Afghan Biographies

Sayyaf, Ustad Abdul Rasul Sayaf Rasool

Name Sayyaf, Ustad Abdul Rasul Sayaf Rasool
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1946
Function/Grade Presidential Candidate 2014 Election
History and Biodata

Ustad Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf
Phone: 0786700700

2. Previous Functions:
Wolesi Jirga Member 2005 MP MNA Kabul,
Wolesi Jirga Member 2010 MP MNA Kabul reelected
Presidential Candidate 2014 Election

3. Biodata
sayyaf_ustad-abdulAbdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf was born 1946 in Paghman (Kabul Province). He is a Pashtun leader who has been described as a fundamentalist by academics and Afghan media (Afghanistan Affairs, 15 April 2006, Sayyaf holds a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Kabul University, and a master’s degree from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

An Islamic scholar Sayyaf is the head of Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization, known in the 1980's as the Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan. Prominent in the war against Soviet occupation, Sayyaf's organization had substantial links to Islamists outside Afghanistan and was generously financed by Saudi Arabia ( The party has a following among Afghanistan's most conservative populace and favors pushing the country toward greater conservatism on religious issues, according to

Sayyaf was a member of the Afghan-based Ikhwan al-Muslimin, founded in 1969 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Dr. Burhanuddin Rabbani and having strong links to the original and much larger Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Sayaff was a professor at a small Islamic university called The Shariat in Kabul until 1973, when he plotted with Burhanuddin Rabbani, Ahmed Shah Massoud, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to overthrow President Daoud Khan from the Panjshir Valley. The coup failed and he was forced to flee to Pakistan but was arrested when he returned. Being imprisoned by the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in April, 1978, he was freed in controversial circumstances by the second PDPA leader Hafizullah Amin, who, coincidentally, happened to be Sayyaf's distant relative.

Although, by virtue of him being incarcerated, and, consequently not arriving in Peshawar until 1980, until after the actual Soviet intervention, he was recognized by the Pakistanis as the leader of the Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan (Ittihad-i-Islami Baraye Azadi Afghanistan), a coalition of several parties fighting the Soviet and Afghan government forces. The Islamic Union soon imploded, and Sayyaf retained the name as the title of his own organization.

Sayaf is the head of Tanzim-e Dahwat-e Islami-ye Afghanistan (Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization). His party used be known as Ittihad-i-Islami Barai Azadi Afghanistan (Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan). His party registered the new name with the Ministry of Justice on April 25, 2005. Sayyaf is the founder and director of Dawat Private University and is also the head of Dawat Radio and Television group.

Sayaf has been in an alliance with former President Rabbani's Jamiat-e Islami ever since the Soviet war. As of 2007, Sayyaf is an influential lawmaker and has called for an amnesty for former mujahideen, as well as pushing for a bill that would prevent from Mujaheddin from being charged with war crimes, upsetting groups that hold him responsible for thousands of civilian deaths himself. Sayyaf bagged 4th most votes during Wolesi Jirga Election in Kabul.

A roadside bomb ripped through Sayyafs convoy on 20091120 killing five of his bodyguards. He was attacked in Paghman district, north of Kabul. Sayaf's home is in Paghman. The bomb was placed in an irrigation ditch close to the Paghman-Kabul road in the Khwaja Musafir area. On September 13, 2008, the 53 year old Abdullah Wardak, governor of central Logar province, had been assassinated in the same district. Wardak was one of the top commanders of Ustad Sayyaf

Human Rights Watch is listing him as a Human Rights Abuser.

Sayyaf is a supporter of President Hamid Karzai (20110304) and stood for the Wolesi Jirga Speaker's slot in Feb. 2011. He was not elected because he was too close with Karzai.

Commission (2012): International Affairs (Chair, 2011 and 2012)

He has 39 bodyguards. (legally only being allowed to have four in his capacity as a Wolesi Jirga Member). (20120516)


The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on 20131019 introduced eight individuals to Wolesi Jirga to replace seven members standing down in the run up to the April 5, 2014 elections and one deceased female lawmaker.They replaced resigning MPs including Syed Ishaq Gillani, Syed Hussain Anwari, Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, Mohammad Mohaqqiq, Shah Abdul Ahad Afzali, Syed Hussain Alami Balkhi, Ibrahim Qasmi and deceased female lawmaker from western Herat, Shehnaz Himmati, who has  died in a road crash in neighbouring Iran.(20131019)
Abdul Rabb Rasul Sayyaf (Pashtun) stood as a presidential candidate in the 2014 election with his First vice president, Mohammad Ismail Khan (Tajik)
and his Second vice president, Abdul Wahab Urfan Erfan (Uzbek).
Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf will support Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in the second round of election.(20140601)

At least two rockets have reportedly landed inside the house of Sayyaf in Paghman district with sources close to him saying no casualties were incurred.(20150827)

At least five rockets landed close to the residence of Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, head of the Council for Protection and Stability in Afghanistan and a former jihadi leader, in Paghman district in Kabul on Thursday July 20, 2017  afternoon, Kabul police confirmed. 

Sayyaf has a brother, Qazi Sayed Gharib Hashimi, who deceased.(20190325)


Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf has a son, Habiburahman, who was born in April 1981. He graduated from the  Hara school and attained both his bachelors degree in management and masters degree in jurisprudence and law  from private universities in Kabul. He has served as a chairman of the youth of Dawat-e-Islami Afghanistan for many years and has also been active in political, social, cultural and civil activities. He held the responsibility of organising academic seminars as well. Habiburrahmen was a candidate in the election of Wolesi Jirga 2018.



Tanzim-e Dahwat-e Islami-ye Afghanistan (Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization) Leader: Abdul Rabb Rasool Sayyaf Postal Address: Ansari Square, 1st Road near District 4, Kabul, Afghanistan Telephone: 070507917

Last Modified 2020-05-11
Established 2009-10-09