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Indo-Persian Royal and Noble Ranks
Coronet of an earl
Emperor : Sultan, Shah
King : Sultan, Shah
Royal Prince : Shahzada, Mirza
Noble Prince : Mirza, Sahibzada
Nobleman: Nawab, Baig

Baig, also commonly spelled Beg, Begg or Begh (Persian بیگ, Turkish Beg/Bey) was a title of Turko-Mongol Origin, which is today used as a surname or middle name to identify lineage. It means Chief or Commander and is common in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia and Eastern Europe (former Yugoslav) and among their respective diaspora. The spellings Beg'da',[1] Beg, Bey, Bek (Turkish), Begzada, Begzadi (Persian) and Bik (Western China) are also found.

Etymology and history

The name Baig originates from a Turkic-Mongal clan called Barlas (the main tribe of the Timurids). The Barlas tribe and their descendants established Turko-Persian empires in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and later South Asia.[citation needed]

The name Baig is derived from the Turkic word Beg or Bey, which means commander or chief (i.e. military leader.) Baig/Beg was a title given to honorary members of the Barlas clan, and was subsequently used as the family name for their children. The name is most common among the descendants of the Moghal Dynasty of South Asia. The members of the Moghal Dynasty belonged to the Barlas clan and "Baigs" were high-ranking military leaders and advisors to the Moghal Royal Families. They were also granted the Princely title of Mirza, to signify their high ranking among the aristocracy and ruling class. Baigs occupied the upper echelons of society in the conquered parts of South Asia.[citation needed]

This title implies that he was relative to khan dynasty ruling in Mongol Empire.[lower-alpha 1]

Beg was also subsequently used as a military rank in the Ottoman Empire.[lower-alpha 2]

It was also used during the Qing Dynasty in China. When the Qing Dynasty ruled Xinjiang, it permitted the Turkic Begs to maintain their previous status, and they administered the province for the Qing as officials.[2][3] High-ranking Begs were allowed to wear the Queue.[4]

Use as a name

For the Moghal use, the honorific title Mirza (Persian: مرزا‎) was added before the given name for all the males and 'Baig' (Persian: بیگ‎) for the males or Begum (Persian: بگوم‎) for the females, was added as a family name. For example: Mirza Mansur Baig or Noor Begum. This was the historical naming convention for the descendants of the Moghal Dynasty. Today, however, it is not uncommon to see descendants of the Moghals use Baig as a middle name and Mirza as the surname or vice versa. For example: Mansur Baig Mirza or Mansur Mirza Baig or some very rare cases are like Baig Mughal, e.g. Arif Baig Mughal.[citation needed]

For the Slavic or Bosniak use, it is common to see the name Beg added to the Slavic suffix of 'ovic', 'ovich', which roughly means 'descendant of'. While the title "Beg" is not in use in Bosnia anymore, track of families of "Beg" descent is kept. But a surname containing "-begović" suffix in itself is not a clear indicator of descent. For example there is a number of "Begović" families, some are of noble descent, some not. "Idrizbegović" would be another example of non-noble family with the suffix. Some examples of "beg" families are: Šahbegović, Rizvanbegović, Šačirbegović. On the other hand, "Kukavica" is an example of a famous "beg" family, not containing the title in itself. The book by Enver Imamović "Porijeklo i pripadnost stanovništva Bosne i Hercegovine" details the origin of a big number of families in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[citation needed]

For the Persian use, it is common to see the name Beg added to the Persian suffix of 'zada' (male), 'zadi' (female), which means 'son of' or 'daughter of'. For Example: Mansur Begzada or Noor Begzadi.[citation needed]

For the Turkish use, it is most common to see the spelling Beg or Bey utilized. (Sometimes, it is used along with the title "Mirza", similar to the Moghal usage).[citation needed]

There are various other alternative spellings used today as well, such as: Begg, Beigh, Beyg, Bayg, Bek, Bik.

Notable Begs/Baigs

Afghanistan

  • Sultan Abu Sa'id Beg

Albania

Azerbaijan

  • Jani Beg
  • Mirza Adigozal bey, was an Azerbaijani historian of the 19th century.
  • Mirza Miran Shah Beg, was a son of Mirza Timur Beg, and a Timurid governor during his father's lifetime.
  • Elbey Mirza-Hasan oglu Rzaguliyev, was an Azerbaijani Soviet artist and stage director, and father of artist Ayten Rzaguliyeva.

