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A vizier (;
ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...

Abbasid
caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ''
katib A katib ( ar, كَاتِب, ''kātib'') is a writer, scribe, or secretary in the Arabic-speaking world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or th ...
'' (secretary), who was at first merely a helper but afterwards became the representative and successor of the ''dapir'' (official scribe or secretary) of the
Sassanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty bef ...

Sassanian
kings. In modern usage, the term has been used for government
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
s in much of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
and beyond. Several alternative spellings are used in English, such as ''vizir'', ''wazir'', and ''vezir''.


Etymology

The word entered into English in 1562 from the Turkish ''vezir'' ("counselor"), derived from the Persian ''vazīr''  ("
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
"). ''Wazir'' itself has two possible etymologies: *The first etymology is that it is derived from the Arabic ''wazara'' ("to bear a burden"), from the
Semitic root The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radicals" (hence the term consonantal root). Such abstract consonantal roots are used in the formation of ...
''W-Z-R''. The word is mentioned in the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
, where
Aaron Aaron ''′aharon'', ar, هارون, Hārūn, Ancient Greek, Greek (Septuagint): wikt:Ἀαρών, Ἀαρών; often called Aaron the priest () and once Aaron the Levite () (Exodus 4:14)., group="note" ( or ; ''’Ahărōn'', Arabic: هار ...

Aaron
is described as the ''wazir'' (helper) of Moses, as well as the word ''wizr'' (burden) which is also derived from the same root. It was later adopted as a title, in the form of ''wazīr āl Muḥammad'' ("Helper of the Family of Muhammad") by the proto-
Shi'a Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanis ...
leaders
al-Mukhtar Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubayd al-Thaqafi ( ar, ٱلْمُخْتَار ٱبْن أَبِي عُبَيْد ٱلثَّقَفِيّ, '; c. 622 – 3 April 687) was a pro-Alid The Alids ( ar, علوي) are an Arab community and a part of Ahl al- ...
and
Abu Salama Abū Salama ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Asad al-Makhzūmī ( ar, أَبُو سَلَمَة عَبْد ٱلله ٱبْن عَبْد ٱلْأَسَد ٱلْمَخْزُومِيّ) was one of the sahabah Ottoman_miniature.html"_;"title="Muhammad_and ...
. Under the
Abbasid caliphs The Abbasid caliphs were the holders of the Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , ...
, the term acquired the meaning of "representative" or "deputy". *On the other hand, the presence of a
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
word ''vizīr'' or ''vicīr'' (meaning "a legal document" or "decision"), cognate to the
Avestan Avestan , also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The languages are known only from their use as the language of Zoroastrian ...
''vīcira'', meaning "decreer" or "arbitrator", could possibly indicate an
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
origin.Klein, Ernest, ''A comprehensive etymological dictionary of the English language: Dealing with the origin of words and their sense development thus illustrating the history of civilization and culture'', Volume 2, Elsevier, 1966.


Historical ministerial titles

The office of vizier arose under the first Abbasid caliphs, and spread across the Muslim world. The vizier stood between sovereign and subjects, representing the former in all matters touching the latter."vizier"
''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ...
'' 2010, Retrieved on 2010-06-17.
The 11th-century legal theorist
al-Mawardi Abū al-Hasan 'Alī Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Habīb al-Māwardī ( أبو الحسن علي بن محمد بن حبيب البصري الماوردي ), known in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic ...
defined two types of viziers: ''wazīr al-tanfīdh'' ("vizier of execution"), who had limited powers and served to implement the caliph's policies, and the far more powerful ''wazīr al-tafwīd'' ("vizier with delegated powers"), with authority over civil and military affairs, and enjoyed the same powers as the caliph, except in the matter of the succession or the appointment of officials. Al-Mawardi stressed that the latter, as an effective viceroy, had to be a Muslim well versed in the ''
Shari'a Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law forming part of the Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the '' ...
'', whereas the former could also be a non-Muslim or even a slave, although women continued to be expressly barred from the office. Historically, the term has been used to describe two very different ways: either for a unique position, the prime minister at the head of the monarch's government (the term
Grand Vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the ...
always refers to such a post), or as a shared 'cabinet rank', rather like a British secretary of state. If one such vizier is the prime minister, he may hold the title of Grand Vizier or another title.


