It is probable that, in the course of the repeated military expeditions carried by the Arabs from the side of Persia against Sind, a variety of new races were brought into the country forming the southern part of the present Afghanistan, and that extensive changes occurred in the previously existing local distribution of the inhabitants In the beginning of the tenth century of our era, the country of Zabulistan (the old name of the southern half of Afghanistan, as Kabulistan was of its northern half) was inhabited by a variety of races speaking different languages, and even at that time the Arab writers were puzzled as to their origin and identification.
This being so, we may conclude that the Afghans when they advanced into Kandahar, which they did in all probability as military colonists under the standard of the Arab Khalif, at first held their own by force of arms, but gradually being in the minority as to numbers, blended with the conquered people, and became absorbed in the general population of the country. As conquerors, however, they retained their own national title, which in time became that of the conquered people with whom, by intermaniage, they identified themselves This view is supported by the evidence afforded by their genealogical tables, which, it appears, were only concocted long centuries after the Arab conquest of the country, and the conversion of its heterogeneous population to the new faith which so rapidly spread over and changed the face of Asia.
The fictions of the Afghan genealogists and historians are absurd enough, and their facts wonderfully distorted; but for the careful enquirer they have their value as guides to a right conclusion. Thus, from the Kais above-mentioned, whose own tribe was originally but an insignificant people as to numbers and power, the Afghan genealogists derive all the Pukhto-speaking peoples of Afghanistan, partly by direct descent, and partly by adoption on account of a similarity of language and social polity.
Kais, they say, married a daughter of that Khalid-bin-Walid who brought his people the first tidings of the Prophet and his doctrine, and by her he had three sons, whom he named respectively, Saiaban, Batan, and Ghurghusht. These names are of themselves very remarkable, and at once afford a clue to the composition of the nation from an ethnic point of view, as will be seen in the further course of this treatise.
The Afghans Proper - the Bani Israil, as they call themselves in special distinction to all other divisions of the nation - class themselves as the descendants of Saraban through his two sons, Sharjyun and Khrishyun. From Sharjyun there sprung five clans, the principal of which is called Sheorani From Khrishyun there sprung three clans, namely, Kand, Zamand, and Kansi The Kand was divided into the Khakhi and Ghori, and included the Mandanr and Yusufzai clans. They are all now settled in the Peshawar valley.
The Zamand were originally settled on the lower course of the Arghasan river and in Peshin or Foshang, as it was at that time - 8-9 H or 630 A. D. - called. They were subsequently ousted by the Tarin tribe of Afghans, and emigrated to Multan in large numbers But their chief clan, called Khushgi or Khushgari, emigrated by way of Ghazni and Kabul to the Ghorband and adjoining valleys of Hindu Kush, and settled there In the time of the Emperor Babur, most of them accompanied his armies into India, and there founded a settlement at Kasur near Lahore. Some of them remained in the Peshawar valley, where the village of Khweshgi marks their principal settlement. There are still many of the clan in Ghorband and Kohistan of Kabul, where they are now known by the name of Khushkari or Kuchkari.
The Kansi early emigrated to Hindustan and the Dekkan, and are not now known in Afghanistan, though by some the Shinwari are supposed to belong to this division.
These several tribes are divided into a number of clans and sub-tribes, the names of many of which are distinctly of Indian origin The special Afghan tribe, however, is called Abdali, and is more commonly known since the time of Ahmad Shah - the first independent sovereign of Afghanistan of this race - by the name Durrani. The Durrani comprise the following chief divisions or clans, namely, Saddozai, Populzai, Barakzai, Halakozai, Achakzai, Nurzai, Ishaczai, and Khagwani. Their home and fixed seat is Kandahar province - the former country of the Gandhara, who, at an early period of our era, spread into the present Hazarah country along the courses of the Helmand and Arghandab rivers. Members of each clan, however, are found in small societies scattered all over the plain country up to Kabul and Jalalabad, and they are there settled mostly as lords of the soil or military feoffees, the people of the country, so far as concerns the agricultural community, being their tenants or serfs.
The Saddozai clan furnished the first independent Shahs, or kings, of the Durrani dynasty, and the Barakzai furnished the Amirs, or dictators. The line of the Shahs was over thrown in the third generation, after a protracted period of anarchy and contention which broke out immediately after the death of the first king and founder of the national inde-pendence The line of the Amirs, entirely owing to the consistent support of the British Government, has reached a fourth successor in the person of the now evilly notorious Yacub Khan.
We must now return to the ancestor, among whose descendants the Afghans class themselves, namely, Saraban. This name is evidently a corruption, or perhaps a natural variant form of Suryabans - the solar or royal race - now represented in India by the Rajput Similarly the names of his sons Khrishyun and Sharjyun, and of his grandson Sheorani, are clearly changed forms of the common Rajput and Brahman proper names Krishan, Surjan, and Shivaram or Sheoram.