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This article is about the title. For the genus of primates, see Giant mouse lemur.

Mirza (Persian: میرزا; Turkish, Uzbek: mirzo; Russian: мурза; Bashkir мырҙа (mïrða); Circassian: мырзэ) (common variance in Tatar nobility as Morza) is a title of Persian origin, denoting the rank of a high nobleman or Prince.[1] It is usually translated into English as a royal or imperial Prince of the Blood. It signified male-line descent and relationship to the Imperial Families of Turkey, Persia and later South Asia and was the title borne by members of the highest aristocracies in Tatar states, such as the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan.

Under Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, the Murzas gained equal rights with the Russian nobility due to their extreme wealth. In Return, the Mirzas Financed her Russo-Turkish war against the Ottoman Empire.[2] Abdul Mirza was given the title Prince Yusupov, and his descendant Prince Felix Yusupov married a niece of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.[3]


The word Mīrzā is derived from the Persian term ‘Amīrzāde which literally means "child of the ‘Amīr" or "child of the ruler" in Persian. ‘Amīrzād in turn consists of the Arabic title ‘Amīr (engl. Emir), meaning "commander" and "Prince", and the Persian suffix -zād, meaning "birth" or "lineage". Due to vowel harmony in Turkic languages, the alternative pronunciation Morza (plural morzalar; derived from the Persian word) is also used. The Word Mirza means Royalty in almost every old version of Persian, Arab, Turkish and Indian languages. The "Mirza Lineage" is currently spread across Russia, India, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.[4]

Variant spellings in English include miriza, mirize, mirze, morsey, mursay, murse, meirsa, mirzey, mursi, murze, murza, mirza, myrza, meerza.[5]


Persian Kingdom[edit]

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, although their usage differed. Aristocratic families (royal descent) from South Asia and individuals descended from the Persian nobility have 'Mirza' in their name. The "Mirza" Family is considered by some to be one of the Oldest Persian-Arab Families, Dating back multiple Centuries.[6]

The title itself came from the title emir. Emir, meaning "commander" or "Prince", -derived from the Semitic root 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 usually renders the English word "prince. Amir Sadri." The word entered English in 1595, from the French émir.[7]

South Asia[edit]

Mirzas of the Mughal imperial family, 1878

Mirza was given to imperial prince; a title or part of a name implying relationship to the Turk dynasties like Mughal dynasty (the Imperial House of Timur).[8] But in Indian royal families, the title can be placed both before the name and after it, such as Prince Mirza Mughal and 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 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.[9]

Because the Bengali language has no phoneme /z/, Mirza has the local form Mridha (from Mirdhjah) in Bengal and Bihar.[10]

Imperial Family of Hindustan[edit]

Further information: Mughal Emperors

Royal Family of Bengal[edit]

Royal Family of Awadh[edit]

Royal Family of Berar[edit]

Notable Mirzas[edit]

Academics and literature[edit]








See also[edit]

Further Study[edit]


  1. ^ This species of nobility is traced very far, and is not creative. The title descends to all the sons of the family, without exception. In the Royal family it is placed after the name instead of before it, thus, Abbas Mirza and Hosfiein .'Mi Mirza. Mirza is a civil title, and Khan is a military one. The title of Khan is creative, but not hereditary. pg 601 Monthly magazine and British register, Volume 34 Publisher Printed for R. Phillips, 1812 Original from Harvard University
  2. ^ Life in Samarkand Caucasus and Central Asia vis-à-vis Russia, the West, and Islam, Madina Tlostanova: Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge (ISSN: 1540-5699)]
  3. ^ Rulers of the Khanate of Crimea
  4. ^ mirza. CollinsDictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2 October 2012
  5. ^ OED: http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/119129?redirectedFrom=mirza#eid Accessed June 17, 2013
  6. ^ Sensagent.com reached: 30.06.2010
  7. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=amir&searchmode=none EtymologyOnLine
  8. ^ http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00urdu/hali/majalis/10glossary.html
  9. ^ pg 24. The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture
  10. ^ 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").