Tajiks are a Persian-speaking Iranian ethnic group native to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Tajiks are the largest ethnicity in Tajikistan, the second largest in Afghanistan which constitutes over half of the global Tajik population, they speak varieties of a Western Iranian language. In Tajikistan, since the 1939 Soviet census, its small Pamiri and Yaghnobi ethnic groups are included as Tajiks. In China, the term is used to refer to its Pamiri ethnic groups, the Tajiks of Xinjiang, who speak the Eastern Iranian Pamiri languages. In Afghanistan, the Pamiris are counted as a separate ethnic group; as a self-designation, the literary New Persian term Tajik, which had some previous pejorative usage as a label for eastern Persians or Iranians, has become acceptable during the last several decades as a result of Soviet administration in Central Asia. Alternative names for the Tajiks are Eastern Persian, Fārsīwān, Dīhgān which translates to "farmer or settled villager", in a wider sense "settled" in contrast to "nomadic" and was used to describe a class of land-owning magnates as "Persian of noble blood" in contrast to Arabs and Romans during the Sassanid and early Islamic period.
The Tajiks are an Iranian people, speaking a variety of Persian, concentrated in the Oxus Basin, the Farḡāna valley and on both banks of the upper Oxus, i.e. the Pamir Mountains and northeastern Afghanistan and western Afghanistan. The ancient Tajiks were chiefly agriculturalists before the Arab Conquest of Iran. While agriculture remained a stronghold, the Islamization of Iran resulted in the rapid urbanization of historical Khorasan and Transoxiana that lasted until the devastating Mongolian invasion. Several surviving ancient urban centers of the Tajik people include Herat, Bukhara, Khujand and Kabul. Contemporary Tajiks are the descendants of ancient Eastern Iranian inhabitants of Central Asia, in particular, the Sogdians and the Bactrians, other groups, with an admixture of Western Iranian Persians and non-Iranian peoples. According to Richard Nelson Frye, a leading historian of Iranian and Central Asian history, the Persian migration to Central Asia may be considered the beginning of the modern Tajik nation, ethnic Persians, along with some elements of East-Iranian Bactrians and Sogdians, as the main ancestors of modern Tajiks.
In works, Frye expands on the complexity of the historical origins of the Tajiks. In a 1996 publication, Frye explains that many "factors must be taken into account in explaining the evolution of the peoples whose remnants are the Tajiks in Central Asia" and that "the peoples of Central Asia, whether Iranian or Turkic speaking, have one culture, one religion, one set of social values and traditions with only language separating them." Regarding Tajiks, the Encyclopædia Britannica states:The Tajiks are the direct descendants of the Iranian peoples whose continuous presence in Central Asia and northern Afghanistan is attested from the middle of the 1st millennium bc. The ancestors of the Tajiks constituted the core of the ancient population of Khwārezm and Bactria, which formed part of Transoxania. Over the course of time, the eastern Iranian dialect, used by the ancient Tajiks gave way to Farsi, a western dialect spoken in Iran and Afghanistan; the geographical division between the eastern and western Iranians is considered and to be the desert Dasht-e Kavir, situated in the center of the Iranian plateau.
According to John Perry The most plausible and accepted origin of the word is Middle Persian tāzīk'Arab', or an Iranian cognate word. The Muslim armies that invaded Transoxiana early in the eighth century, conquering the Sogdian principalities and clashing with the Qarluq Turks consisted not only of Arabs, but of Persian converts from Fārs and the central Zagros region. Hence the Turks of Central Asia adopted a variant of the Iranian word, täžik, to designate their Muslim adversaries in general. For example, the rulers of the south Indian Chalukya dynasty and Rashtrakuta dynasty referred to the Arabs as "Tajika" in the 8th and 9th century. By the eleventh century, the Qarakhanid Turks applied this term more to the Persian Muslims in the Oxus basin and Khorasan, who were variously the Turks' rivals, models and subjects. Persian writers of the Ghaznavid, Seljuq and Atābak periods adopted the term and extended its use to cover Persians in the rest of Greater Iran, now under Turkish rule, as early as the poet ʿOnṣori, ca.
1025. Iranians soon accepted it as an ethnonym, as is shown by a Persian court official's referring to mā tāzikān "we Tajiks"; the distinction between Turk and Tajik became stereotyped to express the symbiosis and rivalry of the nomadic military executive and the urban civil bureaucracy. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the oldest known usage of the word Tajik as a reference to Persians in Persian literature can be found in the writings of the Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi; the 15th century Turkic-speaking poet Mīr Alī Šer Navā'ī used Tajik as a reference to Persians. An exampl
Xinjiang the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is a provincial-level autonomous region of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2. Xinjiang contains the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, administered by China and claimed by India. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and India; the rugged Karakoram and Tian Shan mountain ranges occupy much of Xinjiang's borders, as well as its western and southern regions. Xinjiang borders Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai; the most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. In recent decades, abundant oil and mineral reserves have been found in Xinjiang, it is China's largest natural gas-producing region, it is home to a number of ethnic groups, including the Uyghur, Kazakhs, Hui, Kyrgyz and Russians.
