Emir (Arabic: _ar. أمير; "ArabDIN|ãmeer", female: أميرة; emira; "ArabDIN|ameerah"), (Farsi and Urdu: امیر) "commander" or "general", also "prince" ; also transliterated as amir, aamir or ameer) is a high title of nobility or office, used throughout the Arab World, and, historically, in some Turkic states. Emirs are usually considered high-ranking sheiks, but in monarchical states the term is also used for princes, with "Emirate" being analogous to principality in this sense.Also is used as a name in Turkey like Emir Niego and Emir Sevinc. While "emir" is the predominant spelling in English and many other languages (for example, United Arab Emirates), "amir", closer to the original Arabic, is more common for its numerous compounds (e.g., admiral) and in individual names. Spelling thus differs depending on the sources consulted.


"Amir", meaning "chieftain" or "commander", is derived from the Arabic root "ArabDIN|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 in modern Arabic usually renders the English word "prince." The word entered English in 1595, from the French "émir". [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=amir&searchmode=none EtymologyOnLine] It was one of the titles or names of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Princely, ministerial and noble titles

*The caliphs first used the title Amir al-Muminin ("Commander of the Faithful"), stressing their leadership over all Islam, especially in the military form of jihad; 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; cfr. infra for military use
*In Lebanon, the ruling Emir formally used the style al-Amir al-Hakim since, specifying it was still a ruler's title, but now as part of the Ottoman Empire; unchanged when in 1698 the Banu Shihab replaced the Banu Ma'n dynasty and on 27 May 1832 was annexed by khedival Egypt (both nominally Ottoman), but Ottoman rule was restored on October 10, 1840, until the Mount Lebanon emirate ended on January 16, 1842, as the Ottoman Sultans divided their Lebanese province administratively, creating a Christian district in the north and an area under Druze control in the south.

*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.

*"Amirzada", the son (hence the Persian patronymic suffix "-zade") of a prince, hence the Persian princely title "Mirza".

Military ranks and titles

From the start, Emir has been a military title, roughly meaning "general" or "commander."

The Western naval rank "admiral" comes from the Arabic naval title "amir al-bahr", "general at sea", which has been used for naval commanders and occasionally the Ministers of Marine.

In certain decimally-organized Muslim armies, Amir was an officer rank; e.g. in Mughal India Amirs commanded 1000 horsemen (divided into ten units, each under a Sipah salar), ten of them under one Malik.In the imperial army of Qajar Persia:
*"Amir-i-Nuyan", Lieutenant general
*"Amir Panj", "Commander of 5,000" (Brigadier general)
*"Amir-i-Tuman", "Commander of 10,000' (Major general)
*"Amir ul-Umara", "Amir of Amirs" (cfr. supra) or 'Commander of Commanders'

In the former Kingdom of Afghanistan, "Amir-i-Kabir" was a title meaning "great prince" or "great commander."

Other uses

*Amir-i-Il designates the head of an Il (tribe) in imperial Persia.

*Amir is also a Jewish name. Amir is also a common Muslim male name for Arab and non-Arab Muslims (Bosnia, Iran), taken from Arabic just as the Western name Rex ("king") is borrowed from Latin. In Bosnia and Herzegovina female-name Emira – often interpreted as "princess" – is a derivative of male-name Emir.

ee also

pecific emirates of note

*List of emirs of Harar
*List of emirs of Kuwait
*List of emirs of Qatar
* Emirs d'Armènia

Islamic titles

*Amir al-Muminin
*Mir, itself used in various compounds
*Mirza, literally "son of an Emir"

Emirs in fiction

*Abdul Abulbul Amir character & song

ources and references

* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Religious_Organizations.html#Caliphate WorldStatesmen] Here Religious Organisations - see also many present Muslim countries

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  • Emir — Émir Émir est un titre de noblesse musulman. En arabe, أمير amîr est celui qui donne des ordres, mot lui même dérivé du verbe أَمَرَ amara (commander). Le terme amiral est dérivé du terme أمير البحر amir al Bahr (« émir/roi de la mer ») …   Wikipédia en Français

  • emir — EMÍR, emiri, s.m. 1. Titlu dat descendenţilor lui Mahomed; persoană având acest titlu. 2. Titlu dat unui guvernator sau unui principe domnitor în unele ţări musulmane; persoană având acest titlu. – Din fr. émir. Trimis de claudia, 13.09.2007.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Emir — (von arabisch ‏امير‎ amīr über türk. emir) bedeutet „Befehl“, „Fürst“, „Prinz“, „Gouverneur“ oder „Befehlshaber“. In frühislamischer Zeit befehligte ein Emir eine muslimische Soldatentruppe; nach Eroberungen nahm er dann den Platz des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Emir — 〈a. [ ′ ] m. 1〉 Titel arab. Stammeshäuptlinge u. Fürsten [<arab. emir, amir „Befehlshaber“; → Admiral] * * * Emir [auch: e mi:ɐ̯ ], der; s, e [arab. amīr, zu: amara = befehlen; vgl. ↑ Admiral]: (besonders in islamischen Ländern) Befehlshaber,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Emir — Emir, s. v. wie Befehlshaber, der Titel aller Nachkommen Muhamed s, wie auch jedes Gebieters oder Führers der einzelnen arabischen Stämme, gleichbedeutend mit Fürst. Bei den Türken ist jetzt der Titel Emir meistens nur die Bezeichnung eines… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • emir — emir; emir·ate; …   English syllables

  • emir — m. émir …   Diccionari Personau e Evolutiu