MEI - Taliban

NOTES ON NAMES AND TITLES

 

This mapping acknowledges the interchangeable usage of the honorific religious titles "Mullah" and "Mawlawi," both symbolizing an Islamic cleric or scholar, mosque custodian, educator, or revered religious authority within the Islamic faith. Within the hierarchy of the Taliban, the title "Mullah" is typically used by individuals hailing from the southern and southwestern regions of Afghanistan, while "Mawlawi" generally distinguishes those originating from the eastern and northwestern parts of the country, albeit exceptions apply in both cases. Additionally, the title "Mufti" is used for Islamic jurists and legal experts who interpret the Sharia law, while the designations "Qari" and "Hafiz" are commonly used to honor those who have memorized the Quran.

Furthermore, the surname "Haqqani" suggests two interpretations. The first signifies familial ties, kinship, or group affiliations to the Haqqani clan or the Haqqani Network, a U.S.-designated terrorist group founded by the late anti-Soviet jihadist Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani, who allied with the Taliban and held a cabinet position in the 1990s. His son, Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani, currently serves as the Taliban's Minister of Interior. The other interpretation of “Haqqani” refers to an honorific commonly used by graduates of the Darul Uloom Haqqania, a prominent Islamic seminary in Akora Khattak, Pakistan, known for its teaching of Hanafi jurisprudence. Many senior Taliban graduates from this institution also use the titles “Sheikh ul Quran" and "Sheikh ul Hadith.

All individuals listed with official positions/titles are reportedly serving in an "acting" capacity within the Taliban government.


Updated July 2024