In Islamic states

*The title was first used in the early Abbasid Caliphate, cf.
Vizier (Abbasid Caliphate) The vizier ( ar, وزير, wazīr) was the senior minister of the Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَ ...
. *In Muslim
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...
, the prime minister under the political authority of the
Shahanshah Shah (; fa, شاه, Šâh or Šāh, , ) was a title given to the emperors and kings of Iran (historically known as "Name of Iran, Persia" in the Western world).Yarshater, EhsaPersia or Iran, Persian or Farsi, ''Iranian Studies'', vol. XXII n ...

Shahanshah
was commonly styled ''Vazīr-e Azam'' ('Supreme -, i.e. Grand Vizier'; alternative titles include '' Atabeg-e Azam'' and ''Sardār-e Azam''), and various Ministers held cabinet rank as ''vazir'', including a ''Vazir-i-Daftar'' (minister for finance) and a ''Vazir-i-Lashkar'' (war portfolio). * In , the
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...

Umayyad
Caliphs of Córdoba A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state , caption = , active = {{Collapsible list , title = 1999–present , 1 = 1999: Established under the name of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad , 2 = October 2004: ...
appointed a varying number of viziers, as heads of departments in the bureaucracy, ministers with specific tasks, and royal councillors; at one point, in 1008, there were as many as 29 viziers at the same time. Unlike the Islamic east, the senior office of the Umayyad state was that of the chamberlain (''
hajib A ''hajib'' or ''hadjib'' ( ar, الحاجب, al-ḥājib, to block, the prevent someone from entering somewhere; It is a word "hajb" meaning to cover, to hide. It means "the person who prevents a person from entering a place, the doorman". The ...

hajib
''). Under the Taifa kingdoms the title proliferated and became a generic court title. During the later Umayyads, viziers were also appointed outside the capital as provincial governors or commanders, a practice which continued until the fall of the
Emirate of Granada ) , common_languages = Official language: Classical ArabicOther languages: Andalusi Arabic, Mozarabic, Berber, Ladino , capital = Granada , religion = Majority religion:Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () i ...

Emirate of Granada
in the 15th century. The Spanish word ''
alguacil Alguacil (in Spanish), aguazil or guazil (in Portuguese) is the title for a number of governmental office-holders. Origin The term ''alguacil'' is derived from the Arabic term (''wazir''), meaning Vizier A vizier (or wazir) (, rarely ; ar, ...

alguacil
'' (governor, official with civil or criminal duties) derives from this. * In Muslim
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, the most populous Arab country: **
Vizier A vizier (; ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ' (secretary), who was at first merely a ...
under the Fatimid Caliphs. **Again since the effective end of Ottoman rule, remarkably since 1857 (i.e. before the last Wali (governor), Isma`il Pasha, was raised
Khedive Khedive (, ota, خدیو, hıdiv; ar, خديوي, khudaywī) was an honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honor ...

Khedive
(circa Viceroy, on 8 June 1867), exchanged for the western prime ministers on 28 August 1878 (before the formally independent sultanate was proclaimed). *During the days of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, the
Grand Vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the ...
was the—often de facto ruling—
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
, second only to the Sultan and was the leader of the Divan, the Imperial Council. "Vizier" was also the title of some Ottoman provincial governors, such as in
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...
, where usage of the title often indicated a greater degree of autonomy for the province involved and the greater prestige of the title holder (this was, for example, a major issue in the
Bosnian uprising Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one ...
of 1831). Also, many of the viziers originated from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as other countries and from various ethnicities. *In the Sherifian kingdom of
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
(historically a sultanate till the incumbent assumed the higher royal style of ''Malik'' on 14 August 1957, shortly after the end of the simultaneous French and Spanish protectorates; the additional Islamic title '' Amir al-Mu´minin'' "Commander of the Faithful" stayed in use), a ''Sadr al-A'zam'' (Grand Vizier) was in office until 22 November 1955, replaced since 7 December 1955 a (part-political) Prime Minister; Vizier was the style of a minister of state (other titles for various portfolios). *In the
Hashemite The Hashemites ( ar, الهاشميون, al-Hāshimīyūn), also House of Hashim, are the royal family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/ queens, emirs/emiras, or sultans/ sultanas, and sometimes their extended family. The ...

