Worthy Advice in the Affairs of the World and Religion: The Autobiography of Emir Abdur Rahman Khan


This work is an autobiography of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. It is styled, however, as a manual of advice and a mirror for princes. It is divided into 16 chapters, which are arranged according to the topics on which the author provides advice and worthy examples, in this case drawn from his own conduct. Subdivision by topic of this kind mimics the pattern of books in the advice genre. The colophon dates the work to the month of Muharram of 1303 AH (October–November 1885) and indicates that the manuscript was in the hand of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān himself. Emir 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān was a grandson of Dōst Moḥammad Khān, the founder the Barakzai dynasty of Afghanistan in the period of British expansion after the fall of Durranis in 1842. The reign of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān was a crucial period in the Great Game, as the late-19th-century rivalry between Russia and the British Empire for influence in Central Asia came to be known. The emir reestablished the Afghan government following the Second Afghan War of 1878–80, after his return from exile in Russian Turkistan. The work is a lithographic print of the original manuscript. Lithographic printing was invented in Europe in the late 18th century and spread widely on the Indian subcontinent from the early 19th century onward, its popularity stemming from the relative ease with which it could be used to reproduce different scripts not based on the Latin alphabet. By the 1860s, lithographic printing had spread to Afghanistan, including Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Maṭbaʻ-i Dār al-Salṭanah-ʼi Kābul, Kabul


Title in Original Language

پندنامه دنيا و دين

Type of Item

Physical Description

140 pages ; 42 centimeters

Last updated: September 30, 2016