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Khuda or Khoda (خدا) is the Persian word for "Lord" or "God". Formerly, it was used in reference to Ahura Mazda (Persian God) and today for God in Islam by only the Persian speakers, and as a loanword in Bengali, Urdu, Sindhi, Hindi and several South Asian languages. The term is originally from a Middle Persian honorific. It can also mean "king".



The term derives from Middle Iranian xvatay, xwadag meaning "lord", "ruler", "master" (written as Parthian kwdy, Middle Persian kwdy, Sogdian kwdy, etc.). It is the Middle Iranian reflex of Avestan xva-dhata- "self-defined; autocrat", an epithet of Ahura Mazda. The Pashto term Xwdāi (خدای) is a New Iranian cognate.

Prosaic usage is found for example in the Sassanid title katak-xvatay to denote the head of a clan or extended household, or in the title of the 6th century Khwaday Namag "Book of lords", from which the tales of Kayanian kings as found in the Shahnameh ("Book of kings") derive.


Semi-religious usage appears, for example, in the epithet zaman-i derang xvatay "time of the long dominion", as found in the Menog-i Khirad. The fourth and eighty-sixth entry of the Pazand prayer titled Sad-o-yak nam-i-khoda ("101 Names of God"), reading, Harvesp-Khoda "Lord of All" and Khudawand "Lord of the Universe", respectively, are compounds involving Khuda.[1] Application of khuda as "the Lord" (Ahura Mazda) is represented in the first entry in the medieval Frahang-i Pahlavig.

Islamic usage

In Islamic times, the term came to be used for God in Islam, paralleling the Arabic name of God Al-Malik "Owner, King, Lord, Master". But "Allah" is more common.

The phrase Khuda Hafiz (meaning May God be your Guardian) is a parting phrase commonly used in Persian, Kurdish and Pashto, as well as in Urdu among South Asian Muslims.

It also exists as a loanword, used for God by Muslims in Bengali, Urdu, although the Arabic word Allah is becoming more common.[2]

See also


  1. Edalji Kersâspji Antiâ, Pazend texts, Bombay 1909, pp. 335-337.[1]
  2. Template:Cite web
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