Pashtunwali

Pashtunwali

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Pashtunwali or Pakhtunwali is a non-written ethical code
Ethical code
An ethical code is adopted by an organization in an attempt to assist those in the organization called upon to make a decision understand the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and to apply this understanding to their decision...

 and tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

al lifestyle which the indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 Pashtun people
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 follow. Some in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 refer to it as "Pathanwali". Its meaning may also be interpreted as "the way of the Pashtuns" or "the code of life". Pashtunwali dates back to ancient pre-Islamic times
Pre-Islamic period of Afghanistan
Archaeological exploration of the pre-Islamic period of Afghanistan began in Afghanistan in earnest after World War II and proceeded until the late 1970s when the nation was invaded by the Soviet Union. Archaeologists and historians suggest that humans were living in Afghanistan at least 50,000...

but is still widely in use, especially by the rural tribal society. It is not only practiced by members of the Pashtun diaspora
Pashtun diaspora
Pashtuns , also called Pathans have many communities around the world. Pukhtuns have long history to conquer and colonizing several regions especially the ancient regions of Sub-continent in duration of past few centuries...

 but also by some non-Pashtun Afghans
Demography of Afghanistan
The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

 or Pakistanis
Demographics of Pakistan
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Pakistan, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

 who live close to Pashtuns.

There are nine main principles of Pashtunwali. Although Pashtunwali is believed to date back to the pre-Islamic period, its usage or practice does not contravene
Contravention
In many civil law countries contravention is a less serious crime, similar to misdemeanor in common law countries. The term is also used in Australian law...

 basic Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic principles.

Overview



The native
Native
The term "native" can have many different social and political connotations in different contexts. In some cases it is a neutral, descriptive term, for example, when stating that one is a native of a particular city or that a certain language is one's native language...

 Pashtun tribes
Pashtun tribes
The Pashtun people are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second largest in Pakistan. Pashtun, tribes are divided into four supertribal confederacies: the Arbanee , Betanee , Gharghasht, and Karlanee .Traditionally, according to folklore, all Pashtuns are said to have descended, at...

, who are often described as fiercely independent people, have inhabited the Pashtunistan
Pashtunistan
Pakhtunistan or Pashtunistan, meaning the "land of Pakhtuns" or "land of Pashtuns", is a modern term used for the historical region inhabited by the native Afghans or Pashtun since at least the 1st millennium BC...

 region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 (Afghanistan
Name of Afghanistan
The name of Afghanistan is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, which is documented in a 10th century geography book called Hudud ul-'alam focusing on territories south of the Hindu Kush around the Sulaiman Mountains. The root name "Afghan" has been used historically in reference to the...

) since at least the 1st millennium BC
1st millennium BC
The 1st millennium BC encompasses the Iron Age and sees the rise of many successive empires, and spanned from 1000 BC to 1 BC.The Neo-Assyrian Empire, followed by the Achaemenids. In Greece, Classical Antiquity begins with the colonization of Magna Graecia and peaks with the rise of Hellenism. The...

. Much of their mountainous territory has always remained without government rule or control. This is perhaps the main reason why the indigenous Pashtuns
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 still follow Pashtunwali codes, which is a basic common law of the land or "code of life".

Pashtunwali rules are accepted in Afghanistan and Pakistan (mainly in and around the Pashtunistan
Pashtunistan
Pakhtunistan or Pashtunistan, meaning the "land of Pakhtuns" or "land of Pashtuns", is a modern term used for the historical region inhabited by the native Afghans or Pashtun since at least the 1st millennium BC...

 region), including by some of the Pashtun communities around the world. Some non-Pashtun Afghans and others have also adopted its ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 or practices for their own benefit. On the other hand, many urbanized Pashtuns tend to ignore the rules of Pashtunwali most of the time. Passed by generation to generation, the Pashtunwali rules guide both individual and communal conducts. It is socially practiced by the majority of the Pashtuns and helps to promote Pashtunization
Pashtunization
Pashtunization is a process of cultural or linguistic change in which something non-Pashtun becomes Pashtun Pashtunization (also called Afghanization) is a process of cultural or linguistic change in which something non-Pashtun becomes Pashtun Pashtunization (also called Afghanization) is a...

.

Pashtuns embrace an ancient traditional, spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

, and communal identity tied to a set of moral codes and rules of behavior, as well as to a linear record of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 one thousand and seven hundred years.

Pashtunwali promotes self-respect, independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

, justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, hospitality
Hospitality
Hospitality is the relationship between guest and host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. Specifically, this includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, resorts, membership clubs, conventions, attractions, special events, and other services for travelers...

, love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

, forgiveness
Forgiveness
Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all...

