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GENESIS OF NAME AFGHAN 1-A


TRADITIONAL ACCOUNTS ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF TERM OR NAME AFGHAN:

There is a traditional, puranic or hearsay story about the origin of name Afghan. According to Makhzan-e-Afghani written by Niamatulah and Mustaothi Tarikh-e-Guzida, 18th generations down Adam was born Ibrahim who had Talut or Soul as his descendent. Talut had two sons Irmia and Girmia. Irmia had a son named Afghan who is believed to have given his name to Afghans. Qais was successor to Afghan who had come and settled in Ghor in Afghanistan and embraced Islam under Prophet Mohammed. After conversion, he was given the name Abdur Rashid by the Lord, Prophet Mohammed and was conferred the title of Malik or Badshah.

Pathans believe that they are all descended from a common ancestor, Qais. He is said to have met the Prophet Muhammad. The prophet gave Qais the name "Pthun, and Qais was to take Islam back to his home. One of Qais's sons was name Afghana, who had four sons. Every Pathan traces his descent from one of these four sons of Afghana.

Cf: “The Abdali clan to whom the famous Afghan general Ahmad Shah Abdali alias Durani (Pearl of Pearls) belonged, claims to be direct descendents of some PERSONAGE named Abdal. Abdal is said to be a successor, five generations in the line to Qais who is stated to have sprung from the Israili tribe. Qais embraced Islam during times of the Prophet and was named Abdur Radhid in accordance with Islamic religious customs.” [Ahmad Shah Durani by Dr Ganda Singh, 1959, p12).

THIND
11-19-2001, 11:24 PM
I have not yet seen/read A. H. Bingley's 'English' book on 'The Sikhs' inspite of my desire to do so.I have only presented the text of Bingley on Kambojs from a 'Punjabi text' translating it back into 'English' as best as I could do. My translation might have been somewhat different from the 'original text' of Bingley.

I'm sure there are some readers on this thread who might have access to A. H. Bingley's book on 'The Sikhs' in 'English'. We will appreciate if he can post the English version of Bingley's text on Kambojs on this thread.


MY TRANSLATION:
Writes A. H. Bingley: “…..One critique describes them ( Kambohs) as a tall, strong, skillful and stiff- necked race and therefore RESMBLING MORE WITH THE AFGHANS than ANY OF THE OTHER HINDU RACES living in the plains of Punjab among whom they (Kambohs) have now settled for several generations…….They are fit for military recruitment because they are generally a hardy and of powerful physique” . [The Sikhs, A. H. Bingley, 1970, p 57].


The following text of Mr Reginald Holder about Kambojs is however in Original English.

“They (Kambohs) make excellent soldiers, being of a very fine physique and possessing great courage……….” [Source: The Sikhs and the Sikhs wars: Reginald Holder (From the Punjab past and present Vol IV, Part I, April 1970 Serial No 7, edited by Dr Ganda Singh).]

11-21-2001, 09:21 PM
'Ashvaka' is a Sanskrit word derived from Ashva. Ashva means the horse. Ashvaka has equivalent in Prakritic languages as 'Assaka' which also find mention in numerous pali Texts.

'Ashvaka' means 'horsemen'.

'Ashvakan' (=Ashvakayan of Panini) means 'horsemen' as well as it also means 'the land or home of horses'.

As stated above, the term 'Ashvakan/Ashvakayan' has also the meaning of "ASSAN-AYATNAM' == >' LAND OF HORSES'. [cf: Kamboja Assan-ayatnam Vol I, p 121, Sumanglavilasini)

Ancient Kamboja was indeed the celebrated 'land of horses' as has been documented by Sumanglavilasini, Mahabharata, Jaina Uttaradhyana Sutra and numerous other Sanskrit/Pali texts as well as by many Inscriptions. Some clans of the Kambojas who were exclusively dedicated to horse-raising/breeding and horse-trading profession were popularly addressed as 'Ashvakas or Ashvakans and Ashvayans' in common parlance. All Kambojas were very famous as cavalary-men and have especially been designated as Ashva-yudh-Kushlah (expert cavalry men)

Tatha Yavana-Kamboja Mathurambhitashach ye/
atai ashva-yudh-kushlah dakshinhatyaasicharminh://
(MBH 12/101/5).

