Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari

Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar or Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari (840-879) (PerB|یعقوب لیث صفاری) was the founder of the Saffarid dynasty in Sistan, with its capital at Zaranj (a city now in south-western Afghanistan). He ruled territories that are now in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.cite web
url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9077826/Yaqub-ibn-Laith-as-Saffar
title= "Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari"
publisher=Encyclopædia Britannica Online
accessdate=2007-07-15
] cite web
url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9064714
title="Saffarid Dynasty"
publisher=Encyclopædia Britannica Online
accessdate=2007-07-15
]

Early life

Ya'qub's was born of a plebeian family in Qarnin, a small village in Sistan. He moved to the city of Zaranj and worked as a copper smith, while his brother Amr-i Laith Saffari (who later became his successor) worked as a mule-hirer.cite web
url=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/
title= "YA'QUB LAYT"
publisher=Encyclopædia Iranica
accessdate=2007-07-15
] He started his campaign as a bandit (Ayyar) The right translation for Ayyar is not outlaw/bandit rather freedom seekers and protectors of the poor as there is no direct translation of this term in many languages the nearest in English is the "Knight" who with their loyalty and bravery could protect the poor and absolutely not anything like robin-hood.and formed his own army. In Iranian folkloric stories, Ya'qub is regarded as an Iranian Robin Hood because he stole from the wealthy and helped the poor.

affarid Dynasty

He attracted the attention of an Abbasid caliph by conquering non-Muslim territories in the east, which are now mostly part of modern Afghanistan/Pakistan. Then he began acting as an independent ruler and eventually succeeded in gaining control of much of what is now Iran, Afghanistan and large parts of Pakistan. He became the sovereign monarch of the first Iranian dynasty after the Arab Islamic conquest. In many cases, the people he conquered had rebelled against their Islamic overloards and reverted to prior forms of worship. [Dupree, Nancy Hatch (1971) "Sites in Perspective (Chapter 3)" "An Historical Guide To Afghanistan" Afghan Tourist Organization, Kabul, [http://worldcat.org/oclc/241390 OCLC 241390] ]

From his capital Zaranj, he conquered a vast area that included: Kabul Valley, Sind, Tocharistan, Makran (Baluchistan), Kerman, Fars, Khorasan. He attempted to conquer Baghdad but was defeated by the forces of the caliph al-Mu'tamid. It was during his rule that Persian was introduced as an official language, ending the pervasive influence of the Arabic language. [ Hafizullah Emadi. Culture and Customs of Afghanistan, Greenwood Press, 2005. pg 27] Laith has been accorded the historical status of a popular folk hero in history because his court began the revitalization of the Persian language after two centuries of domination by the Arabic language.

See also

*History of Afghanistan
*History of Iran
*History of Pakistan

Notes


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