Ayub Khan (1855- ), Afghan prince, son of Shere Ali (formerly amir of Afghanistan), and cousin of the amir Abdur Rahman, was born about 1855. During his father's reign little is recorded of him, but after Shere Ali's expulsion from Kabul by the English, and his death in January 1879, Ayub took possession of Herat, and maintained himself there until June 1881, when he invaded Afghanistan with the view of asserting his claims to the sovereignty, and in particular of gaining possession of Kandahar, still in the occupation of the British. He encountered the British force commanded by General Burrows at Maiwand on the 27th of July, and was able to gain one of the very few pitched battles that have been won by Asiatic leaders over an army under European direction. His triumph, however, was short-lived; while he hesitated to assault Kandahar he was attacked by Sir Frederick (afterwards Lord) Roberts, at the close of the latter's memorable march from Kabul, and utterly discomfited, 20th of September 1880. He made his way back to Herat, where he remained for some time unmolested. In the summer of 1881 he again invaded Afghanistan, and on the anniversary of the battle of Maiwand obtained a signal victory over Abdur Rahman's lieutenants, mainly through the defection of a Durani regiment.
Kandahar fell into his hands, but Abdur Rahman now took the field in person, totally defeated Ayub, and expelled him from Herat. He took refuge in Persia, and for some time lived quietly in receipt of an allowance from the Persian government. In 1887 internal troubles in Afghanistan tempted him to make another endeavour to seize the throne. Defeated and driven into exile, he wandered for some time about Persia, and in November gave himself up to the British agent at Meshed. He was sent to India to live as a state prisoner.