Skip to comments.The Ten Lost Tribes: The Case for Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Pakistan
Posted on 09/24/2001 8:53:22 AM PDT by xzins
What follows is initial evidence that links some people groups in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Israel. It is thought provoking. HOWEVER, IN POSTING THIS, LET ME ENCOURAGE THE INTERESTED TO GO TO THE WEBSITE AND READ "OVERVIEW" IN WHICH THE CASE AGAINST THE TEN LOST TRIBES IS PRESENTED. Also, note that the "people of the book" as Mohammed called them (Christians or Jews), who converted to Islam, were considered by him to be totally Moslem and totally acceptable. The two sections below deal with Afghanistan and Kashmir.
The Ten Lost Tribes: Afghanistan
The Bible mentions the city of Medes as one of the locations of the Assyrian exile of the Ten Tribes of Israel. Most explain and understand this area to be the region in Northwest Persia called Kurdistan. It is an accepted tradition that the people of this area are from the Assyrian exile.
When one considers the possibility of the people of this exile wandering north and east, then this would apply to the Tribes of Israel living in the Caucasian Mountains between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea which includes the areas of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaidzhan, and Daghistan (areas of Khazar in old days). An eastern expansion beyond the Caspian sea includes the areas Uzbekistan, Bukhara, and Turkemistan. From these areas it is very easy to move south to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan as well as to get to China.
If one travels from the area of Medes or Hamadan to farther east, crossing the Khayber Mountains or the Khayber Pass, he comes into the frontier of Afghanistan today. There I personally found an amazing sight. There are so many of a tribe with names that had Yusuf in the name as Yusufzai, Yusufuzi, Yusufzad, etc., who claimed origin from the Lost Tribes and I personally believe it.
Yusuf means Joseph and Yusufzai means children of Joseph. The tribes of Joseph are the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh who are a part of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. They also call themselves Bani-Israel meaning children of Israel. Their tradition is that they were carried away from their ancient homeland. Formerly they were shepherds in search of pasture but they gave up their nomadic life and settled into village communities.
Israeli Tradition in Afghan Royal Family
Not only the Pathans, but also the Afghan Royal Family has a very well known tradition placing its origin in ancient Israel, they came from the Tribe of Benjamin.
This tradition was first published in 1635 in a book called Mahsan-I-Afghani and has often been mentioned in the research literature. According to this tradition, King Saul had a son called Jeremiah who had a son called Afghana. Jeremiah died at about the time of King Saul's death and Afghana was raised by King David and remained in the royal court during King Solomon's reign.
About 400 years later in the time of disorder of Israel, the Afghana family fled to a land called Gur which is in central Afghanistan. They settled and traded with the people of the area and in the year 662, with the arrival of Islam, the sons of Israel in Gur converted to the prophet with 7 representatives of the Afghan. The leader of the sons of Israel was Kish like the name of Saul's father.
According to this tradition Muhammed rewarded them and Kish's Hebrew name was changed to Arab-A-Rashid by Muhammad and was given the task of spreading Islam among his people. This is the roots of Afghan Royal Family.
So Afghan Royal Family has the tradition of ancient Israel - Benjamin Tribe of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
The Ten Lost Tribes: Kashmir
Leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Pathans live, when one goes east, it is the State of Kashmir in northern part of India which is west of Nepal. Kashmir consists of a very wide and beautiful valley, surrounded by tall mountains and I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
There are 5 to 7 million people there. Generally speaking, they have clearer complexions and are different from the other citizens of India. An Interesting tradition is passed down among the Kashmir people regarding their ancestry from the Lost Tribes of Israel. This tradition is supported by extensive literature written by both the people of Kashmir and other scholars.
In Kashmir, various places are called with Israeli names, like Har Nevo, Beit Peor, Pisga, Heshubon. These are all the names in the land of the Ten Tribes of Israel. The same thing is true in the names of people, male names, female names, and names of village.
The people in Kashmir perform a feast called Pasca in Spring, when they adjust the difference of days between the lunar calendar and solar calendar and the way of this adjustment is the same as Jewish. Several books are published on this. The Udu language which is used in Kashmir includes many words of Hebrew.
Most of the people of Kashmir are Muslims. In spite of it, they are sympathetic towards Jews and Israel. It is evident that their origin has also led to their interest in the people of Israel.
The history of the Kashmiris is shrouded in mystery as is the history of other people in that region. Most Kashmir researchers are of the opinion that many inhabitants of Kashmir are descendants of the Lost Tribes who were exiled in 722 BCE. They wandered along the Silk Road into the countries of the East, Persia and Afghanistan until they reached the Kashmir valley and settled there. Others say the wanderings began approximately 300 years later. The wanderers settled in Kashmir, kept their traditions until they were forced to convert to Islam when the spread of Islam reached the valley. The priest Kitro in his book, the General History of the Mughal Empire, said that the Kashmir people are the descendants of the Israelites.
