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GENESIS OF NAME AFGHAN 1-B


OTHER OPINIONS ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF NAME AFGHAN

Afghans are mentioned as ‘Avagana’ as well as’ Vokana’ by Vrahamihira in (6th c AD) in his Brihat-Samhita (16/38, 11, 61, Brahta-Samhita, Varahamihira).
Cf: “Afghans have also been described as ‘Vokanas’ by Vrahamihira in (6th c AD) in his Brihat-Samhita (16/38).” [Afghan Immigration in early middle ages—article contributed by K. L. Lal in the book “Studies in Asian History, p 20]
Cf: ‘ Pahlava-Sveta-Huna (white Huns)-Chola (i.e.northern) (cf Ency Brit (11th ed, XIII, 330)- Avagana (=Apagana=afghan)=Maru-China (XVI, 38 and XI, 61, Vrahamihira, Brahata-Samhita)’. [Hindu Polity, Part I II, p 129, Dr Jayswal]
“The name ‘Abagan’ was used for the Afghans by Iranians as is documented by the Sassanian Inscriptions of 3rd c AD”. [Afghan Immigration in early middle ages—article contributed by K. L. Lal in the book “Studies in Asian History, p 20).
Hiuen Tsang, the famous Chinese traveler of 7th c A.D. uses ‘A-po-kien’ for a people living between the Khyber pass and Gazni. Obviously, this Apokien of Hiuen Tsang stands for the term Afghan. [op cit, p 20]
Cf: “ On his return journey from India, the Chinese pilgrim Hsuuml;an-Tsang travelled from Varnu (possibly modern Wana) to Jaguda in Ghazni, crossing the land of A-p'o-k'ien, . [ Hui-li 1959, p. 188.] a word derived from Avakan or Avagan, meaning Afghans”.
In Islamic sources, the first reliable mention of the Afghans is found in the Hudud al-alam, which says of a settlement on the borders of India and the Ghazni district that ‘there are Afghans there too'. Mention is also made of a local ruler some of whose wives were ‘Afghan women’.[Hudud al’Alam 1930 p. 16-A]
The use of ‘Ogan’ for Afghan has been reported by Sir Robert Scot in his well known book “The Kafirs of Hindukush, 1895,)
The term ‘Awagan’ for Afghan is also is in use in Afghanistan till date [p 14, Afganistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, 1962, by Donald N. Milber].
The name Afghan in Turkish which is called ‘Avagan’.
In the official records of Persian king Shapur III, 309-379 AD we find the term ‘Apkan’ (=AFGHAN) referring to Afghan People. Professor Sprengler and Sir Olaf Caroe believe that this Apkan evolved into modern word of "Afghan".
In his Shahnama, Firdousi mentions the term Avagan, referring to a General in Faridoon's army.
SEE YET FURTHER ON THE GENESIS OF TERM AFGHAN :
“The genesis of the word Afghan, as far as I know, is Persian. It is a derivation from the word 'Bagan', which means God. The corruption of this word can be found in the Hindi/Sanskrit language, which is Bhagwan for God” .

”The word Afghan is derived from the word ‘Abagan’ (i.e. without God), which the Persian coined for the Pakhtuns to describe them as non-believers. The antonym of Bagan (=believer in God) is Abagan (=non-believer) just as the antonym of political is apolitical in the English language”.

”The Persian bias for the Pakhtuns is a historical fact just like the bias of the Indians or British is in describing the Pakhtuns as savages and un-civilized”.

”Some authorities describe the genesis of the word Afghan to be a derivative of the Persian word ‘Fughan’, which means noisy lamentation. Since the Persians saw Afghans as noisy and un-civilized, they argue, therefore, they were named as Afghans”. (Above views are from L Mar)
http://www.afghanan.net/cgi-bin/ib/cgi-bin/printpage.cgi?forum=1topic=10
One thing becomes very clear from some of the documentation given above. We can at least see from the divergent views above that the name AFGHAN or any of its afore said earlier ‘supposed’ VERSIONS/DERIVATIONS existed from a time much earlier than Prophet Mohammed. Hence the traditional or a puranic account which some Moslem Afghan clans give about the origin of name ‘Afghan’ from the personal name of Afghana, the son of Qias is obviously a fallacy and hence misleading.
COMPARE: Although the origins of the Afghans probably lie in very ancient times, [ Morgenstierne, 1940; Grantovskiy, 1963] the first mentions of the Afghan people appear only in the sixth and seventh centuries.

