Civilization V Customisation Wiki
Durrani Empire
Ahmad Abdali
Start Bias
req. mod


Durrani led by Ahmad Abdali is a custom civilisation by LastSword[1], with contributions from hokath.

This mod requires Gods and Kings & Brave New World.



From the death of Nadir Shah in 1747 until the communist coup of April 1978, Afghanistan was governed by Pashtun rulers of the Abdali tribe. Indeed, it was under the leadership of the first Pashtun ruler, Ahmad Shah, that the nation of Afghanistan began to take shape after centuries of fragmentation and rule by invaders. Even before the death of Nadir Shah, the tribes of the Hindu Kush area had been growing stronger and were beginning to take advantage of the waning power of their distant rulers.

The Ghilzai Pashtuns had risen in rebellion against Iranian rule early in the eighteenth century, but they had been subdued and relocated by Nadir Shah. Although tribal independence would remain a threat to rulers of Afghanistan, the Abdali Pashtun established political dominance, starting in the middle of the eighteenth century with the rise of Ahmad Shah. Two lineage groups within the Abdali ruled Afghanistan from 1747 until the downfall of the monarchy in the 1970s-the Sadozai of the Popalzai tribe and the Muhammadzai of the Barakzai tribe.

Ahmad Abdali[]

n 1709 Mir Wais Hotak, chief of the Ghilzai tribe of Kandahar Province, gained independence from the Safavid Persians. From 1722 to 1725, his son Mahmud ruled Iran and declared himself as Shah of Persia. However, the Hotaki dynasty came to a complete end in 1738 after being toppled and banished by the Afsharids who were led by Nader Shah of Persia.

The year 1747 marks the definitive appearance of an Afghan political entity independent of both the Persian and Mughal empires. In October 1747 a loya jirga (grand council) concluded near the city of Kandahar with Ahmad Shah Durrani being selected as the new leader of the Afghans, thus the Durrani dynasty was founded. Despite being younger than the other contenders, Ahmad Shah had several overriding factors in his favor. He belonged to a respectable family of political background, especially since his father served as Governor of Herat who died in a battle defending the Afghans. He also had a well-trained larger army and possessed a substantial part of Nadir Shah's treasury, including the world's largest Koh-i-Noor diamond.

One of Ahmad Shah's first military action was the capture Ghazni from the Ghilzais, and then wresting Kabul from the local ruler. In 1749, the Mughal ruler was induced to cede Sindh, the Punjab region and the important trans Indus River to Ahmad Shah in order to save his capital from Afghan attack. Having thus gained substantial territories to the east without a fight, Ahmad Shah turned westward to take possession of Herat, which was ruled by Nader Shah's grandson, Shah Rukh of Persia. Ahmad Shah next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush mountains. In short order, the powerful army brought under its control the Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, and other tribes of northern Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah invaded the remnants of the Mughal Empire a third time, and then a fourth, consolidating control over the Kashmir and Punjab regions, with Lahore being governed by Afghans. He sacked Delhi in 1757, but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control of the city as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shah's suzerainty over Punjab, Sindh, and Kashmir. Leaving his second son Timur Shah to safeguard his interests, Ahmad Shah left India to return to Afghanistan.

Alarmed by the expansion of China's Qing Dynasty up to the western border of Kazakhstan, Ahmad Shah attempted to rally neighboring Muslim khanates and the Kazakhs to unite and attack China, ostensibly to liberate its western Muslim subjects. Ahmad Shah halted trade with Qing China and dispatched troops to Kokand. However, with his campaigns in India exhausting the state treasury, and with his troops stretched thin throughout Central Asia, Ahmad Shah lacked sufficient resources to do anything except to send envoys to Beijing for unsuccessful talks.

The Mughal power in northern India had been declining since the reign of Aurangzeb, who died in 1707; In 1751-52, Ahamdiya treaty was signed between the Marathas and Mughals, when Balaji Bajirao was the Peshwa. Through this treaty, the Marathas controlled virtually the whole of India from their capital at Pune and Mughal rule was restricted only to Delhi (the Mughals remained the nominal heads of Delhi). Marathas were now straining to expand their area of control towards the Northwest of India. Ahmad Shah sacked the Mughal capital and withdrew with the booty he coveted. To counter the Afghans, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao sent Raghunathrao. He defeated the Rohillas and Afghan garrisons in Punjab and succeeded in ousting Timur Shah and his court from India and brought Lahore, Multan, Kashmir and other subahs on the Indian side of Attock under Maratha rule. Thus, upon his return to Kandahar in 1757, Ahmad was forced to return to India and face the formidable attacks of the Maratha Confederacy.

