List of Caliphs
|Residence||al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah (Medina)|
|Formation||8 June 632|
|First holder||Abū Bakr as-Șiddīq|
|Final holder||Abdülmecid II|
|Abolished||3 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.
- 1 Background
- 2 Ecumenical caliphates
- 2.1 Rashidun Caliphate (8 June 632 – 29 January 661)
- 2.2 Hasan ibn Ali's Caliphate (661)
- 2.3 Umayyad Caliphate (661 – 6 August 750)
- 2.4 Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258)
- 2.5 Abbasid Dynasty of Cairo (1261 – 1517)
- 2.6 Ottoman Caliphate (1517 – 3 March 1924)
- 3 Non-ecumenical caliphates
- 4 Non-ecumenical caliphates declared after 1900
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
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." 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.
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.
Rashidun Caliphate (8 June 632 – 29 January 661)
|#||Calligraphic||Name (and titles)||Born||Reigned from||Reigned until||Died||Relationship with Muhammad||Parents||House||Notes|
|573||8 June 632||22 August 634||
|2||ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab
(عمر بن الخطاب)
|584||23 August 634||3 November 644
(Assassinated by a Persian)
|3||'Uthman ibn 'Affan
(عثمان بن عفان)
|579||11 November 644||20 June 656
(Assassinated at the end of a siege upon his house)
|4||'Ali ibn Abi-Talib
(علي بن أبي طالب)
|15 September 601||20 June 656||29 January 661
(Assassinated during Fajr prayer in Kufa)
Hasan ibn Ali's Caliphate (661)
|#||Calligraphic||Name (and titles)||Birth||Reigned from||Reigned until||Death||Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph)||Parents||House||Notes|
|5||Ḥasan ibn ʿAli
(الحسن بن علي)
|624||661 (six or seven months)||670||
Umayyad Caliphate (661 – 6 August 750)
|#||Calligraphic/Coin||Name (and titles)||Born||Reigned from||Reigned until||Died||Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph)||Parents||Notes|
|602||661||29 April or 1 May 680||
|647||680||11 November 683||
(مروان بن الحکم)
|623–626||684||7 May 685||
|10||'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
(عبد الملك بن مروان)
|646||685||8 October 705||
|668||October 705||23 February 715||
|12||Sulayman ibn 'Abd al-Malik
(سلیمان بن عبدالملک)
|674||February 715||22 September 717||
|13||'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz
(عمر بن عبد العزيز)
|2 November 682||September 717||February 720||
|687||10 February 720||26 January 724||
|15||Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik
(هشام بن عبد الملك)
|691||26 January 724||6 February 743||
|709||6 February 743||17 April 744 (assassinated)||
|701||17 April 744||3/4 October 744||
|18||Ibrahim ibn al-Walid
(ابراهيم ابن الوليد)
|744 (few weeks)||25 January 750
(مروان بن محمد)
|691||744||6 August 750
Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258)
|#||Image||Regnal name||Personal name||Born||Reigned from||Reigned until||Died||Parents||Notes|
|20||As-Sāffaḥ||'Abdallah Abul-'Abbās||721||750||10 June 754||
|21||Al-Mansur||Abu Ja'far 'Abdallah||714||10 June 754||775||
|22||Al-Mahdi||Abu 'Abdallah Muhammad||744/745||775||4 August 785||
|23||Al-Hadi||Abu Muhammad Musa||764||August 785||14 September 786|
|24||Al-Rashid||Harun||763/766||14 September 786||24 March 809|
|25||Al-Amin||Muhammad||787||March 809||24/25 September 813|
|26||Al-Ma'mun||Abu Jaʿfar 'Abdallah||13/14 September 786||September 813||9 August 833||
|27||Al-Mu'tasim||Abū Ishaq Muhammad||October 796||9 August 833||5 January 842||
|28||Al-Wathiq||Abu Ja'far Harun||811–813||5 January 842||10 August 847||
|29||Al-Mutawakkil||Ja'far||February/March 822||10 August 847||11 December 861
|30||Al-Muntasir||Abu Ja'far Muhammad||November 837||861||7 or 8 June 862||
|33||Al-Muhtadi||Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad||869||21 June 870||
|34||Al-Mu'tamid||Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad||842||21 June 870||15 October 892||
|35||Al-Mu'tadid||Abu'l-'Abbas Ahmad||854/861||October 892||5 April 902||
|36||Al-Muktafi||Abu Ahmad ʿAlî||877/878||5 April 902||13 August 908||
|37||Al-Muqtadir||Abu al-Fadl Ja'far||895||13 August 908||929||31 October 932
|38||Al-Qahir||Abu Mansur Muhammad||899||929||950||
|(37)||Al-Muqtadir||Abu al-Fadl Ja'far||895||929||31 October 932
|(38)||Al-Qahir||Abu Mansur Muhammad||899||31 October 932||934||950||
|39||Ar-Radi||Abu al-'Abbas Muhammad||December 909||934||23 December 940||
|40||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||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||
|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||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||Al-Musta'sim||–||1213||2 December 1242||20 February 1258||
During the latter period of Abbasid rule, Muslim rulers began using other titles, such as Sultan.
