An emir (/əˈmɪər, eɪˈmɪər, ˈeɪmɪər/; Arabic: أميرʾamīr [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, West Africa, and Afghanistan. It means "commander", "general", or "High King". The feminine form is emira (أميرة ʾamīrah). When translated as "prince", the word "emirate" is analogous to a sovereign principality.

Shuja Shah Durrani of Afghanistan in 1839
The court of the Durrani Emirate of Afghanistan in 1839


ModernEgypt, Farouk I in Military Uniform, DHP13655-10-1 01
HRH Crown Prince Farouk, amir of the 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.[1] It was one of the titles or names of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Princely, ministerial and noble titles

Mohammed Alim Khan, emir of Bukhara, taken in 1911 by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky
  • The monarchs of Qatar, Kuwait and of the constituent emirates of the United Arab Emirates are currently titled emir.[2][3][4]
  • All members of the House of Saud have the title of emir (prince).[5][6][7]
  • 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 other Muslim rulers, including sultans and emirs. For Shia Muslims, they still give this title to the Caliph Ali as Amir al-Muminin.
  • The Abbasid (in theory still universal) Caliph Ar-Radi created the post of 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 Druze and 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 Mecca is called an emir hadji, a title sometimes used by ruling princes (as a mark of 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).
  • The temporal leader of the Yazidi people is known as an emir or prince.
  • 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

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 Qajar Persia:

The following posts referred to "amir" under medieval Muslim states include:

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.

Other uses

  • 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

  • Abdul Abulbul Amir, both character and song
  • Wat Tambor in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones took the title of Emir of Ryloth, having been appointed ruler of the planet Ryloth.
  • Emir Karim, a character in Wild At Heart, a Latin American drama and sports
  • Emir Shah in RuneScape
  • Emir Ramila in Shaft in Africa

See also

Specific emirates of note


  1. ^ Harper, Douglas. "amir (n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Emir of Kuwait wraps up Gulf mediation visits - Qatar News - Al Jazeera". www.aljazeera.com.
  3. ^ http://www.malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/711173-gulf-ministers-hold-key-talks-before-gcc-summit.html
  4. ^ Brown, Holly; Hellewell, Matthew; Westbourne, Jessica; Farrow, James. "A Life and Times of the Fotherington Family - First Edition". Lulu.com – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Amos, Deborah (1991). "Sheikh to Chic". Mother Jones. p. 28. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Saudi Arabia: HRH or HH? - American Bedu". web.archive.org. 7 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Family Tree". www.datarabia.com. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
2011–12 Kuwait Emir Cup

The Kuwait Emir Cup is the premier cup competition involving teams from the Kuwaiti Premier League and the Kuwaiti Division One league.

The 2012 edition is the 49th to be held and has been brought forward from its usual slot to be played over two calendar years.

Defending Emir Cup champions Kazma and defending Kuwaiti Premier League title holders Al Qadsia received byes to the Quarter-Final round.

The winners qualify for the 2013 AFC Cup.

2013–14 Kuwait Emir Cup

The Kuwait Emir Cup is the premier cup competition involving teams from the Kuwaiti Premier League and the Kuwaiti Division One league.

The 2013–14 edition is the 51st to be held.

The winners qualify for the 2015 AFC Cup.

2014–15 Kuwait Emir Cup

The Kuwait Emir Cup is the premier cup competition involving teams from the Kuwaiti Premier League and the Kuwaiti Division One league.

The 2014–15 edition is the 52st to be held.

2017–18 Kuwait Emir Cup

The 2017–18 Kuwait Emir Cup will be the 56th edition.

Ayyubid dynasty

The Ayyubid dynasty (Arabic: الأيوبيون‎ al-Ayyūbīyūn; Kurdish: خانەدانی ئەیووبیان‎ Xanedana Eyûbîyan) was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin founded by Saladin and centred in Egypt. The dynasty ruled large parts of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries. Saladin had risen to vizier of Fatimid Egypt in 1169, before abolishing the Fatimids in 1171. Three years later, he was proclaimed sultan following the death of his former master, the Zengid ruler Nur al-Din. For the next decade, the Ayyubids launched conquests throughout the region and by 1183, their domains encompassed Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia. Most of the Crusader states including the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell to Saladin after his victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestine's coastline in the 1190s.

