SAIF UD-DĪN MAHMŪD, also called Saif Khān (d.1685), a high-ranking noble in the reign of Auraṅgzīb, was a man of religious disposition which, earned him the popular title of Faqīrullah, meaning a holy man of God. His father, Tarbīat Khān, had been a Bakhshī or paymaster under Emperor Shāh Jāhān, and his elder brother, Fidāī Khān, was Auraṅgzīb's foster-brother. During the war of succession (1658) Saif ud-Dīn had fought gallantly on the side of Auraṅgzīb, who rewarded him with the title of Saif Khān and the governorship of Āgrā. Relieved of his post later, Saif Khān retired to his small fief in Sirhind territory where he founded, in 1668, a fortified habitation named Saifābād, now Bahādurgaṛh, near Paṭiālā. He was governor of Kashmīr twice -- in 1665-68 and again in 1669-1671. In 1671, he quit the post and turned a hermit. He was restored to his title and rank at the end of 1675, and made Sūbahdār of Bihār in 1678, but was dismissed in 1683. He died on 23 April 1685.

        Nawāb Saif Khān was an admirer of Gurū Tegh Bahādur whom he met on several occasions. Once Gurū Tegh Bahādur is said to have put up with him at Saifābād for over three months. The Gurū encamped in Saif Khān's garden, outside the fort, enclosing his mansion and mosque. The Nawāb also took him into the inner apartments of his mansion to enable the ladies of his household to meet him. An old Gurdwārā across the road from the Bahādurgaṛh Fort now marks the site where Gurū Tegh Bahādur had stayed as Saif Khān's guest. Saif Khān's tomb is also located near the Fort. People still remember him with reverence as Saifā Bābā and visit his tomb, especially on Thursdays.


  1. Padam, Piārā Siṅgh, and Giānī Garjā Siṅgh,eds., Gurū kīāṅ Sākhīāṅ. Patiala.1986
  2. Trilochan Siṅgh, Guru Tegh Bahadur : Prophet and Martyr. Delhi, 1967
  3. Harbans Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Delhi, 1982

A. C. Banerjee