|Afghana or Avagana|
|Died||Zhob Sulaiman Mountains, Pakistan, alternate version: Ghor Province Afghanistan|
|House||House of Saul|
Afghana or Avagana is a tribal chief or prince in Pashtun folklore, said to be of Bani Israel (Israelite) origin, who is traditionally considered the progenitor of modern-day Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and second largest in Pakistan. The ethnonym "Afghan" is believed to derive from his name. Afghana is identified with Mephivoshet and his father Jonathan. The Afghan Royal Family trace origins to Jonathan, son of King Saul.
House of King Saul
According to the Tanakh, King Saul (Talut) was the son of Kish, a member of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the twelve Tribes of Israel (1 Samuel 9:1-2). Saul married Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz and had four sons and two daughters. The sons were Jonathan, Abinadab, Malchishua and Ish-bosheth. Saul's daughters were named Merab and Michal.
The legend describes Malak Afghana as the son of Irmia (Jeremiah) and grandson of King Saul (Talut). This name is mentioned in the form of Abgan in the 3rd century CE by the Sassanians and as Avagana in the 6th century CE by Indian astronomer Varahamihira.
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. Malak Afghana is also credited with the building of the first temple in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, known later in Arabic as the Haram al-Sharif (Arabic: الحرم القدسي الشريف, al-haram al-qudsī ash-sharīf):
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According to legend, after his death he was buried in what is now Zhob Sulaiman Mountains in Pakistan. In other folklore however, Qais Abdur Rashid in his old age, when he felt his time was near, asked his sons to bury him in the vicinity of Zhob (Sulaiman Mountains) at the location where his ancestor Afghana was buried. The Sulaiman range runs north in Loya Paktia and meets the Spin Ghar range northeast of Gardez in Paktia province. To the east, the mountain range enters the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan (in Punjab) and Dera Ismail Khan (in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and approaches the Indus River near Mithankot in the Rajanpur District of Punjab. The eastern slopes drop very quickly to the Indus River, but towards west, the mountain range drops gradually to the Sistan Basin.
- Nimat Allah al-Harawi author of Tarikh-i-Khan Jahani Makhzan-i-Afghani also known as The History of the Afghans
- Ten Lost Tribes
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- 1 Samuel 14:51 lists three sons - Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchi-shua - and the two daughters. But see also 2 Samuel 2:8 and 1 Chronicles 8:33.
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- Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Edited by James Hastings, Volume 1, James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie - 2001 - 343 pages - Page 159.
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- Shariat and Tasawwuf
- The Legendary Qais Abdur Rashid
- 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
- Pashtun Bani Israelite Origins
- Hebrew Pashtun Article 1
- Hebrew Pashtun Article 2
- Alden Oreck, The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Afghanistan from Jewish Virtual Library