Khan Sahib

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Khan Sahib Medal
Awarded by Viceroy & Governor-General of India on behalf of the British Indian Government
TypeCivil decoration
EligibilityMuslim, Parsi and Jewish Commonwealth subjects of British India
Awarded forPublic service
StatusDiscontinued since 1947
Last awarded1947
Next (higher)Khan Bahadur (title)
EquivalentRai Sahib (for Hindus)
Next (lower)Khan
Sanad (Citation) conferring the title of Khan Sahib to Dossabhoy Muncherji Raja

Khan Sahib (Bengali: খাঁন সাহিব, Hindi: ख़ान साहिब, Urdu: خان صاحب‬) - a compound of khan (leader) and sahib (master) - was a formal title of respect and honour, which was conferred exclusively on Muslim, Parsi and Jewish subjects of the British Indian Empire.[1] It was a title one degree higher than the title of Khan.


The title was conferred along with a medal and a citation (or sanad) and the recipient was entitled to prefix the title to his name. The title was conferred on behalf of the British Indian Government by the Viceroy and Governor-General of India.[citation needed]

The title "Khan Sahib" was originally conferred by the Mughal Empire on Muslim subjects in recognition of public services rendered and was adopted by the British Indian Empire for the same purpose. Hindu subjects of the British Indian Empire were conferred the title of "Rai Sahib". Since there were no separate titles for Parsi and Jewish subjects, the British Indian Empire conferred the Muslim title of Khan Sahib to Parsi and Jewish subjects as well.[citation needed]

Khan Sahib titte of Col. Khan Muhammad Khan

Colonel Khan Muhammad Khan from Poonch, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan was given 'Khan Shahib' title for his commitment and selfless service to the people of Kashmir, he was given title of Khan Sahib on 11 June 1942 Awarded by Viceroy & Governor-General of India on behalf of the British Government.[2]

Sanad (Ghulam Haider Khan Subidar Major Swat Levies NWFP)


The chronological list of recipients below is not exhaustive.

