Qais Abdur Rashid
Qais Abdur Rashīd or Qays ʿAbd ar-Rashīd (Pashto: قيس عبد الرشيد), also called Kasay, Qish, and Kish (Pashto: کسی، قيش، کيش), is said to be the legendary founding father of the Pashtun nation. Born in Ghor region of present-day central Afghanistan, Qais is said to have traveled to Mecca and Medina in Arabia during the early days of Islam.
According to the legend, Qais had three sons: Sarbaṇ (سربڼ), Beṭ (بېټ), and Ghurghax̌t (غرغښت). His sons founded three supertribal confederacies named after them: 1. Sarbani (which has Durrani, Yusufzai, Ghoryakhel, Kasi, etc); 2. Bettani (which has Ghilji, Lodi, Shirani, etc); and 3. Ghurghakhti (which has Kakar, Jadun, Safi, etc). Qais also had a fourth adopted son, Orməṛ (اورمړ), who became progenitor of the Ormur and Wardak tribes and the Karlani confederacy. There are multiple versions of the legend, including several regional variants that mention only one, two, or three of the four legendary brothers.
The British Indian administrator Muhammad Hayat Khan, in his book Hayāt-e Afghānī (حیات افغانی; orig 1865, English translation 1874), writes that Qais was the 101st[clarification needed] descendant of Saul through his son Yehonatan.
According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the theory of Pashtun descent from the ancient Israelites is traced to Tārīkh-e Khān Jahānī wa Makhzan-e Afghānī (تاریخ خان جهانی ومخزن افغانی), a history compiled by Nimat Allah al-Harawi for the Pashtun chieftain Khan Jahan Lodi (also known as Khan Jahan II), during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir in the 17th century. The Makhzan-e Afghānī's Israelite theory, however, has been dismissed by modern authorities due to numerous historical and linguistic inconsistencies.
Legend has it that Qais was born in the Ghor region of present-day central Afghanistan. Upon hearing about the advent of Islam, his tribe sent him to Medina in the Arabian Peninsula, in present-day Saudi Arabia. He met the Prophet Muhammad and embraced Islam there, and was given the name Abdur Rashīd by the Prophet. He then returned to Ghor and introduced Islam to his tribe. According to Mountstuart Elphinstone, in legend the famous military leader and companion of Muhammad, Khalid ibn al-Walid, introduced Qais to the Prophet Muhammad.
The Afghan historians proceed to relate that the Jewish tribe, both in Ghor and in Arabia, preserved their knowledge of the unity of God and the purity of their religious belief, and that on the appearance of the last prophet and messenger, Prophet Muhammad, the Afghans of Ghor listened to the invitation of their Arabian brethren, the chief of whom was Khalid ibn al-Waleed, so famous for his conquest of Syria, and marched to the aid of the true faith, under the command of Kyse, afterwards surnamed "Abdul Rasheed".
One legend has it that when Qais felt his time was near, he asked his sons to take him from Ghor to the Sulaiman Mountains and bury him at the spot where his ancestor Malik Afghana was buried, and he was buried on top of Takht-e-Sulaiman ("Throne of Solomon"), also called Da Kasī Ghar (د کسي غر, "Mount of Qais"), located near the village of Darazinda in Frontier Region Dera Ismail Khan of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, close to Frontier Region Dera Ismail Khan's borders with both South Waziristan and Zhob District, Balochistan. Some people visit the place, mostly in the summer, since in winters the snowfall makes it difficult to climb, and sacrifice an animal, usually a sheep or a goat at the tomb of Qais.
There is, however, no strong evidence to show any genealogical connection between the present-day Pashtuns and the ancient Semitic-speaking Israelites. DNA shows that Pashtuns have several Y-haplogroups, although R1a, which has originated in Eurasia and is associated with Proto Indo-European speakers, makes up about 51% among Pashtuns. Hence, Pashtuns have a significant affinity with their neighboring Indo-European speaking ethnic groups, and most present-day Pashtuns descended from the original Indo-European population who have lived in the territory by other names, such as Scythians, Aryans (Indo-Iranians), and their forebears.
- Amir Kror Suri, a legendary 8th-century Pashtun prince from Ghor
- Amir Suri, a pagan Ghorid king in the 9th and 10th century who was defeated in war with the Saffarid emir Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar
- Lech, Čech, and Rus, three legendary brothers who are said to have founded the three modern Slavic nations of Poles (or Lechites), Czechs, and Rus' (or Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians)
- Fénius Farsaid, a legendary Scythian prince who is said to have founded the modern Irish nation and invented the Ogham Irish alphabet
- Meaning and Practice, Afghanistan Country Study: Religion, Illinois Institute of Technology (retrieved 18 January 2007).
- Qais Abdul Rasheed. Khyber.ORG.
- Coyle, Dennis Walter (August 2014). "Placing Wardak among Pashto varieties" (PDF). University of North Dakota:UND. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Dawn, The cradle of Pathan culture, by Alauddin Masood, 4 April 2004.
- Pakistan pictorial, Pakistan Publications, 2003.
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- Hayat i Afghan, Section on Tareen tribe, Appendix 4 to the original Persian text by Nawab Muhammad Hayat Khan, published Lahore, 1865. English translation by HB Priestley, Lahore, 1874
- Life of the Amir Dost Mohammed Khan; of Kabul, Volume 1. By Mohan Lal (1846), quoting Mountstuart Elphinstone pg. 5
- The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith by Thomas Walker Arnold, pg. 183
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