Safi (Pashtun tribe)

Safi (Pashto: ساپی sāpay; plur. ساپي sāpi) is a major branch of the greater Ghurghakhti Pashtun tribe. The Safi tribe comprises a majority in the Pech Valley of Kunar and are present in significant numbers in Parwan Province, Kapisa Province, Kabul Province, Laghman Province, Nuristan Province and the whole of Kunar Province.A reasonable majority of those who were living on the Durand Line migrated since 1900 into the different urban and rural areas of khyber Pakhtoonkhwa particularly, Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Nowshehra, Swabi.A large number also settled in Rawalpindi, Tarnol, Lahore. They are also present in large number in Mohmand, Bajaur Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and in Zhob District, Balochistan, Pakistan.

Safi divisions

Currently Safi tribesmen are all around Afghanistan and in North-West Pakistan. The Safi are divided into 3 main clans. The three major clans are the Gurbuz, the Masood, the Qandahari also known as Wadir.[1] The exact population number of this clan is not known; however, it is estimated to be around 2.5 million, both in Afghanistan and in Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Safis have played an important role in the Afghan society, especially in Afghan Governments and also were known to be against the kings. The Safis have had an important role as well in Pakistan.Currently,they are serving on keyposts in different public sector institutions. On September 10, 2007 Safi elders of Mohmand Agency played an important role on reaching an agreement with Taliban fighters to stop attacks on Pakistani military, security forces, and government installations such as schools, and hospitals, etc. in Mohmand Agency.[2] The Safis, because of their association with the Mohmand, are also called Safi Mohmands but actually they are not Mohmand in Legacy.

The Origin of Safi Tribe

Qais (Abdur Rashid) founding father of Pashtoon Nation. Qais was born in Ghor present-day Afghanistan and was the 37 descendent of King Soul (Malik Talut), upon the advent of Islam he was sent to Madina by his tribe to meet Mohammad and embraced Islam, and was given the name of Qais (Abdur Rashid) by Mohammad. He returned and introduced Islam to his tribe.

Safi Refers to the Pashtun sub-tribes that are descended from Ghurghakht, one of Qais Abdur Rashid's sons and adopted son Ra from Egypt. An African slave who married Abdur Rashid's daughter Aaliyah Ra became tribe leader later.

Safi is a major branch of the greater Ghurghakht Pashtun tribe, originating in the Kohi Safi district of Parwan province. The Safi is divided into 3 main clans. The three major clans are the Gurbuz, the Masood, the Qandahar also known as Wadir. The exact population of this clan is not known; however, it is estimated to be around 3 million, both in Afghanistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Balochistan and in different cities of Punjab.[3]


The ancestry of the Safis reaches back to the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, and they are related to the neighboring Nuristanis. Besides Pashto, some clans of the Safis speak a Kohistani Pashayi dialect. Throughout Pashtun history, the Safi have been mentioned, most famously during resistance against Aurangzeb, when a major war broke out in 1668. A rebellion was sparked by a general in the ranks of the Mughal Empire who had insulted a woman of this clan; in revenge Safi tribesmen killed the sepoy who had raped the safi woman. When news reached Aurangzeb that his sepoy was killed, he appealed to the tribe to hand over the killers, but the elders refused and challenged the Emperor. Soon Aurangzeb set out with a large force against the Safi and their allies from among other Khattak, Afridis, Shinwari, Mohmands in the command of Khushal Khan Khattak which was at that time the tribal chief of Khattak tribe. Sources claim that Aurangzeb suffered a humiliating defeat, with a reported loss of 40,000 Mughal soldiers and only 4 were left alive.[4]

Currently the Safi tribe is well known for resistance to the Taliban regime, and many fierce clashes have broken out between the two. Some Safi tribesmen also live in Kust and as well as in Balochistan Province, Pakistan, in Sibi District, with two sub clans: the Meerzai and Kamalzai. Safi are also living in Zobh District In Balochistan they are together under Safi Ithad and their office is located at Mizan Chock in Mizan Plaza quetta. In Sibi, Safi have the lion's share of water, 8 Pao of water in Nari River.[5]


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