Nazo Tokhi

(1651-1717 / Kandahar)

Biography of Nazo Tokhi

Nazo Tokhi (نازو توخۍ), known mostly as Nazo Ana or Nazoo Anaa, was a prominent Pashtun female poet and a literary figure of the Pashto language. Mother of the famous early-18th century Afghan King Mir Wais, she grew up in an influential family in the Kandahar region. Nazo Tokhi is remembered as a brave woman warrior in the history of Afghanistan, who eventually became the legendary "Mother of Afghan Nation".

Nazo Tokhi was born in or about 1651 in Spogmayiz Gul near Thazi, Kandahar Province of Afghanistan, into a powerful and wealthy Pashtun family. Her father, Sultan Malakhai Tokhi, was a prominent head of the Tokhi Pashtun tribe and governor of the Ghazni region. She was married to Salim Khan Hotak, son of Karam Khan. The famous Afghan ruler of the Hotaki dynasty, Mir Wais Hotak, was her son, and Mahmud Hotaki and Hussein Hotaki were her grandsons.

Nazo Anaa became a learned poet and courteous person, people knew her by her loving and caring. Nazo's father paid close attention to her education and upbringing. He induced training and full education from the learned personalities of the time in Kandahar. She eventually became the legendary "Mother of Afghan Nation", and gained authority through her poetry and upholding of the Pashtunwali code. She called for Pashtunwali to be the law of the confederacy of the Pashtun tribes, and she arbitrated conflicts between Ghilzai and Sadozai Pashtun tribes so as to encourage their alliance against the Persian Safavid rulers. Her contribution as a poet is uniquely considered invaluable even today.

Below is a piece of the poetry works of Nazo Tokhi.
"Dew drops from an early dawn narcissus
as if tear drops from a melancholy eye,
O beauty, I asked, what makes you cry
life is too short for me, it answered
My beauty blooms and withers in a moment
as if smile comes and forever fades away"
—Nazo Tokhi

It is believed that Nazo Ana had a special dream on the night her son Mir Wais Hotak was born.
“ On the night Mirwais was born (1673) his mother, Nazoo Anaa, dreamed of Baitt Neeka (an ancient and famous benevolent leader of Afghans, who is believed to be the second son "Batan" of Qais Abdur Rashid). He told Nazoo to take best care of the new baby because when the child grows up, the country would be blessed by his services. Nazoo Anaa, from time to time, recalled the miraculous dream to her son and advise him to perform deeds with authenticity. Young Mirwais eternally followed his mother's advice.

Nazo Ana died in or about 1717 at the approximate age of 66, two years after her son's (Mirwais') death. After Nazo Anaa's death, her cause was picked up by Zarghona Anaa, the mother of Afghan Emir Ahmad Shah Durrani.

Nazoicihis is revered as a female hero among the Afghans. There are a number of schools and other institutions named after her throughout Afghanistan.

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