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The SAFFARID DYNASTY (Persian : سلسله صفاریان‎‎) was a Muslim
Muslim
Persianate dynasty from Sistan that ruled over parts of eastern Iran
Iran
, with its capital at Zaranj (a city now in southwestern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
). Khorasan , Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Sistan from 861 to 1003. The dynasty, of Persian origin, was founded by Ya\'qub bin Laith as-Saffar , born in 840 in a small town called Karnin (Qarnin), which was located east of Zaranj and west of Bost, in what is now Afghanistan
Afghanistan
- a native of Sistan and a local ayyar , who worked as a coppersmith (_ṣaffār_) before becoming a warlord . He seized control of the Sistan region and began conquering most of Iran
Iran
and Afghanistan, as well as parts of Pakistan, Tajikestan and Uzbekistan.

The Saffarids used their capital Zaranj as a base for an aggressive expansion eastward and westward. They first invaded the areas south of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and then overthrew the Persian Tahirid dynasty , annexing Khorasan in 873. By the time of Ya'qub's death, he had conquered the Kabul
Kabul
Valley , Sindh
Sindh
, Tocharistan , Makran (Balochistan), Kerman , Fars , Khorasan, and nearly reached Baghdad but then suffered a defeat by the Abbasids .

The Saffarid empire did not last long after Ya'qub's death. His brother and successor, Amr bin Laith , was defeated at the Battle of Balkh against Ismail Samani in 900. Amr bin Laith was forced to surrender most of his territories to the new rulers. The Saffarids were subsequently confined to their heartland of Sistan, with their role reduced to that of vassals of the Samanids and their successors.

CONTENTS

* 1 Founding * 2 Culture * 3 Rulers of the Saffarid dynasty * 4 Gallery * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links

FOUNDING

The dynasty began with Ya\'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar (Ya'qub, son of Layth, the Coppersmith), a coppersmith who moved to the city of Zaranj. He left work to become an Ayyar and eventually got the power to act as an independent ruler. From his capital Zaranj he moved east into al-Rukhkhadj and Zamindawar followed by Zunbil and Kabul
Kabul
by 865. He then invaded Bamyan , Balkh , Badghis , and Ghor . In the name of Islam
Islam
, he conquered these territories which were ruled mostly by Buddhist tribal chiefs . He took vast amounts of plunder and slaves from this campaign. Nancy Dupree in her book _An Historical Guide to Afghanistan_ describes Yaqub's conquests as such:

Arab armies carrying the banner of Islam
Islam
came out of the west to defeat the Sasanians in 642 and then they marched with confidence to the east. On the western periphery of the Afghan area the princes of Herat
Herat
and Sistan gave way to rule by Arab governors but in the east, in the mountains, cities submitted only to rise in revolt and the hastily converted returned to their old beliefs once the armies passed. The harshness and avariciousness of Arab rule produced such unrest, however, that once the waning power of the Caliphate
Caliphate
became apparent, native rulers once again established themselves independent. Among these Saffarids of Sistan shone briefly in the Afghan area. The fanatic founder of this dynasty, the coppersmith’s apprentice Yaqub ibn Layth Saffari, came forth from his capital at Zaranj in 870 and marched through Bost , Kandahar
Kandahar
, Ghazni
Ghazni
, Kabul
Kabul
, Bamyan , Balkh and Herat
Herat
, conquering in the name of Islam. —  Nancy Dupree , 1971

The Tahirid city of Herat
Herat
was captured in 870 and his campaign in the Badghis region led to the capture of Kharidjites which later formed the _Djash al-Shurat_ contingent in his army. Ya'qub then turned his focus to the west and began attacks on Khorasan, Khuzestan
Khuzestan
, Kerman (Southeastern Iran) and Fars (southwestern Iran). The Saffarids then seized Khuzestan
Khuzestan
(southwestern Iran) and parts of southern Iraq, and in 876 came close to overthrowing the Abbasids, whose army was able to turn them back only within a few days' march from Baghdad. These incursions, however, forced the Abbasid caliphate to recognize Ya'qub as governor of Sistan, Fars and Kerman , and Saffarids were even offered key posts in Baghdad.

In 901, Amr Saffari was defeated at the battle of Balkh by the Persian Samanids, which reduced the Saffarid dynasty to a minor tributary in Sistan.

In 1002, Mahmud of Ghazni
Ghazni
invaded Sistan, dethroned Khalaf I and finally ended the Saffarid dynasty.