These assakenois/aspasios (Aspasian/assakenian=Ashvakan/Ashvakayan, Ashvayan) were the very Kamboja clans who had offered the stoutest resistance to Alexandra, the Great at 'Massaga fort' [modern Mashkayan]in Swat/Kunar valleys..... . Along with their valiant wives and fearless daughters, these Kamboja clans had fought the Macedonian Army tooth and nail and majority of them had embraced martyrdom. We have already discussed this 'very splendid episode' of the Kamboj history in details, in our previous postings.

And undoubtedly, we are extremely proud of our 'brave Kamboja mothers and sisters' of Massaga who had valiantly crossed the swords with the well trained army of one of the greatest generals in the world history. We bow our heads in respect and salute to our these warrior mothers and sisters!!!!!

N.B. Our previous posts on "Ashvakan Kamboja gave their name to Afghans/Afghanistan" have some inadvertent typo errors as also some off-topic material (some sensitive readers must already have noted it). Sorry, I forgot to wittle down the paste-up which I picked up from some other site. However, the extra information I supplied does not hurt any way.

LS.THIND
11-23-2001, 02:59 PM
MOST PROBABLE ETYMOLOGY OF MODERN ‘AFGHAN’ FROM ANCIENT ‘ASHVAKAN’: (PARTLY BASED ON LINGUISTICS).

There are two consonants sounds 'SH' and 'V' coming between the two vowel sounds "A" and 'A" in the SANSKRIT WORD ASHVAKA… == >‘ASHVAKAYANA’ of PANINI IV-1, 110, 99), ‘ASHVAKANA’ (of J. W. Mcgrindlle)’. Now remember the case of 'KAMBOJA/KAMBOJ' where also the hard consonant sound'J" coming inbetween two vowels "A" and "A" had got 'elitted'!On similar lines, the consonant sound "SH" (though softer than "J") in term ‘ASHVKANA’ falling between two vowels “A” and “A” has also got to be 'elited' by laws of linguistics. Remember that consonant sound 'SH' occupies a place immediately preceding consonant 'J' in DEVANAGARI SCRIPT (CHA, CHHA (=SH), JA, JHA ETC) and it belongs to the 'same line' of sounds in the DEVANAGARI script, though it is little softer than 'J'. Hence when consonant 'SH' gets elited from 'ASHVAKANA' we get the term AVAKANA.

THIS AVAKANA, IN FACT, IS THE ETYMOLOGICAL FORE-FATHER/PREDECESSOR OF THE ‘ABAGANA’, APAKANA names mentioned in SASSANIAN SHAHPURA I AND SHAPURA III records, 'AVAGANA'/'VOKANA' OF VRAHAMIHIRA'S BRAHTA SAMHITA, 'AVAGANA' OF FIRDOUSI’S SHAHNAMA, 'AP-O-KIEN' OF CHINESE TRAVELLER HIUEN TSANG, 'APAGAN' OF (Dr K. P. JAYSWAL) AND ‘AFGHAN’ OF THE MODERN ERA.

Also we find numerous instances in INDO-ARYAN languages where soft ‘V’ and hard “B” are used interchangeably as also where “P’ and “PH”/”F” are used interchangeably.

JUST TRY TO CONCENTRATE ON THE ABOVE AND YOU WILL KNOW HOW THE MODERN TERM AFGHAN EVOLVED FROM ANCIENT ASHVAKA/ASHVAKAN (ASHVAKAYAN OF PANINI IV-1, 110, 99).

