Kayan is a valley located 30 km west of the Doshi district in the northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan.

The majority of the valley’s residents belong to the Sadat and Hazara tribes. A notable spiritual family within these tribes, of Hussaini Sadat origin, emigrated from Iraq-Iran before settling in Afghanistan. Their ancestor was named Shah Abdal Wali. Descendants of Abdal have long been held in high regard by various nationalities for their honesty, sincerity, and compassion in society. Even non-Ismailis deeply respect them due to their distinct virtues. Shah Abdulhadi, Abdal Wali’s grandson, lived in the Kayan valley. During Amir Shir Ali Khan’s reign, he was selected by the Ismailia sect to visit Imam Highness Shah Hassan Ali, the Aga Khan I, to potentially become the Mukhi (leader) of the Ismailia community in Afghanistan. Before Abdulhadi, an envoy from British India had tried to fulfill this role but was deemed unsuitable.

The Ismailia sect sponsored Shah Abdulhadi’s journey to meet Imam Shah Hassan Ali in Kerman, Iran. Following their meeting, Shah Abdulhadi was appointed as Mukhi. He diligently guided his community towards truth and righteousness. He was succeeded by his son, Sayed Shah Hussain, another influential Mukhi. Although Shah Hussain was more renowned than Shah Abdal during his tenure, he had seven sons. One of them, Sayed Jafar Khan, took on the mantle of leadership. Jafar Khan was a visionary and played a pivotal role during Sher Ali Khan’s reign, fostering a strong bond between Amir Sher Ali Khan and Imam Shah Hassan Ali. Recognized for his wisdom and scholarship, Jafar Khan served the Ismailia community for 40 years before passing away in 1273.

Sayed Gowhar Khan succeeded him, appointed by Aga Ali Shah, the second Aga Khan. After years of commendable service, he died in 1277. The leadership then passed to Sayed Fraidoon Khan, who under Aga Ali Shah’s endorsement, achieved great feats until his death in 1282. Sayed Timor Shah Khan, known for his patience and competence, was then appointed by Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, the Aga Khan III. Following him, Sayed Nader Shah Khan, a learned man known for his poetic prowess, assumed the role. Notably, he wrote poetry, published 58 different scientific and religious books, and was a celebrated spiritual figure of the 20th century. His exemplary service led to him receiving the highest honors from the reigning Imam. After his death at age 75 in 1349, his eldest son, Sayed Shah Nasir, took over. He served the Ismailia community for a significant time. However, after being released from prison during the communist Babrak Karmal regime, he appointed his brother, Alhaj Sayed Mansoor Naderi, as his representative to lead the community. Subsequently, he relocated to England.


 Source: Trikh-Gharib (History of Poor) Sayed Nader Shah Kayani