List of Caliphs

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Khalīfah (Caliph)
خَليفة
Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg
Calligraphic of Abū Bakr as-Șiddīq, the first caliph
StyleAmir al-Mu'minin
Residenceal-Madīnah al-Munawwarah (Medina)
al-Kūfah (Kufa)
Dimashq (Damascus)
Baġdād (Baghdad)
Qāhirah (Cairo)
Qustantiniyye (Constantinople)
PrecursorMuhammad as Islamic prophet
Formation8 June 632
First holderAbū Bakr as-Șiddīq
Final holderAbdülmecid II
Abolished3 March 1924

This is a list of people who have held the title of Caliph, the supreme religious and political leader of an Islamic state known as the Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, as the political successors to Muhammad. All years are according to the Common Era.

Background[edit]

A few months before his death, the Islamic prophet Muhammad delivered a sermon to over 100,000 Muslims at the event of Ghadir Khumm. In the sermon, he declared Ali ibn Abi Talib to be his successor. He described Ali with several leadership titles in the sermon, including "Mawla," "Imam," "Ameer," and "Khalifah."[1] After the sermon, Muhammad instructed everyone to pledge allegiance to Ali. According to both Shia and Sunni sources, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were all among those who pledged allegiance to Ali at the event.[2][3][4]

After Muhammad's death, however, some of Muhammad's companions left and gathered at a place known as Saqifa. At Saqifa, Umar pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, despite their previous pledges of allegiance to Ali. Abu Bakr then assumed political power, and his supporters became known as the Sunnis. Despite that, a group of Muslims kept their allegiance to Ali. These people, who became known as Shias, held that while Ali's right to be the political leader may have been taken, he was still the religious and spiritual leader after Muhammad.

Ecumenical caliphates[edit]

Rashidun Caliphate (8 June 632 – 29 January 661)[edit]

# Calligraphic Name (and titles) Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Relationship with Muhammad Parents House Notes
1 Rashidun Caliph Abu Bakr as-Șiddīq (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa) - أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن عثمان التيمي القرشي أول الخلفاء الراشدين.svg Abū Bakr
(أبو بكر)
'Abdullah
Aṣ-Ṣiddīq
573 8 June 632 22 August 634
  • Father of Aisha, Muhammad's wife
Banu Taim
2 Rashidun Caliphs Umar ibn Al-Khattāb - عُمر بن الخطّاب ثاني الخلفاء الراشدين.svg ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab
(عمر بن الخطاب)
Al-Farooq
584 23 August 634 3 November 644
(Assassinated by a Persian)
  • Father of Hafsa, Muhammad's wife
Banu Adi
3 Rashidun Caliph Uthman ibn Affan - عثمان بن عفان ثالث الخلفاء الراشدين.svg 'Uthman ibn 'Affan
(عثمان بن عفان)
Dhun Nurayn
579 11 November 644 20 June 656
(Assassinated at the end of a siege upon his house)
Banu Ummaya
4 Rashidun Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib - علي بن أبي طالب.svg 'Ali ibn Abi-Talib
(علي بن أبي طالب)
Amir al-Mu'minin
Haydar
15 September 601 20 June 656 29 January 661
(Assassinated during Fajr prayer in Kufa)
  • Muhammad's first cousin
  • Husband of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah
  • Husband of Umamah bint Zainab, Muhammad's granddaughter
  • All modern descendants of Muhammad are through Ali
Banu Hashim
  • Only person to have been born in the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam
  • First male to openly accept Islam
  • Proclaimed as Muhammad's successor at the event of Ghadir Khumm shortly before Muhammad's death
  • Considered as the first successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims

Hasan ibn Ali's Caliphate (661)[edit]

# Calligraphic Name (and titles) Birth Reigned from Reigned until Death Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph) Parents House Notes
5 AlHassan3.png Ḥasan ibn ʿAli
(الحسن بن علي)

Ahl al-Bayt
Al-Mujtaba[5]
624 661 (six or seven months) 670
  • Grandson of Muhammad
  • Son of 'Ali ibn Abi-Talib
Banu Hashim
  • Considered as the second successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims
  • Abdicated for Mu'awiyah
  • Also known as the 5th Rashidun Caliph

