MAZAR -I- Sharif, a town of Afghanistan, the capital of the province of Afghan Turkestan.
Mazar-i-Sharif also contains a celebrated mosque, from which the town takes its name.
Theodore Bent and his wife followed in the same track a few months later with a well-equipped party including a surveyor, Imam Sharif, lent by the Indian government, who made a very valuable survey of the country passed through.
Until the Egyptian invasion in 1814 the Sharifs of Mecca were the recognized rulers of Hejaz, and though the Turks have attempted to suppress their importance, the Sharif still executes justice according to the Mahommedan law in the holy cities, though, nominally, as a Turkish official.
Shere Ali fled from his capital and, taking refuge in Turkestan, died at Mazar-i-Sharif on the 21st of February 1879.
In the early years of the 20th century the sharif Raisuli terrorized the district round Tangier and made captive several Europeans.
He deposed and exiled the sharif of Mecca, and after the death of the Wahhabi leader Saud II.
Between Kolab and Pata Kesar, immediately north of the Turkestan capital of Mazar-i-Sharif, there are at least three wellknown "guzars" or fords, and there are probably more.
Here there intervenes a second wide synclinal plateau, of which the northern edge is defined by the flat outlines of the Elburz to the south of Mazar-i-Sharif, and immediately at the foot of this range lie the alluvial plains of Mazar and Tashkurghan.
TheAfghan army probably numbers 50,000 regulars distributed between the military centres of Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, Mazari-Sharif, Jalalabad and Asmar, with detachments at frontier outposts on the side of India.
The chief cantonment for the same district is at Mazar-i-Sharif, 12 m.
The amir Shere Ali fled from his capital into the northern province, where he died at Mazar-i-Sharif in February 1879.
Ancient Khulm is now only a mass of ruins; but Tashkurghan, lying two or three miles to the south of it, has become the great trade-mart of Afghan Turkestan and second only in importance to Mazar-i-Sharif, the military centre of the province; while it is much larger and more prosperous than the latter place.
The principal town is Mazar-i-Sharif, which in modern times has supplanted the ancient city of Balkh; and Taklitapul, near Mazar, is the chief Afghan cantonment north of the Hindu Kush.