Sahib Defined - Omniscient Lord Master

Master of All Mysteries

Sahibzadey Animated Movie DVD Cover
Sahibzadey Animated Movie DVD Cover. Photo © [Vismaad / Sikh DVD]

Definition Of Sahib

Sahib, or Sahab is a term of respect. The various meanings of Sahib includes Lord, Master, Sir, a chief or ruler, as well as husband or God, and may also refer to the owner or possessor of property.

In British Colonial times, the term Sahib, or Sahab, was used in place of Sir by Indian natives to address European gentlemen.

In Sikhism, the term Sahib is used as a suffix and confers respect or reverence:

  • When addressing members of sangat:
    Bhai Sahib - Lord Brother
    Singh Sahib - Lord King
    Siri Singh Sahib - Supremely Revered Master
    Sahiba - Lady
  • To revere any of the ten gurus, an exalted mother, Sikhism's holy scripture, or when referencing almighty God:
    Mata Sahib - Lord Mother
    Guru Sahib - Enlightening Lord
    Guru Granth Sahib - Enlightening Lord of Scripture
  • Designates respect when referencing religious items:
    Siri Sahib - Supreme Lord Sword
    Nishan Sahib- Lord-like Insignia Banner or Flag
    Pothi Sahib - Lord of the Sacred Book
  • Infers respect or reverence in reference to selections of scripture:
    Anand Sahib - Lord-like Bliss
    Sukhmani Sahib - Lord-like Tranquility
  • Implies respect and reverence when referring to a sacred shrine, place of worship or location:
    Darbar Harmandir Sahib - Court of the Lord's Temple
    Gurdwara Sahib - Door of the Enlightening Lord

Sahib may also be a prefix designating respect or reverence:

  • Sahibzada (sahibjada) - Son of a Lord or Ruler.
    Sahibzadi (Sahibjadee) - Daughter of a Lord or Ruler.
    Sahibzade (Sahibzadey or Sahibjadey) - Plural form, sons of a Lord, Ruler, or Guru.

Pronunciation and Spelling 

Pronunciation: Saa - hib. First syllable Gurmukhi vowel aa sounds like awe. Second syllable Gurmukhi vowel i of hib sounds like bib).

Alternate Spellings: Sahab

Common Misspellings: Sahb

Examples In Scripture:

The word Sahib appears countless times throughout the scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib. The following examples evoke exaltation for the divine prowess of Almighty Lord God, and are immensely expressive of profound reverence for the Omniscient Master of all mysteries.

  • "Saachae saahib sabh gun aougan sabh asaah ||1||
     Our True Lord is Master of all virtues, without virtues all of us are." ||1|| SGGS||17
  • "Sachaa saahib sevee-ai sach vaddi-aa-ee dae-e ||
    The True Lord's service blesses one with true greatness." SGGS||30
  • "Sadaa sadaa kar chaakaree prabh saahib sachaa so-e ||2||
    Forever and ever perform the service of God, our Lord, and True Master." ||2|| SGGS||44
  • "Agam agochar saahibo jeeaan kaa parnaa ||
    Inaccessible and Unapproachable, the Lord is the supporter of beings." SGGS||323
  • "Jaachik mangai nit naam saahib karae kabool ||
    If the beggar begs each instant for the Holy Name, The Lord grants the request." SGGS||323
  • "So saahib rehiaa bharpoor ||
    The Omniscient Lord is pervading fully present everywhere." SGGS||330
  • "Saahib hoe da-i-aal kirpaa karae apunaa kaaraj savaarae ||
    When the Lord Master kindly bestows His Grace, then are her affairs resolved." SGGS||333
  • "So paatisaahu saahaa pat saahib naanak rehan rajaaee ||1||1||
    He the King of Kings is Emperor of Kings, Nanak surrenders subjected to His Will." SGGS||348
  • "Vaddae maerae saahibaa gehir ganbheeraa gunee geheeraa ||
    Great is my Lord the Master of Unfathomable Depths, Thou art the Ocean of Excellence." SGGS||349
  • "Andhee duneeaa saahib jaan ||1|| rehaao ||
    Blind is the world,  All-seeing is our Lord Master." ||1||Pause|| SGGS||349
  • "Maerae saahib ho keetaa taeraa ||
    O my Lord Master, I am the creation of Thee." SGGS||357
  • "Saachae saahib alakh abhaev ||
    O True Lord Master, Thou art invisible and mysteriously unknowable." SGGS||376
  • "Jaa toon saahib taa bho kaehaa ho tudh bin kis saalaahee ||
    When Thou art my Lord Master, what is there to fear? Other than Thee, whom could I praise?" SGGS||382
  • "Gun nidhaan saahib man maelaa ||
    Excellency of treasures, the Lord is my soul's associate." SGGS||383
  • "Bakhas lai-hu saahib prabh apanae laakh khatae kar phaero ||1||
    Please pardon me, O Lord Master, God that Thou art, for hundreds of thousands of erroneous sins have I committed." ||1|| SGGS||618
  • "Bolae saahib kai bhaanai ||
    I speak accordingly as my Lord Master orders." SGGS||629
  • "Andin saahib sevee-ai ant chhaddaa-ae so-e ||
    Night and day, my Lord Masters service I perform, for in the end shall he deliver me." SGGS||660
  • "Saachaa saahib sach too merae saahaa taeraa keeaa sach sabh hoe ||
    O True Lord Master, my King truly Thou art, whatever Thou doest, that all is True." SGGS||670

Transliteration is phonetic.Translations are my own.

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Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Sahib Defined - Omniscient Lord Master." ThoughtCo, Jan. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/sahib-defined-omniscient-lord-master-2992893. Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2016, January 6). Sahib Defined - Omniscient Lord Master. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/sahib-defined-omniscient-lord-master-2992893 Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Sahib Defined - Omniscient Lord Master." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/sahib-defined-omniscient-lord-master-2992893 (accessed November 19, 2017).