More than a dozen autonomous prefectures and counties for minorities are in Xinjiang. Older English-language reference works refer to the area as Chinese Turkestan. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range. Only about 9.7% of Xinjiang's land area is fit for human habitation. With a documented history of at least 2,500 years, a succession of people and empires have vied for control over all or parts of this territory; the territory came under the rule of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, replaced by the Republic of China government. Since 1949, it has been part of the People's Republic of China following the Chinese Civil War. In 1954, Xinjiang Bingtuan was set up to strengthen the border defense against the Soviet Union, promote the local economy. In 1955, Xinjiang was turned into an autonomous region from a province. In the last decades, the East Turkistan independent movement, separatist conflict and the influence of radical Islam have both resulted in unrest in the region, with occasional terrorist attacks and clashes between separatist and government forces.
The general region of Xinjiang has been known by many different names in earlier times, in indigenous languages as well as other languages. These names include Altishahr, the historical Uyghur name, as well as Khotan, Chinese Tartary, High Tartary, East Chagatay, Kashgaria, Little Bokhara, and, in Chinese, "Western Regions". In Chinese, under the Han dynasty, Xinjiang was known as Xiyu, meaning "Western Regions". Between the 2nd century BCE and 2nd century CE the Han Empire established the Protectorate of the Western Regions or Xiyu Protectorate in an effort to secure the profitable routes of the Silk Road; the Western Regions during the Tang era were known as Qixi. Qi refers to the Gobi Desert; the Tang Empire had established the Protectorate General to Pacify the West or Anxi Protectorate in 640 to control the region. During the Qing dynasty, the northern part of Xinjiang, Dzungaria was known as Zhunbu and the southern Tarim Basin was known as Huijiang before both regions were merged and became the region of "Xiyu Xinjiang" simplified as "Xinjiang".
The current Chinese name "Xinjiang", which means "New Frontier" or "New Borderland", was given during the Qing dynasty. According to Chinese statesman Zuo Zongtang's report to the Emperor of Qing, Xinjiang means an "old land newly returned", or the new old land.. The term was given to other areas conquered by Chinese empires, for instance, present-day Jinchuan County was known as "Jinchuan Xinjiang'". In the same manner, present-day Xinjiang was known as Gansu Xinjiang; the name "East Turkestan" is used in the diaspora communities today, refers to the independent republic of East Turkestan. The name was created by Russian sinologist Hyacinth to replace the term "Chinese Turkestan" in 1829. "East Turkestan" was used traditionally to only refer to the Tarim Basin in the south, the modern Xinjiang area and Dzungaria being excluded. In 1955, Xinjiang province was renamed Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; the name, proposed was "Xinjiang Autonomous Region". Saifuddin Azizi, the first chairman of Xinjiang, registered his strong objections to the proposed name with Mao Zedong, arguing that "autonomy is not given to mountains and rivers.
It is given to particular nationalities." As a result, the administrative region would be named "Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region". Xinjiang consists of two main geographically and ethnically distinct regions with different historical names, Dzungaria north of the Tianshan Mountains and the Tarim Basin south of the Tianshan Mountains, before Qing China unified them into one politic
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent; the ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol
The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages. The Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid-2nd millennium BCE. At their peak of expansion in the mid-1st millennium BCE, the territory of the Iranian peoples stretched across the entire Eurasian Steppe from the Great Hungarian Plain in the west to the Ordos Plateau in the east, to the Iranian Plateau in the south; the Western Iranian empires of the south came to dominate much of the ancient world from the 6th century BCE, leaving an important cultural legacy. The ancient Iranian peoples who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE include the Alans, Dahae, Massagetae, Parthians, Sagartians, Sarmatians, Scythians and Cimmerians among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Steppe. In the 1st millennium CE, their area of settlement was reduced as a result of Slavic, Germanic and Mongol expansions, many were subjected to Slavicisation and Turkification.
Modern Iranian-speaking peoples include the Baloch, Kurds, Mazanderanis, Pamiris, Persians, the Talysh and Yaghnobis. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau, stretching from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from eastern Turkey in the west to western Xinjiang in the east—a region, sometimes called the Iranian Cultural Continent, representing the extent of the Iranian-speakers and the significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Old Persian ariya-, Avestan airiia- and Proto-Iranian *arya-. There have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old Iranian arya-; the following are according to 1957 and linguists: Emmanuel Laroche: ara- "to fit". Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-, meaning " assembler".