ON TERM AFGHAN, SEE ALSO THE FOLLOWING:
EXTRACTS FROM AFGHANISTAN, ITS PEOPLE, ITS CULTURE, ITS SOCIETY:BY DONALD. N. WILBER:
“Historically, the Afghans are first mentioned by name (Avagana) by early sith century Indian astronmer Varaha Migira in his Brahat Samhiti. A little later, the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang mentions a tribe of A-po’kien, located in the Sulayman mountains. The earliest Moslem works mentioning them are the Hudud al’Alam (982 A.D.), the Tarikh-I-Yamini and those of Biruni. The Indian appellation Pathan does not occur till 16th c, but the change into Pathan (from plural of Pushtun; Pushtana) indicates that it must have been used at a much earlier date. Biruni places the Afghans in western frontier mountains of India. No Afghan settlement west of Ghazni is mentioned by early authors. The origin and early history of westernmost Pushtun tribe, the Abdalis remains obsecure” [op cit, p 40]
“In warfare at the end of twelfth century between the Moslems and Hindus, Afghans are represented as fighting on both sides, which suggests that although legend places their conversion in the early Islamic period, they had not yet all been converted to Islam. Repeatedly, they are referred to as a rebellious and turbulent people. Timur considered them brigands and is reported to have ravaged their strongholds ain the Sulayman mountains. Their reputation as a fierce race of mountain robbers and occasionally, soldiers of fortune turned to fame with rise to power in India of the Afghans adventurer, Daulat Khan Ludi of Ludi clan of Ghilzai”………. [ibid, pp 40-41]

AND FURTHER ALSO SEE THE FOLLOWING
AFGHAN AFGHANISTAN: An Etymological Overview.
By: Farid Maiwandi:

“The earliest record of the word "Afghan" was found in a tablet at Naqsh-i-Rostam in Shiraz. Written during the reign of the Sassanid King, Shapur I who ruled between 260-273 AD, the tablet refers to a certain military officer as Vindifer Abgan Rasmand. Translated in modern Persian it means Vindafer Salar-i Jangi-e Abgan. The word Abgan is an old Pahlavi (Parthian) word, which is believed to be the derivative form of an adjective describing robustness, resilience, or bravery.

The word seems to have found a wider usage by the time of Shahpur III, who ruled between 309-379 AD, and used the term Apkan in his official title. Professor Sprengler and Sir Olaf Caroe call this term equivalent to the modern word of "Afghan". In his Shahnama, Firdousi mentions the term Avagan, referring to a General in Faridoon's army.

We encounter the word "Afghan" next in the works of the famous Indian astronomer, Varha-Mihira. He died in 578 AD after he wrote his famous book of Bharata Smitha, where the word "Afghan" appears as Avagana in verses 11-61 and 16-31.

Heun Tsung provides the next recorded reference of "Afghan". He was a Chinese traveller who visited Afghanistan between 629-645 AD. In his Memories of the West, he refers to the territories between Banu and Ghazi as Op-o-Kin. Modern researchers, such as Cunnigham, strongly believe the word Op-o-kin* to be the same as the modern "Afghan".

*COMMENT: The term which appears in Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsong is Ap-o-kien and not Op-o-kin as Farid Majwandi asserts.

"AFGHAN" IN POST-ISLAMIC ERA:

It is in this period that the original word of Abgan, Apkan, Avagana, and others becomes Arabicized and transform to "Afghan". The first post-Islamic mention of the word is seen in Hudud-ul Aalam written by Jawzjani in 982 AD. On page 45, he writes about Sool: "which is located on top of a hill, where the ‘Afghans’ live."

In 1025 AD, Al-Atabi wrote his Tarikh-i-Yamini during the reign of Ghaznavids. It provides accounts of how "Afghans" were recruited into Sabuktagin's army. Another giant of the Ghaznavid era, Abu-Raihan Al-Biruni(d. 1048 AD), wrote about "Afghans" in his Kitab-al-Hind. Other mentions of the word "Afghan" or "Afghania" are in Al-Kamil of Ibn-i-Asir, Aadaab-al-Harb Wal-Shuja'a of Fakhr-i-Mudabir, Tabaqat-i-Nasiri of Minhaj Siraj Jawazjani, Tarikh-i-Guzeeda of Hamadulla Mastaufi, Makhzan-i-Afghani of Ferishta and many more.

"AFGHANISTAN":

Just like the name of nations, the names of geographical regions and states go through similar process of adaptability over times, until such time when the name finds national acceptability and becomes part of that country's daily life, history, and literature.

Contrary to popular belief, the word "Afghanistan" did not come to existence during the reign of Ahmad Shah Durrani who ruled only as recently as in the second half of the eighteenth century.

The oldest recorded mention of this word is found in Tarikh-i-Herat of Saifi Herawi, written around 1221 AD. He refers to the region between eastern Afghanistan and the Indus as "Afghanistan".

This clearly indicates that the word "Afghanistan" was in use even at the time when the area was being pillaged and plundered by Mongols and other invaders.

Maulana Kamaludin Samarqandi(b 1413 AD), a courtier of the Timurids of Herat, refers to the same lands that Saifi Herawi had mentioned as "Afghanistan" in his Rozat-ul Janaat. Later we see the word "Afghanistan" in reference to the areas inhabited by today's Afghans in Akbar Nama and similar works. Zahirudin Babur, who was forced to leave Ferghana and came to conquer our homeland in 1525 AD, reigned over territories that the Mughul historians repeatedly referred to as Afghanistan.

