Persians of the nineteenth century did not use surnames. Men were given proper names, such as Muhammad, Husayn, or Ibrahim, and often more then one—Muhammad-‘Ali, or Rida-Quli. Many times the second name was one of the ninety-nine Most Beauteous Names of God, from the Qur‘án. For example, Abdu’r-Rahim [Servant of the All-Merciful].
To distinguish one individual from another, titles and descriptions would be added to the given name. Haji Muhammad-Hasan Isfahani, for example, would indicate the man from Isfahan named Muhammad-Hasan who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca; Ustad Mahmud Banna would designate the Mahmud who was the master builder; and so forth.
The following are a few of the many titles and description added to Persian names:
Aqa: Sir, mister. General term of respect.
Darvish: A Muslim mystic. Often a wandering, mendicant ascetic who
traditionally carries an ax and a begging bowl (kashkul).
Haji: One who had made the Muslim pilgrimage.
Kashi: Someone from Kashan
Mirza: A general term of respect which usually indicates that the one
designated is literate. Used after the name it indicates a prince. 134
Mulla: A Muslim priest.
Shaykh: An elder; a chief; a professor; or the head of a dervish order.
Siyyid: A descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
Ustad: A master craftsman.
(Ustad Muhammad-‘Aliy-i Salmani, My Memories of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 134-135)