Greater Khorasan

Khorasan (Middle Persian: Xwarāsān; Persian: خراسانXorāsān, Persian pronunciation: [xoɾɒːˈsɒːn] listen ), sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region lying in northeast of Greater Persia, including part of Central Asia and Afghanistan. The name simply means "East, Orient" (literally "sunrise")[1] and loosely includes the territory of the Sasanian Empire north-east of Persia proper. Early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of so-called Jibal or what was subsequently termed 'Iraq Ajami' (Persian Iraq), as being included in a vast and loosely-defined region of Khorasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sindh.[2] During the Islamic period, Khorasan along with Persian Iraq were two important territories. The boundary between these two was the region surrounding the cities of Gurgan and Qumis (modern Damghan). In particular, the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their empires into Iraqi and Khorasani regions.

The main cities of Khorasan in the Islamic period were Balkh and Herat (now in Afghanistan), Mashhad and Nishapur (now in northeastern Iran), Merv and Nisa (now in southern Turkmenistan), and Bukhara and Samarkand (now in southern Uzbekistan). The cities of Merv and Nisa have since been abandoned but the other cities remain integral parts of their respective states.[3] The term Khorasan tended to further extend from these urban centers into the rural regions of their respective west, east, north and south.[4] Sources from the 10th-century onwards refer to areas in the south of the Hindu Kush as the Khorasan Marches, forming a frontier region between Khorasan and Hindustan.[5][6]

Greater Khorasan is today sometimes used to distinguish the larger historical region from the modern Khorasan Province of Iran (1906–2004), which roughly encompassed the western half of the historical Greater Khorasan.[7]

Lagekarte Dschibal
An 1886 map of the 10th century Near East showing Khorasan east of the province of Jibal
Ancient Khorasan highlighted
Names of territories during the Caliphate in 750

Geography

Map of Afghanistan during the Safavid and Moghul Empire
A map of Persia by Emanuel Bowen showing the names of territories during the Persian Safavid dynasty and Mughal Empire of India (ca. 1500–1747)

First established in the 6th-century as one of four administrative (military) division by the Sassanids,[8] the scope of the region has varied considerably during its nearly 1,500-year history. Initially, the Khorasan division of the Sassanid empire covered the north-eastern military gains of the empire, at its height including cities such as Nishapur, Herat, Merv, Faryab, Talaqan (around modern Turkmenabat), Balkh, Bukhara, Badghis, Abiward, Gharjistan, Tus, Sarakhs and Gurgan.[2]

With the rise of the Umayyad Caliphate, the designation was inherited and likewise streched as far as their military gains in the east, starting off with the military installations at Nishapur and Merv, slowly expandning eastwards into Tokharistan and Sogdia. Under the Caliphs, Khorasan was the name of one of the three political zones under their dominion (the other two being Eraq-e Arab "Arabic Iraq" and Eraq-e Ajam "Non-Arabic Iraq or Persian Iraq"). Under the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, Khorasan was divided into four major sections or quarters (rub′), each section based on a single major city: Nishapur, Merv, Herat and Balkh.[9] By the 10th-century, Ibn Khordadbeh and the Hudud al-'Alam mentions what roughly encompasses the previous regions of Abarshahr, Tokharistan and Sogdia as Khwarasan proper. They further report the southern part of the Hindu Kush, i.e. the regions of Sistan, Ghor, Rukhkhudh, Zabulistan and Kabul etc. to make up the Khwarasan marches, a frontier region between Khwarasan and Hindustan[10][5] which at the time would have been in a process of Islamization.