Georges Dumézil: ar- "to share". Harold Walter Bailey: ar- "to beget". Émil Benveniste: ar- "to fit". Unlike the Sanskrit ā́rya-, the Old Iranian term has an ethnic meaning. Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, Iron.< In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of Avesta. The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya- occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BCE; the inscription of Bistun describes itself to have been composed in Arya. As is the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the inscription does not signify anything but Iranian. In royal Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three different contexts: As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in the Bistun Inscription; as the ethnic background of Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam Relief and Susa and the ethnic background of Xerxes I in the inscription from Persepolis.
As the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite version of the Bistun Inscription. In the Dna and Dse and Xerxes describe themselves as "an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan stock". Although Darius the Great called his language arya-, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language; the trilingual inscription erected by the command of Shapur. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian, Greek. In Greek inscription says "ego... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi", which translates to "I am the king of the kingdom of the Iranians". In Middle Persian, Shapur says "ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm"; the Avesta uses airiia- as an ethnic name, where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō, airyō šayanəm, airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi. In the late part of the Avesta, one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as Airyan'əm Vaējah which means "expanse of the Iranians".
The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area around Herat and the entire expanse of the Iranian plateau. The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources. Herodotus, in his Histories, remarks about the Iranian Medes that "Medes were called anciently by all people Arians". In Armenian sources, the Parthians and Persians are collectively referred to as Iranians. Eudemus of Rhodes refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian lineage". Diodorus Siculus considers Zoroaster as one of the Arianoi. Strabo, in his Geographica, mentions of the Medes, Persians and Sogdians of the Iranian Plateau and Transoxiana of antiquity: The name of Ariana is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as to the Bactrians and Sogd
Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah; this view contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet. Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim as well as being the prophet's cousin and being the first male to become Muslim. Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i or Shi'ite individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: as of the late 2000s, Shia Muslims constituted 10-15% of all Muslims. Twelver Shia is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.
Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, as the first Imam; the Shia extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt, some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia; the word Shia means followers and is the short form of the historic phrase shīʻatu ʻAlī, meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali". Shi'a and Shiism are the forms used in English, while Shi'ite or Shiite, as well as Shia, refer to its adherents; the term for the first time was used at the time of Muhammad. At present, the word refers to the Muslims who believe that the leadership of the community after Muhammad belongs to Ali and his successors.
Nawbakhti states that the term Shia refers to a group of Muslims that at the time of Muhammad and after him regarded Ali as the Imam and Caliph. Al-Shahrastani expresses that the term Shia refers to those who believe that Ali is designated as the Heir and caliph by Muhammad and Ali's authority never goes out of his descendants. For the Shia, this conviction is implicit in the history of Islam. Shia scholars emphasize that the notion of authority is linked to the family of the prophets as the verses 3:33,34 shows: "Indeed, God chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of'Imran over the worlds – Descendants, some of them from others, and God is Hearing and Knowing." Shia Muslims believe that just as a prophet is appointed by God alone, only God has the prerogative to appoint the successor to his prophet. They believe God chose Ali to be Muhammad's successor, the first caliph of Islam; the Shias believe. Ali was Muhammad's first-cousin and closest living male relative as well as his son-in-law, having married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.
Muhammad invited people to Islam in secret for three years. In the fourth year of Islam, when Muhammad was commanded to invite his closer relatives to come to Islam he gathered the Banu Hashim clan in a ceremony. At the banquet, he was about to invite them to Islam when Abu Lahab interrupted him, after which everyone left the banquet; the Prophet ordered Ali to invite the 40 people again. The second time, Muhammad invited them to join, he said to them, I offer thanks to God for His mercies. I praise God, I seek His guidance. I believe in Him and I put my trust in Him. I bear witness. God has commanded me to invite you to His religion by saying:. I, warn you, call upon you to testify that there is no god but God, that I am His messenger. O ye sons of Abdul Muttalib, no one came to you before with anything better than what I have brought to you. By accepting it, your welfare will be assured in the Hereafter. Who among you will support me in carrying out this momentous duty? Who will share the burden of this work with me?
