To the north of Tajikistan lies Kyrgyzstan, to the west lies Uzbekistan, to the east lies China and to the south lies Afghanistan. This state was formed due to the split of Central Asia in 1920 under Soviet rule. It covers an area of 143,100 sq. km. 
Soghdiana, the northern part of today's Tajikistan, was settled by Iranian tribes between 1,000 and 500 BC. Important cities of Tajikistan today Khujand and Panjkakent belonged to Soghdiana in ancient times. During their tarvelling to China and to the west, Soghdians adopted other religions such as Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Bhuddism and they also shared their knowledge with people whom they met on their way. During sixth to fourth centuries B.C, Tajikistan belonged to ancient Persia's Achaemenid Empire that was ruled by Darius I. In 333 B.C., Alexander the Great conquered it. 
In early Eighteenth Century, Islamic Arabs became the rulers of Tajikistan. The Arabs increased the Islamic circle in that region by converting people to Islam. This change of faith was made by motivations, willingly approvals and by the use of power. The spread of this religion was so rapid that it became the most practiced religion in the nineteenth century. This was the era during which commercial trade with China from Central Asia boosted. Also, Central Asia became Islamic hub numerous preachers.
After the Arabs rule in Central Asia, Samanid era started. It was a Persian speaking principality and it lasted from 875 to 999. Persian language enjoyed great progress during this period. The Samanids paid great devotion to blossom this language. Bukhoro, was labeled as the school of learning and center of cultural progress by the Persian communities of the east. The ultimate end of the Persian reign came when the Qarakhanid Turks conquered the land in 999. 
The culture of pre-Islamic Iran was unspoiled by Samanid literary. Urbanization was done to a great extent during this period. The outmoded customs and traditions were modernized. Moreover, the urban centers of the past including Bukhara, Samarqand, Khujand were rejuvenated. This made the political, economic, social and cultural advancements in the Samanid state. Innovation was highly valued by the Samanids. They provided resources and opportunities for education of the public. 
Sciences prospered during the Samanid reinforcement. Medicine, Mathematics, Geography, Astronomy, History and Philosophy gained popularization. Besides this literature flourished which helped in improving the social habits of the masses. Improvement of economy and well-being of the people was emphasized upon. 
Academic magnates of the Samanid Era
During this prosperous time some great scholars lived in Tajikistan who are well-known as pioneers of modern developments today. Al-Kitab al-mukhtasar fi Hisab al-jabrw'al-muqabala, a book referring to the methods of solving equations and mundane problems, is the master piece of Al-Khwarazmi. Algebra, which forms the basis of various formulae and mathematical equations today, is the prodigy of scientists like Al-Beruni, Ibn-e-Sina, Buzjani and Sijni. Al Beruni is a renowned scholar of practical aspects of physics while Ibn-e-Sinamastered in theoretical dimensions of physics and acoustics. The founder of applied physics, Muhammad Zakariyyah al-Razi, was also denizen of this time. He is known for inventing net weight of matter. Ibn-e-Haitham, gave founding concepts of Optics. 
The revival of the arts and sciences headed to the establishment of learning centers called madrasahs. They were built on the architecture of University of Gurdishapur in Iran.The building of learning centers introduced the concept of libraries where information was stored and retrieved from. One such library was Sivan al-Hikmat in Bukhara. These learning centers contained documents including translations from Greek and Syriac languages on philosophical aspects as well as the research works and theories of contemporary scholars likeAl-Beruni and Ibn-e-Sina. 
In the start of ninth century, Turkish population started migrating to Central Asia. The arrival of these Turks was at peak in the eleventh century. These Turks initially worked as slaves in armies of the Samanids but later they got the commanding positions which led to the demise of the Samanids. 
These Turks were influenced by the prevalent Persian Culture of southern Central Asia which is now Tajakistan. Over the generations they changed their life style from rural nomads to urban inhabitants. Turks and Persians intermarried which eventually led to cultural blending. 