LS.THIND
11-23-2001, 03:13 PM
THE KAFIRS BEFORE 1896 A.D./THE NURISTANIS AFTER 1896 A.D.

KAFIRSTAN BEFORE 1896 A.D./NURISTANI AFTER 1896 A.D.

The Bashgul valley area of Kafirstan in Kunar was inhabited by some Kafir Kamboj tribes which have been variously called Kam, Kamoje, Kamoze, Kamozee Kamtoz and Kastoz by the several investigators. This area was a portion of ancient country known as Kapisha (Panini). The scholars have investigated and now accept that Kapisha and Kamboja are synonymous terms. Some historians state that these Kafirs people are the original inhabitants of the country known as Kapisha. While some state that some Kafirs tribes have come from outside, from Badakshan, Kabol as well as Central Afghanistan (Kandhar). Whataever be the truth in the above statements of the scholars, it is undoubtedly true that many of these Kafir tribes are the descendents of ancient Kamboja tribe. We will not involve ourselves into the controversy as to whether the Nuristani (earstwhile Kafirs) of Kam/Kamoz, Katir/Kamtoz and Wai clans had moved from outside or are the descendents of the ancient Kapisha (Kamboja) tribe of Paropamisadae region of the Persian/Greek chronicles.

The Kam/Kamoz tribe (of Sir Robert Scott) though still numerically about 20,000 is the most dominant tribe of Nuristan. Second largest group called Katirs (or Kamtoz of Robertson Scott) The history of Nuristan, in fact, is the history of the Kam (Kamoz) tribe. Every writer/invesigator who has visited Nuristan and investigated the Kafirstani/Nuristani tribes has mainly concentrated on Kam tribe (being the star tribe of the Bashgul valley) and has devoted 90% of the material to Kam people of Kamdesh. They have, again as again, been styled as the ‘trouble makers’ in Nuristan and have been designated as the virtual kings of Bashgul valley (Kafirs of Hindukush, Sir Robertson Scott)
************************************************** **********************
KAFFIRS (NURISTANI) KAMBOJA TRIBES OF HINDUKUS:
ANCIENT KAPISH, KAPISA, KOPHEN, KAPICENE, KIPIN ( ~CAMBYSIS?))

Historians state that Kafir and Katir are synonymous words (for ref: Kamboja People and the Country 1979 by Dr. J. Lal Kamboj, Delhi University). The Kafirs Katirs both refer to the people of Kafirstan (Kti, Katirs and Katawar=residents of the Katawar of medieval age= ancient Katas, a Kashatrya people).

Cf: “In the west lived Kambojas and Katas who were expert in the warfare and were famous for their tenacity and courage” [Ref: Hindu polity (The Ordinance of Manu) 1972 page 29 by Dr Arthur Coke Burnell].

According to Dr Thomas Holdich: "It appears that name Katawar was the general name for northern regions of Kafirstan…." (Ref: Gateways of India 1910, page 355, by Dr Thomas Holdich). Dr George Scott Robertson differentiates Katirs from Kti or Katawer Kafirs living in the modern Kti valley neighboring the Bashgul valley which region is the land of the Kamoj/Kamoz Kafirs.

A fraction of the Mediaeval age (14 th century AD) Katirs, Ktis, Katawer Kafirs of the Kti or Katawer valley are the modern Kafirs of Kafirstan while the rest form the fringe of the population who have over the years embraced Islam and now constitute the inveterate and truculent Mohamdans of the surrounding Afghanistan (Gate Way to India, Dr Thomas Holdich)

In fact, Katirs are an important and numerous tribal clan of the Shiaposh tribal group of Kafirstan and one of their principal tribes is still called Kamtoze in Pushtu” [ Kafirs of Hindukush, Sir George Scott Robertson (1896)].