Ahmad Shah declared a jihad (or Islamic holy war) against the Marathas, and warriors from various Pashtun tribes, and 25,000 Baloch warriors from various Baloch tribes joined his army under the command of Khan of Kalat Mir Noori Naseeer Khan Baloch . Early skirmishes were followed by victory for the Afghans and Baloch against the smaller Maratha garrisons in Northwest India and by 1759 Ahmad and his army had reached Lahore and were poised to confront the Marathas. By 1760, the Maratha groups had coalesced into a big enough army under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau. Once again, Panipat was the scene of a confrontation between two warring contenders for control of northern India. The Third Battle of Panipat (January 1761), fought between largely Muslim and largely Hindu armies was waged along a twelve-kilometer front. Despite decisively defeating the Marathas, what might have been Ahmad Shah's peaceful control of his domains was disrupted by many challenges. As far as losses are concerned, Afghans too suffered heavily in the Third Battle of Panipat. This weakened his grasp over Punjab which fell to the rising Sikh misls. There were rebellions in the north in the region of Bukhara.

The victory at Panipat was the high point of Ahmad Shah's—and Afghan—power. His Durrani empire was the second largest Islamic empire in the world, behind the Ottoman Empire at that time. However, even prior to his death, the empire began to unravel. In 1762, Ahmad Shah crossed the passes from Afghanistan for the sixth time to subdue the Sikhs. He assaulted Lahore and, after taking their holy city of Amritsar, massacred thousands of Sikh inhabitants, destroying their revered Golden Temple. Within two years, the Sikhs rebelled again and rebuilt their holy city of Amritsar. Ahmad Shah tried several more times to subjugate the Sikhs permanently, but failed. Ahmad Shah also faced other rebellions in the north, and eventually he and the Uzbek Emir of Bukhara agreed that the Amu Darya would mark the division of their lands. A decade after the third Battle of Panipat, Marathas under the leadership of Mahadji Scindia entered and recaptured Delhi in 1771, cutting off Rohillas from the Durranis forever. Ahmad Shah retired to his home in the mountains east of Kandahar, where he died on April 14, 1773. He had succeeded to a remarkable degree in balancing tribal alliances and hostilities, and in directing tribal energies away from rebellion. He earned recognition as Ahmad Shah Baba, or "Father" of Afghanistan.

Dawn of Man[]

Salam alejkum, Ahmad Shah Durrani, great leader, talented artist and founder of the Sadozai Kingdom, Last of the Afghan Empires! Your Greatness united various tribal leaders, and with their support extended Afghan control from Khorasan in the west to Kashmir and ancient Delhi in the east, from the Amu Darya in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south; making Durrani Empire the second-largest Muslim empire in the world. You were a Defender of the Faith, bringing freedom to your muslim brothers threatened by Chinese expansion. Your declaration of jihad against the Marathas was widely answered by warriors from various tribes: the Pashtun, Balock, Tajiks and Nawabs. Sadly, the glorious victory at Panipat was a pyrrhic one, ending the golden age of your empire. Countless rebellions sprung up where once there had been peace. Tired of the endless battle, you returned home to the mountains in the east of Kandahar, where you could follow your passion: poetry.

Ahmad Shah Baba, "Father" of Afghanistan, the world is yours once again! Can you bring faith, culture and light to the barbarians? Can your scholars and poets write the destiny of this world? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?


Leaderscene by LastSword

Introduction: "Ahmad Khan Abdali, commander of Pashtuns, Emir of Khorosan, the father of Afghan people, welcomes you."

Introduction: "My name is Ahmad Durrani. Choose your works artfully, for our meeting shall echo throughout eternity."

Defeat: "I had hoped to write all this down some day... but in the end, the sword was mightier than the pen."

Defeat: "I forget the throne of Delhi when I remember the mountain tops of my Afghan land. If I must choose between the world and you, I shall not hesitate to claim your barren deserts as my own."



Unique Attributes[]

Durrani (Ahmad Abdali)

Art by LastSword

Pearl of Pearls

Great Writers yield half the CultureIcon Culture bonus of a Political Treatise when creating Greatwork Great Works. Great Scientists yield half the Science Science bonus of their Research ability when building Academies.


Art by LastSword

Jezail Rifleman (Rifleman)
  • On Hills, may make an extra ranged attack against enemy units on flat terrain

Art by LastSword

House of Poetry (Amphitheater)
  • +1 Happy Happiness when its Greatwork Great Work slot is filled
  • +10% generation of Greatperson Great Writers and Greatperson Great Scientists, increasing to +20% if there is a nearby Mountain and +30% if the Mountain is adjacent to the city


Peace Theme War Theme

Durrani - Ahmad Abdali - Peace


Durrani - Ahmad Abdali - War

"Healing Ground" from the soundtrack of Prince of Persia (2008) "The Last Obstacle" from the soundtrack of Prince of Persia (2008)

Mod Support[]

Mod Support
Community Balance Patch
Ethnic Units
Map Labels
Unique Cultural Influence
Wish for the World

Full Credits List[]

Steam Workshop
Latest Version: BNW v. 31
Last Updated: 18 Jan 2020


  • Hokath: Text.
  • bernie14: Mujahideen model.[2]
  • LastSword: All else.

Notes and References[]

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