The Farighunids were an Iranian dynasty of Guzgan (modern-day northern Afghanistan) in the late 9th, 10th and early 11th centuries.

Political and Military History

The first Farighunid amir mentioned is Ahmad b. Farighun. Ahmad, together with the Banijurid Abu Dawud Muhammad b. Ahmad, was compelled to recognize the Saffarid Amr bin Laith as his suzerain. Only a short time afterwards, Amr was defeated and captured by the Samanids; Ahmad transferred his allegiance to them around this time. The Farighunids would remain Samanid vassals until the overthrow of the latter at the end of the 10th century. Ahmad was succeeded by his son Abu'l Haret Muhammad expanded the influence of the Farighunids, collecting tribute from certain parts of Ghor.

Abu'l Haret died probably some time after 982 and his son Abu'l Haret Ahmad was drawn into the conflicts that took place within the Samanid amirate during its decline. He was ordered by his suzerain Nuh b. Mansur to attack the rebel Fa'iq, but was defeated by him. The Farighunids developed marriage alliances with the Ghaznavids; Abu'l Haret's daughter had married Sebük Tigin's son Mahmud, while Mahmud's sister had married Abu'l Haret's son Abu Nasr Muhammad. Abu'l Haret assisted Sebük Tigin's forces at Herat against Fa'iq and the Simjurid Abu 'Ali, a battle in which the Ghaznavids and Farighunids were victorious. The Ghaznavids soon afterwards supplanted the Samanids in Khurasan, and the Farighunids become Ghaznavid vassals.

Abu'l Haret died in c. 1000 and Abu Nasr Muhammad succeeded him. Abu Nasr enjoyed the confidence of Mahmud of Ghazna; in 1008 he fought in the center of the Ghaznavid line against the Karakhanids outside Balkh and in the following year escorted Mahmud during his campaign in India. He also married off a daughter to Mahmud's son Muhammad of Ghazna. When Abu Nasr died in around 1010 Muhammad took over the rule of Guzgan, even though Abu Nasr had left a son, Hasan. This marked the end of Farighunid rule.

Cultural Significance

The Farighunids had a significant impact of many prominent individuals in the arts and sciences at the time. Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi Two great poets, Badi' al-Zaman al-Hamadhani and Abul-Fath Bosti, addressed poems to them, and the author of the "Hudud al-'alam", the first geographical treatise to be written in New Persian, dedicated the work to Abu'l Haret Muhammad in 982/3. The Farighunids may also have had connections with the encyclopedist Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi and another encyclopedist named Isaiah b. Farighun, who wrote the "Jawame' al-'ulum" for the Muhtajid amir Abu 'Ali Chaghani.


*Bosworth, C. E. "Al-e Farigun." "Encyclopedia Iranica." 25 September 2006.

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