Umayyad Caliphate (661 – 6 August 750)[edit]

# Calligraphic/Coin Name (and titles) Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph) Parents Notes
6 Caliph Muawiya Calligaprhy.png Mu'awiyah I
(معاوية)
602 661 29 April or 1 May 680
  • Worked as one of at least 29 scribes during the time of Muhammad
  • Became Governor of Syria during 'Umar's reign until his bay'ah as caliph
  • Officially transformed caliphate from elective monarchy by shura into hereditary monarchy
7 Drachm of Yazid I, 676-677.jpg Yazid I
(يزيد)
647 680 11 November 683
8 Mu'awiyah II
(معاوية الثاني)
664 November 683 684
  • Last Ummayad Caliph from Sufyanid line
  • Abdicated without children
9 Marwan I
(مروان بن الحکم)
623–626 684 7 May 685
  • Marwan's ascension pointed to a shift in the lineage of the Umayyad dynasty from descendants of Abu Sufyan (the "Sufyanids") to those of Hakam (the "Marwanids"), both of whom were grandsons of Umayya (for whom the Umayyad dynasty is named)
10 Dinar of Abd al-Malik, AH 75.jpg 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
(عبد الملك بن مروان)
646 685 8 October 705
  • Marwan I, Ummayad Caliph
  • 'Aisha bint Muawiya ibn Al-Mughira
11 الوليد بن عبد الملك.png Al-Walid I
(الوليد الأول)
668 October 705 23 February 715
12 سليمان بن عبد الملك.png Sulayman ibn 'Abd al-Malik
(سلیمان بن عبدالملک)
674 February 715 22 September 717
13 عمر بن عبد العزيز.png 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz
(عمر بن عبد العزيز)
2 November 682 September 717 February 720
  • Grandson of Marwan I
  • First cousin of Al-Walid I and Sulayman ibn 'Abd al-Malik
  • Great-grandson of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab from female-line
14 يزيد بن عبد الملك.png Yazid II
(يزيد الثاني)
687 10 February 720 26 January 724
15 2هشام بن عبد الملك.png Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik
(هشام بن عبد الملك)
691 26 January 724 6 February 743
16 (أمير المؤمنين أبي العباس الوليد بن يزيد الأموي القرشي العبشمي (رحمه الله.png Al-Walid II
(الوليد الثاني)
709 6 February 743 17 April 744 (assassinated)
  • Son of Yazid II
  • Nephew of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik
17 Yazid ibn Muawiya.jpg Yazid III
(يزيد الثالث)
701 17 April 744 3/4 October 744
18 Ibrahim ibn al-Walid
(ابراهيم ابن الوليد)
744 (few weeks) 25 January 750
(executed)
19 Marwan II
(مروان بن محمد)
691 744 6 August 750
(killed)
  • Grandson of Marwan I

Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258 and 1261–1517)[edit]

Caliphs of Baghdad (25 January 750 – 20 February 1258)[edit]

(Not accepted by the Muslim dominions in the Umayyad-ruled Iberian Peninsula and the Fatimid and Almohad-ruled parts of North Africa).[6][7]