By the late Middle Ages, the term lost its administrational significance, in the west only being loosely applied among the Turko-Persian dysnasties of modern Iran to all its territories that lay east and north-east of the Dasht-e Kavir desert. It was therefore subjected to constant change, as the size of their empires changed. In the east, Khwarasan likewise became a term associated with the great urban centers of Central Asia. It is mentioned in the Memoirs of Babur that:

"The people of Hindustān call every country beyond their own Khorasān, in the same manner as the Arabs term all except Arabia, Ajem. On the road between Hindustān and Khorasān, there are two great marts: the one Kābul, the other Kandahār. Caravans, from Ferghāna, Tūrkestān, Samarkand, Balkh, Bokhāra, Hissār, and Badakhshān, all resort to Kābul; while those from Khorasān repair to Kandahār. This country lies between Hindustān and Khorasān."[6]

In modern times, the term has been source of great nostalgia and nationalism, especially amongst the Tajiks of Central Asia. Many Tajiks regard Khorasan as an integral part of their national myth, which has preserved an interest in the term, including its meaning and cultural significance, both in common discussion and academia, despite its falling out of political use in the region. According to Ghulam Mohammad Ghobar, Afghanistan's current Persian-speaking territories formed the major portion of Khorasan,[11] as two of the four main capitals of Khorasan (Herat and Balkh) are now located in Afghanistan. Ghobar uses the terms "Proper Khorasan" and "Improper Khorasan" in his book to distinguish between the usage of Khorasan in its strict sense and its usage in a loose sense. According to him, Proper Khorasan contained regions lying between Balkh in the east, Merv in the north, Sistan in the south, Nishapur in the west and Herat, known as the Pearl of Khorasan, in the center. Improper Khorasan's boundaries extended to as far as Hazarajat and Kabul in the east, Baluchistan in the south, Transoxiana and Khwarezm in the north, and Damghan and Gorgan in the west.[11]

History

History of Iran, History of Turkmenistan, History of Afghanistan, History of Uzbekistan, History of Tajikistan

Before the region fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it was part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire and prior to that it was occupied by the Medes. The land that became known as Khorasan in geography of Eratosthenes was recognized as Ariana by Greeks at that time, which made up Greater Iran or the land where Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion. The southeastern region of Khorasan fell to the Kushan Empire in the 1st century AD. The Kushan rulers built a capital in modern-day Afghanistan at Bagram and are believed to have built the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan. Numerous Buddhist temples and buried cities have been found in Afghanistan.[12][13] However, the region of Khorasan remained predominantly Zoroastrian but there were also Manichaeists, sun worshippers, Christians, Pagans, Shamanists, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus and others. One of the three great fire-temples of the Sassanids "Azar-burzin Mehr" is situated near Sabzevar in Iran. The boundary of the region began changing until the Kushans and Sassanids merged to form the Kushano-Sassanian civilization.

Madan Turquoise Mines
An early turquoise mine in the Madan village of Khorasan during the early 20th century

Sasanian era

During the Sasanian era, likely in the reign of Khusrow I, Persia was divided into four regions (known as kust Middle Persian), Khwārvarān in the west, apāxtar in the north, nīmrūz in the south and Khurasan in the east. Since the Sasanian territories were more or less remained stable up to Islamic conquests, it can be concluded that Sasanian Khorasan was bordered to the south by Sistan and Kerman, to the west by the central deserts of modern Iran, and to the east by China and India.[10]

In Sasanian era, Khurasan was further divided into four smaller regions, and each region was ruled by a marzban. These four regions were Nishapur, Marv, Herat and Balkh.[10]

Khorasan in the east saw some conflict with the Hephthalites who became the new rulers in the area but the borders remained stable. Being the eastern parts of the Sassanids and further away from Arabia, Khorasan region was conquered after the remaining Persia. The last Sassanid king of Persia, Yazdgerd III, moved the throne to Khorasan following the Arab invasion in the western parts of the empire. After the assassination of the king, Khorasan was conquered by Arab Muslims in 647 AD. Like other provinces of Persia it became a province of the Umayyad Caliphate.

Meyamei
The village of Meyamei in 1909

Arab conquest

The first movement against the Arab conquest was led by Abu Muslim Khorasani between 747 and 750. He helped the Abbasids come to power but was later killed by Al-Mansur, an Abbasid Caliph. The first independent kingdom from Arab rule was established in Khorasan by Tahir Phoshanji in 821, but it seems that it was more a matter of political and territorial gain. Tahir had helped the Caliph subdue other nationalistic movements in other parts of Persia such as Maziar's movement in Tabaristan.