The word Kapisha or Kapisa is believed to have evolved from Sanskrit Kamboja, Persian Kambujia/Kambaujia or the Greek Kambysis. The inhabitants of Kapisa were a scion of the Kamboja people. In their writings, the ancient Arab geographers have written Kapisha, Kapisa , Kophen, Kapicene, Kipin etc as Kapis-stan. By popular mistake and by twist of history and time, this Kapis-stan later turned first into Kapir-stan (literally a land of the Kapir people, where Kapirs may be the same as Katirs) which further evolved into Kafir-stan which literally means the land of the ‘infidels’ or non-believers. Linguistically, the word ‘Kafir’ is derived from word ‘Kapir’ ‘Kapir’ from ‘Kapis’ which is philological variation of some of the numerous Kamboja synonyms like Kieufieu, Kaofeu, Kubha, Kophen, Kapiscene, Kipin, Cambysis/Kambysis etc as wel will see soon.

Cf: “The word Kafir in Kafir-stan needs some explanation. This does not seem to same as the Arabic word which implies ‘non-believer’ or ‘idolator’. To all probability, this Kafir is the philogical evolution from an ancient term ‘Kapir’. This way, Kafirstan, in fact, should mean the ’land of the Kapir people’. This term Kapir appears to be a version of Sanskrit term Kapisha. Here ‘sh’ of Kapish changed into ‘r’ in Kapir. This is not a surprise. The name of King Kanishak who ruled this land is found written as Kanerak as well. Here ‘sh’ of Kanishaka has changed into ‘r’ in Kanerka. This further evidences that the ancient name ‘Kapish’ first evoved into ‘Kapir’ and still later into well known ‘Kafir’. And Dr S Levi has already demonstrated that Kipin was another version of Kapir. Further, it has also been demonstarated that, philogically, ancient term Kapisha is another version of standard Sanskrit term Kamboja. (Geographical and Economical Studies in the Mahabharata, Upayana Parva, JUPHS, Vol XVI., Part II, 1943, pp48-53,Ancient Kamboja People and the Country, 1981, p 46, Dr J. L. Kamboj; cf: Cultural Heritage of India Vol I page 44,)

Based on the establishment of similarity between terms Kapisha with Kamboja, by Dr S. Levi, another Indologist Dr Motichander has suggested that the prefix ‘Kam’ in Kamdesh, Kamash/Kamach (name of a river in Kairstan), etc is very significant. In Kafir language, Kamdesh is also called Kambrom. The upper part of Bashgul valley is called Kargul. In Chitrali it is called Lutdeh while in Pushto it is Kamtoz. The middle part of Bashgul valley is called Madugul in Chitrali. The lower part is called Kam. In Chitrali it is called Kamdesh, while in Pashtu it is Kamoz. The Kam of Bashgul and Kamtoz of Pashtu reminds us of the ancient Kambojas of Kafirstan. [ Ancient Kamboja People and the Country, 1981, p 46, Dr J. L. Kamboj]

IMPORTANT: There are other relics of ancient Kamboja tribe still found in this land of Kafirstan of today (e.g. a place name Kamach or Kamash (p 158, Kafirs of Hindukush), a river name Kamah or Kama (p 81, Kafirs of Hindukush; palso called pech), and a pass named as Kammoh or Kammah. Besides, a villages in the area is also known as Kamu, Kamo (p 77 Kafirs of Hindukush), a hill known as Kama-tol (Kam cliff), a small valley in Bashagul known as Kama-gul (Richard F. Strand, Accounts of Kam History and Culture) also cf: Headquarters of Kama tribes is known as Kamdesh (Country of Kams…cf Kamboj desh) or Kambrom. Etc. Ref: The Kafirs of Hindukush p 77, by George Scott Robertson; pl also ref to the The official Gazzetteer of Afghanistan).