# Image Regnal name Personal name Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Parents Notes
20 Balami - Tarikhnama - Abu'l-'Abbas al-Saffah.jpg As-Sāffaḥ 'Abdallah Abul-'Abbās 721 750 10 June 754
21 Abbasid Dinar - Al Mansur - 140 AH (758 AD).JPG Al-Mansur Abu Ja'far 'Abdallah 714 10 June 754 775
  • Remembered for killing Ja'far al-Sadiq, who was a descendant of Muhammad, the sixth Shia Imam and a major figure in Sunni jurisprudence[8]
22 Arab-Sasanian coin of the Tabaristan type issued under Caliph al-Mahdi.jpg Al-Mahdi Abu 'Abdallah Muhammad 744/745 775 4 August 785
  • Named al-Mahdi by al-Mansur in order to turn the attention of his subjects from the ‘Alid family toward the family of 'Abbas[9]
23 Dirhem of Al-Hadi, AH 170.jpg Al-Hadi Abu Muhammad Musa 764 August 785 14 September 786
24 Gold dinar of Harun al-Rashid, AH 170-193.jpg Al-Rashid Harun 763/766 14 September 786 24 March 809
25 Abbasid Dinar - Al Amin - 195 AH (811 AD).jpg Al-Amin Muhammad 787 March 809 24/25 September 813
26 Coin of the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun.jpg Al-Ma'mun Abu Jaʿfar 'Abdallah 13/14 September 786 September 813 9 August 833
27 Byzantine emissaries to the Caliph (cropped).jpg Al-Mu'tasim Abū Ishaq Muhammad October 796 9 August 833 5 January 842
28 Dinar of al-Wathiq, AH 227-232.jpg Al-Wathiq Abu Ja'far Harun 811–813 5 January 842 10 August 847
29 Dinar of Al-Mutawakkil, AH 232-247.jpg Al-Mutawakkil Ja'far February/March 822 10 August 847 11 December 861
(assassinated)
30 Dirhem of al-Muntasir, AH 247-248.jpg Al-Muntasir Abu Ja'far Muhammad November 837 861 7 or 8 June 862
31 Dinar of Al-Musta'in, AH 248-252.jpg Al-Musta'in Ahmad 836 862 866 (executed)
32 Dinar of al-Mu'tazz, AH 253.jpg Al-Mu'tazz 847 866 869
33 Dirham of al-Muhtadi, AH 255-256.jpg Al-Muhtadi Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad 869 21 June 870
34 Dinar of al-Mu'tamid, AH 271.jpg Al-Mu'tamid Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad 842 21 June 870 15 October 892
35 Dinar of al-Mu'tadid, AH 285.jpg Al-Mu'tadid Abu'l-'Abbas Ahmad 854/861 October 892 5 April 902
36 Dinar of al-Muktafi, AH 292.jpg Al-Muktafi Abu Ahmad ʿAlî 877/878 5 April 902 13 August 908
37 Dinar of al-Muqtadir with Abu'l-Abbas and Amid al-Dawla.jpg Al-Muqtadir Abu al-Fadl Ja'far 895 13 August 908 929 31 October 932
(killed)
38 Gold dinar of al-Qahir, AH 320-322.jpg Al-Qahir Abu Mansur Muhammad 899 929 950
(37) Dinar of al-Muqtadir with Abu'l-Abbas and Amid al-Dawla.jpg Al-Muqtadir Abu al-Fadl Ja'far 895 929 31 October 932
(killed)
(38) Gold dinar of al-Qahir, AH 320-322.jpg Al-Qahir Abu Mansur Muhammad 899 31 October 932 934 950
39 Gold dinar of al-Radi, 323 AH.jpg Ar-Radi Abu al-'Abbas Muhammad December 909 934 23 December 940
40 Dirham of al-Muttaqi.jpg Al-Muttaqi Abu Ishaq Ibrahim 908 940 944 July 968
41 Al-Mustakfi 'Abdallah 905 September 944 January 946 September/October 949
42 Al-Muti Abu al-Qasim al-Faḍl 914 January 946 974
43 At-Ta'i 932 974 991 3 August 1003
44 Mahmud in robe from the caliph.jpg Al-Qadir 947 1 November 991 29 November 1031
45 Al-Qa'im 1001 29 November 1031 2 April 1075
46 Al-Muqtadi 1056 2 April 1075 February 1094
  • Muhammad, son of Al-Qa'im, Abbasid Caliph
  • Urjuman, Armenian concubine
47 Al-Mustazhir April/May 1078 February 1094 6 August 1118
48 Al-Mustarshid April/May 1092 6 August 1118 29 August 1135
49 Ar-Rashid 1109 29 August 1135 1136 6 June 1138
(killed by Hashshashins)
50 Dinar of Al-Muqtafi, 905-906.jpg Al-Muqtafi 9 March 1096 1136 12 March 1160
51 Al-Mustanjid 1124 12 March 1160 20 December 1170
52 Al-Mustadi Hassan 1142 20 December 1170 30 March 1180
53 An-Nasir 6 August 1158 2 March 1180 4 October 1225
54 Az-Zahir 1176 5 October 1225 11 July 1226
55 Al-Mustansir Abû Ja`far 17 February 1192 11 July 1226 2 December 1242
56 Dinar Abbasside - al-Musta'sim bi-llah - 641 AH.jpg Al-Musta'sim 1213 2 December 1242 20 February 1258
  • Last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad
Interregnum

During the latter period of Abbasid rule, Muslim rulers began using other titles, such as Sultan.