Other major independent dynasties who ruled over Khorasan were the Saffarids from Zaranj (861–1003), Samanids from Bukhara (875–999), Ghaznavids from Ghazni (963–1167), Seljuqs (1037–1194), Khwarezmids (1077–1231), Ghurids (1149–1212), and Timurids (1370–1506). Some of these dynasties were not Persian by ethnicity. The periods of Turkic Ghaznavids and Turco-Mongol Timurids are considered as some of the most brilliant eras of Khorasan's history. During these periods, there was a great cultural awakening. Many famous poets, scientists and scholars lived in this area. Numerous valuable works in Persian literature were written.

Between the early 16th and early 18th centuries, parts of Khorasan were contested between the Safavids and the Uzbeks.[14] A part of the Khorasan region was conquered in 1722 by the Ghilji Pashtuns from Kandahar and became part of the Hotaki dynasty from 1722 to 1729.[15][16] Nader Shah recaptured Khorasan in 1729 and chose Mashhad as the capital of Persia. Following his assassination in 1747, the eastern parts of Khorasan, including Herat was annexed with the Durrani Empire. Mashhad area was under control of Nader Shah's grandson Shahrukh Afshar until it was captured by the Qajar dynasty in 1796. In 1856, the Iranians, under the Qajar dynasty, briefly recaptured Herat; by the Treaty of Paris of 1857, signed between Iran and the British Empire to end the Anglo-Persian War, the Iranian troops withdrew from Herat.[17] Later, in 1881, Iran relinquished its claims to a part of the northern areas of Khorasan to the Russian Empire, principally comprising Merv, by the Treaty of Akhal (also known as the Treaty of Akhal-Khorasan).[18]

Cultural importance

Muḥammad Ḥusaym Mīrzā, a relative of Babur, in spite of his treachery, is being released and send to Khurāsān
Timurid conqueror Babur exiles his treacherous relative Muḥammad Ḥusaym Mīrzā to Khorasan.

Khorasan has had a great cultural importance among other regions in Greater Iran. The literary New Persian language developed in Khorasan and Transoxiana and gradually supplanted the Parthian language.[19] The New Persian literature arose and flourished in Khorasan and Transoxiana[20] where the early Iranian dynasties such as Tahirids, Samanids, Saffirids and Ghaznavids (a Turco-Persian dynasty) were based.The early Persian poets such as Rudaki, Shahid Balkhi, Abu al-Abbas Marwazi, Abu Hafas Sughdi, and others were from Khorasan. Moreover, Ferdowsi and Rumi were also from Khorasan.

Until the devastating Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, Khorasan remained the cultural capital of Persia.[21] It has produced scientists such as Avicenna, Al-Farabi, Al-Biruni, Omar Khayyam, Al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi (known as Albumasar or Albuxar in the west), Alfraganus, Abu Wafa, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, and many others who are widely well known for their significant contributions in various domains such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, geography, and geology. Khorasan artisans contributed to the spread of technology and goods along the ancient trade routes and decorative objects have been traced to this ancient culture, including art objects, textiles and metalworks. Decorative antecedents of the famous "singing bowls" of Asia may have been invented in ancient Khorasan.

In Islamic theology, jurisprudence and philosophy, and in Hadith collection, many of the greatest Islamic scholars came from Khorasan, namely Abu Hanifa, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa'i, Al-Ghazali, Al-Juwayni, Abu Mansur Maturidi, Fakhruddin al-Razi, and others. Shaykh Tusi, a Shi'a scholar and Al-Zamakhshari, the famous Mutazilite scholar, also lived in Khorasan.

