Today, Mirza is used as a name to identify patriarchal lineage to royal aristocracies of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. Historically, it was used as a title by and signified patriarchal lineage to the imperial families of the Turkish Empire, Persia, Circassia, Shirvan, Mughals (aka Moguls) and Muslim Rajputs. It was also a title bestowed upon members of the highest aristocracies in Tatar states, such as the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan.
Under Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, the Mirzas gained equal rights with the Russian nobility due to their extreme wealth. In return, the Mirzas financed her Russo-Turkish war against the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Mirza was given the title Prince Yusupov, and his descendant Prince Felix Yusupov married a niece of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Persian Kingdom
- 3 Nobility of Circassia
- 4 Shirvanshahs
- 5 Mughal Dynasty of India
- 6 Rajputs of North India
- 7 Imperial Families of Central India and Bengal
- 8 Notable Mirzas
- 9 See also
- 10 Further reading
- 11 Footnotes
- 12 References
The word Mīrzā is derived from the Persian term ‘Amīrzāde which literally means "child of the ‘Amīr" or "child of the ruler" in Persian. ‘Amīrzād in turn consists of the Arabic title ‘Amīr (engl. Emir), meaning "commander" and "Prince", and the Persian suffix -zād, meaning "birth" or "lineage". Due to vowel harmony in Turkic languages, the alternative pronunciation Morza (plural morzalar; derived from the Persian word) is also used. The word Mirza means Royalty in almost every old version of Persian, Arab, Caucasian, Turkish and Indian languages.
Variant spellings in English include miriza, mirize, mirze, morsey, mursay, murse, meirsa, mirzey, mursi, murze, murza, mirza, myrza, meerza.
The titles themselves were given by the Kings, Sultans and 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 Title, although their usage differed.
The title itself came from the title emir. Emir, meaning "commander" or "Prince", -derived from the Semitic root Amr, "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 usually renders the English word "prince. Amir Sadri." The word entered English in 1595, from the French émir.
- His Highness Prince Iraj Mirza
- His Highness Prince Malek Mansur Mirza Shao es-Saltaneh
- His Highness Prince Bahram Mirza Sardar Mass'oud
- His Highness Prince Abbas Mirza
- His Highness Prince Abdol Majid Mirza
- Highness Prince Ali-Mohammad Mirza
- His Highness Prince Bahram Mirza
- His Highness Prince Djahangir Mirza
- His Highness Prince Eskandar Mirza
- His Highness Prince Hamid Mirza
- His Highness Prince Khanlar Mirza
- His Highness Prince Khosrow Mirza
- His Highness of Highness Prince Muhammad Mirza
- His Highness Prince Mahmoud Mirza
- His Highness Prince Mohammad Hassan Mirza
- His Highness Prince Amer Mohammad Hassan Mirza II Grandson of King Mohammad Hassan Mirza.
- His Highness Prince Nosrat-od-Dowleh Firouz Mirza
- His Highness Prince Firouz Mirza Nosrat-ed-Dowleh Farman Farmaian III
- His Highness Prince Ali Mirza Qajar
- His Highness Prince Nosrat al-Din Mirza Salar es-Saltaneh
- His Highness Prince Abdol-samad Mirza Ezz ed-Dowleh Saloor
- His Highness Prince Mass'oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan
Nobility of Circassia
The hereditary title of Mirza was adopted by the nobility class of the Circassians. Idar of Kabardia, also known as "Mirza Haydar Temruk Bey", was the great-grandson of Prince Inal - Sultan of Egypt the founder of the "Temruk dynasty" of the Kabardian princes, known in Russia as the "Cherkassky" a Circassian princely family.
Circassian nobility with the name Mirza include:
- Temruk Mirza (ca. 1501 - 1571)
- Kambulat Mirza (ca. 1510 - 1589)
- Zhelegot Mirza (ca. 1520- ?)
Mughal Dynasty of India
In the Indian Subcontinent (modern day Pakistan, India, Bangladesh), the title Mirza was borne by an imperial prince. It was adopted as part of ones name, implying relationship to the Turk dynasties like the Mughal dynasty (the Imperial House of Timur). In the traditional naming sequence of the Indian royal families, the title can be placed both before the name and after it, such as Prince Mirza Mughal or Prince Kamran Mirza. Prince Khusrau Mirza was the grandson of Emperor Babur (Babur Mirza), son of Emperor Jahangir and a brother of Emperor Shah Jahan. Emperor Akbar Shah II was known as Prince Mirza Akbar before his coronation. Emperor Babur took the imperial title of Padishah on 6 March 1508, before which he used the title Mirza.