The Samanids were out thrown by the uncontrolled influx of the Mongols in Central Asia. They ruled from 1219 A.D. To 1370 A.D. During Mongol rule, the Persian language was used as the state language. It was used in government and literature. The Mongols made forceful changes to the prevailing affairs of Tajiks. They almost stopped development in agriculture and hindered urban expansion. The local reign was abolished and Yasa was enforced in place of Sharia'ah. Yasa was imposed so as to establish anti-Muslim policies. The primary cause of doing this wasto discourage Central Asian from revolting against Chaghtai Khans. Due to such policies, the Tajiks were bounded to either migrate abroad or to make their habitats in isolated highlands. 
After the Mongols came the Timurids. They were headed by Tamerlane, originally known as Timur and his heirs. The Timurids, unlike Mongols, supported scholarship, the arts, and literature. 
The start of the sixteenth century was marked by Uzbek conquest of Central Asia. But soon after its establishment, the Uzbek state suffered from instability.
After the dissolving of Golden Horde, a Mongol and later Turkic political entity, the decline of the Tajiks started. The Oguz Turks, who entered Central Asia in tenth century and made their settlements in Transoxiana, were joined by the constituent tribes of Golden Horde. They took control over Tajiks farms and became farmers. Due to this scenario, the Tajiks had to take shelter in the highlands leaving their cultural hubs, Samarqand and Bukhara. 
The Uzbeks were followed by the Russians who in late eighteenth century Russians dominated both the Turks and the Tajiks. During the Russian reign, Uzbek-Turks worked as governors and tax gatherers.
The Tajiks belonging to Fergana and Zeravshan valleys were brought under the regime of Russia due to Russian conquests in Central Asia. In 1868, the emirate of Bukhara was declared as the Russian territory. In the early nineteenth century, three states namely Bukhoro Khanate which was ruled by Uzbeks, the Quqon (Kokand) Khanate, centered on the Fergana Valley and the kingdom of Afghanistan were formed. These territories together are now called Tajiskistan. Several discrepancies and fights took place between these territories concerned to acquire control of the strategic areas. During all this time Tajik cultural domination waned so much so that in 1920 the Tajiki language became obsolete to be used as the official language of the Emirate of Bukhara.
Road to Independence
Soon after Russian revolution in 1917, a campaign was started by the Tajiks to acquire freedom from the rule of Bolsheviks, a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. This resistance was brutally crumpled by the Bolsheviks and led to the destruction of villages, mosques and land.
The division of Tajik population between the Autonomous Republic of Turkistan and the People's Republic of Bukhara was done by the Soviets in 1924. This did not hinder the Tajiks and they sustained their struggle to achieve independence. 
Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (A.S.S.R.) got the status of a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1929. This was a partially independent Tajik state as it was still under the control of Soviet Union. However, it developed a hope of a future independent Tajik state. 
Now, since Tajikistan was a mature member of the Soviet Union, remarkable social and economic renovation of the underdeveloped, rugged Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic took place. B.G. Gafurov, a respectable leader of Tajikistan's Communist Party, infused a sense of nationhood among the Tajiks. The construction of dams was done to boost power generation and improve irrigation. Industrial progress was made in Vakhsh River Valley. Recreational measures were taken to provide and improve health and education facilities. Tajik State University (1951) and the Tajik Academy of Sciences (1948) were formed in the village of Dushanbe which was changed into a modern capital city. Ispite of all such progress, Tajikistan was rated as the poorest republic of Soviet Union. 
According to the census of 1989, 99% of the adult Tajik population was literate, with 77% graduates. Accessibility of the educational institutions was ensured for majority of the population. 
On September 9, 1991, an independent Sovereign state of Tajakistan was formed as a result of the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Economic crises and Civil War
After the independence in 1991, Tajikistan faced disastrous problems. Since it was separated from Soviet Union, it encountered an abrupt economic downfall. Due to its exclusion from the rubble zone, cash crises were observed which were further worsened by Russia. They withhold the payments to Tajiks on cotton shipments because Tajiks were already indebted to Russia.