Hashemite
Kingdom of Hejaz The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz ( ar, المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية, ''Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāziyyah Al-Hāshimiyyah'') was a state in the Hejaz region in the Middle East (modern-day western Saudi Arabia), the western portion of ...
(later merged into present-day
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
), the sole Vizier was (10 June 19163 October 1924) the future second king , under his father
Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi Hussein bin Ali Al-Hashimi ( ar, الحسين بن علي الهاشمي, ''al-Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī''; 1 May 18544 June 1931) was an Arab leader from the Banu Hashim clan who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after pr ...

Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi
(the first to assume the title
Malik Malik, Melik, Malka, Malek, Maleek, Malick, or Melekh ( phn, 𐤌𐤋𐤊; ar, ملك Malik, Melik, Malka, Malek, Malick, or Melekh ( phn, 𐤌𐤋𐤊; ar, ملك; he, מֶלֶךְ) is the Semitic term translating to "king of th ...

Malik
, i.e. King, instead of Grand Sharif), maintained after the assumption of the Caliphal style (only 11 March 19243 October 1924) *In the 'regency' of
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
, under the Husainid Dynasty, various ministers of the Bey, including: **''Wazir al-Akbar'' (or ''El Ouzir El Kébir''): 'great minister', i.e.
grand vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the ...
, chief minister or prime minister. **''Wazir al-'Amala'' (or ''El Ouzir El Amala''): Minister for the Interior. **''Wazir al-Bahr'' (or ''El Ouzir El Bahr''): Minister 'of the Sea', i.e. for the Navy/ Marine. **''Wazir al-Harb'' (or ''El Ouzir El Harb''): Minister for the Army or Minister for War. **''Wazir al-Istishara'' (or ''El Ouzir El Istichara''): Minister-Counsellor. **''Wazir al-Qalam'': Minister of the Pen. **''Wazir ud-Daula'' (or ''El Ouzir El Dawla''): Minister of State. **''Wazir us-Shura'' (or ''El Ouzir Ech Choura''): Privy Counsellor. *In Oman the Hami/Sultan's chief minister was styled ''Wazir'' till 1966, but in 1925–1932 there was also or instead a chairman of the council of Ministers; since 1970 the style is prime minister. *In the
Bengal Sultanate The Sultanate of Bengal ( bn, শাহী বাঙ্গালা, fa, شاهی بنگاله ''Shāhī Bangālah''), also known as the Bengal Sultanate or simply Bengal ( fa, بنگاله ''Bangālah'', bn, বাংলা, Bangla), was an e ...

Bengal Sultanate
, many local officials had the title of Wazir/Uzir *Viziers to the Sultans of
Zanzibar Zanzibar (; ; ) is an insular autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administrative division Administrative d ...

Zanzibar
(a branch of the Omani dynasty); since 1890 filled by British, also known as first ministers, (1 July 191323 February 1961) the British Resident (Minister)s, an extremely direct form of indirect rule (before and after chief- or prime ministers, generally native). *
Grand Viziers Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, ''sadr-ı aʾzam'', tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government of many sovereign states in the Islamic world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world common ...
to the
Sultan of Sokoto Image:Sokoto caliphate.png, 260px, Sokoto Caliphate in the 19th centuryThe Sokoto Caliph was the ruler of the Sokoto Caliphate. The official title is Sultan of Sokoto and includes the title "''Amir-ul-Momineen''". The post has become increasingly c ...
– however, this is disputed. The title "Waziri" is apparently a derivative of this word, and is a highly regarded chieftaincy title in most of northern
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
. Indeed, most of the
emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politic ...

emir
s in northern Nigeria have a "Waziri", who is usually a high-ranking adviser to the emir. *In pre- and colonial (notably British)
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
many rulers, even some Hindu princes, had a vizier as chief minister – compare Diwan, Nawab wasir,
Pradhan Pradhan ( Devanagari: प्रधान) is a generally ministerial title of Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Ary ...
, etc. *In the (former) sultanate of the
Maldives Maldives (, ; dv, ދިވެހިރާއްޖެ, translit=Dhivehi Raajje IPA: ), officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country in the Indian subcontinent of Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and ...

