The Rural in Medieval Afghanistan: Islamization of the Region of Ghur in Tenth through Twelfth Centuries


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


South Asia Studies


This dissertation uses medieval Muslim sources to examine the Islamization of Ghur in central Afghanistan during the tenth through twelfth centuries. The project shows that processes of Islamization in rural regions in Afghanistan were made up of complex sets of temporal and spatial contingencies; these included prolonged political and cultural bargainings, exchanges, and military encounters between diverse social groups in rural and urban regions to gain access to, and control of, political and social resources. Reading the 1260 Tabaqāt-i Nasirī, in which the author Juzjani devotes three chapters to pre- and post-Islamic histories of Ghur and Ghuris, brings new attention to these often-overlooked regions. The project reveals that acculturation of Islam in medieval Afghanistan was as dynamic in its remote regions like Ghur as it was in imperial cities like Balkh and Ghazni, which have traditionally received the most attention.