The Saffarids (Persian: سلسله صفاریان) were a Muslim Persianate dynasty from Sistan that ruled over parts of eastern Iran, Khorasan, Afghanistan and Balochistan from 861 to 1002. The dynasty, of Persian origin, was founded by Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar, a native of Sistan and a local ayyar, who worked as a coppersmith (ṣaffār) before becoming a warlord. He seized control of the Sistan region and began conquering most of what is now Afghanistan in the name of Islam.
The Saffarids used their capital Zaranj, which is a city in modern-day Afghanistan, as a base for an aggressive expansion eastwards and westwards. They first invaded the Buddhist-Hindu dominated areas south of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan and then overthrew the Persian Tahirid dynasty, annexing Khorasan in 873. By the time of Ya'qub's death, he had conquered the Kabul Valley, Sindh, Tocharistan, Makran (Balochistan), Kerman, Fars, Khorasan, and nearly reached Baghdad but then suffered a defeat by the Abbasids.
The Saffarid empire did not last long after Ya'qub's death. His brother and successor, Amr bin Laith, was defeated in a battle in Balkh against Ismail Samani in 900. Amr bin Laith was forced to surrender most of his territories to the new rulers. The Saffarids were subsequently confined to their heartland of Sistan, with their role reduced to that of vassals of the Samanids and their successors.