AskDefine | Define padishah

Extensive Definition

Padishah, Padshah, Padeshah, Badishah or Badshah (Persian پادشاه Pādishāh) is a very prestigious title, which is composed from the Persian words Pati 'master' and the better-known title Shāh "King", which was adopted by several Islamic monarchies claiming the highest rank, roughly equivalent to Christian Emperors or the Ancient notion of Great King. The word kshetrapati (chhatrapati in the modern form) is a near-cognate in the language Sanskrit.

History of Islamic monarchies

The rulers on the following thrones, the first three effectively commanding major Muslim empires, were styled Padishah:
The paramount prestige of this title, in Islam and even beyond, is clearly apparent from the Ottoman Empire's dealings with the (predominantly Christian) European powers. As the Europeans and the Russians gradually drove the Turks from the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, they insisted—even at the cost of delaying the end of hostilities—on the usage of the title 'Padishah' for themselves in the Turkish versions of their treaties with the High Porte, as acknowledgement that their Christian emperors were in all diplomatic and protocollary capacities the equal of the Turkish ruler, who by his religious paramount office in Islam (Caliph) had a theoretical claim of universal sovereignty (at least among Sunnites).
The compound Pādshah-i-Ghazi 'Victorious Emperor' is only recorded for two individual rulers:
  • H.M. Ahmad Shah Bahadur, Padshah-i-Ghazi, Dur-i-Durran ('pearl of pearls'), Padshah of Khorasan (today Afghanistan) 1747 - 1772
  • H.H. Rustam-i-Dauran, Aristu-i-Zaman, Asaf Jah IV, Muzaffar ul-Mamaluk, Nizam ul-Mulk, Nizam ud-Daula, Nawab Mir Farkhunda 'Ali Khan Bahadur [Gufran Manzil], Sipah Salar, Fath Jang, Ayn waffadar Fidvi-i-Senliena, Iqtidar-i-Kishwarsitan Muhammad Akbar Shah Padshah-i-Ghazi, Nizam of Hyderabad 1829 - 1857
Note that as many titles, the word was also often used as a name, either by nobles with other (in this case always lower) styles, or even by commoners

Fictional usage

In Frank Herbert's Dune series, the Padishah Emperor — also commonly referred to as "Emperor of the Known Universe" or "Emperor of a Million Worlds" — is the supreme ruler of humanity, whose power is checked by the Spacing Guild, the Bene Gesserit and the Landsraad.

Common usage

The term shah was dropped after the Ottoman landing in the North East Libyan town of Musrata and the pronunciation of Padi became Badi due to Arab language barriers.
There is a large family of Turkish origin Padishahs using the surname Badi in modern day Libya.

Sources and references

padishah in Azerbaijani: Padşah
padishah in Bosnian: Padišah
padishah in Persian: پادشاه
padishah in Latvian: Padišahs
padishah in Japanese: パーディシャー
padishah in Norwegian: Padishah
padishah in Polish: Padyszach
padishah in Russian: Падишах
padishah in Turkish: Padişah
padishah in Ukrainian: Падишах
padishah in Urdu: بادشاه
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