Caliphs of Cairo (13 June 1261 – 22 January 1517)[edit]

The Cairo Abbasids were largely ceremonial Caliphs under the patronage of the Mamluk Sultanate that existed after the takeover of the Ayyubid dynasty.[10][11]

# Regnal name Personal name Reign Parents Notes
57 Al-Mustansir II Abu al-Qasim Ahmad 13 June 1261 – 28 November 1261
  • Installed as Caliph in Cairo, Egypt by the Mamluk Sultans in 1261
  • Title caliph also claimed by Al Hakim I who was installed as caliph by ruler of Aleppo
58 Al-Hakim I Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad 16 November 1262 – 19 January 1302
  • Abu 'Ali al-Hasan
  • Great-grandson of Al-Mustarshid
  • Installed as caliph by ruler of Aleppo in 1261
  • Proclaimed as caliph by Mamluk Sultan after Al-Mustansir II died
59 Al-Mustakfi I Abu ar-Rabi' Sulaiman 20 January 1302 – February 1340
60 Al-Wathiq I Abu Ishaq Ibrahim February 1340 – 17 June 1341
61 Al-Hakim II Abu al-'Abbas Ahmad 1341 – 1352
62 Al-Mu'tadid I Abu Bakr 1352 – 1362
63 Al-Mutawakkil I Abu 'Abdillah Muhammad 1362 – 1377
64 Al-Mus'tasim Abu Yahya Zakariya 1377
(63) Al-Mutawakkil I Abu 'Abdillah Muhammad 1377 – 1383
65 Al-Wathiq II 'Umar September 1383 – 13 November 1386
(64) Al-Mus'tasim Abu Yahya Zakariya 1386 – 1389
(63) Al-Mutawakkil I Abu 'Abdillah Muhammad 1389 – 9 January 1406
66 Al-Musta'in Abu al-Fadl al-'Abbas 22 January 1406 – 9 March 1414
  • Became Sultan of Egypt from 7 May 1412 until 6 November 1412
67 Al-Mu'tadid II Abu al-Fath Dawud 1414 – 1441
68 Al-Mustakfi II Abu ar-Rabi' Sulayman 1441 – 29 January 1451
69 Al-Qa'im Abu Al-Baqa Hamzah 1451 – 1455
70 Al-Mustanjid Abu al-Mahasin Yusuf 1455 – 7 April 1479
71 Al-Mutawakkil II Abu al-'Izz 'Abdul 'Aziz 5 April 1479 – 27 September 1497
72 Al-Mustamsik Abu as-Sabr 1497 – 1508
73 Al-Mutawakkil III Muhammad 1508 – 1516
(72) Al-Mustamsik Abu as-Sabr 1516 – 1517
(73) Al-Mutawakkil III Muhammad 1517

Ottoman Caliphate (1517 – 3 March 1924)[edit]

The head of the Ottoman dynasty was just entitled Sultan originally, but soon it started accumulating titles assumed from subjected peoples.[12][13] Murad I (reigned 1362–1389) was the first Ottoman claimant to the title of Caliph; claimed the title after conquering Edirne.[14]

