House of Khalifa

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Al Khalifa
Emblem of Bahrain.svg
Country Bahrain
Parent house `Anazzah
Titles King of Bahrain
Founded 1766[1]
Founder Khalifa bin Mohammed[2]
Current head Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

The House of Khalifa (Arabic: آل خليفة‎‎ Āl Khalīfah) is the royal family of Bahrain. The Al Khalifas profess Sunni Islam of the Maliki sect. The current head is Hamad bin Isa, who became the Emir of Bahrain in 1999 and via the National Action Charter which obtained the support of 98.4% of the people. Bahrain was declared a Kingdom and Hamad bin Isa became the King of Bahrain in 2002.

List of monarchs of Bahrain of the Al Khalifa family[edit]

Name Years as ruler Title
Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Khalifa 1783–1796 Hakim
Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, ruling jointly with
Shaikh Salman bin Ahmad Al Khalifa
Shaikh Khalifah bin Sulman Al Khalifa
Shaikh Muhammad bin Khalifah Al Khalifa 1834–1842
Shaikh Ali bin Khalifah Al Khalifa 1868–1869 Hakim
Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdullah Al Khalifa 1869-1869 Hakim
Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa 1869–1932 Hakim
Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa 1932–1942 Hakim
Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa 1942–1961 Hakim
Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa 1961–1971
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa 1999–2002

Ruling Family Council[edit]

Decisions pertaining to the Al Khalifa family, as well as disputes between family members are arbitrated by the Ruling Family Council (Arabic: مجلس العائلة الحاكمة‎‎).[3][4][5] The council attends to internal family disputes particularly those related to appropriation of land, sale of real estate and other properties. Members of the ruling family are not allowed to refer these or other disputes to ordinary law courts.[3]

Relations between the political leadership and the rest of the "rank and file" members of the Al Khalifa ruling family have been formally managed by the council since 1932. However, on the eve of the 1973 parliamentary elections, then the Amir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa issued a decree restructuring the Ruling Family Council to become a formal organ of the state, and giving the administrative head of the council the rank of minister.[3]

The Ruling Family Council is currently chaired by King Hamad,[6] its Deputy Chairman is Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Khalifa,[7] and the Director General is Ibrahim bin Khalid bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.[8]

The King appoints the members of the board of the Ruling Family Council as recognised representatives of various kingship lines and factional alliances within the Al Khalifa family.[3]


Al Khalifa is commonly mistranscribed al-Khalifa. The Al (آل) written with the long (madda) alif is unconnected to the following word and means house, in the sense of family or dynasty, and is not the definite article particle al- 'Al' can also mean 'of'.

Cabinet Ministers[edit]

HH Shaikh Mohammad bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister

HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister

The Ministers and their portfolios include:

Lieutenant General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior

Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance

Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment


  1. ^ The year the family settled in Zubarah
  2. ^ History of the Ruling Family of Bahrain
  3. ^ a b c d Khalaf, Abdulhadi. Contentious Politics in Bahrain, From Ethnic to National and Vice Versa. The Fourth Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies: The Middle East in a Globalizing World, Oslo, 13–16 August 1998. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Moran, Dominic (7 February 2007). "Sectarian tensions simmer in Bahrain". International Relations and Security Network. The trio's relationship to their primary political support base, the wider royal family, is managed by the Family Council. 
  5. ^ Radhi, Hassan Ali (2003). Judiciary and Arbitration in Bahrain: A Historical and Analytical Study. BRILL. p. 130. ISBN 978-90-411-2217-9. 
  6. ^ "HM King Hamad Chairs Ruling Family Council". Bahrain News Agency. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Royal Order No. 23 of the Year 2004 on the Appointment of the Deputy Chairman of the Ruling Family Council". Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Bahrain. 22 May 2004. 
  8. ^ "Amiri Order No. 69 of the Year 2000 on the Appointment of the Director General of the Ruling Family Council". Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Bahrain. 20 December 2000. 

External links[edit]