After Saladin's death in 1193, his sons contested control of the sultanate, but Saladin's brother al-Adil ultimately became the paramount sultan in 1200. All of the later Ayyubid sultans of Egypt were his descendants. In the 1230s, the emirs of Syria attempted to assert their independence from Egypt and the Ayyubid realm remained divided until Sultan as-Salih Ayyub restored its unity by conquering most of Syria, except Aleppo, by 1247. By then, local Muslim dynasties had driven out the Ayyubids from Yemen, the Hejaz and parts of Mesopotamia. After his death in 1249, as-Salih Ayyub was succeeded in Egypt by al-Mu'azzam Turanshah. However, the latter was soon overthrown by his Mamluk generals who had repelled a Crusader invasion of the Nile Delta. This effectively ended Ayyubid power in Egypt; attempts by the emirs of Syria, led by an-Nasir Yusuf of Aleppo, to wrest back Egypt failed. In 1260, the Mongols sacked Aleppo and conquered the Ayyubids' remaining territories soon after. The Mamluks, who expelled the Mongols, maintained the Ayyubid principality of Hama until deposing its last ruler in 1341.

During their relatively short tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled, and the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world. This period was also marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas (Islamic schools of law) in their major cities.

Baruy Emir

Baruy Emir (Persian: بروي امير‎, also Romanized as Barūy Emīr) is a village in Seyyedvaliyeddin Rural District, Sardasht District, Dezful County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its existence was noted, but its population was not reported.

Emir Kusturica

Emir Kusturica (Serbian Cyrillic: Емир Кустурица; born 24 November 1954) is a Serb filmmaker, actor and musician. He has been recognized for several internationally acclaimed feature films, as well as his projects in town-building. He has competed at the Cannes Film Festival on five occasions and won the Palme d'Or twice (for When Father Was Away on Business and Underground), as well as the Best Director prize for Time of the Gypsies.

He has also won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Arizona Dream and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Black Cat, White Cat. In addition he was also named Commander of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.Since the mid-2000s, Kusturica's primary residence has been in Drvengrad, a town built for his film Life Is a Miracle, in the Mokra Gora region of Serbia. He had portions of the historic village reconstructed for the film. He is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of the Republika Srpska since 9 November 2011.

Emir of Kuwait

The Emir of the State of Kuwait is the monarch and head of state of Kuwait. It is the most powerful position in the country. The emirs of Kuwait are members of the Al-Sabah dynasty, which originate from the Bani Utbah; a federation of clans in the Arabian Peninsula.

Since 29 January 2006, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is the current emir.

Emir of Qatar

The Emir of the State of Qatar is the monarch and head of state of Qatar, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Qatar Armed Forces and guarantor of the Constitution. It is the most powerful position in the country, and has a prominent role in foreign relations.

The Emirs of Qatar are members of the Al Thani dynasty, which originate from the Banu Tamim, one of the largest tribes in the Arabian Peninsula.

Since 25 June 2013, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is the current Emir.

Emirate of Bukhara

The Emirate of Bukhara (Uzbek: Buxoro amirligi) was an Uzbek state that existed from 1785 to 1920 in what is now modern-day Uzbekistan. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of Samarkand and the emirate's capital, Bukhara. It was contemporaneous with the Khanate of Khiva to the west, in Khwarezm, and the Khanate of Kokand to the east, in Fergana.

Emirate of Córdoba

The Emirate of Córdoba (Arabic: إمارة قرطبة‎, Imārat Qurṭuba; Spanish: Emirato de Córdoba) was an independent emirate in the Iberian Peninsula ruled by the Umayyad dynasty with Córdoba as its capital.

Emirate of Sicily

The Emirate of Sicily (Arabic: إِمَارَة صِقِلِّيَة‎, translit. ʾImārat Ṣiqilliya) was an emirate on the island of Sicily which existed from 831 to 1091. Its capital was Palermo.

Muslim Moors, who first invaded in 652, seized control of the entire island from the Byzantine Empire in a prolonged series of conflicts from 827 to 902, although Rometta in the far northeast of the island held out until 965. An Arab-Byzantine culture developed, producing a multiconfessional and multilingual state. The Emirate was conquered by Christian Norman mercenaries under Roger I of Sicily, who founded the County of Sicily in 1071. The last Muslim city in the island, Noto, was conquered in 1091.

Sicilian Muslims remained citizens of the multi-ethnic County and subsequent Kingdom of Sicily, until those who had not already converted were expelled in the 1240s. Until the late 12th century, and probably as late as the 1220s, Muslims formed a majority of the island's population, except in the northeast region of Val Demone which remained predominantly Byzantine Greek and Christian even during Islamic rule. The Islamic and Arabic influence remains in some elements of the Sicilian language, as well as in architecture and place names.

