Shah (surname)
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Shah Surname

Shah is a common surname in South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan.[1]Shah (Persian: , English: shah) is another term used for 'king' in Iran, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It is derived from the Persian language, Shah means 'very large'. That is, the one who is the largest in public is called Shah (King). People of the Shah caste mostly reside in Asia. Residents bearing the Shah surname will also be found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal.


In the Gujarat and Rajasthan region, the name 'Shah' may be derived from Gujarati sah meaning "merchant" (from Sanskrit sadhu meaning "honest, good") and Prakrit Sahu, while the actual spelling "Shah" was popularized by the Persian word for King. As a result, especially in Western culture, use of the spelling "Shah" has become far more pronounced than the other variants.[2] The word Sadhu/Sahu is also separately used to indicate a holy man, such as a Jain monk (see Namokar Mantra). The Indian surnames "Shah" and "Sahu" are variants of one another which have evolved from the word "sah" over time. Another variant is Sheth.[]

One early use of the title Sadhu occurs in an inscription on an AD 850 Parshvanth image in the Akota Bronzes.[3]

In numerous 12-13th century inscriptions the shravaka who installed the image is given the title "Sahu".[4]

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ... ? ? ? ? ? .. ? ..

A Gwalior Fort Inscription 1453[5][dead link]

For example:

Here the word Sahu is equivalent to the Sanskrit word "sadhu". Some inscriptions use "sadhu" itself :

  • From Bahuriband (Katni, MP): "Svasti shri samvat 1070 phalgunavadi ...

madhavannandinugrahitah sadhu-shri sarvadharah .."[]

The word Sadhu here does not mean a monk but a "gentleman". Some inscriptions abbreviate sahu by just "sa" just like the abbreviation in English, "Mr."[] In some business communities, genealogies are recited during marriages, where all ancestors would be respectfully called "sahu". The term "sahukari" means the profession of banking/trading, and is derived from Sahu (Sanskrit "Sadhu") and kar (Sanskrit for doer).[7] In the Bundelkhand Jain community, the father-in-law (or son's/daughter's father-in-law) used to be called "sahaji". Thus the words "Shah" etc. all indicate a respected member of the mercantile community. Today it is used by Gujarati business communities.[]

People with the surname

This list includes people with both the Indian surname Shah and the surname of Persian origin meaning king. Notable people with the surname include:

See also


  1. ^ Kumar, R. (2006). Costumes and textiles of royal india. ISBN 1851495096
  2. ^ "Shah Name Meaning and History". Retrieved .
  3. ^ Akota Bronzes, Umakant P.Shah, 1959, p. 52-53
  4. ^ Kasturchand Jain Suman, Bharatiya Digambar Jain Abhilekh aur Tirth Parichay, Madhya-Pradesh: 13 vi shati tak, Delhi, 2001
  5. ^ Gopachal ke Jinamandir Archived October 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Indian Sculpture: 700-1800, Volume 2 of Indian Sculpture: A Catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection, Pratapaditya Pal, University of California Press, 1988, p. 306
  7. ^ John Shakespear. A dictionary, Hindustani and English, 1834, p.1035

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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