Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur (14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530; sometimes also spelt Baber or Babar) was a conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty in the Indian Subcontinent and became the first Mughal emperor. He was a direct descendant of Timur, from the Barlas clan, through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. Culturally, he was greatly influenced by the Persian culture and this affected both his own actions and those of his successors, giving rise to a significant expansion of the Persianate ethos in the Indian subcontinent.
He was born as Ẓahīr-ud-Dīn Muḥammad (Persian: ﻇﻬﻴﺮﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ محمد), but was more commonly known by his nickname, Bābur (بابر). He had the royal titles Padshah and al-ṣultānu 'l-ʿazam wa 'l-ḫāqān al-mukkarram bādshāh-e ġāzī. Ẓahīr-ud-Dīn Muḥammad ("Defender of the faith") was an Arabic name and difficult to pronounce for the Central Asian Turko-Mongols, therefore the name Babur was adopted. According to Babur's cousin, Mirzā Muḥammad Haydar:
[...] at that time the Chaghatái (descendants of Genghis Khan) were very rude and uncultured (bázári), and not refined (buzurg) as they are now; thus they found Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad difficult to pronounce, and for this reason gave him the name of Bábar. In the public prayers (khutba) and in royal mandates he is always styled 'Zahir-ud-Din Bábar Muhammad,' but he is best known as Bábar Pádisháh.
According to Stephen Frederic Dale, the name Babur is derived from the Persian wordbabr, meaning "tiger", a word that repeatedly appears in Firdawsī's Shāhnāma and had also been borrowed by the Turkic languages of Central Asia. This thesis is supported by the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, explaining that the Turko-Mongol name Timur underwent a similar evolution, from the Sanskrit word cimara ("iron") via a modified version *čimr to the...