Pashto Language Blog

Religion in Afghanistan Posted by on Oct 25, 2012 in Basic

Article two of the constitution of Afghanistan which was approved in 2004 states that, “The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.”

Majority of Afghans are Sunni Muslims and a minority of Afghans are Shiite. Less than one percent of the Afghan population follows other religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism. There used to be some Afghan Jews in Afghanistan but currently, according to some reports, there is only one Jew left in Afghanistan.

Religion is the core of Afghan society. The single most important thing for the Afghan people is religion; therefore as a student of Afghan language and culture it is very important to understand how sensitive and important the issue of religion in Afghanistan is, so much so that the Afghan Constitution states that no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam.

Mosques and shrines are considered holy places and highly respected. Regardless of where you are in the country, you will hear the call for prayer through the loudspeakers five times a day. Mosques are places where people gather to perform congregational prayer five times a day. It won’t take one very long to find a mosque; there are several mosques even in a very small neighborhood. Further details are described in the accompanying video. The following are some religion related vocabulary in Pashto.


English                        Transliteration                   Pashto

Mosque                        Jumaat                                جومات

Prayer                          lemunz                                 لمونځ

Call for prayer            azaan                                    اذان

Shrine                          zeyaarat                             زیارت

Religion                       deen                                     دین

Muslim                        musulmaan                      مسلمان

Christian                     esawee                              عیسوي

Jew                              yahoodee                           یهودي

Hindu                           hindu                                  هندو

God                              khdaai                                  خدای

Prophet                      Paighamber                        پیغمبر



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About the Author: Sayed Naqibullah

Sayed Naqibullah speaks Pashto and Dari as his native languages. Since 2004 he has been teaching Dari and Pashto and working as cultrual advisor to NGO workers, foreigners who live, work, or are visiting Afghanistan. Sayed has worked as a linguist for several companies that produce language course-ware. He has worked as a guide, interpreter and translator of a number of NGOs working in Afghanistan. Sayed is also a blog writer on Afghan culture and languages. He is the author of a Dari language textbook called “Dari as a Second Language”.