The History of Afghanistan I (6 vol. set)

Fayż Muḥammad Kātib Hazārah’s Sirāj al-tawārīkh

The Sirāj al-tawārīkh is the most important history of Afghanistan ever written. It was commissioned as an official national history by the Afghan prince, later amir, Habib Allah Khan (reigned 1901-1919). The author, Fayz Muhammad Khan, better known as “Katib” (The Writer), was a scribe at the royal court. For more than twenty years, he had full access to government archives and oral sources and thus presents an unparalleled picture of the country from its founding in 1747 until the end of the nineteenth century. The roots of much of the fabric of Afghanistan’s society today—tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, and the economy—are elegantly and minutely detailed in this immense work. The first three volumes of Sirāj al-tawārīkh are published as a set consisting of 6 parts.

The previously unpublished portion of volume three and its subsequent volume four have now been published as a separate set, completing this unique resource on Afghanistan.

The History of Afghanistan is also available as a complete print set of 11 volumes, covering all four volumes of this unique resource on Afghanistan.

The complete set of 11 volumes can also be purchased as an online reference work.


EUR €1,010.00USD $1,345.00

Biographical Note

R. D. McChesney, Emeritus Professor, New York University, is the author of Waqf in Central Asia (1991), Central Asia: Foundations of Change (1996), Kabul Under Siege (1999), and numerous articles and book chapters. He is also founder and director of the Afghanistan Digital Library. M. M. Khorrami, Ph.D. 1996, University of Texas, Austin, teaches Persian language and literature at New York University. His research field is contemporary Persian fiction. His publications include, among others, Modern Reflections of Classical Traditions in Persian Fiction (2003).

Table of contents

The first three volumes of Sirāj al-tawārīkh are published as a set consisting of 6 parts. Volume One (The Saduzaʾi Era) contains a geographical sketch of Afghanistan and its political history from 1747 to 1843. Volume Two (The Muhammadzaʾi Era) covers the period 1843–1880 and is based mainly on Persian texts and oral sources. Volume Three (The Reign of Amir ʿAbd al-Rahmān Khān) covers the period 1880-1896. This volume (published here in four parts) is a documentary history of the period and contains verbatim transcripts of some 400 decrees and letters originating at the court as well as petitions sent to it.


All interested in the history of Afghanistan, and anyone concerned with modern Afghan society and its roots in tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, the economy.


Collection Information