When John Butt arrived in Peshawar in 1970, before long he turned from hippy, to Pashtoon, to talib - student of Islam. It was his study of Islam that prepared him for a career as a storyteller - the Man who Brought the Archers to Afghanistan. A Talibs Tale provides readers with an inside account of madrassa life and Pashtoon society, not to mention Kabul jail and tribal captivity.
Containing anecdotes from his life both before and after he shifted to the subcontinent, and with a keen and optimistic attitude towards becoming the best version of himself, Butt tells a wonderful and heartfelt tale of a man who finds a home in the most unexpected place.
"I was a strange, unconventional talib – student of Islam. From the beginning, I learnt things not in a classroom but from anyone I met.”
Delve into the amazing story of how an Englishman who began his journey as a hippie, ends up becoming the first westerner to graduate as an Islamic scholar, or alim from the religious seminary of Deoband in Northern India. This honest account is filled with both funny and life-threatening experiences as John Butt takes us through his life as a talib, or seeker of knowledge.
John Butt was born in Trinidad in 1950. At the age of nine,he came to boarding school in England. His restless spirit did not settle down to life in England and in 1969, he took the hippie trail to India. In the Pashtoon border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, he converted to Islam and started a second education, as a traditional talib-student of Islam.
Having become the first European to qualify from Darul Uloom Deoband—the pre-eminent institute of Islamic learning in South Asia—he later became a well-known broadcaster in his adopted Pashto language. He was renowned as the man who brought ‘The Archers’ – a well-known BBC radio soap opera—to Afghanistan.
His adventures and encounters in between this extraordinary trajectory give a unique insight into Pashtoon history, the place the Pashtoons occupy in the sub-continent and some hints as to how present-day conundrums among the Pashtoons might be assuaged.
Paperback - 9781847741561 - £9.99