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Short description: Persian word for God

Khuda or Khoda (Persian: خدا‎) is the Persian word for "Lord" or "God". Originally, it was used in reference to Ahura Mazda (the name of the God in Zoroastrianism). Iranian languages, Turkic languages, and many Indo-Aryan languages employ the word.[1] Today, it is a word that is largely used in the non-Arabic Islamic world, with wide usage from its native country Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and some Muslim-majority areas of India, as well as southern and southwestern Russia.[2][3]


The word Khuda in Nastaʿlīq script

The term derives from Middle Iranian terms xvatay, xwadag meaning "lord", "ruler", "master", appearing in written form in Parthian kwdy, in Middle Persian kwdy, and in Sogdian kwdy. It is the Middle Persian reflex of older Iranian forms such as Avestan xva-dhata- "self-defined; autocrat", an epithet of Ahura Mazda. The Pashto term Xdāi (خدۍ) is a variant of this.

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 dynasty as found in the Shahnameh derive.

Zoroastrian usage

Semi-religious usage appears, for example, in the epithet zaman-i derang xvatay "time of the long dominion", as found in the Menog-i Khrad. The fourth and eighty-sixth entry of the Pazend prayer titled 101 Names of God, Harvesp-Khoda "Lord of All" and Khudawand "Lord of the Universe", respectively, are compounds involving Khuda.[4] 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".

The phrase Khuda Hafiz (meaning May God be your Guardian) is a parting phrase commonly used in across the Greater Iran region, in languages including Persian, Pashto and Kurdish. Furthermore, the term is also employed as a parting phrase in many languages across the Indian subcontinent including Urdu, Punjabi, Deccani, Sindhi, Bengali and Kashmiri.[5][2]

It also exists as a popular loanword, used for God in Turkish (Hüdâ),[6] Bengali (খোদা),[7] Hindi-Urdu (ख़ुदा, خُدا),[1] Kazakh (Xuda/Quda/Qudaı), Uzbek (Xudo), Tatar (Ходай) and other Indo-Aryan languages and Turkic languages.

Christian usage

In the Indian subcontinent, Christians who speak Hindi-Urdu translate the word "God" as "Khuda" (ख़ुदा, خُدا), though His personal name is rendered as "Yahovah" (यहोवा, یہوّاہ) or "Yahvah" (यहवा, یہوہ). Bible translations into Hindi and Urdu use these terms.[8][9]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wagenaar, Henk W.; Parikh, S. S. (1993) (in English). Allied Chambers transliterated Hindi-Hindi-English dictionary. Allied Publishers. p. 314. ISBN 978-81-86062-10-4. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Shamim, Almas Kiran (7 June 2011). "Allah Hafiz vs. Khuda Hafiz" (in en). Two Circles. 
  3. Ali, Syed Hamad (17 April 2012). "In Pakistan, saying goodbye can be a religious statement" (in English). The Guardian. "Outside Pakistan, "Khuda hafiz" is also known to be used in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and among Muslims in India." 
  4. Edalji Kersâspji Antiâ, Pazend texts, Bombay 1909, pp. 335–337.[1]
  5. "Allah Hafiz instead of Khuda Hafiz, that's the worrying new mantra". Indian Express. 
  6. Zorlu, Tuncay (2008). Innovation and Empire in Turkey: Sultan Selim III and the Modernisation of the Ottoman Navy. I.B.Tauris. p. 116. ISBN 978-0857713599. 
  7. খোদা ১ Bengali to English, Bangla Academy,খোদা, retrieved 24 February 2022 
  8. (in English) Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1997. p. 22. 
  9. Masih, M El (6 December 2017) (in en). From Persecution to the Promised Land. WestBow Press. ISBN 978-1-9736-0772-4.