Jan Fishan Khan (ancestor of Nasiruddin Shah, the Bollywood actor)

Ancestor of Nasiruddin Shah
Sketch of  Syud Mahomed Khan or Jan Fishan Khan of Paghman,  by James Aktkinson ,c.1840

Sayyid Muhammad Shah, the ancestor of Nasiruddin Shah (actor), was from Afghanistan. He collaborated with British invaders during First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42). He accompanied the defeated British army to India. 

Mrs.Colin Mackenzie (whose husband fought in the First Anglo-Afghan War), describes Sayyid Muhammad Shah (titled Jan Fishan Khan) as the staunch friend of the British invaders. Two of his sons died fighting against Wazir Akbar Khan.

Jan Fishan Khan

Sayyid Muhammad Shah made himself of use to British even in India. During 1857 war of independence, he raised a lashkar of his dependents, followers and relatives, and went to help the British against Indians. As a reward for his services, he received the title of Nawab from the British.

Jan Fishan Khan
Ancestors of Nasiruddin Shah Bollywood
Syed Meer Khan, Meerut, 1861. Source: “The People of India” by Watson and Kaye.


Syed Meer Khan

He was nephew of Syed Muhammad Shah (titled Jan Fishan Khan). The British author of the above-mentioned book writes:

“Syed Meer Khan, member of a family expatriated from Cabool for their fidelity to us in 1840-42″…[..]…”Syud Meer Khan is thirty-four years of age, and six feet in height, with a dark olive complexion. He bears the appellation of Khan, probably from Afghan descent, or by special creation ; and his services to the Government of India in a military capacity, have gained for him the title of ” Sirdar Bahadoor,” to which is attached a pension and other privileges. The Syud is a fine specimen of his race : a very powerful man, with a good expression of features.”


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