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Mirza ( or ; Persian: ‎)[1][a] is a name of Persian origin. It is used as a surname or prefix to identify patriarchal lineage.

It is derived from a historical title of Persian origin (M?rz?),[2] denoting the rank of a royal prince,[3]high nobleman,[4] distinguished military commander,[5] or a scholar.[6]

Specifically, it was used as a title by and today signifies patriarchal lineage to the various Persian Empires, the Shirvanshahs and Circassians of the Caucasus, and mainly the Mughals / Moguls or Muslim Rajputs of the Indian Subcontinent.[7] It was also a title bestowed upon members of the highest aristocracies in Tatar states, such as the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan and the Nogai Horde.


The word M?rz? is derived from the Persian term Am?rz?deh which literally means child of the Am?r or child of the ruler.[8]Am?rz?deh in turn consists of the Arabic title Am?r (English: Emir), meaning "commander" and the Persian suffix z?deh, meaning "son of" or "lineage of".[9] Due to vowel harmony in Turkic languages, the alternative pronunciation Morza (plural morzalar; derived from the Persian) is also used.

Royal title

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.

The title itself is derived from the title Emir. Emir, meaning "commander" or "Prince", is derived from the Semitic root "Amr", meaning "command". Originally it simply meant "commander" or "leader", usually in reference to a group of people. It came to be used as a title of governors or rulers, typically in smaller states, and usually renders the English word "prince". The word entered English in 1595, from the French émir.[10]

Persian Empires

Meeting between Babur Mirza and Sultan Ali Mirza near Samarqand
Alqas Mirza meeting Suleiman the Magnificent. Illustration from the Süleymanname.

Safavid dynasty

Afsharid dynasty

Qajar dynasty


Three consecutive titular kings of Shirvan, of the Shirvanshah Dynasty (present-day Azerbaijan), adopted the title as well following the death of Gurban Ali.


Circassian Dynasty

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:

Princely Issues:

  • Temruk Mirza (ca. 1501 - 1571)
  • Kambulat Mirza (ca. 1510 - 1589)
  • Zhelegot Mirza (ca. 1520- ?)

Russian Empire

Under Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, the Mirzas gained equal rights with the Russian nobility due to their extreme wealth. Abdul Mirza was given the title Prince Yusupov, and his descendant Prince Felix Yusupov married Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia, the only niece of Tsar Nicholas II.

Mughal Empire

Babur Mirza (born Mirza Zahiruddin), first emperor of Mughal Dynasty.[11]
Akbar Mirza (born Mirza Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad), one of the most popular Mughal kings of India, known as "Akbar the Great".
Mirzas of the Mughal imperial family, c. 1878.[12]

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).[13] 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.[14]

Mughal Dynasty of Northern India

Royal Family of Bengal

Imperial Families of Central India and Bengal The archaic Bengali form of Mirza was Mridha in Bengal and Bihar.[15]

Royal Family of Awadh

Rajput Dynasty

Rajputs of Northern India

Originally being adversaries and opponents to the Mughal Emperors of Northern India, the title Mirza was also adopted by the Muslim Rajputs of Northern India.[16] The Rajput imperial families were descendants of ancient Indo-Aryan warriors who strategically formed blood alliances with Mughal aristocracy. The Rajputs were rulers of princely states comprising vast territories of Northern India, including the Punjab Region, Kashmir and Rajasthan. Inter-marriage between Mughal aristocracy and Rajput aristocracy became very common and various factions of Rajput kingdoms embraced the Islamic faith, giving rise to the term "Muslim Rajputs".[17] Rajput rulers were also granted the title Mirza on account of being high-ranked commanders in the Mughal military.[18] The meaning of Mirza (Persian origin)[19] is identical to the meaning of Rajput (Sanskrit Origin).[20]

Other notable Mirzas

Academics and literature

  • Heidi Safia Mirza (born 1958), British academic
  • Iraj Mirza, Persian folk poet, also known as Jalaal-al-mamalek.
  • Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, tax-collector and administrator from northern India, writer of an early travel guide to Europe.
  • Mirza Athar Baig is a Pakistani novelist, playwright and short story writer.
  • Mirza G?afur G?ulom, Uzbek poet, writer, and literary translator, considered one of the most influential Uzbek writers of the 20th century.
  • Mirza Ghalib (born Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan), a Urdu and Persian poet from South Asia who adorned the Mughal court.
  • Mirza Kalich Beg, Sindhi writer.
  • Mirza Khan of "Mirza & Sahiba", a tragic romance story, based on true events, which is enshrined in Punjabi literature and commonly told in the Punjab region. Mirza of "Mirza & Sahiba" was of Kharal Muslim Rajput / Muslim Jat tribe of Puar Rajput descent.
  • Muhammad Munawwar Mirza, a prominent scholar, historian, writer and intellectual from Pakistan.
  • Nawab Mirza Khan "Daagh", Urdu poet.
  • Mirza Beigh Family from Jammu & Kashmir's Srinagar district have immensely worked and contributed for Shia Literature under the genre of elegy commonly called "Kashmiri noha". Some of noted family members include Mirza Abdul Ghani Beigh, Mirza Manzoor Hussain Beigh and Mirza Sharafat Hussain Beigh.[21]


  • Aziz Mirza (born 1947), 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.
  • Mirza Babayev, Azerbaijani movie actor and singer. Honored Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR and People's Artist of Azerbaijan.
  • Mirza Nadeem Baig Mirza Nazeer Baig Mughal better known by his stage name Nadeem Baig, a Pakistani actor, singer and producer.
  • Mohib Mirza is a Pakistani actor and television host.
  • Saeed Mirza, Indian film director and screenwriter, considered one of the most influential parallel cinema movie makers in India.



Judges and advocates







See also

Further reading

  • 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


  1. ^ Persian?; Azeri: Mirz?; Tajik?; Uzbek: Mirzo; Russian?; Bashkir: mïrða; Circassian? (common variance in Tatar nobility as Morza); Urdu; Punjabi


  1. ^ "Mirza Definition". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ "Mirza Definition". Dictionary.com. n.d. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Mirza Definition". Dictionary.com. n.d. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Mirza Definition". Merriam-Webster. n.d. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Mirza Definition". Merriam-Webster. n.d. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Mirza Definition". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "History". Rana M. Ahsan Khan. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Mirza Definition". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ "Mirza Definition". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=amir&searchmode=none EtymologyOnLine
  11. ^ World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 4th Edition Outlines - Chapter 21: The Muslim Empires. Longman. 2003.
  12. ^ A photo from 'The People of India', published from 1868 to the early 1870s by WH Allen, for the India Office
  13. ^ http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00urdu/hali/majalis/10glossary.html
  14. ^ pg 24. The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture
  15. ^ 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").
  16. ^ "History: Muslim Rajputs". Rana M. Ahsan Khan. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ 30. Ra´jah Ma´n Singh, son of Bhagwán Dás - Biography Ain-i-Akbari, Vol. I.
  19. ^ "Mirza Definition". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "Rajput Definition". Britannica. n.d. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ Justice, Hakim Imtiyaz; Hussain (2017). The Shi'as of Jammu & Kashmir. Srinagar Jammu & Kashmir: Srinagar Publishing House. pp. 508-509.
  22. ^ "British & Native Officers of Hodson's Horse, 1858". Felix Beato. Retrieved 2015.

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