CULTURE

The Saffarids gave great care to the Persian culture. Under their rule, the eastern Islamic world witnessed the emergence of prominent Persian poets such as Fayrouz Mashriqi , Abu Salik al-Jirjani , and Muhammad bin Wasif al-Sistani , who was a court poet.

In the later 9th century, the Saffarids gave impetus to a renaissance of New Persian literature and culture. Following Ya'qub's conquest of Herat, some poets chose to celebrate his victory in Arabic, whereupon Ya'qub requested his secretary, Muhammad bin Wasif al-Sistani, to compose those verses in Persian.

From silver mines in the Panjshir Valley , the Saffarids were able to mint silver coins.

RULERS OF THE SAFFARID DYNASTY

PART OF A SERIES ON THE

HISTORY OF IRAN

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Mythological history

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Ancient period

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Prehistory of Iran Ancient Times–4000

Kura–Araxes culture 3400–2000

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Elam 2700–539

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Imperial period

Median Empire 678–550 BC

(Scythian Kingdom ) 652–625 BC

Neo-Babylonian Empire 626 BC–539 BC

Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
550–330 BC

Kingdom of Armenia 331 BC – 428 AD

Atropatene 320s BC – 3rd century AD

Seleucid Empire 312–63 BC

Frataraka dynasty 3rd-century BC – c. 222 AD

Parthian Empire 247 BC – 224 AD

Suren Kingdom 119 BC – 240 AD

Sasanian Empire 224–651

Zarmihrids 6th century – 785

Qarinvandids 550s – 11th century

Medieval
Medieval
period

Rashidun Caliphate
Caliphate
632-661

Umayyad Caliphate
Caliphate
661–750

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Bavandids 651–1349

Masmughans of Damavand 651–760

Paduspanids 665–1598

Justanids 791 – 11th century

Alid dynasties 864 – 14th century

Tahirid dynasty 821–873

Samanid Empire 819–999

Saffarid dynasty 861–1003

Ghurid dynasty pre-879 – 1141

Sajid dynasty 889–929

Sallarid dynasty 919–1062

Ziyarid dynasty 930–1090

Ilyasids 932–968

Buyid dynasty 934–1062

Ghaznavid dynasty 977–1186

Kakuyids 1008–1141

Nasrid dynasty 1029–1236

Shabankara 1030–1355

Seljuk Empire 1037–1194

Khwarazmian dynasty 1077–1231

Eldiguzids 1135–1225

Atabegs of Yazd 1141–1319

Salghurids 1148–1282

Hazaraspids
Hazaraspids
1155–1424

Mihrabanids 1236–1537

Kurt dynasty 1244–1396

Ilkhanate Empire 1256–1335

Chobanid dynasty 1335–1357

Muzaffarid dynasty 1335–1393

Jalairid dynasty 1337–1376

Sarbadars 1337–1376

Injuids 1335–1357

Afrasiyab dynasty 1349–1504

Marashis 1359–1596

Timurid Empire 1370–1507

Karkiya dynasty 1370s–1592

Kara Koyunlu 1406–1468

Aq Qoyunlu 1468–1508

Early modern period

Safavid dynasty 1501–1736

( Hotak dynasty ) 1722–1729

Afsharid dynasty 1736–1796

Talysh Khanate 1747–1826

Zand dynasty
Zand dynasty
1751–1794

Qajar dynasty 1789–1925

Modern period

Pahlavi dynasty 1925–1979

Interim Government of Iran 1979–1980

History of the Islamic Republic of Iran 1980–present

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HISTORY OF AFGHANISTAN

Timeline

Ancient

Indus Valley Civilisation 2200–1800 BC

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Achaemenid Empire
550–330 BC

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Hephthalite Empire
410–557

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Medieval
Medieval

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Kabul
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Rashidun Caliphate
Caliphate
652–661

Umayyads 661–750

Abbasids 750–821

Tahirids 821–873

Saffarids 863–900

Samanids 875–999

Ghaznavids 963–1187

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Modern

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Emirate of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
1826–1919

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Afghanistan
1919–1973

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Afghanistan
1973–1978

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Afghanistan
1978–1992

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Afghanistan
1992–2001

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Afghanistan
1996–2004

Interim /Transitional Administration 2001–2004

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
since 2004

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TITULAR NAME PERSONAL NAME REIGN

Independence from the Abbasid Caliphate .