, revenge
Revenge
Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance; it may be characterized, justly or unjustly, as a form of justice.-Function in society:Some societies believe that the...

 and tolerance
Toleration
Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

 toward all (especially to strangers or guests). It is considered a personal responsibility of every Pashtun to discover and rediscover Pashtunwali's essence and meaning.

Main principles




Some useful words that signify individual or collective Pashtun tribal functions are given below in the Pashto language
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

. Although there could be many principles involved the following nine form the major components of Pashtunwali.
  1. Melmastia (hospitality) - Showing hospitality and profound respect to all visitors, regardless of distinctions of race, religion, national affiliation as well as economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. Pashtuns will go to great extents to show their hospitality.
  2. Nanawatai
    Nanawatai
    Nanawatai is a tenet of the Pashtunwali code of the Pashtun people. It allows a beleaguered person to enter the house of any other person and make a request of him which cannot be refused, even at the cost of the host's own life or fortune...

     (asylum)
    - Derived from the verb meaning to go in, this is used for protection given to a person who requests protection against his/her enemies. The people are protected at all costs, in many cases even people running from the law must be given refuge until the situation is clarified. It can also be used when the vanquished party is prepared to go in to the house of the victors and ask for their forgiveness. (It is a peculiar form of "chivalrous" surrender, in which an enemy seeks "sanctuary" at his enemy's house). A more famous example of this code is of Navy Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Marcus Luttrell
    Marcus Luttrell
    Marcus Luttrell is a former Petty Officer First Class and United States Navy SEAL. He received the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 facing Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wing.-Early life:...

    , the sole surviving member of a US Navy SEAL team that was ambushed by Taliban fighters. PO1 Luttrell evaded the enemy for days before stumbling upon members of the Sabray tribe who realized the wounded SEAL needed assistance. He was taken to the village and protected by the tribal chief, who even sent word to nearby US forces of PO1 Luttrell's location.
  3. Badal
    Badal
    Badal is a 2000 Bollywood movie directed by Raj Kanwar. The film stars Bobby Deol and Rani Mukerji in lead roles. The movie is set in 1984 when riots were engulfing parts of Punjab and Delhi. The movie is inspired by The Devil's Own, starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford.-Plot:The police are...

     (justice)
    - To seek justice or take revenge
    Vendetta
    Vendetta may refer to:*Feud, a long-running argument or fight between parties-Film and television:* Vendetta, a 1919 German film featuring Harry Liedtke* Vendetta , an American drama produced by Howard Hughes...

     against the wrongdoer. This applies to injustices committed yesterday or 1000 years ago if the wrongdoer still exists. Justice in Pashtun lore needs elaborating: even a mere taunt (or "Paighor") is regarded as an insult - which can only usually be redressed by shedding of the taunter's blood (and if he isn't available, then his next closest male relation). This in turn leads to a blood feud that can last generations and involve whole tribes with the loss of hundreds of lives. Normally blood feuds in this all male dominated setup are then settled in a number of ways.
  4. Tureh
    Tureh
    Tureh is a city in and the capital of Zalian District, in Shazand County, Markazi Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 2,167 in 571 families....

     (bravery)
    - A Pashtun must defend his land/property, family and women from incursions wherever he or she might reside. A Pashtun should always stand brave against tyranny and he should always be able to defend his property, family, women and the honour of his name. Death can follow if anyone mistreats these traits.
  5. Sabat (loyalty) - Loyalty must be paid to one's family, friends, and tribe members. Loyalty is a must and a Pashtun can never become disloyal as this would be utterly shameful towards themselves and their families.
  6. Imandari (righteousness) - A Pashtun must always strive towards thinking good thoughts, speaking good words and doing other good deeds. Pashtuns must behave respectfully towards all creations including people, animals and the environment around them. Pollution of the environment or its destruction is against the Pashtunwali.
  7. Isteqamat - Trust in God
    God
    God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

     (known as "Allah
    Allah
    Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

    " in Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

     and "Khudai-ta-Allah
    Allah
    Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

    " in Pashto). The notion of trusting in the one Creator
    Creator
    Creator may refer to:* Creator deity, a deity responsible for creating the universe* Inventor, one who creates a new device or method* A person who experiences or participates in creativity* An adherent of Church of the Creator, a "new age" religion...

     generally comports to Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

    ic idea of belief in only one God (tawheed).
  8. Ghayrat (self honour or dignity) - Pashtuns must maintain their human dignity. Honour has great importance in Pashtun society and most other codes of life are aimed towards the preservation of one's honour or pride. They must respect themselves and others in order to be able to do so, especially those they do not know. Respect begins at home, among family members and relatives.
  9. Namus
    Namus
    Namus is the Arabic word of a concept of an ethical category, a virtue, in Middle Eastern patriarchal character...

    (Honor of women)
    - A Pashtun must defend the honor of Pashtun women at all costs and must protect them from vocal and physical harm.

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