Durranian Empire


January 24, 2022

The Durrani Empire was a historical Pashtun state that included the territory of modern Afghanistan, Pakistan, the northeastern part of Iran and the northwestern part of India, including Kashmir. It was founded in Kandahar in 1747 by commander Ahmad Shah Durrani. Under his successors, the state broke up into a number of independent principalities - Peshawar, Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. Modern Afghanistan claims to continue the traditions of Durranian statehood.


At the Durrani court, Pashto, Farsi and Turkic were spoken. The organization and ceremonial of the court of the Durrani Shahs generally followed the patterns that Ahmad Shah and his associates observed at the court of Nadir Shah Afshar. Among the courtiers of Durrani, especially of the middle and lower ranks, there were many immigrants from India and the Qizilbash. Sometimes the Qizilbash reached high positions. So, a certain world Abdul Hasan Khan, having started his service as a simple soldier, then became a "sundukdar-bashi", later a "kulleragasi" and, finally, under Shah Shuja was appointed the ruler of Peshawar. Even noble Indian and Iranian feudal lords went to serve at the court of the Afghan shahs. Among the courtiers of Ahmad Shah were, for example, relatives of Nawab Aud and Nadir Shah Afshar.


Nadir Shah's reign ended in June 1747 when he was assassinated. The assassination was likely planned by his nephew Ali Qoli, although there is no actual evidence to support this theory. However, when Afghan commanders met later that year near Kandahar in a loya jirga (council) to choose a ruler for a new unified state, Ahmad Shah was chosen. Despite being younger than the other candidates, there were several major factors in his favor: He was a direct descendant of Asadullah Khan, a patriarch in the Sadozai clan - the most famous among the Pashtun tribe at that time. He was undoubtedly the most charismatic leader and experienced warrior, having at his disposal a trained, mobile force of several thousand cavalry. It is equally important that he contributed a significant part to the treasury of Nadir Shah Ahmad Shah became the ruler and took the title of "Durrani" ("Pearl of Pearls"). Name may have been suggested

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