout the territory that they controlled, which consisted of most of the country. As such, most of Afghanistan practically was left without a national anthem during that time, until late 2001 when the Taliban was overthrown. The song was reintroduced by the new transitional government of Afghanistan in 2002;[15] it remained such when the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was established in 2004 and was used by the latter until 2006.[16][17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Constitution of Afghanistan". Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  2. ^ "National Anthem". Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  3. ^ "Afghanistan (1926-1943)". 6 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Afghanistan (1943-1973)". 6 May 2012.
  5. ^ "State Funeral for Afghan Leader Slain in '78 Coup". The New York Times. 18 March 2009.
  6. ^ "An Afghan Secret Revealed Brings End of an Era". The New York Times. 1 February 2009.
  7. ^ The Journal. Rabetat al-Alam al-Islami. 1979. p. 62.
  8. ^ Visser, Derkwillem (1991). Flaggen, Wappen, Hymnen: Bevölkerung, Religion, Geographie, Geschichte, Verwaltung, Währung (in German). Battenberg. p. 258. ISBN 9783894410445.
  9. ^ "Afghanistan (1978-1992)". 9 May 2012.
  10. ^ Bristow, Michael; Lim, Josh; Popp, Reinhard (11 May 2012). "Afghanistan (1992-1999, 2002-2006)". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  11. ^ "National anthems - Islamic State of Afghanistan (1992-2006)". 21 August 2016 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ "Fortress of Islam, heart of Asia…" – via Amazon.
  13. ^ "Afghanistan: "Fortress of Islam, Heart of Asia…"" – via Amazon.
  14. ^ Pigott, Peter (28 February 2007). Canada in Afghanistan: The War So Far. Dundurn. p. 17 – via Internet Archive. Fortress of Islam, Heart of Asia.
  15. ^ "Sououd-e-Melli". 15 December 2005. Archived from the original on 15 December 2005.[circular reference]
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved 2019-09-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "National Anthem Downloads, Lyrics, & Information: - Afghanistan: New recording by the composer".

External links[edit]