Imperial Family of Hindustan (India)
- Mirza Zahiruddin 1523–1530, first Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Nasiruddin 1530–1539 & 1554–1555, second Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Jalaluddin 1555–1605, third Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Nuruddin 1605–1627, fourth Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Khurram 1627–1658, fifth Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Muhiuddin 1658–1707, sixth Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Azam 1707, seventh Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Mu'Azzam 1707–1712, eighth Mughal Emperor.
- Sultan Muizuddin Mirza 1712–1713, ninth Mughal Emperor.
- Mouinudd'in Muhammad Mirza 1712–1719, tenth Mughal Emperor.
- Sultan Shamsuddin Mirza 1719, eleventh Mughal Emperor.
- Sultan Rafiuddin Mirza (later Shah Jahan II) 1719, twelfth Mughal Emperor.
- Sultan Nekusiyar Mirza 1719, thirteenth Mughal Emperor.
- Sultan Akhtar Mirza, fourteenth Mughal Emperor.
- Ahmad Shah Mirza 1720–1748, fifteenth Mughal Emperor.
- Aziz 'ud-Din Beg Mirza 1754–1759, sixteenth Mughal Emperor.
- Jalal 'ud-Din Mirza 1759–1760, seventeenth Mughal Emperor.
- Muhi-ul-millat Mirza 1788–1806, eighteenth Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Akbar 1806–1837, nineteenth Mughal Emperor.
- Sirajuddin Mirza 1837–1857, Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Abdullah, only son of Bahadur Shah II 1850–1897, Mughal Emperor.
- Mirza Aziz Koka (1542–1624), foster-brother of Akbar, son of Ataga Khan
Rajputs of North India
The title Mirza was also adopted by the Muslim Rajputs of Northern India. The Rajputs were rulers of princely states comprising vast territories of Northern India, including the Punjab Region and Kashmir. The Rajput imperial families were descendants of ancient Indo-Aryan warrior classes and formed blood alliances with Mughal aristocracy. Inter-marriage between Mughal aristocracy and Rajput aristocracy became very common and significant factions of Rajput kingdoms embraced the Islamic faith. Many Rajput rulers were granted the title Mirza on account of being high-ranked commanders in the Mughal military. The meaning of Mirza (Persian origin) is a literal translation to the meaning of Rajput (Sanskrit Origin).
The title Mirza also became common among the Muslim Jatts of North India and the Punjab. Much like the Rajputs, the Jatts were considered a martial race and warrior class of North India. Being farmers traditionally, the Jatts were known to patronize the imperialist military in large numbers. Similar to the Muslim Rajputs, large factions of the Jatt tribe embraced the Islamic faith. The most noticeable use of the name Mirza by Muslim Jatts is in the story of Mirza Sahiba, a Punjabi epic based on the real life story of Mirza Khan.
Imperial Families of Central India and Bengal
- Mirza Shuja ud-din Muhammad Khan, second Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Asadullah, third Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Muhammad Ali, fourth Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Mohammad Siraj, fifth Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Hassan Ali Khan Bahadur, 18th Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Wasif Ali Khan, 19th Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Waris Ali Khan, 20th Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
- Mirza Muhammad Muqim Ali Khan, second Nawab Subahdar of Awadh (Oudh)
- Mirza Amani Asif-ud-Dawlah, fourth Nawab Subahdar of Awadh
- Mirza Asif Jah Wazir Ali Khan, fifth Nawab Subahdar of Awadh
- Mirza Wajid Ali Shah, eleventh Nawab Subahdar (fifth King) of Awadh
Academics and literature
- Mirza Ghalib (born: Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan), a famous Urdu and Persian poet from South Asia who adorned the Mughal court
- Mirza Khan of "Mirza & Sahiba", a tragic Romeo-and-Juliet-like love story, based on true events, which is enshrined in Panjabi literature and commonly told in the Punjab region. Though in this story Mirza is used as a name and not as a title. Mirza of "Mirza & Sahiba" was of Muslim Jat / Muslim Rajput descent.
- Iraj Mirza, Persian folk poet, also known as Jalaal-al-mamalek.
- Muhammad Munawwar Mirza, a prominent scholar, historian, writer and intellectual from Pakistan
- Nawab Mirza Khan "Daagh" a famous Urdu poet
- Aziz Mirza, Indian film director, producer and writer.
