The Hazaras of Afghanistan and their Shi‘a Orientation: An Analytical Historical Survey

Author

The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK

Abstract

This paper presents an analytical historical survey of the emergence of Shi‘ism among the Hazaras of modern-day Afghanistan. It argues that the Hazaras’ Shi‘a orientation is surrounded with much speculation, many prejudices, and arbitrary interpretations. A critical analysis of these prejudices and interpretations reveals that nineteenth and twentieth century orientalists and scholars from Afghanistan have not systematically and thoroughly studied the Hazaras’ Shi‘a orientation. Instead, they often sought to underpin their hypotheses and theories without examining their validity. Their accounts also reveal that they tend to interpret Shi‘a Islam primarily as that of the Twelver Shi‘as, while neglecting the Shi‘a Isma‘ili tradition. Therefore, the field needs a fresh review of the existing accounts, and a systematic study and interpretation of the available and relevant data.

Keywords


Article Title [فارسی]

The Hazaras of Afghanistan and their Shi‘a Orientation: An Analytical Historical Survey

Author [فارسی]

  • Yahia Baiza
Abstract [فارسی]

This paper presents an analytical historical survey of the emergence of Shi‘ism among the Hazaras of modern-day Afghanistan. It argues that the Hazaras’ Shi‘a orientation is surrounded with much speculation, many prejudices, and arbitrary interpretations. A critical analysis of these prejudices and interpretations reveals that nineteenth and twentieth century orientalists and scholars from Afghanistan have not systematically and thoroughly studied the Hazaras’ Shi‘a orientation. Instead, they often sought to underpin their hypotheses and theories without examining their validity. Their accounts also reveal that they tend to interpret Shi‘a Islam primarily as that of the Twelver Shi‘as, while neglecting the Shi‘a Isma‘ili tradition. Therefore, the field needs a fresh review of the existing accounts, and a systematic study and interpretation of the available and relevant data.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • Afghanistan
  • Shi‘ism
  • Hazara
  • Ghurids
  • Shi‘a Isma‘ili da‘wat