Traditional teacher or master.
Originally “commander,” as part of amir al-mu’minin (commander of the faithful); in Afghanistan, the title of Mohammadzay rulers down to Amanullah (1919-29); in the jehad period, title of leaders of the Islamic groups.
Tribal police force among the Paktia tribes.
Exemplary boldness and chivalry; a social morality of a high degree.
Call for prayer.
Anti-Soviet freedom fighters of Bukhara in Central Asia.
Ruling or opinion on legal issues issued by head of the Islamic community, and in his absence by the ’ulama.
Leader in prayer; chief of the Muslim community. Originally the imam was the Prophet himself, and his successor filled the office. According to the Shi’as, an imam must be descended from the Prophet through his daughter, Fatima; the Sunnis hold that an imam must be elected.
Follower of a Shi’ite sect that holds the imamate passed from ’Ali, the fourth caliph, to his descendants through a seventh imam, Isma’il.
The state of religious ignorance before the rise of Islam; adjective form, jahili.
Extreme exertion of self and property in the cause of God.
Council or assembly held for the settlement of a dispute in a locality.
Specialist of jirga regulations and codes.
Main family; household.
Underground irrigation canal.
Originally a Mongol term signifying prince or ruler; now, head of a tribe or community with many chiefs working under him; also, an honory title by which a man is addressed by others. In earlier periods, the khan was usually a big landowner and enjoyed feudal privileges.
The institution of tribal or tribal eldership.
State of unbelief; anti-Islamic belief.
Ad hoc grand assembly or grand council, usually called by a setting ruler for the settlement of a national problem, especially in times of emergency.
Center for higher studies in Sunni Islam.
Specialist of jirga regulations and codes; plural, marakchiyan.
Traditional religious scholar.
One who makes jehad; plural, mujahideen.
One who has attained such preeminence in religious scholarship that he may issue opinions on matters of faith.
Leader of prayer.
Compensation, especially for something socially significant.
Honor with social significance, referring especially to the womenfolk of one’s own and of one’s father’s household.
A Muslim mystic order.
The act of seeking admittance or asylum; a part of pashtunwali.
Disciplinary and punitive aspects of pashtunwali; also, prices of commodities.
Social and legal codes of the Pashtuns.
Head of a mystic order; a religious person with profound influence over his followers.
An Islamic mystic order.
A real or assumed descendant of the Prophet Mohammad through his daughter, Fatima.
Literally, “night letter”; clandestine antiopponent and usually antigovernment leaflet.
Literally, “path”; the path of Islam; Islamic laws comprising the four major codified schools of Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali; the first is applied in Afghanistan.
Literally, “cousin”; rival; peer rival.
Literally, “cousinhood”; rivalry; rivalry among peers, especially cousins among the Pashtuns.
Religious scholars of Sunni Muslims; singular, ’alim.
The Islamic rate of revenue on land; tithe.
Disciple of Mohammad bin ’Abd al-Wahhab (1703-87), whose aim was to do away with all innovations later than the third century of Islam.