(p.), a title used in many different senses in Islamic lands. In earlier times it was variously used of scholars, teachers, merchants, ministers and eunuchs. In mediaeval Egypt, according to Ḳalḳas̲h̲andī,
Ṣubḥ , vi, 13, it was a title for important Persian and other foreign merchants (cf.
Égypte , i, no. 24). In Sāmānid times, with the epithet
buzurg “great”, it designated the head of the bureaucracy; later it was a title frequently accorded to wazīrs, teachers, writers, rich men, and merchants. In the Ottoman Empire it was used of the
ulema , and in the plural form
K̲h̲ w ād̲j̲egān [