A vizier (/vɪˈzɪər/, rarely /ˈvɪziər/; Arabic: وزيرwazīr; Persian: وازیرvazīr; Turkish: vezir; Chinese: 宰相 zǎixiàng; Bengali: উজির ujira'; Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu): वज़ीर or وزیر vazeer, Punjabi: ਵਜ਼ੀਰ or وزير vazīra, sometimes spelled vazir, vizir, vasir, wazir, vesir, or vezir), is a high-ranking political advisor or minister. The Abbasid caliphs gave the title wazir to a minister formerly called katib (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 kings.

In modern usage, the term has been used for ministers in much of the Middle East and beyond.

The word entered into English in 1562 from the Turkish vezir ("counselor"), derived from the Arabic wazir ("viceroy"). Wazir itself has two possible etymologies:

In modern Turkey, there is no usage of 'vezir' for any ministry as suggested in the description above.

The Muslim office of vizier, which spread from the Persians, Turks, Arabs and Mongols and neighboring peoples (regardless of the style of the ruler), arose under the first Abbasid caliphs. The vizier stood between sovereign and subjects, representing the former in all matters touching the latter.

The term has been used in two very different ways: either for a unique position, the prime minister at the head of the monarch's government (the term Grand Vizier 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.

This page was last edited on 12 May 2018, at 03:22.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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