GANDĀPŪR, ŠĒR-MOḤAMMAD Khan b. Mehrdād Khan b. Āzād Khan, author of the Persian Tawārīḵ-e ḵoršīd-e jahān, an important chronicle containing genealogical accounts and tables of Pashtun/Paxtun tribal groups. He belonged to the Ebrāhīmzay section of the Gandāpūr (q.v.) Pashtun tribal segment. His dates of birth and death are not known. He was the mayor of the city of Kūlāčī in the Dēra Esmāʿīl Ḵān district of Northwest Frontier Province for an unspecified period during the third quarter of the 19th century. The book (pp. 304-5) includes explicit reference to events in 1904 and 1905, which makes the actual date of publication 1905 or later and raises doubts about the authorship of some portions of the work. It was posthumously published by Sardār Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan, probably the same Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan that the author refers to as his own son (p. 306).

Šēr-Moḥammad claims (p. 2) that, when he was mayor of Kūlāčī, he composed a brief history and genealogy of the Afghans called “Golšan-e Afḡān,” but as he was preparing it for publication, due to the machinations of some government officials, it found its way to Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan (not to be confused with the author’s son), an assistant in the Bannu judiciary, who not only appropriated the document but also used it as the basis for his own book Ḥayāt-e afḡānī. It is difficult to judge Gandāpūr’s claim. Portions of Ḥayāt-e afḡānī, however, show clear resemblance to Gandāpūr’s book. Nevertheless, Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan, without specifically naming anyone, refutes a number of Šēr-Moḥammad’s assertions, especially those concerning genealogical chronologies and the Gandāpūr’s Pashtun identity and their stipulated descent from Moḥammad Gīsū-darāz (pp. 279-98).

The Tawārīḵ-e ḵoršīd-e jahān was reprinted in Peshawar under the title of Tārīḵ-e ḵoršīd-e jahān. The reprint is not dated but it is likely that it was published after the 1978 revolution in Afghanistan when a lucrative market appeared for reprints and translations of works dealing with Afghanistan and its people. The original publication date and the name of Sardār Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan, who had commissioned the original publication, were omitted from the title page of the reprint. This book along with Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan’s Ḥayāt-e afghanī and Neʿmat-Allāh Heravī’s Maḵzan-eafghanī are three basic and sometimes contradictory Persian sources for the dynastic history and genealogical accounts of the Pashtuns.



Šēr-Moḥammad Khan Gandāpūr, Tawārīḵ-e ḵoršīd-e jahān, Lahore, 1894; repr. Peshawar, 1980s?

S. M. Imamuddin, “The Tārīkh Khān-i-Jahān-i-wa-Makhzan-i-Afghānī,” Islamic Culture 22/2, 1948, pp. 129-42, 22/3, pp. 280-94.

Moḥammad-Ḥayāt Khan, Ḥayāt-e afḡānī, tr. H. Priestly as Afghanistan and its Inhabitants, Lahore, 1981.

Neʿmat-Allāh Heravī, Maḵzan-e afḡānī, ed. and tr. B. Dorn as The History of the Afghans, 2 vols., London 1965. Storey, I, p. 407.

(M. Jamil Hanifi)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: February 2, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. X, Fas.c 3, p. 267