The first Afghan and fourth Muslim to go into outer space, he spent 9 days on board the Mir Space Station.
He graduated from the Polytechnical University of Kabul and later trained as a pilot and astronaut in the Soviet Union.
He is a retired Afghan Air Force aviator.
His mother was so concerned while he was in space, the Afghan president arranged a video/audio conference between the two in the president's office.
He and Neil Armstrong have flown in space.