# Portrait Tughra Name Reign Parents Notes
74 Yavuz Sultan I. Selim Han.jpg Tughra of Selim I Selim I 1517 – 21 September 1520
  • Reigned until his death.[15]
75 Semailname 47b.jpg Tughra of Suleiman I Suleiman I 30 September 1520 – 6 or 7 September 1566
  • Reigned until his death.[16]
76 II Selim.jpg Tughra of Selim II Selim II 29 September 1566 – 21 December 1574
  • Reigned until his death.[17]
77 Sultan Murad III.jpeg Tughra of Murad III Murad III 22 December 1574 – 16 January 1595
  • Selim II
  • Nurbanu Sultan, Venetian or Spanish, haseki sultan and valide sultan
  • Reigned until his death.[18]
78 Sultan Mehmet III (reigned 1595-1603) Enthroned, Attended by Two Janissaries LACMA M.85.237.34.jpg Tughra of Mehmed III Mehmed III 27 January 1595 – 20 or 21 December 1603
  • Reigned until his death.[19]
79 Sultan I. Ahmet.jpg Tughra of Ahmed I Ahmed I 21 December 1603 – 22 November 1617
  • Reigned until his death.[20]
80 I Mustafa (cropped).jpg Tughra of Mustafa I Mustafa I 22 November 1617 – 26 February 1618
81 Genç Osman.JPG Tughra of Osman II Osman II 26 February 1618 – 19 May 1622
  • Deposed in a Janissary riot on 19 May 1622;
  • Murdered on 20 May 1622 by the Grand Vizier Kara Davud Paşa (Black Da'ud Pasha) from compression of his testicles.[22]
(80) I Mustafa (cropped).jpg Tughra of Mustafa I Mustafa I 20 May 1622 – 10 September 1623
82 Murad IV minature.jpg Tughra of Murad IV Murad IV 10 September 1623 – 8 or 9 February 1640
  • Reigned until his death.[23]
83 Ibrahim I.jpg Tughra of Ibrahim Ibrahim 9 February 1640 – 8 August 1648
84 IV Mehmet.jpg Tughra of Mehmed IV Mehmed IV 8 August 1648 – 8 November 1687
85 II Suleyman.jpg Tughra of Suleiman II Suleiman II 8 November 1687 – 22 June 1691
  • Reigned until his death.[26]
86 Ahmet II.jpg Tughra of Ahmed II Ahmed II 22 June 1691 – 6 February 1695
  • Reigned until his death.[27]
87 II Mustafa.jpg Tughra of Mustafa II Mustafa II 6 February 1695 – 22 August 1703
  • Deposed on 22 August 1703 by reason of the Janissary uprising known as the Edirne Event;
  • Died in Istanbul on 8 January 1704.[28]
88 Levni 002.jpeg Tughra of Ahmed III Ahmed III 22 August 1703 – 1 or 2 October 1730
89 Mahmud I by John Young.jpg Tughra of Mahmud I Mahmud I 2 October 1730 – 13 December 1754
  • Reigned until his death.[30]
90 Osman III by John Young.jpg Tughra of Osman III Osman III 13 December 1754 – 29 or 30 October 1757
  • Reigned until his death.[31]
91 Sultan Mustafa III.jpg Tughra of Mustafa III Mustafa III 30 October 1757 – 21 January 1774
  • Reigned until his death.[32]
92 Abdulhamid I minature.jpg Tughra of Abdülhamid I Abdülhamid I 21 January 1774 – 6 or 7 April 1789
  • Reigned until his death.[33]
93 Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki - Sultan Selim III - Google Art Project.jpg Tughra of Selim III Selim III 7 April 1789 – 29 May 1807
  • Mustafa III

Mehr-î-Shâh (Mihr-î-Şâh) Vâlidā Sultân;

