Khan (surname)

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Khan (Pashto: خان Urdu: خان‎, Persian: خان, Bengali: খাঁন, Balochi: خان) is a surname and title of Mongolian origin.

Use as a title[edit]

The surname Khan originates with the Mongolian khan. Used in the Rourans firstly, and later more widely by Islamic chieftains in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.[1][2]

Other usage[edit]

Khan is a widespread surname in most countries of Central and South Asia particularly among Muslims. Khan is the surname of over 108,674 British Asian people, making it the 12th most common surname in the United Kingdom,[3] and one of only a handful in the 100 most common surnames which are of neither British nor Irish origin.[4]

List of people called Khan[edit]

Palay Khan, a freedom fighter from Zhob area who resisted against the British Raj
Malik Umar Hayat Khan as an Honorary Lieutenant of the 18th King George's Own Lancers, early 20th century watercolour by Major A.C. Lovett (1862–1919)
German Khan, Russian oligarch

Actors and entertainers[edit]

In sports[edit]

Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi Shermankhel, a former cricketer, philanthropist and Chairmain of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Amir Khan, an English Khan who became the unified WBA and IBF light-welterweight world boxing champion.

In science and technology[edit]

  • Abdul Qadeer Khan, an engineer from Pakistan, considered the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme
  • Fazlur Khan, Bengali-American structural engineer and designer of Chicago's Sears Tower and John Hancock Center

In academic life (teaching and research)[edit]


  • Abul Kashem Khan (1905–1991), jurist, political leader, and industrialist from Bangladesh
  • Ahmed Raza Khan (1856–1921), Sunni Islamic scholar of south Asia
  • Alan Khan (born 1971), South African radio presenter
  • Amjad Khan (1940–1992), Indian film producer
  • Gauri Khan (born 1971), wife of Indian star Shahrukh Khan
  • Hazrat Inayat Khan, (1882–1927), founder of Universal Sufism and the Sufi Order International
  • Irene Khan (born 1956), Secretary General of Amnesty International
  • Kiran Rao Khan (born 1973), wife of Indian star Aamir Khan
  • The (unknown) 'M Khan', the subject of many gag routines on The Mary Whitehouse Experience because of long-standing graffiti visible from a major London road[5]
  • Mirza Abu Taleb Khan (1752–1805/6), Indian tax-collector and travel-writer
  • Mohammad Sidique Khan (1974–2005), a London train suicide bomber
  • Nawab Muhammad Hayat Khan (1833–1901) British-Indian administrator and aristocrat
  • Noor Inayat Khan (1914–1944), a British spy in occupied France
  • Prof. Omer Salim Khan (Omer Tarin), Pakistani poet, writer, scholar and mystic
  • Peter Khan (born Afghan-Khan), Australian member of the Universal House of Justice of the Bahá'í Faith
  • Shahid Khan (born 1950), Pakistan-born American businessman; owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C.
  • Suzanne Khan Roshan, an Indian interior designer, wife of Hrithik Roshan
  • Syed Ahmed Khan (1817–1898), Islamic scholar
  • Tariq Ali Khan (born 1943), British-Pakistani writer, intellectual and socialist
  • Tasmin Lucia Khan (born 1980), British Bangladeshi journalist and news presenter for BBC News
  • Vilayat Inayat Khan, (1916–2004), former head of the Sufi Order International
  • Zia Inayat Khan, the Pir of the Sufi Order International

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khan entry in Hobson-Jobson: the Anglo-Indian dictionary
  2. ^ As cited in The Baburnama, 2002, W.M. Thackston p273.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Khan in the UK". Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  5. ^ "Origin of 'M Khan' Graffiti". 2001-04-12. Retrieved 2012-06-09.