History of Islam in Kandahar, Afghanistan

The history of Islam in Kandahar, Afghanistan dates back to the 7th century when the Islamic Prophet Muhammad sent a letter to the ruler of Kandahar inviting him to convert to Islam. The letter was ignored, but over time, Islam gradually spread throughout the region, eventually becoming the dominant religion in Afghanistan.

Kandahar has a rich Islamic history, with the city serving as an important center of Islamic culture and scholarship over the centuries. During the Ghaznavid Empire in the 11th century, Kandahar became a center of Islamic learning and scholarship, with many prominent scholars and thinkers studying and teaching in the city. The Ghaznavids also built many important Islamic landmarks in Kandahar, including the famous Friday Mosque, which was one of the largest mosques in the world at the time.

In the centuries that followed, Kandahar continued to be an important center of Islamic culture and scholarship. During the Mughal Empire, which ruled much of modern-day India and Pakistan in the 16th and 17th centuries, Kandahar served as a key outpost for the empire’s expansion into Central Asia.

In the 19th century, Kandahar became a focal point of conflict between the British Empire and the Afghan Emirate. During the First Anglo-Afghan War in 1839, the British captured Kandahar and established a garrison in the city. However, Afghan forces were eventually able to retake the city in 1842, and the British were forced to withdraw from Afghanistan.

In the 20th century, Kandahar played a key role in the Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s, with Soviet forces occupying the city for much of the conflict. Following the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, Kandahar became a center of Taliban control in the 1990s, with the group establishing its headquarters in the city.

Today, Islam remains the dominant religion in Kandahar, with the majority of the city’s residents practicing Sunni Islam. While Kandahar continues to face challenges and struggles, its rich Islamic history and culture remain an important part of its identity and heritage.

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