Maldives
(Divehi language), the prime minister was styled ''Bodu Vizier'', and various Ministers held cabinet rank as ''vazierin'' (plural), including ''Hakura'a'' (portfolio of Public Works), ''Shahbandar'' (Navy portfolio, also admiral in chief), ''Vela'ana'a'' (Foreign Affairs). * In
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
, under the
Durrani The Durrānī ( ps, دراني, ) formerly known as Abdālī (), are one of the largest tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespr ...
dynasty, the chief minister was styled ''Vazīr-e Azam'' or ''Wazir-i-azam'' (1801–1880); the ''Vazīr-e Darbār'' or ''Wazir al-durbar'' was the ('House') Minister of the Royal Court. * List of Ghaznavid Viziers * In the
Medang Kingdom The Medang Kingdom () or Mataram Kingdom () was a Javanese Hinduism, Hindu–Buddhism, Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 11th centuries. It was based in Central Java, and later in East Java. Established by King Sri Sanjaya, S ...

Medang Kingdom
and subsequent sultanates, a ''wazir'' was a chief minister to the sultan.


Modern post-monarchy use

''Wazīr'' is the standard
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
word for a government minister. Prime ministers are usually termed as ''Ra'īs al-Wuzara'' (literally, president of the ministers) or ''al-Wazīr al-'Awwal'' (prime "first" minister). The latter term is generally found in the
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
, while the former is typical of usage in the
Mashriq Image:Mashreq.PNG, Map depicting the area most conservatively known as the ''Mashriq'' The Mashriq ( ar, ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is a term used by Arabs to refer to the eastern part of the Arab world, locat ...

Mashriq
(broadly defined, including
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
,
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
and the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
). Thus, for example, the
Prime Minister of Egypt The Prime Minister of Egypt () is the head of the Egyptian government. A direct translation of the Arabic-language title is "Minister-President of Egypt" and "President of the Government". The Arabic title can also be translated as "President of ...
is in Arabic a ''wazīr''. In
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
the vizier is known as ''Pengiran
Bendahara Bendahara (JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, who speak or spoke t ...
''. In
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
the ministers of government are called ''Vazīr'' in
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
(e.g. foreign/health ''Vazīr''), and prime minister of state before the removal of the post, was called as ''Nokhost Vazīr''. In
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, the prime minister (de facto ruling politician, formally under the president) is called ''Vazīr-e Azam'' (Persian for
Grand vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the ...
), other Ministers are styled ''vazir''s. In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, ''Vazīr'' is the official translation of minister in the
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
language, and is used in ministerial oath taking ceremonies conducted in Urdu. In
East Africa East Africa, Eastern Africa, or East of Africa is the eastern sub-region A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subr ...
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
and
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
, ministers are referred to as Waziri in
Swahili Swahili may refer to: * Swahili language, a Bantu language official in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and widely spoken in the African Great Lakes * Swahili people, an ethnic group in East Africa * Swahili culture, the culture of the Swahili people * Sw ...
and prime ministers as Waziri Mkuu. In the
Nation of Islam The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a religious and political organization which was founded in the United States by Wallace Fard Muhammad in 1930. A Black nationalism, black nationalist organization, the NOI focuses its attention on the African dia ...
,
Louis Farrakhan Louis Farrakhan (; born Louis Eugene Walcott, May 11, 1933) is an American religious leader and political activist who heads the Nation of Islam (NOI). Earlier in his career, he served as the minister of mosques in Boston and Harlem and was app ...