The traveling Arab historian El Bironi in the 12th century wrote, "In the past, permission to enter Kashmir was given only to Jews."
The priest Monstrat said that in the time of Vasco da Gama in the 15th century, "all the inhabitants of this area who have been living here since ancient times can trace their ancestry, according to their race and customs, to the ancient Israelites. Their features, their general physical appearance, their clothing, their ways of conducting business, all show that they are similar to the ancient Israelites."
Names like Israelites in Kashmir
Recently Mr. Ikbal Chapri, the owner of a houseboat called Haifa (the same name as a big city in Israel) in Srinagar, Kashmir, has written about this topic in the local newspapers.
His article was about the names of the tribes and places of Kashmir which are exactly Hebrew. I have a copy of two pages of the list. For example, one of the tribes of Kashmir is called Asheriya which is Asher, the tribe of Dand is Dan, Gadha is Gad, Lavi is Levi. The Tribe of Shaul is the Hebrew name of King Saul. Musa is Moses, Suliamanish is Solomon. And you also have the tribe of Israel, the tribe of Abri which is the tribe of Hebrew, and the tribe of Kahana which is the word for Jewish priest. There are also 50-75 names of places in Kashmir which are in fact the Hebrew names that ancient Israelites were very familiar with. There is a place called Samaryah which is Samaria. Mamre is Mamre, Pishgah is Pisgah, Nabudaal is Mt. Nevo, Bushan is Bashan, Gilgit is Gilgal, Heshba is Heshbon, Amunah is Amon, Gochan is Goshen, Median-pura is Midian, and Guzana is Gozan which is a place name in Assyria and the very place where the Ten Tribes of Israel were deported.
The name Israel is very common among them as it is among the Pathans, and this name is never used among the Muslims. They also light a candle for the Sabbath, have sidelocks, beards, and emblem or design of the Shield of David.
In an area which is on the border of Pakistan, called Yusmarg (Handwara), there lives a group which to this very day calls itself B'nei Israel meaning children of Israel. Many of the inhabitants of Kashmir say that this is the ancient name of all the people of Kashmir.
In Kashmir there is a strange legend which says that Jesus did not die on the cross but in his search for the Ten Tribes reached the Kashmir valley and lived there until his death. They even point to his grave in Kashmir. This is very much like a legend I have heard somewhere in Japan before. Yes, Herai village (the present name is Shingou village) in Aomori prefecture, where there is also the legend that Jesus came to Japan and died there. They even point to his grave in Herai. It seems that sometimes the legend of coming of Jesus and his tomb is born where the Ten Tribes are said to come.
There is another strange tradition of a small community next to the Wallar Link who point out the grave of Moses. There is yet another tradition in connection with King Solomon according to which even King Solomon reached the Kashmir Valley and through his wisdom aided the people of Kashmir by successfully regulating the Jalum river. This tradition is also connected to a place called Solomon's throne which is situated above the capital of Kashmir, Srinagar. Isn't it strange and fascinating that there are historical and even folkloristic tales of ancient Israeli heroes in these strange and exotic places?
These also resemble legends in Japan. There is the grave of Moses in Mt. Houdatsu, Ishikawa prefecture, and a legend says that many secret treasures of Solomon are kept in Mt. Tsurugi in Shikoku, Japan.
The two primary historians of Kashmir, Mulla Nadiri, who wrote The History of Kashmir and Mulla Ahmad who wrote Events of Kashmir have established without a trace of doubt that the origins of the Kashmiri people are to be found in the people of Israel.
The Ten Lost Tribes: Pathans (Pakistan)
One subject of the Lost Tribes which has generally been ignored which I found to be personally fascinating are the tribe of the Pathans.
The Pathans are about 15 million people living mainly in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as in Persia and India. They have a tradition of being of the Lost Tribes and have Israeli customs.
The Pathans have custom of circumcision on the 8th day. This is a known Jewish custom, and is the oldest Jewish tradition. I myself witnessed and was present at a very joyous circumcision ceremony on the 8th day after birth. Muslims have custom of circumcision but it is not on the 8th day, and usually at the age of 12.
The Pathans have a sort of small Tallit called Kafan. This is a 4 cornered garment which they tie strings similar to the fringes (Jews call them Tzitzit) and is one of the oldest Jewish traditions going back to the Torah and it is a sign of their Israeli origin. They also have bigger Tallit which they call Joy-Namaz. It is a garment 2-3 meters sq., and it is made to cover the head and part of the shoulders, and is used for prayer by spreading on the ground in the Muslim fashion. It has no fringes.