Who will respond to my call? Who will become my vicegerent, my deputy and my wazir? Ali was the only one to answer Muhammad's call. Muhammad told him to sit down, saying, "Wait! Someone older than you might respond to my call." Muhammad asked the members of Banu Hashim a second time. Once again, Ali was the only one to respond, again, Muhammad told him to wait. Muhammad asked the members of Banu Hashim a third time. Ali was still the only volunteer; this time, Ali's offer was accepted by Muhammad. Muhammad "drew close, pressed him to his heart, said to the assembly:'This is my wazir, my successor and my vicegerent. Listen to him and obey his commands.'" In another narration, when Muhammad accepted Ali's eager offer, Muhammad "threw up his arms around the generous youth, pressed him to his bosom" and said, "Behold my brother, my vizir, my vicegerent... Let all listen to his words, obey him." Sir Richard Burton writes about the banquet in his 1898 book, saying, "It won for a proselyte worth a thousand sabers in the pers
Tajiks of Xinjiang
Chinese Tajiks or Mountain Tajiks in China, including Sarikolis and Wakhis in China, are an extension of the Pamiri ethnic group that lives in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China. They are one of the 56 ethnic groups recognized by the government of China. Despite the name by which they are known in China, the Tajiks of Xinjiang are not the same as the Tajik people; the Tajiks in Xinjiang of China, are an extension of the Pamiri people, a different Iranian group who speak the indigenous Eastern Iranian Pamiri languages. Tashkurgan Town became the capital of a kingdom of the Pamir Mountains. During the Qing dynasty, the Tajiks were administered by a system of Begs like the rest of Xinjiang. During the Qing dynasty the Chinese claimed suzerainty over the Taghdumbash Pamir in the south west of Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County but permitted the Mir of Hunza to administer the region in return for a tribute; the Tajiks of Xinjiang practiced slavery. Submissive slaves were settled with the Tajiks.
They could be sold anytime. Their slaves came from numerous sources, enslaving Sunni captives such as Kirghiz in retaliation for Kirghiz slave raids against the Tajiks since the Kirghiz sold them into slavery in these raids, or from Kunjud, Chitral. Slaves from Chitral and Kunjud passed through there to Bukhara; the Sunnis called them did not consider them Muslim. Most foreign slaves in Xinjiang were Shia Mountain Tajiks, they were referred to by Sunni Turkic Muslims as Ghalcha. Shia Mountain Tajik Ghalchas made up the majority of slave trafficked and sold in Xinjiang to the Sunni Muslim Turkic inhabitants and they were seen as foreigners and strangers. Serfs were treated in a "wretched" manner. An anti-Russian uproar broke out when Russian customs officials, 3 Cossacks and a Russian courier invited local Turki Muslim prostitutes to a party in January 1902 in Kashgar, this caused a massive brawl by the inflamed local Turki Muslim populace against the Russians on the pretense of protecting Muslim women because there was anti-Russian sentiment being built up though morality was not strict in Kashgar, the local Turki Muslims violently clashed with the Russians before they were dispersed, the Chinese sought an end to tensions to prevent the Russians from building up a pretext to invade.
After the riot, the Russians sent troops to Sarikol in Tashkurghan and demanded that the Sarikol postal services be placed under Russian supervision, the locals of Sarikol believed that the Russians would seize the entire district from the Chinese and send more soldiers after the Russians tried to negotiate with the Begs of Sarikol and sway them to their side, they failed since the Sarikoli officials and authorities demanded in a petition to the Amban of Yarkand that they be evacuated to Yarkand to avoid being harassed by the Russians and objected to the Russian presence in Sarikol, the Sarikolis did not believe the Russian claim that they would leave them alone and only involved themselves in the mail service. In the 1940s around 9,000 Tajiks lived in Xinjiang. During the Ili Rebellion, Uyghur forces butchered the livestock of the Tajiks as they advanced south; the Soviet backed insurgents destroyed Tajik crops and acted aggressively against the Tajiks and Kirghiz of China. The population of Tajiks in China numbers 41,028.
They are located in China's western Xinjiang region with 60% living in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County. Despite the name "Tajik", used to refer to them, the Tajiks of China do not speak the Tajik language. Early 20th-century travelers to the region referred to them as Sarikoli, "Mountain Tajiks," or Ghalcha. In China, the languages of the Tajik people have no official written form; the great majority speak the Sarikoli language, influenced by Uyghur and Wakhi. A small proportion speak Wakhi language. Sarikoli and Wakhi are Iranian languages classified in the Pamir or Eastern Iranian areal groups; the Mountain Tajiks in China are adherents of the Aga Khani Nizari Ismaili sect of Shia Islam, are still a little isolated from the rest of the worldwide Ismaili community, though their communication with other Pamiri peoples has never stopped. The Chinese authorities allow a few Ismaili religious buildings to function in Xinjiang's Tajik Autonomous District, whose clerics were appointed by the Chinese secular authorities.
Restrictions by the Chinese government bars foreign Ismaili preachers from working among the Tajiks in China. But the Aga Khan has begun to communicate with China more. From 2–4 April 2012, His Highness the Aga Khan, paid an official visit to Ürümqi, China, at the invitation of the Governor of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Mr Nur Bekri, to discuss collaboration between the Aga Khan Development Network and the autonomous government of Xinjiang, his Highness and Governor Bekri held constructive talks in the meeting and agreed to collaborate in several thematic areas of mutual interest, including poverty alleviation, tourism investment, financial services. The Aga Khan IV had last visited China in 1981; the Tajik ethnic minority