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I live in India where lots of Muslims are Khans. I know about Genghis Khan who was not a Muslim but a Khan. So is their any relation between Khans like Genghis Khan (or Mongols) and current Khans?

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Khan was a Turkic title or honorific meaning "leader", and this later became a surname. Genghis Khan's Khan is part of his title, while the Indian Muslims you speak of have Khan as their last name. –  Semaphore Aug 26 at 7:29
    
*** King Khan *** –  Tyler Durden Aug 26 at 19:09
    
being Khan (the boss of a group of people) is not something Islamic. it is even against Islam. Muslims do many things un-Islamic. –  Battle of Karbala Aug 27 at 5:48

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Khan is an adopted surname, especially popular in Pakistan and parts of India. It literally means "Leader" in Turkic languages, and can be roughly translated to "King." Genghis Khan can be translated to King Genghis without too much quibbling, so think of the surname Khan to be similar to the English surname King (As in Martin Luther King, Jr.)

It comes to the subcontinent by way of Timur and the Timurid dynasty, who were Islamic - the surname Khan as a result has associations with Islamic ethnic identity in Pakistan and India (it's not a label, though - there are Sikh, Hindu and Christian folks with the surname Khan as well.)

An interesting starting point is the essay "The Story of the Khans" by Dr Satyakam Phukan - though not scholarly in itself, it does offer an accessible overview of the history of the name, and present avenues for further research.

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The Thracian Khanis/Kniaz title predates the Ottomans and it might be the oldest - highest title in human history.

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Is there a source for this? –  Semaphore Oct 15 at 14:57

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