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Burhanuddin Rabbani

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Title: Burhanuddin Rabbani  
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Burhanuddin Rabbani

Burhanuddin Rabbani
برهان‌الدین ربانی
Rabbani in December 2010.
President of Afghanistan
In office
13 November 2001 – 22 December 2001
Prime Minister Ravan Farhâdi
Preceded by Mohammed Omar
(Emir and Head of the Supreme Council)
Succeeded by Hamid Karzai
In office
28 June 1992 – 27 September 1996
Prime Minister Abdul Sabur Farid Kohistani
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Arsala Rahmani (Acting)
Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai (Acting)
Preceded by Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
Succeeded by Mohammed Omar
(Emir and Head of the Supreme Council)
President of the Northern Alliance
In office
27 September 1996 – 13 November 2001
Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai
Ravan Farhâdi
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born 20 September 1940
Badakhshan, Kingdom of Afghanistan
Died 20 September 2011(2011-09-20) (aged 71)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Political party Jamiat-e Islami
Children Salahuddin Rabbani
Alma mater Kabul University
Al-Azhar University
Religion Sunni Islam

Burhanuddin Rabbani (Persian: برهان‌الدین ربانی‎‎; 20 September 1940 – 20 September 2011) was President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. After the Taliban government was toppled during Operation Enduring Freedom, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary President from November to December 20, 2001, when Hamid Karzai was chosen at the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan.[1] Rabbani was also the leader of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Society of Afghanistan), which has close ties to Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami.

He was one of the earliest founders and movement leaders of the [3]

Early years

Rabbani, son of Muhammed Yousuf, was born in the northern province of Badakhshan in 1940. He was a Persian-speaking ethnic Tajik.[4] After finishing school in his native province, he went to Darul-uloom-e-Sharia (Abu-Hanifa), a religious school in Kabul. When he graduated from Abu-Hanifa, he attended Kabul University to study Islamic Law and Theology, graduating in 1963.[4]

Soon after his graduation in 1963, he was hired as a professor at Kabul University.[4] In order to enhance himself, Rabbani went to Egypt in 1966, and he entered the Al-Azhar University in Cairo where he developed close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership.[5] In two years, he received his masters degree in Islamic Philosophy. Rabbani was one of the first Afghans to translate the works of Sayyid Qutb into Persian.[5] Later he returned to Egypt to complete his PhD in Islamic philosophy and his thesis was titled "The Philosophy and Teachings of Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Jami." In 2004 he received Afghanistan's highest academic and scientific title "Academician" from the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan.

Political career

Rabbani returned to Afghanistan in 1968, where the High Council of Jamiat-e Islami gave him the duty of organizing the University students. Due to his knowledge, reputation, and active support for the cause of Islam, in 1972, a 15-member council selected him as head of Jamiat-e Islami of Afghanistan; the founder of Jamiat-e Islami of Afghanistan, Ghulam M. Niyazi was also present. Jamiat-e Islami was primarily composed of Tajiks.[6]

In the spring of 1974, the police came to Kabul University to arrest Rabbani for his pro-Islamic stance, but with the help of his students the police were unable to capture him, and he managed to escape to the countryside. In Pakistan, Rabbani gathered important people and established the party. Sayed Noorullah Emad, who was then a young Muslim in the University of Kabul, became the General Secretary of the party and, later, its deputy chief.

When the Soviets supported the 1979 coup, Rabbani helped lead Jamiat-e Islami in resistance to the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan regime. Rabbani's forces were the first Mujahideen elements to enter Kabul in 1992 when the PDPA government fell from power. He took over as President from 1992 until the Taliban's conquest of Kabul in 1996. For the next five years, he and the Northern Alliance were busy fighting the Taliban until the 2001 US-led Operation Enduring Freedom in which the Taliban government was toppled. Rabbani was head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, which had been formed in 2010 to initiate peace talks with the Taliban and other groups in the insurgency, until his death.[7]


Rabbani was killed in a suicide bombing at his home in Kabul on 20 September 2011, his 71st birthday. Two men posing as Taliban representatives approached him to offer a hug and detonated their explosives. At least one of them had hidden the explosives in his turban.[8][9] The suicide bomber claimed to be a Taliban commander and said he wanted to "discuss peace" with Rabbani.[10] Four other members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council were also killed in the blast.[7]

Afghan officials blamed the Quetta Shura, which is the leadership of the Afghan Taliban hiding in the affluent Satellite Town of Quetta in Pakistan.[11] The Pakistani government confirmed that Rabbani's assassination was linked to Afghan refugees in Pakistan. A senior Pakistani official stated that over 90% of terrorist attacks in Pakistan are traced back to Afghan elements and that their presence in the country was "an important issue for Pakistan" and "a problem for Afghanistan". Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that "We are not responsible if Afghan refugees crossed the border and entered Kabul, stayed in a guest house and attacked Professor Rabbani".[12]

In 2011, just days before he died, Rabbani was trying to persuade Islamic scholars to issue a religious edict banning suicide bombings. The former president's 29-year-old daughter said in an interview that her father died shortly after he spoke at a conference on "Islamic Awakening" in Tehran. "Right before he was assassinated, he talked about the suicide bombing issue," Fatima Rabbani told Reuters. "He called on all Islamic scholars in the conference to release a fatwa" against the tactic.[13]

United States President Barack Obama and several NATO military leaders condemned the assassination.[14] Japan also offered its condolences at the Sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly.[15] Afghan President Hamid Karzai cut short his trip for the General debate of the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly following his assassination. Rabbani's son Salahuddin then took over chairmanship of the High Peace Council from his father.[16]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Afghan Peace Council Chief Killed in Attack on His Home. New York Times. September 21, 2011.
  3. ^ Karzai appoints slain leader's son April 14, 2012 McClatchy
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Kabul, Islamabad spar over Rabbani murder probe Archived April 2, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links

  • Burhanuddin Rabbani, President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan webcast at the United Nations Millennium Summit, 8 September 2000
  • Biography at
  • Afghanistan's Powerbrokers: Burhanuddin Rabbani at BBC News, with link to November 2001 profile
  • Burhanuddin Rabbani collected news and commentary at The New York Times
  • Hundreds mourn Rabbani RFI English
  • Who killed Burhanuddin Rabbani ... and why? RFI English
  • Bibi Mahru Hill & Burhanuddin Rabbani's grave - Kabul
Political offices
Preceded by
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
President of Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Mohammed Omar
as Head of the Supreme Council of Afghanistan
New office President of the Northern Alliance
Position abolished
Preceded by
Mohammed Omar
as Head of the Supreme Council of Afghanistan
President of Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Hamid Karzai

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