AskDefine | Define mirza

Extensive Definition

The title Mirza () is used for a member of a royal family or a member of the highest aristocracy. The name Mirza is still in use today by members of ruling or formerly ruling princely and royal houses all over the world. It does not contain an abbreviated style with it, like HRH (his/her royal highness), HH (his/her highness) and HM (his/her majesty). Although some, especially the salute states of India, did.


Mirza, is derived from Persian Amīrzādeh, and Arabic Amirzada, and literally means "son of the emir" or "prince" ("prince of blood") . Amirzada, the son of a prince (hence the Persian patronymic suffix -zade or zada), hence the Persian princely title Mirza. This title is still common in Persian/Persian inluenced countries.
A similar title Morza (plural morzalar; derived from the Persian word) was a noble title in Tatar states, such as Khanate of Kazan, Khanate of Astrakhan and others, and in the Russian Empire later on.


The titles themselves were given by the kings, sultans or emperors (equivalent to the western fount of honour) to their sons and grandsons, or even distant kins. Noblemen loyal to the kings also received this Noble titles, although their usage differed.
The title itself came from the title emir. Emir, meaning "prince" in Arabic, -derived from the Arabic root , "command". Originally simply meaning commander or leader, usually in reference to a group of people. It came to be used as a title of governors or rulers, usually in smaller states, and in modern Arabic usually renders the English word "prince. Amir Sadri." The word entered English in 1595, from the French émir. It was one of the titles or names of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
  • Another meaning of the word emir is "prince" (specifically, the male descendant of a sovereign). This title was used in the sultanate of the Maldives alongside the native title Manippulu. In some states it could mean "crown prince" (more typically Wali al-Ahd). For example, before he was crowned as King Abdullah of Jordan, the son of King Hussein was still referred to as "Emir Abdullah" (in this case an obsolete title of the dynasty, which adopted the higher title of malik, king).
  • In various Muslim states, Amir was also a nobiliary title, as under the (Turkic) form "ämir", in the Tartar Khanate of Kazan.

Princely, ministerial and noble titles

  • The caliphs first used the title Amir al-Muminin ("Commander of the Faithful"), stressing their leadership over all Islam. Both this command and the title have been assumed by various other Muslim rulers, including sultans and emirs.
  • The Abbasid (in theory still universal) Caliph Ar-Radi created the post of Amir al-Umara ("Amir of the Amirs") for his -in fact governing- Wasir (chief minister) Ibn Raik; the title was used in various Islamic monarchies; for military use.
  • In Lebanon, the ruling Emir formally used the style al-Amir al-Hakim
  • The word Emir is also used less formally for leaders in certain contexts, for example the leader of a group of pilgrims to Mecca is called an emir hadji, a style sometimes used by ruling princes (as a mark of Muslim piety), sometimes awarded in their name. Where an adjectival form is necessary, "emiral" suffices.
  • This title was also heavily used by a Turkic clan called Baig (or Beg). Mirza would be attached as a title, while Baig would be attached as the surname to all the patriarchs, thus creating the Mirza Baig lineage.


In Iran, the title Mirza is prefixed to the beginning of the male's name where it is used to signify a high-ranking man or a male who has Iranian royal blood from a female. (For example, from his mother; or his father's mother; etc.)
The name today also has a high degree of usage in the Indian subcontinent although the diaspora is wide and stretches across the world from former Yugoslav (such as Bosnia and Herzegovina) to Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries (such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan etc).
For the Indian/Pakistani usage, when prefixed to a last name it is a title of honour, but when annexed to a persons name it means a prince of royal blood. Few countries still used the title as an office or military rank, usually monarchies and emirates, but they are decreasing in numbers and "Mirza" is being added only as surnames, to reflect a royal or honorary/princely lineage. Noble families and their descendants in South Asia & Central Asia have "Mirza" in their name. Many people of Pakistan have Mirza as their last name. (For Example Mahmud Mansur Mirza)

Notable Mirzas

Sources and references

  • Brewer's Dictionary of Phrases and Fable, 16th edition Revised by Adrian Room, 1999
mirza in German: Mirza
mirza in French: Mirza
mirza in Norwegian Nynorsk: Mirza
mirza in Polish: Mirza
mirza in Portuguese: Mirza
mirza in Turkish: Mirza
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1