The Pathans have custom of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is considered a day of rest and they do not labor, cook or bake. The Pathans prepare 12 Hallot (traditional Jewish bread, Leviticus 24:5) in honor of the Sabbath as was done in the ancient temple. One of the significant indicators proving the Israeli origins of the Pathans is the lighting of the candle to honor the Sabbath. After lighting, the candle is covered usually by a large basket. The candle is lit by a woman past her menopause.
Pathans Live in Customs of Israelites
Pathans have custom of Kosher, dietary laws same as Jews. Pathans do not eat horse or camel meat, which is most common in their area but of course forbidden to Jews. There is some evidence to their not eating meat and milk together which is also an ancient Israeli tradition. And they have a tradition regarding differentiating between pure and impure birds which means permitted and not permitted birds similar to the Torah.
Some still wear a small box which Jews call Tefillin (phylactery) containing a verse of the Bible. This box resemble Japanese Tokin of Yamabushi's forehead, too. This is an ancient custom of Israel. In the Jewish box there is the verse of Shema Israel, that is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" (Deuteronomy 6:4) This custom of Tefillin came from a verse of the Scriptures, "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8).
It is interesting to note that the Pathans retain family names of the Lost Tribes such as Asher, Gad, Naphtali, Reuben and Manasseh and Ephraim. Among them there are people who are called by these names, which are of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. There are also people who are called Israel, Samuel, and so on, which are never found among the Muslims. There are also many areas as locations, neighborhoods and villages with names of places that are similar to names in the land of Israel.
The region has archeological finds testifying to a Hebrew past, and they also resemble Jews of the area and their language Pashtu surprisingly has many Hebrew words. The Pathans are also called Afghans, or sons of the Pashtu which is their language, were mostly called "Bani-Israel" meaning children of Israel even though they live today as devout Muslims.
The external appearance of the Pathans resemble the Jews of the area. Together with their ancient customs and other data there is a definite connection that can be made to the Tribes of Israel.
The Pathans number 6 to 7 million in Afghanistan and 7 to 8 million in Pakistan. They live in the border area between these two countries and about 2 million live as nomads. These Pathans desire for their independence, which is supported by Afghanistan and is a cause of constant tension in Pakistan which does not desire their independence.
Pathans' Law Resembles the Torah
Afghanistan is one of the least developed countries of Asia and the majority of the population is illiterate. They work primarily in farming and sheep-raising and other domesticated animals.
Most people still live in villages and some even live as nomads. It is a country that is ruled by Islamic religious law and more than 90 % of the population are Sunni Muslims. But whatever modernization has taken place, it has not reached the mountainous border areas. Here the Pathans continue their centuries old tribal life.
The legal system which is known as Pashtunwali, the law of the Pashtu, is very similar to the Torah, which is the holiest Jewish book and the book of ancient Jewish way of life. There are pages and even complete books among the pathans and they honor greatly what is called Tavrad El Sharif (the Torah of Moses), and they rise at the mention of the name of Moses even though it is not important in Islam.
The Pathans are very healthy, tall, and have strong light-skinned appearance. They are warriors and carry arms from a young age, they are hardworking, wise, truthful and extremely loyal and they also have a worldwide reputation for exemplary hospitality.
The ethnic origin of these Pathans has puzzled people for some time because they are different both externally and in the character traits from the other groups around them such as the Turks, the Mongolians, the Persians, or the Indo-Iranians. It is also difficult to trace their past history in a region in which tens of nations and major tribes of various origins have come and gone.
The personal identification of the Pathan Tribes with their Israelite origin is expressed in various ways. Besides the oral tradition related by the elders of the tribe, there are also interesting testimonies of keeping of scrolls of genealogy among the tribes, reaching back to the Fathers of the Jewish nation.
These scrolls are well preserved and some are written in gold on the skins of a doe. No less interesting and significant are the names of the tribes which bear close resemblance to the Tribes of Israel. The Rabbani Tribe is really Reuben, the Shinware Tribe is Shimon, the Lewani Tribe is Levi, The Daftani Tribe is Naphtali, and the Jaji Tribe is Gad, and the Ashuri Tribe is Asher, The Yusefsai Tribe is sons of Joseph, and the Afridi Tribe is really Ephraim. These are the names of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
The Pathans themselves point out the differences between the original names of the tribes and their present names are because of the different dialects of the languages so that, for instance, Jaji was actually called Gaji for the tribe of Gad.