  • June,1917, Sayad Nazir Husain, Simla.
  • 1918, Pir Syed Karam Shah of Shorkot via letter from Viceroy Barnes Court Simla. Original letter and Parchment document still available (3 June 1918).
  • 1919, Munshi Farzad Ali (medal, 3 June 1919)
  • 1920, Rana Talia Muhammad Khan for meritorious services (later awarded higher title of "Khan Bahadur")
  • 1921, Mohammad wali jaun(john)
  • 1922, Ghias-ud-din Saiyid Abdul Karim Sahib inspector general awarded title of Khan shahib.
  • 1926, shah muhammad abdul hakeem faridi superitendent kotadowar awarded title of Khan shahib.
  • 1923, Mehr Abadan, Founder of Zimindara High School Dasua Lyallpur District, Punjab
  • 1924, Khan Sahib Abdur Rab Choudhury for his outstanding services in the field of education in British India.
  • 1925, Muhammad Salim 'Ali Adviser on Arab affairs in Aden (later awarded higher title of "Khan Bahadur")
  • 2 January 1925, (Ali Ibrahim Lukman ) Advisor on Arab Affairs and Administration in Aden, Awarded the title 'Khan Bahadur'
  • 1925, Manadath Kunju Khader Pillai Municipal President of Alwaye, Madras State, was awarded the title of Khan Sahib for his meritorious service during the great flood of 1925.
  • 1926, Khan Sahib Chaudhri Khair-Ud-Din (Later Khan Bahadur), Superintendent Central Jail, Lahore, Punjab.
  • 1925, Khan Bahadur Aga Syed Hussain, then Governor of Kashmir,later the First Muslim Minister to Maharaja Hari Singh in the Dogra Rule,awarded for his meritorious services (later awarded the higher title of Khan Bahadur) and Thakkar
  • 1926, Khan Sahib Ghulam Ahmed Khan, Bar at Law University of London was awarded Khan Sahib title for his services in Law.
  • 1928, Alhaj Ghulam Muhammad Khan son of Khan Naurang Khan, an elder of Spin Gund faction of Lakki Marwat was awarded this title for streamlining cordial relationship between the British and hostile Spin Gund tribe of Lakki Marwat. The Deputy Commissioner/Collector of District Bannu/Edwardabad at that time Major A.E.D. Parton had to send his medal and Sanad through a messenger as he declined to attend the public awarding ceremony at Deputy Commissioner's Office in Bannu.
  • 1929, Khan Bahadur General Fateh Naseeb Khan (Alwar State Forces)[3]
  • 1930, Khan Sahib Musharraf Hossain, Inspector of Schools, Dacca Division, of Kashba Majail, Pangsha, Faridpur.[4]
  • 1931, Khan Bahadur Sheikh Amir Ali, Deputy superintendent of Police, Punjab of Bhera got the title of "KHAN SAHIB" by the 32nd Viceroy and Governor General of India as a personal distinction(later awarded higher title of "Khan Bahadur")
  • 1931, Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan of Jamalpur for public service spanning 30 years by the 32nd Viceroy and Governor-General of India, Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon[5]
  • 1932, Syed Ahmed Rashid for his outstanding services in the field of sports and social activities in India.
  • 1933, Dossabhoy Muncherji Raja
  • 1933, Muhammad Hassan Marri, son of sharbat khan Marri from Mirpurkhas, Sindh
  • 1933, Maulvi Sayid Shah Rahmatullah, Inspector of Police Bihar and Orissa, was conferred the title of Khan Sahib by the Viceroy and Governor General of India; Lord Willingdon in 1933 for his exemplary Public Service.
  • 1934, Mir Afzal Khan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, for meritorious police services awarded by the 22nd Viceroy and Governor-General of India, The Earl of Willingdon[6]
  • 1934, Ghulam Hyder Khan Orakzai, Extra Assistant Commissioner,Baluchistan .(June 4, 1934)
  • 1935, Zaildar Mian Noor Ahmad Bhatti for his loyalty, goodwill, services and being the most enlightened men in Punjab.
  • 1935, Maulavi Muhammad Najiff, Businessman and Zamindar of Nagaon, Assam was awarded the title of Khan Sahib for his contribution towards the society.
  • 1935, Malik Ghulam Hussain, Musaufi, Kalat State, Mastung. (November 19, 1935)
  • 1895, Shah mirza son of gilgit awarded khan sahib title relief of chitral
  • 1939, Moulavi Huosain Reza, Inspector of police, Bengal presidency Kolkata, was recipient of award KHAN SAHIB
  • 1939, Khan Sahib Bazlul Karim
  • 1937, S.M Ghulam Haider Khan, Swat Levies North west frontier province.
  • 1939, Jalal ud din Jalal Baba for his services in Hazara district and displaying leadership qualities.
  • 1939, Maulana Nurul Huda (Patna Region)
