4% of the Afghan population[a]
|Aimaq dialect of Persian, Pashto|
|Mainly Sunni Islam (Hanafi)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Hazaras, Moghols, Tajiks, and Pashtuns|
The Aimaq (Persian: ایماق, romanized: Aimāq) or Chahar Aimaq (چهار ایماق), also transliterated as Aimagh, Aimak and Aymaq, are a collection of Sunni and mostly Persian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes. They live mostly in the central and western highlands of Afghanistan, especially in Ghor, Badghis. Aimaqs were originally known as chahar ("four") Aymaqs: the Taymani (the main element in the population of Ghor), the Firozkohi (mostly in Badghis), the Jamshidi and the Timuri. Other sources state that the Aimaq Hazara are one of the Chahar, with the Timuri instead being of the "lesser Aimaqs" or Aimaq-e digar ("other Aimaqs").
The Aimaq speak several subdialects of the Aimaq dialect of Persian language, but some southern groups of Taymani, Firozkohi, and northeastern Timuri Aimaqs have adopted the Pashto language.
The Aimaqs claim different origins based on their tribal background. Some claim to be descended from the troops of Genghis Khan. Other tribes such as the Taymani (Aimaq tribe) and Firozkohi claim descent from other Pashtun tribes.
Aimaq is a Mongolic word that means "tribe" or "grazing territory". Of all Aimaqs, Aimaq Hazara and Timuri are closest to the Turco-Mongol tradition since they are semi-nomadic tribes and some of them live in yurts, whereas other Aimaqs live in traditional Afghan black tents. The Aimaq are largely nomadic to semi-nomadic goat and sheep herders. They also trade with villages and farmers during migrations for pastures for their livestock. The material culture and foodstuffs of the Aimaq include skins, carpets, milk, dairy products and more. They trade these products to settled peoples in return for vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and other types of foods and goods.
|Aimaq Hazara||Aimaq-e digar||"Sunni subtribe of Hazara origin"|
|Chagatai||Aimaq-e digar||"Turco-Mongols of the Chagatai Khanate"|
|Changezi||Aimaq-e digar||"Descendant of Genghis Khan"|
|Jamshidi||Chahar Aimaq||"The Jamshidi, forcibly moved from one exile to the other, became indistinguishable from Turkmen in their way of life. During this period, small groups of Aimaq Hazara and Jamshidi settled in Persian Khorasan and Turkmenistan."|
|Kipchak||Aimaq-e digar||"Descendant of Kipchaks"|
|Timuri||Chahar Aimaq||"Descendant of Timur"|
Estimates of the Aimaq population vary between 250,000 and 500,000. They are largely Sunni Muslims—except for the Jamshidi who are mainly Ismaili Shia in the main—and in contrast to the Hazara, who are mostly Shia Muslims.
A Kākaṛ Pashtun from Baluchistan, Tayman, formed a coalition in Ḡūr around 1650. The traditional chiefs of the northern Fīrūzkūhī, Zay Ḥākem, claim descent from Ačakzay Pashtun ancestors.