Guidebook for Visits of Condolence in Afghanistan


Uṣūlnāmah-ʼi taʼziyahʹdāri dar Afghānistān (Guidebook for visits of condolence in Afghanistan) is a short tract consisting of 13 injunctions concerning public mourning in Afghanistan, particularly with regard to visits of condolence. The tone of the text is largely proscriptive. It prohibits repeated visits to the survivors of the deceased, and requires that such visits occur in a three-day period following the death of the person being mourned. Also included are injunctions against excessive displays of grief and condolence visits by young women in cases when the deceased is not a woman or a close male relative. The text is presented in the two principal languages of Afghanistan, Pushto and Dari, in side-by-side columns. The book was published in 300 copies on April 9, 1939, corresponding to the early reign of Mohammed Zahir Shah (reigned 1933–73). Uṣūlnāmah-ʼi taʼziyahʹdāri dar Afghānistān is important in offering a rare look at the intrusion of the rapidly modernizing Afghan state into areas that previously would have been the exclusive domain of religion and traditional belief systems.  

Last updated: August 31, 2016