Baba (Persian: , Urdu: , Pashto: : بابا; Sanskrit, Punjabi, Bengali, Hindi and Marathi: बाबा; father; grandfather; wise old man; sir,) is a Persian honorific term used in several West and South Asian cultures. It is used as a mark of respect to refer to Sufi saints.
The Bektashi Order, headquartered in Albania, use the term of baba for all its priesthood.
During the Muslim rule in South Asia it was also used for Hindu and Sikh ascetics (sannyasis) is also be used as a suffix or prefix to their names e.g.: Ramdev Baba, Baba Ramdevji, etc. Baba is also a title accorded to the head of certain order of Sufi saints: Baba Bulleh Shah and Rehman Baba. The Persian term was also adopted in Malaysia as an honorific of respect to address Chinese people born in British Straits Settlement.
In Shona, a language spoken in Zimbabwe, and also in Yoruba, a language spoken by the Yoruba culture in the south western part of Nigeria, Baba is an honorific for father, wise man or, simply, elderly man. It is also a term of respect used by wives, other women, children and other youth to an older man.