See also

References

  1. ^ a compound of khwar (meaning "sun") and āsān (from āyān, literally meaning "to come" or "coming" or "about to come"). Thus the name Khorasan (or Khorāyān خورآيان‎) means "sunrise", viz. "Orient, East". Humbach, Helmut, and Djelani Davari, "Nāmé Xorāsān", Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz; Persian translation by Djelani Davari, published in Iranian Languages Studies Website. MacKenzie, D. (1971). A concise Pahlavi dictionary (p. 95). London: Oxford University Press. The Persian word Khāvar-zamīn (Persian: خاور زمین‎), meaning "the eastern land", has also been used as an equivalent term. DehKhoda, "Lughat Nameh DehKhoda" Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Bosworth, C.E. (1986). Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol 5, Khe – Mahi (New ed.). Leiden [u.a.]: Brill [u.a.] pp. 55–59. ISBN 90-04-07819-3.
  3. ^ https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/Nisa
  4. ^ "Khorasan". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2010-10-21. historical region and realm comprising a vast territory now lying in northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and northern Afghanistan. The historical region extended, along the north, from the Amu Darya (Oxus River) westward to the Caspian Sea and, along the south, from the fringes of the central Iranian deserts eastward to the mountains of central Afghanistan. Arab geographers even spoke of its extending to the boundaries of India.
  5. ^ a b Minorsky, V. (1937). Hudud al-'Alam, The Regions of the World: A Persian Geography, 372 A.H. - 982 A.D. London: Oxford UP.
  6. ^ a b Zahir ud-Din Mohammad Babur (1921). "Events Of The Year 910". Memoirs of Babur. Translated by John Leyden; William Erskine. Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  7. ^ Dabeersiaghi, Commentary on Safarnâma-e Nâsir Khusraw, 6th Ed. Tehran, Zavvâr: 1375 (Solar Hijri Calendar) 235–236
  8. ^ Rezakhani, K. (2017). Reorienting the Sasanians: East Iran in Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978 1 4744 0029 9.
  9. ^ DehKhoda, "Lughat Nameh DehKhoda" Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b c Authors, Multiple. "Khurasan". CGIE. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b Ghubar, Mir Ghulam Mohammad (1937). Khorasan, Kabul Printing House. Kabul, Afghanistan.
  12. ^ "42 Buddhist relics discovered in Logar". Maqsood Azizi. Pajhwok Afghan News. August 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  13. ^ "Buddhist remains found in Afghanistan". Press TV. August 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  14. ^ Rippin, Andrew (2013). The Islamic World. Routledge. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-136-80343-7.
  15. ^ "Last Afghan empire". Louis Dupree, Nancy Hatch Dupree and others. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  16. ^ Axworthy, Michael (2006). The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 50. ISBN 1-85043-706-8. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  17. ^ Avery, Peter; Hambly, Gavin; Melville, Charles, eds. (10 October 1991). The Cambridge History of Iran (Vol. 7): From Nadir Shah to the Islamic Republic. Cambridge University Press. pp. 183, 394–395. ISBN 978-0-521-20095-0.
  18. ^ Sicker, Martin (1988). The Bear and the Lion: Soviet Imperialism and Iran. Praeger. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-275-93131-5.
  19. ^ electricpulp.com. "DARĪ – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  20. ^ Frye, R.N., "Dari", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, CD edition
  21. ^ Lorentz, J. Historical Dictionary of Iran. 1995 ISBN 0-8108-2994-0
Anushtegin Gharchai

Anūştegin Gharachaʾī (Persian: نوشتکین غرچه‎ - Nūštekīn Gharcha) (b. ? - d. 1097) was a Turkic slave commander of the Seljuqs and the governor of Khwārezm from around 1077 until 1097. He was the first member of his family to rule Khwārezm, and the namesake for the dynasty that would rule the province in the 12th and early 13th centuries.

Of either Khalaj or Qipchaq origin, Anushtegin was originally a slave of the rulers of Gharchistan, known as the Shars (an Iranian word meaning "greatness and lordship"). But was later sold to the Seljuq officer Gumushtegin Bilge-Beg.Anushtegin was put in command together with his master Gumushtegin Bilge-Beg in 1073 by the Seljuq sultan Malik-Shah I to retake territory in northern Greater Khorasan that the Ghaznavids had seized. He was subsequently made the sultan's tasht-dar (Persian: "keeper of the royal vessels"), and, as the revenues from Khwarezm were used to pay for the expenses incurred by this position, he was made governor of the province. The details of his tenure as governor are unclear, but he died by 1097 and the post was briefly given to Ekinchi bin Qochqar before being transferred to his son, Muhammad I.

Balkh Province

Balkh (Pashto and Persian: بلخ‎, Balx) is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country. It is divided into 15 districts and has a population of about 1,245,100, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a Persian-speaking society. The city of Mazar-i-Sharif serves as the capital of the province. The Mazar-e Sharif International Airport and Camp Marmal sit on the eastern edge of Mazar-i-Sharif.