Louis Farrakhan
is sometimes given the honorific title of Wazir In
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
, Viziers are divided into 5 titles, although two remain vacant since Brunei independence. *The current head of vizier or ''Perdana Wazir'' of Brunei is Prince Mohamed Bolkiah. His full title is His Royal Highness Perdana Wazir Sahibul Himmah Wal-Waqar Prince Haji Mohamed Bolkiah. *His Royal Highness Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah *His Royal Highness Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Prince Haji
Jefri Bolkiah Prince Jefri Bolkiah, full name ''Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal'' Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien (born 6 November 1954), is a member of the Brunei Brunei ( ; ), official ...
*Pengiran Pemancha Sahibul Rae' Wal-Mashuarah – vacant *Pengiran Temanggong Sahibul Bahar – vacant


Anachronistic historical use

It is common, even among historians, to apply relatively contemporary terms to cultures whose own authentic titles are (or were when the habit took root) insufficiently known, in this case to pre-Islamic antiquity. *In
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
the highest-ranking government official, appointed by the
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
and acting as his
chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii Cancelli are lattice-work, placed before a window, a door-way, the tribunal o ...

chancellor
(chief administrator; Egyptian: '' taty''), is called ''
vizier A vizier (; ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ' (secretary), who was at first merely a ...
'' by modern researchers. The term is also used for the chief administrators of Upper and Lower Egypt during the times when the administration of the country was headed by two officials; thus, there was a ''vizier'' for the North (
Lower Egypt , the Red Crown of Lower Egypt Image:Lower Egypt Nomes 01.png, 350px, Map of Lower Egypt with its historical nomes Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ''Tsakhet'') is the northernmost region In geography, regions are areas that are ...
, the
Nile Delta The Nile Delta ( ar, دلتا النيل, or simply , ) is the delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), ...
), and a ''vizier'' for the South (
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
). However, at times, the
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
of
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
(a military governor general, sometimes a prince of the Pharaoh's blood) and/or the High Priest of
Amun Amun (; also ''Amon'', ''Ammon'', ''Amen''; egy, jmn, ''reconstructed'' ; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is ...

Amun
(the temple complex at Thebes gradually amassed sufficient possessions and income to rival the crown) rose to equal or even superior power; some pharaohs are even believed to have lost real political preeminence to the 'kingmakers'. :Thus, in modern language translations of the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
, in
Genesis Genesis may refer to: Literature and comics * Genesis (DC Comics), a 1997 DC Comics crossover * Genesis (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics villain * Genesis, a fictional character from the ''Preacher (comics), Preacher'' comic-book series * ''Genes ...

Genesis
chapter 41,
Joseph Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in th ...
, the eleventh son of
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State ...

Jacob
, is called Vizier to
Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

Pharaoh
. In this same chapter of Genesis, Pharaoh changed his newly appointed Vizier's name to Zaphenath-paneah. *The term is used to designate the highest official of the kingdom of
Ebla Ebla (Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native ...

Ebla
(head of the administration; Eblaite: lugal sa-za).


Princely title

In the rare case of the Indian princely state of Jafarabad (Jafrabad, founded c. 1650), ruled by ''Thanadar''s, in 1702 a state called Janjira was founded, with rulers (six incumbents) styled ''wazir''; when, in 1762, Jafarabad and Janjira states entered into personal union, both titles were maintained until (after 1825) the higher style of
Nawab Nawab ( ar, نواب; bn, নবাব/নওয়াব; hi, नवाब; Punjabi language, Punjabi : ਨਵਾਬ; Persian language, Persian, Punjabi language, Punjabi , Sindhi language, Sindhi, Urdu: نواب), also spelt Nawaab, Nava ...

Nawab
was assumed.


