Mir (title)

Mir (مير) (which is derived from the Arabic title Emir 'general, prince') is a rare ruler's title in princely states and an aristocratic title generally used to refer to a person who is a descendant of a commander in medieval Muslim tradition.

It was adopted in many languages under Islamic influence, such as Balochi, Sindhi, Ottoman Turkish,[1] Turkish, Persian, Bengali, Azeri, Kurdish and Pashto meaning leader of a group or tribe.

According to the book Persian Inscriptions on Indian Monuments, Mir is most probably an Arabized form of Pir. Pir in Old Persian and Sanskrit means "the old", "the wise man", "the chief" and "the great leader." Pir is a religious cleric's or leader's title for Alevi, Yezidism and Yarsanism faith meaning old and wise spiritual leader. Amir, meaning "lord" or "commander-in-chief", is derived from the Arabic root a-m-r, "command".


Ruling PrincesEdit

In Muslim princely states of British India, few rulers were formally styled Mir, notably in present Pakistan, where only two of the six have actually reached the level of salute state, becoming entitled to a gun salute and the attached form of address His Highness:

  • the Mir of Hunza (15 guns), senior among the many Pashtun Northwestern Frontier states

The following all remained non-salute states:

Mir was also used as an honor rank. (See: Mirza)

Compound TitlesEdit

In the subcontinent, since the Mughal period, various compounds were used in Persian including:

  • combined Indian princely styles, notably Sahibzada Mir
  • Mīr-tuzak or tǒzak: Marshal, in the sense of an officer who maintains order in a march or procession; master of the ceremonies
  • Mīr-dah or Mīr-daha: Commander or superintendent of ten: decurion; a Tithingman
  • Mīr-sāmān: Head steward
  • Mīr-shikār: Master of the hunt, chief huntsman; also Grand Falconer; hence bird-catcher, and (metaphorically) a pimp
  • Mīr-ě-ātash or Mīr-ātish: Chief of the fireworks; also Commandant of artillery, Master of the ordnance
  • Mīr-ě-majlis, shortened Mīr-majlis: Master of the ceremonies or president, chairman of a majlis (assembly)
  • Mīr-mahalla: Headman of a mahal(la), i.e. quarter (of a town)
  • Mīr-ě-manzil, shortened Mīr-manzil: Overseer of the halting-places; Quartermaster-general
  • Mīr-munshī: Chief secretary; Head (native) clerk of a (colonial) office.
  • 'Mir-Hashimi: leader in logar province of Afghanistan ( Mir Samim Hashimi)

In the Hindu kingdom of Nepal:

  • Mir Munshi, from the Arabic Amir-i-Munshi, 'commander of the secretaries', is the Chief Secretary of the Foreign Office.
  • Mir Umrao, from the Arabic Amir ul-Umara, 'commander of commanders': a senior military officer ranking below a Sardar and charged with the command of a fort and surrounding territories, the training and equipment of soldiers and the supply of material.

In the Baloch kingdom of Balochistan:

In the Ottoman Empire, Mir-i Miran was used as the Persian equivalent to the Turkish title Beylerbey ("Bey of Beys"), alongside the Arabic equivalent Amir al-Umara ("Emir of Emirs").[1]

In the Yazidi culture, the Mîr is the religious and also the administrative authority.[2]

See alsoEdit

  • There are several cities and towns in Pakistan named after this princely title. These include Mirpur, in Kashmir, and Mirpurkhas, in Sindh.
  • In the tribal societies of South Asia, many people used this word with or as rather as part of their names e.g. Mir Murtaza Bhutto, as happens with many titles (especially Khan), not only those holding a position as tribal or other leader.
  • Mir is a prominent family name among people of Kashmiri origin in Punjab province of Pakistan.
  • Amir (later Amir Nawwab) of Bahawalpur)


  1. ^ a b Zetterstéen (1986), p. 446
  2. ^ Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (1995). Yezidism-Its Background, Observances and Textual Tradition. Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. p. 126. ISBN 0773490043.

External linksEdit