The name of the province is derived from the ancient city of Balkh, near the modern town. The city of Mazar-e-Sharif has been an important stop on the trade routes from the Far East to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe. Home to the famous blue mosque, it was once destroyed by Genghis Khan but later rebuilt by Timur.

The city of Balkh and the area of Balkh Province was considered a part of various historical regions in history including Ariana and Greater Khorasan.It serves today as Afghanistan's second but main gateway to Central Asia, the other being Sherkhan Bandar in the Kunduz Province.

Bastam

Bastam (Persian: بسطام‎, also romanized as Basṭām; also known as Busṭām and Bisṭām) is a city in and capital of the Bastam District of Shahrud County, Semnan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 7,382, in 1,997 families.Bastam was founded in the 6th century in the Greater Khorasan. It is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north of Shahrud. The town is known for its Islamic monuments from the Ilkhanid period and its association with the mystic Bayazid Bastami. The Alborz are to the north of the town.

The 19th-century poet, Abbas Foroughi Bastami, lived in Bastam for a time and thence acquired its name as his own. The early Bábí leader and martyr Mullá 'Alíy-i-Bastámí was also raised in Bastam, and was a significant figure in the Shaykhi movement and later became the first person known to have died for their allegiance to Bábism.A tradition says that the town was founded by Vistahm, uncle of the Sasanian king Khosrau II.

Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad

Hamza ibn ‘Alī ibn Aḥmad (985 – c. 1021) (Hamze Pesare Ali, literally Hamze Son of Ali ; Persian: حمزه پسر علی‎, (Arabic: حمزة بن علي بن أحمد) was an 11th-century Ismaili and founding leader of the Druze. He was born in Zozan in Greater Khorasan in Samanid-ruled Persia (modern Khaf, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran).Hamza is considered the founder of the Druze and the primary author of the Druze manuscripts.

Karramiyya

Karramiyya (Arabic: كرّاميّه‎, translit. Karrāmiyyah) is a sect in Islam which flourished in the central and eastern parts of the Islamic worlds, and especially in the Iranian regions, from the 9th century until the Mongol invasions in the 13th century.

The sect was founded by a Sistani named Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Karrām (d. 896) who was a popular preacher in Khurasan in the 9th century in the vicinity of Nishapur. He later emigrated with many of his followers to Jerusalem. According to him, the Karrāmites were also called the "followers of Abū'Abdallāh" (aṣḥāb Abī'Abdallāh) . . Its main distribution areas were in Greater Khorasan, Transoxiana and eastern peripheral areas of Iran. Early Ghaznavids and the early Ghurid dynasty granted the Karrāmīyan rulership. The most important center of the community remained until the end of the 11th century Nishapur. After its decline, the Karrāmīya survived only in Ghazni and Ghor in the area of today's Afghanistan.

Khorasan

Khorasan may refer to:

Greater Khorasan, a historical region which lies mostly in modern-day northern/northwestern Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan

Khorasan Province, a pre-2004 province of Iran, subsequently divided into:

South Khorasan Province

North Khorasan Province

Razavi Khorasan Province

Khorasan, Kurdistan, a village in Kurdistan Province, Iran

Khorosan, alternate name of Sain Qaleh, Iran

Khuroson District, a district in Khatlon province of Tajikistan

Horasan, a town and district of Erzurum Province of Turkey

Khorasan wheat, a wheat variety

Khorasan group, a group of senior al-Qaeda members who reportedly operate in Syria

Khorasan Province (Militant Group), a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that operates in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Khorasan Province

Khorasan (Persian: استان خراسان‎ listen ) (also transcribed as Khurasan and Khorassan, also called Traxiane during Hellenistic and Parthian times) was a province in north eastern Iran, but historically referred to a much larger area comprising the east and north-east of the Persian Empire. The name Khorāsān is Persian and means "where the sun arrives from." The name was first given to the eastern province of Persia during the Sasanian Empire and was used from the late middle ages in distinction to neighbouring Transoxiana. The province roughly encompassed the western half of the historical Greater Khorasan. The modern boundaries of the Iranian province of Khorasan were formally defined in the late nineteenth century and the province was divided into three separate administrative divisions in 2004.