94 IV. Mustafa.jpg Tughra of Mustafa IV Mustafa IV 29 May 1807 – 28 July 1808
95 MahmutII.jpg Tughra of Mahmud II Mahmud II 28 July 1808 – 1 July 1839 Abdülhamid I
96 Sultan Abdülmecid - Google Art Project.jpg Tughra of Abdülmecid I Abdülmecid I 1 July 1839 – 25 June 1861
97 Abdul-aziz (cropped).JPG Tughra of Abdülaziz Abdülaziz I 25 June 1861 – 30 May 1876
  • Deposed by his ministers;
  • Found dead (suicide or murder) five days later.[38]
98 Portrait of Murad V.jpg Tughra of Murad V Murad V 30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
  • Deposed due to his efforts to implement democratic reforms in the empire;
  • Ordered to reside in Çırağan Palace where he died on 29 August 1904.[39]
99 Abdul Hamid II in Balmoral Castle in 1867.jpg Tughra of Abdülhamid II Abdülhamid II 31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
100 Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire cropped.jpg Tughra of Mehmed V Mehmed V 27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918
101 Sultan Mehmed VI of the Ottoman Empire.jpg Tughra of Mehmed VI Mehmed VI 4 July 1918 – 1 November 1922
102 Portrait Caliph Abdulmecid II.jpg
[c]
Abdülmecid II 18 November 1922 – 3 March 1924

The Office of the Caliphate was transferred to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey which dissolved the office on March 3, 1924, in keeping with the policies of secularism that were adopted in the early years of the Republic of Turkey by its President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

After the dissolution of the Office of the Caliphate, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey founded the Presidency of Religious Affairs as the new highest Islamic religious authority in the country.

Non-ecumenical caliphates[edit]

Caliphates not accepted as legitimate by the majority of muslims.

Ibn al-Zubayr's Caliphate (684–692)[edit]

Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, the nephew of Aisha, the third wife of Muhammad led a rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate in 684 AD. He was proclaimed caliph in Mecca but was defeated and killed there in 692 AD after a six-month siege by general Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf.[46]

Ummayad Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031)[edit]

(Not universally accepted; actual authority confined to Spain and parts of Maghreb)[47][48]

Name Reign Parents Notes
Abd-ar-Rahman III 929–961
Al-Hakam II 961–976
Hisham II al-Hakam 976–1009
Muhammad II 1009
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam 1009–1010
Hisham II al-Hakam 1010–1013
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam 1013–1016
Abd ar-Rahman IV 1021–1022
Abd ar-Rahman V 1022–1023
Muhammad III 1023–1024
  • Abd ar-Rahman bin Ubayd Allah bin Abd ar-Rahman III, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
  • Hawra
Hisham III 1027–1031
  • Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Malik bin Abd ar-Rahman III, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
  • 'Ateb

Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171)[edit]

The Fatimid Caliphate

(The Fatimids belonged to the Isma'ili branch of Shia Islam and hence are not recognized by the majority of Sunnis, whether subjects in their dominions, or from neighboring states).[49][50]

Name Reign Parents Notes
Al-Mahdi Billah 909–934
  • Descendant of Fatimah, youngest daughter of Muhammad
  • Founder of the Fatimid dynasty
Al-Qa'im Bi-Amrillah 934–946
Al-Mansur Billah 946–953
Al-Muizz Lideenillah 953–975 Egypt is conquered during his reign
Al-Aziz Billah 975–996
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah 996–1021
Ali az-Zahir 1021–1036
Al-Mustansir Billah 1036–1094
Al-Musta'li 1094–1101 Quarrels over his succession led to the Nizari split
Al-Amir 1101–1130 The Fatimid rulers of Egypt after him are not recognized as Imams by Mustaali Taiyabi Isma'ilis
Al-Hafiz 1130–1149
Al-Zafir 1149–1154
Al-Faiz 1154–1160
Al-Azid 1160–1171

Almohad Caliphate (1145–1269)[edit]

The Almohad dynasty at its greatest extent (c. 1200)

(Not widely accepted, actual dominions were parts of North Africa and Iberia)[51][52]

Name Reign Notes
Abd al-Mu'min 1145–1163
Abu Yaqub Yusuf I 1163–1184
Yaqub al-Mansur 1184–1199
Muhammad an-Nasir 1199–1213
Abu Ya'qub Yusuf II 1213–1224
Abd al-Wahid I 1224
Abdallah al-Adil 1224–1227
Yahya 1227–1235
Idris I 1227–1232
Abdul-Wahid II 1232–1242
Ali 1242–1248
Umar 1248–1266
Idris II 1266–1269

Sokoto Caliphate (1804–1903)[edit]

The Sokoto Caliphate (pink) at its greatest extent (c. 1800)

(Not widely accepted, actual dominions were parts of West Africa)

Established by Tariqa Islamic scholar and religious leader Usman dan Fodio through the Fulani War (alternatively known as the Fulani Jihad), which sought to reduce the influence of pre-Islamic religious practices and spread a more vigorous form of Islam through the auspices of a Caliphate.