Art

In contemporary literature and
pantomime Pantomime (; informally panto) is a type of musical comedy Musical theatre is a form of theatre, theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos ...

pantomime
, the "
Grand Vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the ...
" is a character
stereotype Police officers buying doughnuts and coffee, an example of perceived stereotypical behavior in North America. Social psychology Social psychology is the Science, scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individu ...
and is usually portrayed as a scheming backroom plotter and the clear
power behind the throne The phrase "power behind the throne" refers to a person or group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, ...
of a usually bumbling or incompetent monarch. A well-known example of this is the sinister character of Jafar in the
Disney The Walt Disney Company, commonly just Disney (), is an American multinational entertainment and media conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios (Burbank), Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California. Disney was originall ...
animated film ''
Aladdin Aladdin ( ; ar, علاء الدين, ', , ATU 561, ‘Aladdin') is a Fairy tale, folk tale most probably of Middle Eastern origin. Despite not being part of the original text of One Thousand and One Nights, ''The Book of One Thousand and One ...
'', who plots and uses magic to take over the entire Kingdom of Agrabah under the nose of the nation's naïve sultan, just as Jaffar in the 1940 movie '' The Thief of Bagdad'' dethroned his master, caliph Ahmad. Others include Zigzag from ''
The Thief and the Cobbler ''The Thief and the Cobbler'' is an unfinished animated film, animated fantasy film directed by Richard Williams (animator), Richard Williams. Originally conceived in the 1960s, the film was in and out of production for nearly three decades du ...
'' (the original inspiration for the character of Jafar in Disney's ''Aladdin''), the comic book character
Iznogoud ''Iznogoud'' (pronounced "he's/is no good" with a French accent) is a French comics a Media (communication), medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically the form of a sequ ...
, Prince Sinbad's advisor Yusuf in the DC Vertigo series ''
Fables Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse (poetry), verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are Anthropomorphism, anthropomorphized, and that illustrat ...
'', and the villains of the
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
s ''
Prince of Persia ''Prince of Persia'' is a video game franchise This is a list of video game franchises, organized alphabetically. All entries include multiple video games, not counting ports or altered re-releases. 0–9 *''1080° Snowboarding'' *''1942 (vid ...
'' and '' King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow''. Perhaps the origin of this character archetype is the biblical account of Esther. The book details the rise of a Jewish woman to queen regnant, Queen of
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...
, and her role in stopping the plot of Haman (Bible), Haman, chief advisor to the Persian king, to wipe out all Jews living in Persia. Throughout history the notion of the sinister Grand Vizier has often been invoked when a political leader appears to be developing a cozy relationship with a spiritual advisor of questionable scruples or talents. This stereotype is frequently mentioned in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, as for example in both Sourcery and Interesting Times. Another instance of a sinister Grand Vizier in entertainment can be found in the science fiction series Lexx, the primary antagonist in the second season being Mantrid, the self-proclaimed "greatest Bio-Vizier of all time."


Some famous viziers in history

*Yahya ibn Khalid of Harun al Rashid (Whose son Jafar bin Yahya was an inspiration for the aforementioned Arabian Nights Jafar) *Amir Kabir of the Qajar dynasty in
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
history *Hasanak vazir of the Ghaznavid dynasty in
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
history *Almanzor of the Caliphate of Córdoba was the de facto ruler of Islamic Spain *Nizam al-Mulk of Malik Shah I in Seljukid Empire, Seljuks history *Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. *Sokollu Mehmed Pasha of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. *Köprülü Mehmed Pasha and his son Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
.


Influence on chess

In Shatranj, from which modern chess developed, the piece corresponding to the modern chess "Queen (chess), queen" (though far weaker) was often called ''Wazīr''. Up to the present, the word for the queen piece in chess is still called by variants of the word "vazīr" in Middle Eastern languages, as well as in Hungarian language, Hungarian ("vezér", meaning "leader") and Russian language, Russian ("ferz' (ферзь)").


See also

*Vaziri (disambiguation), a surname *List of Grand Viziers of Persia *Wazir (Pashtun tribe) *Waziri language *Waziristan *Wasita (title) *Wuzurg framadar


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * *
Etymology OnLine
{{Authority control Executive ministers Heads of government Government of the Mughal Empire Noble titles Ottoman titles Titles of national or ethnic leadership History of Iran Titles in Afghanistan Titles in Pakistan Titles in Egypt Titles in Iraq Titles in Iran African noble titles African traditional governments Titles in Bosnia and Herzegovina during Ottoman period