An emir (/əˈmɪər, eɪˈmɪər, ˈeɪmɪər/; Arabic: أمير
ʾamīr [ʔaˈmiːr]), sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer,
is an aristocratic or noble and military title of high office used in
a variety of places in the Arab countries and Afghanistan. It means
"commander", "general", or "prince". The feminine form is emira
(أميرة ʾamīrah). When translated as "prince", the word
"emirate" is analogous to a sovereign principality.
2 Princely, ministerial and noble titles
3 Military ranks and titles
4 Other uses
5 In popular culture
6 See also
Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Prince Farouk, amir of the
Kingdom of Egypt
Kingdom of Egypt and the Sudan,
on ascension to the throne 1936 as HM King Farouk I
Amir, meaning "lord" or "commander-in-chief", is derived from the
Arabic root a-m-r, "command". Originally simply meaning
"commander-in-chief" or "leader", usually in reference to a group of
people, it came to be used as a title for governors or rulers, usually
in smaller states, and in modern
Arabic is analogous to the English
word "prince". The word entered English in 1593, from the French
émir. It was one of the titles or names of the Islamic prophet
Princely, ministerial and noble titles
Mohammed Alim Khan, emir of Bukhara, taken in 1911 by Sergey
The monarchs of Qatar,
Kuwait and of the constituent emirates of the
United Arab Emirates are currently titled emir.
All members of the
House of Saud
House of Saud have the title of emir
The caliphs first used the title
Amir al-Muminin or "Commander of the
Faithful", stressing their leadership over the Islamic empire,
especially over the militia. The title has been assumed by various
Muslim rulers, including sultans and emirs. For
they still give this title to the
Ali as Amir al-Muminin.
Abbasid (in theory still universal)
Ar-Radi created the
Amir al-Umara ("Amir of the Amirs") for Ibn Raik; the title
was used in various Islamic monarchies; see below for military use
Formerly in Lebanon, the ruling emir formally used the style al-Amir
al-Hakim, specifying it was still the ruler's title. Note that the
title was held by
Christians as well.
The word emir is also used less formally for leaders in certain
contexts. For example, the leader of a group of pilgrims to
called an emir hadji, a title sometimes used by ruling princes (as a
Muslim piety) which is sometimes awarded in their name. Where
an adjectival form is necessary, "emiral" suffices.
Amirzade, the son (hence the Persian patronymic suffix -zade) of a
prince, hence the Persian princely title mirza.
The traditional rulers of the predominantly
Muslim northern regions of
Nigeria are known as emirs, while the titular sovereign of their now
defunct empire is formally styled as the
Sultan of Sokoto,
Amir-al-Muminin (or Sarkin Musulmi in the Hausa language).[citation
The temporal leader of the
Yazidi people is known as an emir or
Amīr al-Baḥr (أمير البحر, "commander of the sea") is
considered to be the etymological origin of the English admiral, the
French amiral and similar terms in other European languages.
Military ranks and titles
See also: Amir (Iranian Army)
From the start, emir has been a military title.
In certain decimally-organized
Muslim armies, Amir was an officer
rank. For example, 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
Amir Panj, "Commander of 5,000"
Amir-i-Tuman, "Commander of 10,000"
The following posts referred to "amir" under medieval
Amir al-umara, "Amir of Amirs" (cfr. supra) or 'Commander of
Amir al-hajj, "Commander of the
Amir al-ʿarab, "Commander of the Arabs [Bedouin tribes]"
In the former Kingdom of Afghanistan, Amir-i-Kabir was a title meaning
"great prince" or "great commander".
Muhammad Amin Bughra, Nur Ahmad Jan Bughra, and Abdullah Bughra
declared themselves emirs of the First East Turkestan Republic.
Amir is a masculine name in the
Persian language and a prefix name for
many masculine names such as Amir Ali, Amir Goul.
Amir-i-Iel designates the head of an Il (tribe) in imperial Persia.
The masculine Amir and feminine Amira are Arabic-language names common
among both Arabs regardless of religion and Muslims regardless of
ethnicity, much as Latin Rex and Regina ("king" and "queen,"
respectively) are common in the Western world. In Bosnia and
Herzegovina, the female name Emira, often interpreted as "princess",
is a derivative of the male name Emir.
In popular culture
This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated
references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to
explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply
listing appearances; add references to reliable sources if possible.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2018)
Abdul Abulbul Amir, both character and song
Wat Tambor in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones took the
title of emir. In the
Star Wars universe, the title may relate to
Tambor's military command.
Emir Karim, a character in Wild At Heart, a Latin American drama and
Shah in RuneScape
Specific emirates of note
List of emirs of Harar
List of emirs of Kuwait
List of emirs of Qatar
List of emirs of Mosul
Emirate of Afghanistan
^ The West: A Narrative History, Volume Two (2 ed.). CTI Reviews.
2016. p. 661. ISBN 9781478439394. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
Emir ('commander' or 'general', also 'prince'; also transliterated as
amir, aamir or ameer) is a high title of nobility or office, used
Muslim world. Emirs are usually considered high-ranking
sheikhs, but in monarchical states the term is also used for princes,
with 'Emirate' being analogous to principality in this sense.
^ Harper, Douglas. "amir (n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved
29 June 2017.
^ Amos, Deborah (1991). "
Sheikh to Chic". Mother Jones. p. 28.
Retrieved 12 July 2016.
^ "Family Tree". www.datarabia.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016.