CLICK THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE FOR MORE RELEVANT INFOMATION:
http://www.afghanan.net/cgi-bin/ib/cgi-bin/topic.cgi?forum=8topic=8
COMPARE ALSO THE FOLLOWING:
“Although the origins of the Afghans lie in very ancient times,4 the first mentions of the Afghan people appear only in the sixth and seventh centuries. The Brhat-samhita (XVI, 38 and XI, 61) speaks of the pahlava (Pahlavis), the svetahuna (White Huns or Hephthalites), the avagana (Afghans) and other peoples. On his return journey from India, the Chinese pilgrim Hsuuml;an-tsang travelled from Varnu (possibly modern Wana) to Jaguda in Ghazni, crossing the land of A-p'o-k'ien,5 a word derived from Avakan or Avagan, meaning Afghans. In Islamic sources, the first reliable mention of the Afghans is found in the Hudud al-calam, which says of a settlement on the borders of India and the Ghazni district that ‘there are Afghans there too'. Mention is also made of a local ruler some of whose wives were Afghan women.6 The Afghan language, or Pashto, is one of the East Iranian groups. Among its characteristics, it contains a stratum of Indian words and its phonetic system has been influenced by Indian phonetic systems, which is not the case of other Iranian languages. There are approximately 23 million Pashto-speakers in Afghanistan and Pakistan today.7 The mountains in the east of modern Afghanistan and the north of modern Pakistan were settled by Dards. They were known to the ancient Greek authors, who used several distorted names for them: Derbioi, Durbaioi, Daidala, Dadikai and Derdaios.8 In their descriptions of India, the Puranas speak of the Darada in the same breath as the inhabitants of Kashmir and Gandhara. They are repeatedly mentioned in the Ramayana and the Saddhar-masmrtyupasthana, together with the Odra (the Uddiyana). In Tibetan sources, the Darada are known as the Darta.9
There are two groups of languages that are now generally known as Dardic. The first are the languages of Nuristan (a region of Afghanistan): they form an 'individual branch of the Indo-Iranian family belonging neither to the Indo-Aryan, nor to the Iranian group'. The second group of languages (particularly the Dardic) are 'part of the Indo-Aryan [group], though far departed in their development from the latter'. The two groups, however, have much in common in their 'structural and material features [phonetical, grammatical and lexical]'.10 The Nuristani languages include Kati, Waigali, Ashkun and Prasun (or Paruni) and are chiefly spoken in Nuristan. The Dardic languages proper include Dameli, which is the link between the Nuristani languages and the Central Dardic. According to one classification, the Central Dardic languages comprise Pashai, Shumashti, Glangali, Kalarkalai, Gawar, Tirahi, Kalasha and Khowar. The Eastern Dardic group is divided into three sub-groups containing the Bashkarik, Torwali, Maiyan, Shina, Phalura and Kashmiri languages. In the early 1980s Dardic languages were spoken by 3.5 million people in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, of whom 2.8 million spoke Kashmiri, some 165,000 spoke Khowar and some 120,000 spoke Pashai. The Nuristani languages were spoken by around 120,000 people.11
Burushaski is a completely distinct language: it stands at the confluence of three great families – the Indo-European, the Sino-Tibetan and the Altaic – but belongs to none of them. Its speakers live in northern Pakistan, in the region of the Hunza and Vershikum rivers, and number around 40,000. The language's morphological structure is very rich and the verb has a particularly extensive system of accidence. Burushaski is one of the oldest tongues, but its place in the system of ancient and modern languages remains obscure. Although a literary tradition may well have existed in the early Middle Ages, when Buddhism was widespread, no literary records have been found, which hampers attempts to reconstruct the language's past. There have been repeated attempts to trace its affiliations, and links with the Caucasian, Dravidian, Munda, Basque and other languages have been suggested, but from the standpoint of contemporary linguistics the case is not conclusive. Burushaski was unquestionably more current in ancient times and occupied a number of regions where Dardic languages are now spoken and where Burushaski acted as a substratal or adstratal foundation. Grierson has even postulated that speakers of Burushaski or related languages once inhabited all or almost all the lands now held by Dardic-speaking
http://www.unesco.org/culture/asia/html_eng/chapitre316/chapitre1.htm
1. Lazard, 1971; 1975, pp. 595–7.
2. Fuchs, 1938, p. 452.
3. Oransky, 1988, p. 298.
4. Morgenstierne, 1940; Grantovskiy, 1963.
5. Hui-li, 1959, p. 188.
6. Hudud al-calam, 1930, p. 16-A.
7. Morgenstierne, 1942; Gryunberg, 1987.
8. Francfort, 1985, Vol. 1, pp. 397–8.
9. Tucci, 1977, pp. 11–12.
10. Edelman, 1983, pp. 14–15, 35–6.
11. Morgenstierne, 1944; 1967; 1973; Fussman, 1972; Gryunberg, 1980; Edelman, 1983.
12. Grierson, 1919; Zarubin, 1927; Lorimer, 1935, Vol. 1; 1938 , Vol. 2; Klimov and Edelman, 1970.
Saif Fazel

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