There are some Jews of Afghanistan today who count the Tribe of Israel among the Pathans. The physical similarity between the Pathans and other Jews is exemplified by the British ruled Afghanistan for a great length of time and called the Pathans Jews. When not wearing their traditional clothing Pathans are indistinguishable from other Jews of the area. Among the 21 nations of Afghanistan only the Pathans and the Jews have Semitic features, their faces are longer and lighter, and some even have blue eyes. Like the Jews of the area, Pathans grow beards and sidelocks which further serve to make them indistinguishable from Jews.
Israeli Features of the Pathans
The Pathans have many other features as descendants of Israelites.
Their wedding is like Jewish. Wedding ceremony with the Pathans includes a marriage canopy and rings similar to the Jewish custom.
Women of the Pathans keep laws similar to the Jewish laws regarding menstruation. During this time and for 7 days after, no contact is allowed with the husband. After this period, the woman immerses in a river or spring or in a bathhouse if a natural spring is not available. This is exactly the same as the Israeli tradition going back to the days of the Bible.
Pathans have custom of levirate marriage, which is the custom when a husband dies without children, his brother marries the widow to keep the name of the house. This custom no longer exists today, but was an ancient Israeli custom mentioned in the Bible (Deuteronomy 25:5-6).
The commandment to honor one's parent is kept in exemplary manner in these tribes. The son must obey the parents in all matters. When the father enters the room all stand and bow their heads in his honor. This was a Israeli tradition as well.
Pathans have custom of Yom Kippur. We know of some of the members of the Lewani Tribe who came to the Jewish synagogue on Yom Kippur each year in Afghanistan. He would stay there until sundown without uttering even one word. He spoke of the tradition of the Temple on this day and of the high priest and his work there.
One year he erred in his calendar and did not come, he wept bitterly for one week for missing the observance of this day.
The Pathans have custom of scapegoat. In ancient Israel there was the custom to put sins of the nation onto a goat and send the goat away to desert. This custom of scapegoat was done to atone the sins of the nation (Leviticus chapter 16). Similar custom is found even today among the Pathans.
The Pathans usually pray in mosque. However some pray towards Jerusalem which is most unusual. There are some very old synagogues in their area and Pathans come to these synagogues on special days in times of great stress or tragedies or for special prayers. The individual who seeks help comes there to touch the lock and to pray. There are those who say that these places once contained scrolls of the Torah. This is interesting because today they are actually devout Muslims.
At the time of plague the Pathans slaughter a sheep and sprinkle its blood on the doorpost of their homes. This is what the Israelites did in ancient Egypt during the plagues that occurred there.
An interesting testimony relates to the placing of a wrapped book of Psalms of the Bible under the pillow of the ill in order to heal that person.
There are those who have said that there are Amulets written in Hebrew. Some contain the phrase "Shema Israel" and it is secretly written by the head of the tribe and it is forbidden to open it.
And the symbol of Shield of David (Star of David) is found in almost every Pathan house. The wealthy make it out of expensive metals and the poor out of simple wood. It can be seen in towers, in schools and also in tools, bracelets, and jewelry. I saw it at least 20 times in a variety of places. In Minerajan, the center of Afghanistan, there are even schools that have the Shield of David on the door or in the stone above the door.
Agree with it, disagree with it....that isn't the point.
The point is this: what is God doing in this age? Is all this occurring as a step in His plan to reunite the tribes? Is this all mistaken research? I don't know. But I'm not going to ignore it.
You must note that these people groups mentioned are the crucial groups in conflict in all these countries and with Israel.
Not true. If you have a URL for this, i would be interested in reading it. I have read about a lost tribe in North East India. AFAIK, most of them were brought to Israel by the Israeli government.
also some recent work on matriarchal line on europeans showed something like 7 matriarichal groups were origin of basicly all of europe.....similar work could show common genetic tags with higher incidence in groups suspected of having jewish origin.
of course, i guess not much of this is gonna get proven anytime soon....
I agree with your statement above. I can think of reasons why no Moslem would want to claim genetic ties with Israel, I can think of propaganda reasons for both doing it and not doing it, and I can think of religious reasons why those related to Israel but who had converted to Islam would want to stand and proudly proclaim that they had done the right thing.
And like you mention, the war going on isn't gonna 'cause anyone to rush to the DNA clinic anytime soon.
Jews and Arabs have very nearly identical DNA signatures. They are much closer to each other than either is to any other group.
I know Eric. I talk to him regularly. He used to have his book on the internet at: www.LostTribesNoMyth.com but it is down now. The timing for the site to be down is really bad in light of these events and this thread. If you freep mail me, I will send you his phone number.