- Dia Mirza, Indian actress and former "Miss Asia Pacific" titleholder.
- Mastan Haider Mirza, Indian Mafia boss, mobster and filmmaker; popularly known as the first "celebrity gangster" of Bombay.
- Haroon Mirza, Anglo-Pakistani artist born in London.
- Mirza Babayev, Azerbaijani movie actor and singer. Honored Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR and People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.
- Mirza Kadym Irevani, Azerbaijani artist.
- Iskandar Ali Mirza, was the first President & 4th Governor General of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956.
- Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad was a Federal Finance Minister and Finance Secretary,Chairman of Planning Commission of Pakistan Executive director of the World bank.
- Fahmida Mirza, She was elected as the first female Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan
- Mirza Ismail, Prime Minister, Jaipur (Diwan of Jaipur) (1942-1946)
- Zulfiqar Mirza
- Mirza Aslam Baig a Former Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan
- Mirza Ghulam Murtaza was the ruler of Qadian and fought for the Sikh Empire and later the British Raj
- Mirza Kuchak Khan was a Persian revolutionary who led the Jungle Movement in the northern jungles of Gilan Province
- Mirza Najaf Khan, Indian Courtier and Commander in Chief of the Mughal Imperial Army.
- Mirza Hadi Baig Punjabi nobleman of Turco-Mongol origin who was granted 80 villages by Babur because of family relations
- Khan Muhammad Mirza, Architect during the Mughal Era.
- Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam
- Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, second Ahmadiyya Caliph and son of Ghulam Ahmad.
- Mirza Nasir Ahmad, third Ahmadiyya Caliph
- Mirza Tahir Ahmad, fourth Ahmadiyya Caliph
- Mirza Masroor Ahmad, fifth Ahmadiyya Caliph
- Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri: known as Baha'u'llah; Founder of the Baha'i Faith
- Mirza Delibašić, Bosnian Basketball Player on the Olympic team of Yugoslavia
- Mirza Begić, Slovenian Olympic Basketball player
- Sania Mirza, Indian Tennis Player
- Mirza Teletović, Bosnian Basketball Player on Brooklyn Nets
- Fadi Merza, is an Austrian middleweight Muaythai fighter, kickboxer and boxer.
- Life of a Mirza Chapter 7 (pg 225-227) The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture (2004) by Annemarie Schimmel ISBN 1-86189-185-7
- Mirzah in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable By Ebenezer Cobham Brewer: The quintessential guide to myth, folklore, legend, legend and literature. ISBN 1-84022-310-3
- MI’RZA Chambers’s Encyclopaedia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge For the People. ISBN 1-149-98693-X
- A. Jaimoukha The Circassians: A Handbook Routledge, Palgrave, 2001, pp 157–60) ISBN 0-312-23994-7
- "Mirza Definition". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- "History: Muslim Rajputs". Rana M. Ahsan Khan. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- Life in Samarkand Caucasus and Central Asia vis-à-vis Russia, the West, and Islam, Madina Tlostanova: Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge (ISSN: 1540-5699)]
- mirza. CollinsDictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2 October 2012
- OED: http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/119129?redirectedFrom=mirza#eid Accessed June 17, 2013
- "Abbas Mirza"
- Chapter 20: History of Iranian Military Uniforms Qajar Uniforms. Iranian Politics Center. 2012.
- http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=amir&searchmode=none EtymologyOnLine
- World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 4th Edition Outlines - Chapter 21: The Muslim Empires. Longman. 2003.
- A photo from 'The People of India', published from 1868 to the early 1870s by WH Allen, for the India Office
- pg 24. The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture
- "History: Muslim Rajputs". Rana M. Ahsan Khan. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- Lord Lawrence and the Reconstruction of India Under The Crown by Sir Charles Aitcheson, K.C.S.I., M.A., LL.D., Rulers of India series, Clarendon Press 1897,V p117
- 30. Ra´jah Ma´n Singh, son of Bhagwán Dás - Biography Ain-i-Akbari, Vol. I.
- Al Hind The Making of the Indo Islamic World Volume I by Andre Wink pages 154 to 160
- The Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque is named for a man known in Mughal records as Khan Muhammad Mirza; see https://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=4450 Mughal dynasty (the Imperial House of Timur "Sarai Mulk Khanam Qutubuddunniya wa Deen Amir Qutubuddin Taimur Baig Sahib-e-kiran").