Shah is a common surname in South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan.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 Gujaratisah meaning "merchant" (from Sanskritsadhu meaning "honest, good") and PrakritSahu, 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. The word Sadhu/Sahu is also separately used to indicate a holy man, such as a Jainmonk (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.
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).
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:
This page lists people with the surnameShah. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by adding the person's given name(s) to the link.