Bosnia

England

India

  • Mahmud Begada
  • Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan
  • Mirza Babur Beg
  • Mirza Abul-Qasim Babur bin Baysonqor Beg, was a Timurid ruler in Khurasan (1449–1457).
  • Mirza Mehboob Beg, is an Indian politician, belonging to Jammu & Kashmir National Conference.
  • Mirza Farhatullah Baig, was an Indian Urdu writer of humor and prose.
  • Mirza Muhammed Baig Chishti Qalandari Hyderabadi, He is renowned as a Sufi saint and great scholar of Hyderabad Deccan.
  • Mirza Ibrahim Beg, was Subahdar of Bengal during the reign of emperor Jahangir Beg.
  • Wali Beg Zul-Qadr, Soldier under Akbar Mirza Mughal Emperor.

Iran

  • Ulugh Beg
  • Abd al-Latif ibn Muhammad Taraghay Ulughbek
  • Sultan Ibrahim Beg

Kashgar

  • Yaqub Beg

Kashmir

  • Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat Beg was a Chagatai Turko-Mogol military general, ruler of Kashmir, and a historical writer.
  • Mirza Mehdi Beig,[5][6] first noted Kashmiri nauha writer and chanter from Sonwar, Srinagar.
  • Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beig
  • Mirza Raheel Ahmed Baig Janjooa is a Chagatai Turko-Mogol historical writer, artist and president of Apple Electronics, Latin America.

Pakistan

  • Mirza Aslam Baig
  • Mirza Aziz Akbar Baig
  • General Mohammad Abbas Baig
  • Obaidullah Baig was an eminent scholar, Urdu writer/novelist, columnist, media expert, and most notably a documentary filmmaker from Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.
  • Mirza Iqbal Baig is a Pakistani sports journalist and cricket commentator who currently works as a television show host.
  • Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg was a Kashmiri politician and lieutenant of the late Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Mirza Ishtiaq Baig is a Pakistani businessman.
  • Mirza Nazeer Baig Mughal is a Pakistani actor. He has acted in several films, telefilms, and TV drama serials.
  • Mirza Rafiuddin 'Raz' Baig is a Pakistani poet.

Russia

  • Mirza Kazem-Bey, Muhammad Ali Kazim-bey, was a famous orientalist, historian and philologist of Azeri origin.
  • Alexander Lvovich Kazembek (often spelled Kazem-Bek or Kasem-Beg), was a Russian émigré and political activist, and founder of the Mladorossi political group.
  • Iskander Mirza Huzman Beg Sulkiewicz, was a Polish politician of Tatar ethnicity, activist in socialist and independence movements and one of the co-founders of Polish Socialist Party.

Turkey

United States

  • Ed Baig, is an American technology columnist.

Uzbekistan

  • Mirza Timur Beg,[lower-alpha 3] was a Turkic ruler or rather a Turco-Mongolian ruler because of his Mongolian origins.

See also

  • Atabeg
  • Naiman-Beg
  • Begzada
  • Khan
  • Beg Khan

References

  •  This article incorporates text from Life among the Chinese: with characteristic sketches and incidents of missionary operations and prospects in China, by Robert Samuel Maclay, a publication from 1861 now in the public domain in the United States.
  1. 'Beg' old indian royal person use on 'Begada' Mahmud Begada (Mahmood Beg) the sultan of gujarat
  2. Timothy Brook, Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi (2000). Opium regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839-1952. University of California Press. p. 148. ISBN 0-520-22236-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=xQk97ET1aQMC&pg=PA148&dq=han+enslaved+begs+turkestani&hl=en&ei=QFMITcqxAcHflgfD3byyAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  3. Jonathan Neaman Lipman (2004). Familiar strangers: a history of Muslims in Northwest China. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 69. ISBN 0-295-97644-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=90CN0vtxdY0C&pg=PA69&dq=jonathan+neaman+lipman++begs+enslaves&hl=en&ei=DlYITZvWCsT6lweSh7HBAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=enslavement%20to%20begs&f=false. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  4. James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 204. ISBN 0-8047-2933-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=MC6sAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA204&dq=queue+privilege+east+turkestani+han+tungan&hl=en&ei=HlkITbz6K4OglAfxysWmAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=queue%20privilege%20east%20turkestani%20han%20tungan&f=false. Retrieved 2010-11-28. 
  5. "Mirza Mehdi Beigh in the list of Nauha writers and chanters". Wikipedia. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noha. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  6. "Mehdi Beigh, one og the graet chanter from kashmir". Nauha Room Of Beighs. http://www.nauharoomofbeighs.blogspot.com. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  7. Same surname beg, baig, bey / surname in part of Mirza and Ottoman Empire in Name Osman I
  1. Khan people on relative to Beg also Mirza for a many people and family member also founded in India, for more info please refer article: (Naiman-Beg)
  2. For more info please refer article: (Bey)
  3. Including more title using Beg, Baig, Bey, Mirza, Khan (not a surname title), Last inding on Mughal Empire using Mirza title

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