Al-Mutawakkil III

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Al-Mutawakkil III
المتوكل على الله الثالث
54th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Last Abbasid Caliph in Cairo
Reign 1508–1516,1517
Predecessor Al-Mustamsik
Successor Selim I (as a Sultan of Ottoman Empire)
Father Al-Mustamsik
Died 1543
Religion Islam

Al-Mutawakkil III (Arabic: المتوكل على الله الثالث‎) (died 1543) was caliph from 1508 to 1516, and again in 1517. He was the last caliph of the later, Egyptian-based period of the Abbasid dynasty. Since the Mongol sack of Baghdad and the execution of Caliph Al-Musta'sim in 1258, the Abbasid caliphs had resided in Cairo, nominal rulers used to legitimize the actual rule of the Mamluk sultans.

Al-Mutawakkil III was deposed briefly in 1516 by his predecessor Al-Mustamsik, but was restored to the caliphate the following year. In 1517, Ottoman sultan Selim I had managed to defeat the Mamluk Sultanate, and made Egypt part of the Ottoman Empire. Al-Mutawakkil III was captured together with his family and transported to Constantinople. He formally surrendered the title of caliph as well as its outward emblems—the sword and mantle of Muhammad—to Ottoman sultan Selim I.[1] Ottoman rulers before him, beginning with Fatih Sultan Mehmed however, had already begun to claim caliphal authority.


  1. ^ p.1


Al-Mutawakkil III
Cadet branch of the Banu Quraysh
Born:  ? Died: 1543
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Caliph of Cairo
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Caliph of Cairo
Caliphate surrendered to Selim I