Also the geographical region of Afghanistan to the south-east of Kabol river, falling between Jalabad and the famous Khyber Pass of Sfedkoh mountain system is also still called the Kamm or Kamma valley (Ref: Struggle for Afghanistan 1991 page 158 by Nancy P Newell, Richards C. Newell) which further reminds us of the ancient Kamboja vestige left in this area, south-east of the Kabol river. [cf: ref: Military Text Books Series: “From Black Mountain to Wazirstan, by Col H. C. Wylly, C. B. 1912, p 237, 227, cf also: Kamma Daka, Kamma Shilman, Kamma Bela regions names. These regions are the modern habitats of the Afridi tribe]


Cf: “There is apparent trace of their (Kamboja’s) name in the ‘Caumozee’ of Kafirstan, who may have retreated to the mountains before the advance of Turk tribes”: (Vishnu Purana, p 299, f.n. 15, H. H. Wilson; The Achamenids and India, p 13, De S. Chattopadhya ).

Cf: Writes Dr Nand Lal Dey” “According to Dr Loh, the Shiaposh tribes living in the Hindukush mountains are the descendents of the Kamboja people. (The Geographical Dictionery of Ancient and Medieval India p 87, by Dr. Nundo Lal Dey)

Cf: “The western boundaries of ancient Kamboja must have reached Kafirstan. Elphinstone found in that district tribes like the Caumojee, Camoze and Camoje whose name remind us of the Kambojas” [ ref: Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 133 by Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee, cf: M. Elphinstone, an account of the kingdom of Caubol, Vol II, pp. 375-377; cf: Bombay Gazetteer, I. 1, 498 n; cf: Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1843, 140; cf: Journal and Proceeding of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1874, 260 n; cf: Wilson H. H. Vishnu Purana, P III, 292].

“There are tribes like Caumojee, Camtoze and Caumozee living in eastern Afghanistan. British researcher M. Elphinstone has found that these terms are apparently connected with Sanskrit term Kamboj. Before the arrivel of Turks, these tribes must have retreated into their present mountainous abodes.” [Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 43-44, Dr J. L. Kamboj].

Cf: “The Kambojas were inhabitants of regions around Hindukush mountain.. According to Elphinstone, many modern Kafirs of this region still address them as Kamohs” (Sindhant Kaumde, Arathparkashaka, 1966, pp 20-22, by Acharya Radha Raman Pande)

Cf: Dr W. W. Tarn calls Kafirstan and Kapicene or Kapisa as the homeland of Kambojas. This region has also been known in history as the Parapamisdae Strappy of the Greeks as well as of the Achaemenian kings of Persia. "The Kapisha was the gate way of Kamboja country and formed its integral part" opines Dr Tarn (Ref: (Ref: The Greeks in Bacteria and India 1966 p 170, 461, by Dr W. W. Tarn ).

Cf: “All that seem at all certain is that parts of modern Kafirstan formed a portion of Greek Strappy of Paropamisadea in 4th – 3rd c B.C. the people were then called Kambojas who were of mixed Indo-Iranian descent. In fact, the scholars are of the opinion that Kamboja and Kapisha the native city of adjoining Greek Capital might be identical”. ”.(Afghanistan, A Study of Political Developments in Central Southern Asia, 3rd edition, 1967, p 58, W. K. Fraser- Tytler, M. C. Gillett ).

Cf: “Parts of Nuristan (Kafirstan) formed a portion of Greek satrapy of the Paropamisadae in the fourth and third c B.C. The People were then called Kambojas and described as of mixed Indo-Iranian descent. Possibly they occupied a much larger area then and were gradually forced from central Afghanistan into their present mountains by the Moslem onslaught. One of their principal tribes is still called Kam or Kamtoz…” (Afghanistan, its people, its Society, its culture, 1962, p 50, Donald N. Wilber)

Cf: Kadphizes is not a personal name, but derived from the name of a country which is variously called Kapisha, Kamboja etc” (EI., Vol XIX-1, p 11).





Saif Fazel

Library:

Saif Fazel

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LS.THIND











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