- Persian name
Prior to the reign of
Reza Shah(r. 1925 - 1941), the people of Persia( Iran) did not use surnames. A person was often distinguished from others by a combination of prefixes and suffixes attached to his name which, if omitted, might cause him to be taken for someone else. [cite book |author=Salmani, Ustad Muhammad-`Aliy-i, the Barber |coauthors=Gail, Marizieh (tr.) |title=My Memories of Bahá'u'lláh |publisher=Kalimát Press |date=1982 |location=Los Angeles, USA |pages=p. 123 |id=ISBN 0-933770-21-9 ]
In many cases an individual was known by the name of the district, city, town, or even the village from which they came by using the locality's name as a suffix, for example: Nuri, Khorasani, Mazandarani, Tehrani, Esfahani, and Shirazi.
Honorifics, Prefixes & Suffixes
*Aqa آقا - Sir, mister. General term of respect.
*Darvish درويش- A
Sufimystic or a spiritual Guru ( Dervish).
Hajiحاجى- As a prefix, one who had made the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
Karbala'iكربلايى- As a prefix, one who has made the pilgrimage to Karbala. As a suffix, one from Karbala.
*Khan خان- As a suffix, served at one time as a title for an honored person.
Mashhadiمشهدى- As a prefix, one who has made the pilgrimage to Mashad. As a suffix, one from Mashad. Often shortened to مش (Mash).
*Mir میر- As a prefix generally indicates seyed descent.
Mirzaميرزا- Shortened version of "Amir Zade." As a prefix, a general term of respect which usually indicates that the one designated is literate. As a suffix, it indicates a man of royal descent.
Mullahملا- A Muslim cleric.
Ostadاستاد- A master craftsman, lecturer or a person who is the master of a profession.
Jenaab- As a prefix, excellency.
Among many other secularization and modernization reforms, surnames were required by Reza Shah, following similar contemporary patterns in
Turkeyunder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and later in Egyptunder Gamal Abdel Nasser. [cite journal |last=Tehranian |first=Majid |title=Disenchanted Worlds: Seculartization and Democratization in the Middle East |journal=Paper for Presentation at the World Congress of International Political Science Association |date=August 1-5, 2000 |url=http://www2.hawaii.edu/~majid/draft_papers/secularization/secularization.html |accessdate=2006-09-28 ]
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