Malamatiyya

The Malāmatiyya (ملامتية) or Malamatis were a Muslim mystic group active in 9th century Greater Khorasan. Their root word of their name is the Arabic word malāmah (ملامة) "blame". The Malamatiyya believed in the value of self-blame, that piety should be a private matter and that being held in good esteem would lead to worldly attachment. They concealed their knowledge and made sure their faults would be known, reminding them of their imperfection. The Malamati is one for whom the doctrine of "spiritual states" is fraught with subtle deceptions of the most despicable kind; he despises personal piety, not because he is focused on the perceptions or reactions of people, but as a consistent involuntary witness of his own "pious hypocrisy"."Malamati" can also refer to a method of teaching within Sufism based on taking blame.

North Khorasan Province

North Khorasan Province (Persian: استان خراسان شمالی‎, Ostān-e Khorāsān-e Shomālī) is a province located in northeastern Iran. Bojnord is the capital of the province. The counties of North Khorasan Province are Shirvan County, Esfarayen County, Maneh and Samalqan County, Raz and Jargalan County, Jajarm County, Faruj County, and Garmeh County. North Khorasan is one of the three provinces that were created after the division of Khorasan in 2004.

In 2014 it was placed in Region 5.

Persian alphabet

The Persian alphabet (Persian: الفبای فارسی‎, alefbā-ye fârsi), is a writing system used for the Persian language.

The Persian script is mostly but not exclusively right-to-left; mathematical expressions, numeric dates and numbers bearing units are embedded from left to right. The script is cursive, meaning most letters in a word connect to each other; when they are typed, contemporary word processors automatically join adjacent letterforms.

The modified change of the Pahlavi scripts to the Persian alphabet to write the Persian language was done by the Tahirid dynasty in 9th-century Greater Khorasan.

Qalandariyya

The Qalandariyyah (Arabic: قلندرية‎, Hindi: क़लन्दरिय्या, Bengali: ক়লন্দরিয়্য়া), Qalandaris, Qalandars or Kalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes. The term covers a variety of sects, not centrally organized and may not be connected to a specific tariqat. One was founded by Qalandar Yusuf al-Andalusi of Andalusia, Spain. They were mostly in Iran, Central Asia, India and Pakistan. (The word also entered English as calender.)

Starting in the early 12th century, the movement gained popularity in Greater Khorasan and neighbouring regions, including the South Asia. The first references are found in the 11th-century prose text Qalandarname (The Tale of the Kalandar) attributed to Ansarī Harawī. The term Qalandariyyat (the Qalandar condition) appears to be first applied by Sanai Ghaznavi (died 1131) in seminal poetic works where diverse practices are described. Particular to the qalandar genre of poetry are terms that refer to gambling, games, intoxicants and Nazar ila'l-murd, themes commonly referred to as kufriyyat or kharabat. The genre was further developed by poets such as Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi and Farid al-Din Attar.

Qissa-i Sanjan

The Story of Sanjan (also Qissa-i Sanjan or Kisse-i Sanjan) (Persian: قصه سنجان‎, Gujarati: કિસે સનજાન/કિસ્સા-એ-સંજાણ) is an account of the early years of Zoroastrian settlers on the Indian subcontinent. In the absence of alternatives, the text is generally accepted to be the only narrative of the events described therein, and many members of the Parsi community perceive the epic poem to be an accurate account of their ancestors.

The account begins in Greater Khorasan, and narrates the travel of the emigrants to Gujarat, on the west coast of present-day India. The first chapter, which is the longest, ends with the establishment of a Fire Temple at Sanjan (Gujarat), and the later dispersion of their descendants. In later chapters, the Qissa narrates the success in repelling Islamic invaders, then the failure in the same, and the subsequent flight of the Zoroastrians. The account closes with a chapter on the conveyance of the "Fire of the Warharan" to Navsari.