Amir_ أمیر _al-Saffar_ coppersmith الصفار Ya\'qub ibn Layth یعقوب بن اللیث 861-879 CE

_Amir_ أمیر Amr ibn al-Layth عمرو بن اللیث 879-901 CE

_Amir_ أمیر _Abul-Hasan_ أبو الحسن Tahir ibn Muhammad ibn Amr طاھر بن محمد بن عمرو co-ruler Ya\'qub ibn Muhammad ibn Amr 901-908 CE

_Amir_ أمیر al-Layth ibn \'Ali اللیث بن علي 908-910 CE

_Amir_ أمیر Muhammad ibn \'Ali محمد بن علي 910-911 CE

_Amir_ أمیر Al-Mu\'addal ibn \'Ali المعضل ابن علي 911 CE

_Amir_ أمیر _Abu Hafs_ ابو حفص Amr ibn Ya\'qub ibn Muhammad ibn Amr عمرو بن یعقوب بن محمد بن عمرو 912-913 CE

Samanid occupation 913-922 CE.

_Amir_ أمیر _Abu Ja'far_ ابو جعفر Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn Layth ibn \'Ali 922-963 CE

_Amir_ أمیر _Wali-ud-Daulah_ ولي الدولة Khalaf ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn al-Layth ibn \'Ali 963-1002 CE

Conquered by Mahmud ibn Sebuktigin of the Ghaznavid Empire in 1002 CE.

GALLERY

*

The Saffarid dynasty and its neighbors at its peak in 900 CE *

Saffarid Soldier

SEE ALSO

* Iranian Intermezzo * Nasrid dynasty (Sistan) * Mihrabanids * Samanids * Ghaznavids * List of kings of Persia * List of Sunni Muslim
Muslim
dynasties

REFERENCES

* ^ "Persian Prose Literature." World Eras. 2002. HighBeam Research. (September 3, 2012);"_Princes, although they were often tutored in Arabic and religious subjects, frequently did not feel as comfortable with the Arabic language and preferred literature in Persian, which was either their mother tongue—as in the case of dynasties such as the Saffarids (861–1003), Samanids (873–1005), and Buyids (945–1055)..._". * ^ Robinson, Chase F. (2009). _The new Cambridge history of Islam. Vol 1, Sixth to eleventh centuries_ (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 345. ISBN 978-0-521-83823-8 . The Tahirids had made scant use of Persian, though the Saffarids used it considerably more. But under the Samanids Persian emerged as a full "edged language of literature and (to a lesser extent) administration. Court patronage was extended to Persian poets, including the great Rudaki (d. c. 940). Meanwhile Arabic continued to be used abundantly, for administration and for scientific, theo logical and philosophical discourse. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ _The Islamization of Central Asia in the Samanid era and the reshaping of the Muslim
Muslim
world_, D.G. Tor, BULLETIN OF THE SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES, University of London, Vol. 72, No. 2 (2009), 281;"_The Saffārids were the first of the Persianate dynasties to arise from the remains of the politically moribund ʿAbbāsid caliphate_". * ^ _The Cambridge History of Iran_, by Richard Nelson Frye, William Bayne Fisher, John Andrew Boyle (Cambridge University Press, 1975: ISBN 0-521-20093-8 ), pg. 121. * ^ _The Encyclopedia of World History_, ed. Peter N. Stearns and William Leonard Langer (Houghton Mifflin, 2001), 115. * ^ _A_ _B_ Clifford Edmund Bosworth , _Encyclopædia Iranica_ SAFFARIDS * ^ "_First, the Saffarid amirs and maliks were rulers of Persian stock who for centuries championed the cause of the underdog against the might of the Abbasid caliphs._" -- Savory, Roger M.. "_The History of the Saffarids of Sistan and the Maliks of Nimruz (247/861 to 949/1542-3)._" The Journal of the American Oriental Society. 1996 * ^ "_The provincial Persian Ya'kub, on the other hand, rejoiced in his plebeian origins, denounced the Abbasids as usurpers, and regarded both the caliphs and such governors from aristocratic Arab families as the Tahirids with contempt_". -- Ya'kub b. al-Layth al Saffar, C.E. Bosworth, THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ISLAM, Vol. XI, p 255 * ^ _Saffarids: A Persian dynasty....._", ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ARABIC LITERATURE, Volume 2, edited by Julie Scott Meisami, Paul Starkey, p674 * ^ "_There were many local Persian dynasties, including the Tahirids, the Saffarids...._", MIDDLE EAST, WESTERN ASIA, AND NORTHERN AFRICA, by Ali Aldosari, p472. * ^ "_Saffarid, the Coppersmith, the epithet of the founder of this Persian dynasty..._", _The Arabic Contributions to the English Language: An Historical Dictionary_, by Garland Hampton Cannon, p288. * ^ "_The Saffarids, the first Persian dynasty, to challenge the Abbasids..._", _Historica