SHĀH DĪN, FAQĪR (d. 1842), son of Faqīr 'Azīz ud-Dīn, minister to Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, was the Sikh court's envoy with the British political agent at Ludhiāṇā and later at Fīrozpur. He is described in contemporary chronicles as an able diplomat who often accompanied foreign dignitaries visiting Lahore and acted as an interpreter. Successive British political agents -- C. M. Wade, Dr Murray and George Russell Clerk-- spoke highly of his skill and wisdom. In 1831, Faqīr Shāh Dīn was assigned to C.M. Wade at Ludhiāṇā and, in 1834, he conducted Dr Murray to the Sikh capital. At Fīrozpur, he acted as the Mahārājā's envoy and supply officer. He enjoyed the trust of both the Sikh Darbār and the British.

        Shāh Dīn was also associated with some of the Darbār's commercial enterprises, in particular the shawl trade with British India, Sindh and Afghanistan. In 1839, he was deputed to Miṭṭhankoṭ to supervise the Indus navigation trade on behalf of the Lahore government. Later, he accompanied Major Mackeson to Amritsar to exhibit to the British agent the silk manufactures of the Sikh kingdom with a view to promoting export.

        Both Victor Jacquemont, the French naturalist who visited India in 1834, and Munshī Shahāmat 'Alī speak highly of the discretion shown by Faqīr Shāh Dīn in public life. The Sikh Darbār rewarded his services and he and his brother, Faqīr Chirāgh Dīn, shared a jāgīr valued at 15,000 rupees annually. Shāh Dīn died at Lahore in 1842.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt ut-Twārīkh. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Waheedudddin, Faqir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1976

Hameed ud-Dīn