In its conclusion, the story is signed by a Parsi priest named Bahman Kaikobad (or 'Bahman Kaikobad Hamjiar Sanjana'). The date of authorship is recorded as 969 YZ (1599 CE, see Zoroastrian calendar) - several centuries after the described events are thought to have occurred. The account is in verse, in the highly verbose style common to Persian poetry.

The Kisseh-i Sanjan, as Abraham Anquetil-Duperron transliterated the name, became available to European scholarship in 1771, when Duperron published a French translation. However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that the poem attracted widespread attention, particularly among the Parsi-Zoroastrian priesthood.

Razavi Khorasan Province

Razavi Khorasan Province (Persian: استان خراسان رضوی‎, Ostâne Xorâsâne Razavi) is a province located in northeastern Iran. Mashhad is the center and capital of the province. Other cities are Quchan, Dargaz, Chenaran, Sarakhs, Fariman, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Torbat-e Jam, Taybad, Khaf, Roshtkhar, Kashmar, Bardaskan, Nishapur, Sabzevar, Gonabad, Kalat. The counties of Razavi Khorasan Province are Khalilabad County, Mahvelat County, Chenaran County, Dargaz County, Kalat County, Quchan County, Mashhad County, Sarakhs County, Nishapur County, Firuzeh County, Khoshab County, Jowayin County, Joghatai County, Davarzan County, Sabzevar County, Bardaskan County, Bajestan County, Kashmar County, Gonabad County, Khaf County, Roshtkhar County, Taybad County, Bakharz County, Zaveh County, Fariman County, Torbat-e Jam County, Torbat-e Heydarieh County & Torqabeh and Shandiz County. Razavi Khorasan is one of the three provinces that were created after the division of Khorasan Province in 2004. In 2014 it was placed in Region 5 with Mashhad as the location of the region's secretariat.

The Greater Khorasan has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties and governments in its territory throughout history. Various tribes of the Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Turkemen and Mongols brought changes to the region time and time again.

Ancient geographers of Iran divided Iran ("Ēranshahr") into eight segments of which the most flourishing and largest was the territory of Greater Khorasan. Esfarayen, among other cities of the province, was one of the focal points for residence of the Aryan tribes after entering Iran.

The Parthian empire was based near Merv in Khorasan for many years. During the Sassanid dynasty the province was governed by a Spahbod (Lieutenant General) called "Padgošban" and four margraves, each commander of one of the four parts of the province.

Khorasan was divided into four parts during the Muslim conquest of Persia, each section being named after the four largest cities, Nishapur, Merv, Herat, and Balkh.

In the year 651, the army of Islamic Arabs invaded Khorasan. The territory remained in the hands of the Abbasid clan until 820, followed by the rule of the Iranian Taherid clan in the year 896 and the Samanid dynasty in 900.

Mahmud of Ghazni conquered Khorasan in 994, and Tuğrul in the year 1037.

In 1507, Khorasan was occupied by Uzbek tribes. After the death of Nader Shah in 1747, it was occupied by the Afghan Durrani Empire centered in Qandahar.

During the Qajar period, Britain supported the Afghans to protect their East India Company. Herat was thus separated from Persia, and Nasser-al-Din Shah was unable to defeat the British to take back Herat. Finally, the Paris Treaty was concluded in 1903 and Iran was compelled not to challenge the British for Herat and other parts of what is today Afghanistan.

Finally Khorasan was divided into two parts: the eastern part, which was the most densely populated region came under British occupation, and the other western section remained part of Iran.Khorasan was the largest province of Iran until it was divided into three provinces on September 29, 2004. The provinces approved by the parliament of Iran (on May 18, 2004) and the Council of Guardians (on May 29, 2004) were Razavi Khorasan, North Khorasan, and South Khorasan.

South Khorasan Province

South Khorasan Province (Persian: استان خراسان جنوبی‎ Ostān-e Khorāsān-e Jonūbī ) is a province located in eastern Iran. Birjand is the centre of the province. The other major cities are Ferdows, Tabas and Qaen. In 2014, it was placed in Region 5.This new province, is but the old Quhistan which was included into greater Khorasan in the Iranian administrative planning. However, historically Qohistan forms a separate entity, with a distinct culture, history, environment and ecology.

