- Also known as
King Amanullah Khan
primary name: Amanullah Khan
- individual; royal/imperial; Afghan; Male
- Other dates
- 1892-1960 (Birth and Death dates)
- King Amanullah Khan • Born: 1 Jun 1892, Paghman, Afghanistan
• Marriage: (1): Shahzaha Hanım 1910, Kabul, Afghanistan
• Marriage: (2): Queen Soraya Tarzi Hanım 1912, Kabul, Afghanistan
• Marriage: (3): Aliah Begum 1929
• Died: 25 Apr 1960, Zürich, Switzerland, at age 67
• Buried: Jalalabad, Afghanistan
The third son of Emir Habibullah and Sarwar Sultanah, the Ulya Hazrat (queen). When his father Emir Habibullah was assassinated in Jalalabad in February 1919, Amanullah Khan was governor of Kabul and in possession of the arsenal and the national treasury. Despite the claims of his uncle Nasrullah, whom he accused as being an accomplice in his father's murder, he was crowned in Kabul and assumed the title of king in 1926. Like his counterparts, Muhammad Reza in Iran and Kemal Atatürk in Turkey, Amanullah was eager to reform and modernise his nation. He demanded a change to the Anglo-Afghan agreements entered into by Emir Abdurrahman who had given Britain power over Afghanistan's foreign relations in exchange for protection from potential Russian aggression, a cash subsidy and military aid.
The refusal of the British to relinquish their controlling power over Afghanistan, led to unrest and frequent attacks on the British, which subsequently sparked off the third Anglo-Afghan war on 3 May 1919. After lengthy negotiations in Rawalpindi, Mussoorie, and Kabul, the British relinquished their control, peace was restored, and Afghanistan liberated.
King Amanullah became a national hero and commenced reforming and modernising Afghanistan. He established diplomatic and commercial relations with major European and Asian states, founded schools in which French, German, and English were taught, and proclaimed a constitution which guaranteed personal freedom and equal rights for all Afghans. He built a new capital, named Darulaman (Dar al-Amen - Abode of Peace), with new parliament and other government buildings. King Amanullah's social reforms included a new dress code which permitted women in Kabul to remove their veils and encouraged officials to wear European dress. The Europeanisation of Afghanistan was costly and was resented by traditional Afghan society. The Khost rebellion in 1924 by some tribes was suppressed, and Amanullah felt secure enough to travel to Europe in December 1927.
On his return he faced increasing opposition and, in 1928, an uprising of Shinwari tribesmen, followed by attacks of the Kodamani and Kuhistani forces of Habibullah Kalakani (Bacha i Saqao), forced King Amanullah into exile. After an unsuccessful attempt at regaining the throne, he left via India on 23 May 1928, and settled in Italy and Switzerland. He Died in Zürich on 26 April 1960 and was buried in Jalalabad, at the side of the tomb of Emir Habibullah.
17th Emir of Afghanistan 1919 - 1926
1st King of Afghanistan 1926 - 1929
Amanullah married Shahzaha Hanım in 1910 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Shahzaha Hanım died on 19 Nov 1912.)
Amanullah also married Queen Soraya Tarzi Hanım, daughter of Sardar Mahmud Tarzi Khan and Asma Rasmiya Hanım, in 1912 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Queen Soraya Tarzi Hanım was born on 24 Nov 1897 in Damascus and died on 20 Apr 1968 in Rome, Italy.)
Amanullah also married Aliah Begum in 1929.