Afghanistan Table of Contents
Four more mujahidin leaders were recognized by the Pakistan government in 1979: Yunis Khalis, another militant Islamist, and three religious leaders with monarchist affiliations, Sighatullah Mujaddidi, Sayyid Ahmad Gailani, and Muhammadi Muhammad Nabi. Khalis split a section of the Hezb-i-Islami away from Hekmatyar. The oldest of the party leaders, Mawlawi Yunis Khalis, was an accomplished scholar, with strong roots in his eastern Pushtun tribe, the Khugianis of Nangrahar. A former colleague of Rabbani's in the Islamist circle at the university, he agreed with his political gradualism. Roy claims he left because Hekmatyar had avoided combat to conserve his forces. His party retains its name as identical to Hekmatyar's, Hezb-i-Islami.
The three so-called moderate party leaders arrived in Pakistan during the Taraki-Amin period. Their moderation related to their willingness to see Afghan government restored to secular leadership--Gailani and Mujaddidi had close ties to the royal family. Yet each was a prominent religious leader who exemplified dedication to the jihad and a strong infusion of traditional Islamic values, for example, enforcement of the Sharia, in a post-Marxist government.
Mujaddidi was the leading survivor of an extraordinarily influential Naqshbandi (Sufi) family which had emigrated from India at the beginning of the century. It had played a major role in the revolt against King Amanullah in 1929 and later became affiliated with the more conservative dynasty of Nadir and Zahir Shah. More than 100 of Sibghatullah Mujaddidi's relatives were massacred at Amin's command early in 1979. His family holds the rank of pir (saint) in the Sufi order which is the basis for its large religious following throughout Afghanistan. Sibghatullah is not a pir, but a conservative Mawlawi. His party, the Jubha-i-Melli-i-Najat Afghanistan (Afghanistan National Front) essentially consists of Naqshbandi followers.
Gailani is a pir of the Qadiriyya Sufi order. His followers are largely Ghilzais, especially the Suleimankhel and Khugiani tribes centered in Nangrahar Province. Sayyid Ahmad Gailani adopted a secular life, married into the royal family and owned a car dealership prior to the Marxist coup. His party, based largely on a Durrani network of khans and his Ghilzai disciples with a scattering of Sufi followers elsewhere, is the Mahaz-i-Melli Islami Afghanistan (National Islamic Front of Afghanistan). Gailani has represented the royal family in resistance politics.
Muhammad Nabi is a mawlawi (Islamic scholar) who taught at madrasas in Ghazni and Logar. Much of his large following in Afghanistan was generated by the spread of his graduates throughout the country. His was the largest network of commanders--mostly ulamas--in the early years of the war. His forces were represented in every region. Nabi was also politically active before the war. He served in the 1965 parliament where he was celebrated for giving Babrak Karmal a physical beating. He has led the Harakat-i-Inquilab-i-Islami (Revolutionary Islamic Movement).
Data as of 1997