Hureh Emir

Hureh Emir (Persian: هوره امير‎, also Romanized as Hūreh Emīr) is a village in Seyyedvaliyeddin Rural District, Sardasht District, Dezful County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 46, in 5 families.

King of Bahrain

The King of Bahrain (Arabic: ملك البحرين‎) is the monarch and head of state of Bahrain. Between 1783 and 1971, the Bahraini monarch held the title of Hakim, and, from 1971 until 2002, the title of Emir. On 14 February 2002, the then-Emir of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, declared Bahrain a kingdom and proclaimed himself the first king.

The King enjoys wide range of powers, which include appointing the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, holding the supreme command over the Defence Force, chairing the Higher Judicial Council, appointing the parliament's upper half and dissolving its elected lower half.

List of heads of state of Afghanistan

This article lists the heads of state of Afghanistan since the foundation of the first Afghan state, the Hotak Empire, in 1709.

The Hotak Empire was formed after a successful uprising led by Mirwais Hotak and other Afghan tribal chiefs from Kandahar against Mughal and Persian rule.After a long series of wars, the Hotak Empire was eventually replaced by the Durrani Afghan Empire that was founded by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747.After the collapse of the Durrani Empire in 1823, the Barakzai dynasty founded the Emirate of Afghanistan (transformed into the Kingdom of Afghanistan in 1926) and ruled Afghanistan until 1973, when the last King Mohammed Zahir Shah was deposed in a coup d'état, led by his first cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan. Daoud then established the Republic of Afghanistan, which lasted until the Saur Revolution in 1978.

Since 1978, Afghanistan has been in a state of continuous internal warfare and foreign interventions.

The former president Hamid Karzai became the first ever democratically elected head of state of Afghanistan on 7 December 2004. The current president is Ashraf Ghani, since 29 September 2014.

List of monarchs of Persia

This article lists the monarchs of Persia, who ruled over the area of modern-day Iran from the establishment of the Median Empire by Medes around 705 BC until the deposition of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979.

Earlier monarchs in the area of modern-day Iran are listed in:

List of rulers of the pre-Achaemenid kingdoms of IranMinor dynasties and vassal monarchs can be found in:

List of rulers of Parthian sub-kingdoms

Islamic dynasties of Iran

Molla Emir

Molla Emir (Persian: ملاامير‎, also Romanized as Mollā Emīr) is a village in Sardasht Rural District, Sardasht District, Dezful County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 19, in 4 families.

Qatar Emir Cup

Emir of Qatar Cup is a tournament played every season by 18 first and second division teams. The most successful is Al Sadd who won the tournament 16 times. Emir of Qatar Cup was played for the first time in 1972, and was won by Al Ahli.

Sharif of Mecca

The Sharif of Mecca (Arabic: شريف مكة‎, Sharīf Makkah) or Hejaz (Arabic: شريف الحجاز‎, Sharīf al-Ḥijāz) was the title of the leader of the Sharifate of Mecca, traditional steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the surrounding Hejaz. The term sharif means "noble" in Arabic and is used to describe the descendants of Prophet Muhammad's grandson al-Hassan ibn Ali.

The Sharif was charged with protecting the cities and their environs and ensuring the safety of pilgrims performing the Hajj. The title is sometimes spelled Sheriff or Sherif, with the latter variant used, for example, by T. E. Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

The office of the Sharifate of Mecca dates back to the late Abbasid era. Until 1200, the Sharifate was held by a member of the Hawashim clan, not to be confused with the larger clan of Banu Hashim from which all Sharifs claim descent. Descendants of the Banu Hashim continued to hold the position until the 20th century on behalf of various Muslim powers including the Ayyubids and the Mamluks. In 1517, the Sharif acknowledged the supremacy of the Ottoman Caliph, but maintained a great degree of local autonomy. During the Ottoman era, the Sharifate expanded its authority northwards to include Medina, and southwards to the frontiers of 'Asir, and regularly raided Nejd.

The Sharifate came to an end shortly after the reign of Hussein bin Ali, ruled from 1908, who rebelled against the Ottoman rule during the Arab Revolt of 1916. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and its subsequent dissolution in 1923, Hussein declared himself Caliph. The British granted control over the newly formed states of Iraq and Transjordan to his sons Faisal and Abdullah. In 1924, however, in the face of increasing attacks by Ibn Saud, Hussein abdicated his secular titles to his eldest son, Ali bin Hussein, who was to become the last Grand Sharif. At the end of 1925, Ibn Saud conquered the Hejaz and expelled the Hashemites. The House of Saud has ruled the holy cities and the Hajj since that time.

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