Meaning: noun: Khan, nobleman; a title held by hereditary rulers or tribal chiefs and a title of respect used in some countries of Asia.
ਖਾਨੁ ਮਲੂਕੁ ਕਹਾਵਉ ਰਾਜਾ॥ ਅਬੇ ਤਬੇ ਕੂੜੇ ਹੈ ਪਾਜਾ॥
khaan malook kahaavau raajaa. abe tabe kooṛe hai paajaa.
I may be called a khan, a malik, and a king, and rudely address as, oh, hey (to the people under my command), however all these displays are false. -Guru Nanak Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 225
Message: Falsehood-ness of power
Khan is a title given to rulers and officials in central Asia, Afghanistan, and certain other Muslim countries, and it means commander, leader, or ruler, king, chief, etc.
That’s what this word stands for in English as well as in Gurbani.
We may want to be wealthy and powerful and desire that people around us pay heed to us.
Nothing is wrong, except that these are transient privileges. They do not satisfy our inner thirst.
We should work instead for a continuous growth of the mind and a continuous illumination of life. These will help us to attain true accomplishment and spiritual elevation.
ਮਹਰ ਮਲੂਕ ਹੋਇ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਖਾਨ॥ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਪਤਾਨ॥
I have seen what it is to be a chief, a malik, and a khan, but that does not satisfy the mind. -Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 179
Etymology: From Arabic/Persian khaan (king, ruler).