Afghanistan is a country located in South and Central of Asia. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north, and in the far northeast Chine. The capital city itself is Kabul and is the largest city in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was a land that has been parts of history for years and has witnessed numerous military campaigns from Alexander the great, Mauryas, Muslims, Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets and since 2001 by United States. It has been a serious battle field for decades, and has been sacrificed many people and also the historical buildings there. You may want to read about brief history of Islam in Egypt.
Let’s step aside about that fact and begin to observe how Afghanistan be and play significant role in Islamic history. As reported that recently almost 99% of the people in Afghanistan are practicing Islam and they were divided into 2 different Mazhab. About 80-85% are Sunni and 15-20% are Shiah.
The History Of Islam in Afghanistan
Time before Islam arrived in Afghanistan, the country has been a long story of Buddhist civilization. The country also has a unique point where numerous civilizations have interacted and often fought in Afghanistan. It has been incorporated within large regional empires such as Achaemenid Empire, Macedonian Empire, Islamic Empire, and Indian Maurya Empire. Many empires and kingdom have been related to Afghanistan like Kushans, Hephtalites, Kabul Shais, Saffarids, Ghurids, Timurids, Hotak, Durrani, and others. Read about the brief history of Islam in Pakistan.
In the 1st century there was a dinasty called Kushan, an Empire that has been stated before originated from center of Asia win the battle with Aryana Empire in Afghanistan. The Buddhism has been a dominant religion from the 3th-8th century and we could find the trace in some historical buildings like Buddha of Bamiyan, the smaller Buddha and the remaining monasteries and stupa. The authority of Khusan fall down in the end of 4th century after Turks people from central Asia attacking the Empire.
Islam entered Afghanistan in the time of caliphs of Ustman ibn Affan (644-656 AD) when the Muslims army tried to expand their territory to Khurasan led by Sa’ad ibn Ash. Khurasan itself is a region in the east of Afghanistan. At the end of the 7th century after defeating Sassanians in Nihawand, the muslims army from Umayyad Arabs entering the area now known as Afghanistan. Some people from Umayyad Arabs begin to be missionaries and spread the religion of Islam in the north of Afghanistan. You may want to read about benefits visiting the grave in Islam.
The people in the Western of Afghanistan also begin to convert to Islam especially the people of Herat and Sistan. But when the Ummayad Arabs leaved this city, they returned to their old beliefs. But in the 10th century, there were muslims ruler named Samanid what we now known as Uzbekistan expand their power to Afghanistan territory and establish their dinasty. The dinasty named Ghaznavid with the ruler from King Mahmud rule the from 998-1030 and spread Islamic Influence more broadly. Islamic religion has been spread in all across Afghanistan territory.
In the reign of Al-Mu’tasim, Islam was generally practiced by most inhabitans in the region of Afghanistan and under the ruler of Ya’qub-i Laith Saffari in all major cities Islam became the majority religion including Kabul. Samanids propagated Sunni Islam and the first complete translation of Quran into Persian was made in the 9th century. Since then, Islam has been grow larger and dominated the country’s religious landscape.
The Ghaznavids later will be replaced by Ghurid Dynasty who is expanded Islamic empire wider. It is believed that the Friday Mosque of Herat as the oldest mosques in Afghanistan was build under the Ghurid Dynasty in arround of 12th century. This century has been known as Islamic golden age, were it grow rapidly across the world, and in this century Afghanistan has been the second major of learning in the Muslim world after Baghdad.
Islam itself became as an intrument of state building initiated by King Abdur Rahman Khan (1880-1901) during his drive toward centralization. He decreed that Islamic law should be implemented in all laws and elevated Sharian over customary laws embodied in the Pashtunwali.
The Development of Islam in Afghanistan
Another part of history of Islam in Afghanistan is how Islam could grow large and became the majority of religion practiced in Afghanistan. At the beginning, Afghanistan known as Khurasan. In 1737 a leader of Afghanistan named Nadir Syah was conquer all Afghanistan territory. Read about positive impacts of Islam in west Africa.
The Afghanistan people as well as Indians and Pakistanis are very active in preaching, both in Afghanistan and abroad. The famous person from Afghanistan whose name is Jamaluddi Al-Afgani born in Hamadan are very well know of his theologian, law, tawawuf, socialogist, Islamic philosophy. He became the one who placed the foundation of Islamic modernization. With his vision and thoughts he wanted to mobilize a revival among muslims. His thought often opposite the orthodox’s scholars. Al Afgani has a strong influence in Egypt.
Islam has been a part of Afghanistan people since 647 AD as mentioned before, it also give an influenced of their cultural development. The art and culture in Afghanistan has developed by the touch of Islamic culture and progressed very rapidly. For Afghanistan people, Islam has been represented as their unifying symbolic system. It helps them which are consisted by many race and tribes from diversions. Since it is frequently rises a friction from the existence of a deep pride in their tribal loyalties and an individual honor or family honor in a multiethnic and multitribal societies such as Afghanistan. Therefore Islam is like their solution to made them in unite. You may want to read about effects of crusades in Islam.
For Afghanistan people, Islam is their code of conduct, it literally became their law and source of rule in their daily life. And that’s how Islam grow even larger in Afghanistan, since it is in accordance with their culture, needs, and Islamic guidance are suitable to be applied in their everyday life.