Map of Kafiristan


Kafiristan, or “The Land of the Infidels,” was a region in eastern Afghanistan where the inhabitants had retained their traditional culture and religion and rejected conversion to Islam. In 1896 the ruler of Afghanistan, Amir 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān (reigned 1880−1901), conquered the area and brought it under Afghan control. The Kafirs became Muslims and in 1906 the region was renamed Nuristan, meaning the “Land of Light,” a reference to the enlightenment brought by Islam. Kafiristan was visited by British expeditions and survey missions in the 1870s and 1880s and was the subject of several papers read at sessions of the Royal Geographical Society in London. This map of Kafiristan was published in 1881 by the London firm of Edward Stanford for the Royal Geographical Society. The map is by Henry Sharbau (1822−1904), for many years the chief cartographer of the society.

Last updated: January 8, 2018