emir

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emir

in the Islamic world
1. an independent ruler or chieftain
2. a military commander or governor
3. a descendant of Mohammed
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Emir

 

in the countries of the Orient, a title for Muslim rulers equivalent to the title of prince. Until the adoption of Islam in the seventh century, the title emir was applied to military leaders; it was later used for Muslim rulers with secular and religious power, such as the emir of Bukhara and the emir of Afghanistan. The title is given to the sons of Arab monarchs in certain countries, including Saudi Arabia. The leaders of large groups of pilgrims to Mecca are also called emirs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.