Bornu and Songhai Empires[edit]

The Bornu Empire at its greatest extent (c. 1750)
Songhai Empire at its greatest extent (c. 1500)

Several rulers of West Africa adopted the title of Caliph. Mai Ali Ghaji ibn Dunama was the first ruler of Bornu Empire to assume the title. Askia Mohammad I of Songhai Empire also assumed the title around the same time.[53]

Non-ecumenical caliphates declared after 1900[edit]

Since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, there has been no single recognized, "ecumenical" caliphate.

Sharifian Caliphate (1924–1931)[edit]

Map with the kingdom in green and the current region in red.

A last attempt at restoring the caliphal office and style with ecumenical recognition was made by Hussein bin Ali, King of Hejaz and Sharif of Mecca, who assumed both on 11 March 1924 and held them until 3 October 1924, when he passed the kingship to his son `Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Hashimi, who did not adopt the caliphal office and style.[54] Hussein's claim for caliphate was not accepted however, and in 1925 he was driven from Hejaz by the forces of Ibn Saud due to his lack of support for Shari'ah. He continued to use the title of caliph during his remaining life in exile, until his death in 1931. Like the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphs, he was a descendant of Muhammad through a grandson of Hasan ibn Ali.

Ahmadiyya Caliphate (1908–present)[edit]

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Flag.

Khalīfatul Masīh (Arabic: خليفة المسيح‎; Urdu: خلیفہ المسیح‎; English: Successor of the Messiah) or Khalifa of Ahmadiya Community [55] sometimes simply referred to as Khalifah (i.e. Caliph, successor) is the elected spiritual and organizational leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community and is the successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian who had claimed to be the Mahdi and Messiah in their community. The Caliph is believed to be divinely guided and is also referred to by members of the Ahmadiyya Community as Amir al-Mu'minin (Leader of the Faithful). The fifth and current Khalifatul Masih is Mirza Masroor Ahmad. The rest of the major sections of Islam that are Sunni and Shiya, do not believe in this caliphate system.

After the death of Ghulam Ahmad, his successors directed the Ahmadiyya Community from Qadian which remained the headquarters of the community until 1947 with the creation of Pakistan. From this time on the headquarters remained in Rabwah, a town built on land bought in Pakistan by the community in 1948. In 1984, Ordinance XX was promulgated by the government of Pakistan which rendered the Khalifatul Masih unable to perform his duties and put the very institution in jeopardy. Due to these circumstances, Khalifatul Masih IV left Pakistan and migrated to London, England, provisionally moving the headquarters to the Fazl Mosque.[56]

ISIL/ISIS claim (2014–present)[edit]

On 29 June 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) started to call itself "Islamic State" and call its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "caliph Ibrahim".[57][58] The validity of this caliphate has not been recognized by any Islamic authority outside of the 10-million-people territory[59] under control of Islamic State.[60]

On 24 August 2014, the leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Abubakar Shekau, likewise declared a caliphate. Apparently, it remained unclear whether Shekau declared his group to be part of ISIL or if he was declaring a separate caliphate in Nigeria.[61] On 7 March 2015, Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIL via an audio message posted on the organisation's Twitter account.[62][63] Afterwards, Boko Haram assumed the name "Wilāyat al Sūdān al Gharbī" (Arabic: ولاية السودان الغربي‎, "West Africa Province") or "Islamic State in West Africa" (Iswap).[64] However, on the 10th of April, 2018, during a rally headlined by U.S. President Donald Trump in support of Mike Braun’s bid for the US Senate in Elkhart, Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence referred to ISIS as a Caliphate, claiming “ISIS is on the run, their Caliphate has crumbled, and we will soon drive them out of existence once and for all,” implying the US views the claims of Baghdadi as (at least rhetorically) legitimate.[65]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]