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19 August 2021

Analysis of the “History of Badakhshan”: A Valuable Source on the Study of Socio-Economic Relationship of Shugnan and Rushan. Descriptions of some Rare Manuscripts found in GBAO


The paper is based on the last work produced by historians, Kurbonbek and Kudratbek Elchibekovs. It was prepared for publication in the last years of Kudratbek Elchibekov’s life. The work is devoted to the analysis of the written source "Ta’rikh-i Badakhshon" (History of Badakhshan) of Kurbon Muhamma-zade (Akhund Salman) and Muhabbat Shahzade (Sayyid Shakhfutur), in the middle of the last century in the Farsi-Tajik language. According to the authors of this paper, the compilers of this manuscript were the most educated people of their time. The respective compilers had a classical Muslim education, contributed to the revolutionary activities and participated in the transformation of the educational system in the region. It should be noted that this work is limited to the analysis of socio-economic life of Shugnan and Rushan and does not focus on the political history of the entire region.

To note that the manuscript in discussion is devoted to the socio-political and economic life of the people of Shugnan and Rushan, covering the period of the first reign of the Shugnan and Rushan’s kings, the atrocities of the last rulers (notebooks 1 and 2), the arrival of Afghans in Shugnan and Wakhan (notebook 3) and the voluntary annexation of Badakhshan to Russia and the establishment of Soviet power in the Pamirs (notebook 4). In addition to the aforementioned manuscript, the article covers local historical sources such as “History of Badakhshan " by Sang Muhammad Badakhshi and Fazlalibek Surhafsar, “The Story of Shugnan " by Seyid Haydarshah, "Historical Notes" by Kurbonsho Zukhurbek-zada and Garib Muhammad Kazi-zada, and "Masnavi" by Seyid Farurrukhshah. The manuscript "History of Badakhshan" by Akhund Shakhfutur and Akhunda Salman was found by members of the expedition A. Bertels, M. Bakaev (in 60), academician B.I. Iskandarov, who published this work with a preface in facsimile form in Moscow in 1973.