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Balkh (Arabic: بَلْخْ) is a historical region in the greater Khorasan and also one of the oldest provinces and cities of Afghanistan. The majority of Balkh's population is Sunni, and it has a Shiite minority as well.

The Barmakid family was among the most well-known families of this city, some of whom became viziers in the Abbasid era. The travel of Yahya b. Zayd to Balkh was the first Shiite event that occurred in the city.

Toward the end of the first/seventh century, Muslims conquered Balkh. Before the destruction of the city by Genghis Khan in the seventh/thirteenth century, Baklh was one of the four main parts of Khorasan from which many religious scholars and hadith transmitters hailed.

The number of hadith scholars who transmitted hadiths form the Imams (a) in Balkh was on the increase from the second to the fifth/eleventh century. These scholars include Muqatil b. Muqatil, Ziyad b. Sulayman, Umar b. Harun, Muzaffar b. Muhammad, Nasr b. Sabah, and Mutawakkil b. Harun (the narrator of al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya).

Balkh is considered the birthplace of Persian literature and Sufism.

Among the prominent figures of Balkh are Shahid Balkhi, Rashid al-Din Watwat, Ibrahim b. Adham, Shaqiq Balkhi, and Rumi.

Haji Piyada mosque, the oldest mosque in Afghanistan, is located in Balkh.