CEŠT, a small settlement on the north bank of the Harirud and to the south of the Paropamisus range in northwestern Afghanistan, lying approximately 100 miles upstream from Herat in the easternmost part of the modern Herat welāyat or province. The present form of its name is Ḵᵛāja Češt. In medieval times, Češt was regarded as the point of entry from Herat and Bāḏḡīs into the (until early Ghaznavid times) still pagan region of Ḡūr (EṣṭaḵrĪ, ed. de Goeje, p. 285; Ebn Ḥawqal, ed. Kramers, p. 437; tr. Kramers-Wiet, p. 423; both sources with corrupt spellings of the name). FĪrūzkūh (q.v.), the capital of the Ghurids, probably lay some distance upriver from Češt. By Ḥamd-Allāh MostawfĪ’s time (8th/14th century), Češt was the center of a district comprising fifty villages and was famed for its fruits (Nozhat al-qolūb, ed. Le Strange, p. 154, tr. idem, p. 152). The element “Ḵᵛāja” in the modern form of its name stems from the fact that Ḵᵛāja Abū Esḥāq, the original founder of the ČeštĪya Sufi order (q.v.), subsequently to be highly influential in India, stemmed from here.


Bibliography: Given in the text. See also Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, p. 343.

(C. Edmund Bosworth)

(C. Edmund Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1991

Last Updated: October 11, 2011

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Vol. V, Fasc. 3, p. 333