  • 1940, To Sahibzada Khurshid Ali Khan in recognition of services for the British Indian government. He served in the British foreign service in the 1940s. He was from wayanwali sharif, distt. Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan.He resigned from British foreign service in 1947 on the request of Mohammad Ali Jinnah conveyed to him by Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan. Then he was appointed as the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Iraq and at that time Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan was appointed High Commissioner in Iran who was a very close companion of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
  • 1941, Maulvi Mahammad Roufique, Chairman, Nowgaon local board, Assam recipient of award KHAN SAHIB and he is also recipient of the title KHAN BAHADUR on 1 January 1945.
  • 1941, Lt Colonel/Khan Bahadur Muhammad Hassan Khan(Late), 1st Muslim Army Officer who was appointed by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah as 1st Director General Survey of Pakistan, belongs to village Domeli(now RasulPur Jali) near Jhelum. He served in the British Royal Army as well as in Pakistan Army in the Magnificent 4th Bn of Engineer Regiment. One of the most courageous and generous officers who fought in World War I & II. Later he was also given the title of Khan Bahadur. Because of him Pakistan occupied 3871 Square KM more during partition through the Red Cliff award. Died on 21 Dec 1948. Father of Lt Colonel Qurban Hassan Khan(Late) 18 PMA Long Course, Chief Instructor ISI, later Advisor to the Prime Minister UAE and has the honor of having third Generation in Pakistan Army, where his Grand son Lt Colonel Faisal Hassan Khan(90 PMA), whose parent unit is 24 Punjab Regiment presently serving in Military Intelligence.
  • 1941, Mohsinuddin Khan Kakarzai, Municipal Medical Officer of Health, Budaun, United Provinces, recipient of award KHAN SAHIB [7] l
  • 1942, Khan Muhammad Khan
  • 1943, Hafiz Ahmad (June 2, 1943)
  • 1944, Sheikh Jan Mohammad
  • 1944, Khan Sahib Ghulam Ahmed Khan Sherwani
  • 1943, Maulvi Abdul Kareem
  • 1945, Syed Ahmed Quadri
  • 1945, Qazi Zafar Hussain
  • 1945, Syed Mohammed Zakaria from Central Indian Police Service was awarded the title of Khan Sahib in recognition of his distinguished service to the British Empire.
  • 1946, Qazi Muhammad Yaqin, Longest serving Mayor of Palwal, For his services to the crown
  • 1946, Choudhary Daswandi Khan Virk, World War Warrior, Superintendent of Police, Lasbela, Resident of Village Virk, Distt. Sialkot, Father of Ch Zafar Iqbal Virk, Ch Khizer Iqbal Virk, Ch Mehmood Iqbal Virk and Ch Javed Iqbal Virk (former candidate of MNA Tehsil Pasrur)[8]
  • 1946, Pallonji Nusserwanji Panthaky, for charitable work in Karauli, Rajasthan.[9]
  • 1946, Al Haj Ahmed Salman Al Ostath from Kuwait, received the title of Khan Sahib as a personal distinction.
  • 1946, M Syed Imam Diwan of Baganapalli received it on 13 June 1946. Received the title as a personal distinction. Father of Mr Syed Akbar.
  • New Delhi The 1st January 1946, Received The Title of KHAN SAHIB Medal And Sanad (MIAN GHULAM MOHIYUDDIN) Indian Trader Kabul Afghanistan. as a Personal Distinction By Viceroy of India.
  • 1947, Khan Sahib Adam Khan from Karachi, received the title of Khan Sahib as a personal distinction from Great Britain.
  • 1947, Mirza Ismail Baig from Bombay, received the title of Khan Sahib from Lady Mountbatten.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joan G. Roland (1998). The Jewish communities of India. Transaction Publishers. p. 35. ISBN 0765804395. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
  2. ^ Yagana e Kashmir by Brig M. Sadiq Khan and Dr Ghulam Hussain Azhar
  3. ^ Various (15 March 2007). Alwar State List of Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Potter Press. p. 4. ISBN 1-4067-3137-4.
  4. ^ The Bengal Civil List (Published annually) Part II - List of Persons in Bengal Holding Titles Conferred or Recognized by His Excellency The Viceroy Page 447
  5. ^ Azam, K.M., Hayat-e-Sadeed: Bani-e-Dar ul Islam Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan (A Righteous Life: Founder of Dar ul Islam Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan), Lahore: Nashriyat, 2010 (583 pp., Urdu) ISBN 978-969-8983-58-1
  6. ^ . Ittefaq.Com. 2009-10-30 Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-17. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ List of Recipients of this award for that year is available in Asia and Africa Studies Reading Room at the British Library in London near St. Pancras. This list was published in The Gazette of India Extraordinary. Dated June 12, 1941.
  8. ^ Iqbal Ahmad Rashid (2004-03-06). "Maulana Zafar Ali Khan". storyofpakistan. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  9. ^ Kerbanoo Panthaky

External links[edit]