South Khorasan is one of the three provinces that were created after the division of Khorasan in 2004. While at the beginning, the newly created "South Khorasan" included only Birjand County and some new counties detached from that county (i.e. Nehbandan, Darmian and Sarbisheh), in subsequent years, all northern and western cities and territories of the old Quhistan (such as Qaen, Ferdows and Tabas) have been annexed into the South Khorasan.

South Khorasan Province consists of 11 counties: Birjand County, Ferdows County, Tabas County, Qaen County, Nehbandan County, Darmian County, Sarbisheh County, Boshruyeh County, Sarayan County, Zirkuh County and Khusf County.

Subdivisions of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is divided into:

Provinces of Afghanistan

Districts of Afghanistan

Subdistricts of Afghanistan

Tabas

Tabas (Persian: طبس‎, also Romanized as Ṭabas), formerly Golshan, is a city in and capital of Tabas County, South Khorasan Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 35,150, in 9,903 families.Tabas is located in central Iran, 950 kilometers southeast of Tehran, in South Khorasan Province. At first, it was part of the greater Khorasan province, but in 2001 it was annexed to Yazd Province. However, in 2013 it was returned to Khorasan and it became part of South Khorasan province. The name Khorasan means the land of the rising sun. There are two other places in Khorasan called Tabas, but the name Tabas usually refers to the city under discussion.

It is a desert city with lots of date and citrus trees. It has a 300-year-old public garden, (Baghe-golshan. There is also a shrine in Tabas that is visited every year by thousands of pilgrims. Tabas has two universities, with 2500 to 3500 students. The city has hot summers and people rarely see a winter snowfall.

The people of Tabas speak a Khorasani dialect of Persian that sounds somewhat different from the standard Iranian version ("Tehran Persian").

Tajiks in Pakistan

Tajiks in Pakistan (Urdu: تاجک‎) have inhabited north western valleys particularly KPK where Mansehra,Swat,Bajour,Upper/Lower Dir,Gilgit and Kohistan ali etc which lay adjacent to Tajikistan since ancient time,the Gabari swatis of Pakistan though many are not counted as ethnic Tajik's due to census irregularities. Small numbers of Tajiks had travelled to what is now Pakistan as technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and Sufis during the Islamic Sultanates and Mughal Empire as part of the historical Persian population of Greater Khorasan and settled permanently. There are many shrines dotted throughout Pakistan in honour of noted Tajik noblemen. Some Pakistanis claim Tajik ancestry. In recent years, many Tajiks from Tajikistan have also settled in Pakistan due to the economic conditions prevalent in their home country, many have settled in the northern city of Ishkuman. In 1979, with the invasion by the Soviet Union of Afghanistan, a large number of Tajik refugees came from Afghanistan and settled throughout Pakistan. Exact numbers are difficult to ascertain as many don't have official identity cards. There also large number of Tajiks from Afghanistan that have settled in Pakistan permanently. Many Tajik refugees from Tajikistan lived in Pakistan and some of them returned to Tajikistan. At least 7.3% of Afghans in Pakistan are ethnic Tajiks. Additionally, there is a sizeable community of Chinese Tajiks in Pakistan.

The Hazara People and Greater Khorasan

Mardum-i Hazara Wa Khorasan-i Buzurg (The Hazara people and Greater Khorasan) is Persian language book about the history and origins of the Hazara people by Muhammad Taqi Khavari.

Torbat-e Jam

Torbat-e Jam (Persian: تربت جام‎, also Romanized as Torbat-e Jām; also known as Torbat-e Sheykh Jām and Turbat-i-Shaikh Jam) is a city and capital of Torbat-e Jam County, in Khorasan Province, Iran. At the 2016 census, its population was 100,449. Torbat-e Jam is one of the ancient cities of Greater Khorasan.

Torbat-e Jām is an ancient city. It is about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Mashhad, about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Taybad, and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of the Afghanistan border. There are many ancient places there, like the mazar (tomb) of Sheikh Ahmad Jami and Prince Qasem-e Anvar. The county includes many villages, such as Bezd, Mahmoodabad, Nilshahr.

Provinces of the Sasanian Empire
People of Khorasan
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