Abbasid Dynasty of Cairo (1261 – 1517)
|#||Regnal name||Personal name||Reign||Parents||Notes|
|57||Al-Mustansir||Abu al-Qasim Ahmad||13 June 1261 – 28 November 1261||
|58||Al-Hakim I||Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad||16 November 1262 – 19 January 1302||
|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||
|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|
Ottoman Caliphate (1517 – 3 March 1924)
The head of the Ottoman dynasty was just entitled Sultan originally, but soon it started accumulating titles assumed from subjected peoples. Murad I (reigned 1362–1389) was the first Ottoman claimant to the title of Caliph; claimed the title after conquering Edirne.
|74||Selim I||1517 – 21 September 1520||
|75||Suleiman I||30 September 1520 – 6 or 7 September 1566||
|76||Selim II||29 September 1566 – 21 December 1574||
|77||Murad III||22 December 1574 – 16 January 1595||
|78||Mehmed III||27 January 1595 – 20 or 21 December 1603||
|79||Ahmed I||21 December 1603 – 22 November 1617||
|80||Mustafa I||22 November 1617 – 26 February 1618|
|81||Osman II||26 February 1618 – 19 May 1622||
|(80)||Mustafa I||20 May 1622 – 10 September 1623|
|82||Murad IV||10 September 1623 – 8 or 9 February 1640||
|83||Ibrahim||9 February 1640 – 8 August 1648|
|84||Mehmed IV||8 August 1648 – 8 November 1687||
|85||Suleiman II||8 November 1687 – 22 June 1691||
|86||Ahmed II||22 June 1691 – 6 February 1695||
|87||Mustafa II||6 February 1695 – 22 August 1703||
|88||Ahmed III||22 August 1703 – 1 or 2 October 1730||
|89||Mahmud I||2 October 1730 – 13 December 1754||
|90||Osman III||13 December 1754 – 29 or 30 October 1757||
|91||Mustafa III||30 October 1757 – 21 January 1774||
|92||Abdülhamid I||21 January 1774 – 6 or 7 April 1789||
|93||Selim III||7 April 1789 – 29 May 1807||
|94||Mustafa IV||29 May 1807 – 28 July 1808|
|95||Mahmud II||28 July 1808 – 1 July 1839||Abdülhamid I|
|96||Abdülmecid I||1 July 1839 – 25 June 1861||
|97||Abdülaziz I||25 June 1861 – 30 May 1876||
|98||Murad V||30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876||
|99||Abdülhamid II||31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909||
|100||Mehmed V||27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918||
|101||Mehmed VI||4 July 1918 – 1 November 1922||
|Abdülmecid II||18 November 1922 – 3 March 1924|
The Office of Ottoman 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 Ottoman Caliphate, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey founded the Presidency of Religious Affairs as the new highest Islamic religious authority in the country.
Caliphates not accepted as legitimate by the majority of muslims.
Ibn al-Zubayr's Caliphate (684–692)
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.
Ummayad Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031)
|Hisham II al-Hakam||976–1009|
|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||
Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171)
|Al-Muizz Lideenillah||953–975||Egypt is conquered during his reign|
|Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah||996–1021|
|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|
Almohad Caliphate (1145–1269)
|Abu Yaqub Yusuf I||1163–1184|
|Abu Ya'qub Yusuf II||1213–1224|
|Abd al-Wahid I||1224|
Sokoto Caliphate (1804–1903)
(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
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.
Non-ecumenical caliphates declared after 1900
Since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, there has been no single recognized, "ecumenical" caliphate.
Sharifian Caliphate (1924–1925)
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. 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 Abbasid and Fatimid caliphs, he was a descendant of Muhammad through a grandson of Hasan ibn Ali.
ISIL/ISIS claim (2014–present)
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". The validity of this caliphate has not been recognized by any Islamic authority outside of the 10-million-people territory under control of Islamic State.
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. On 7 March 2015, Shekau pledged allegiance to ISIL via an audio message posted on the organisation's Twitter account. 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). 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." This does not, however, imply the United States recognizes or supports ISIL's claim to the caliphate.
ISIL Flag (Black Standard).
Areas controlled by ISIL Areas in which ISIL has claimed to have presence or control
Ahmadiyya Caliphate (1908–present)
Khalīfatul Masīh (Arabic: خليفة المسيح; Urdu: خلیفہ المسیح; English: Successor of the Messiah) or Khalifa of Ahmadiya Community  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 since Mirza Ghulam Ahmed claimed to be a prophet which is against the belief of Muslims that Mohammad was the last prophet , hence leading the group being considered to be not accociated with Islam by the rest of the Islamic community.
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.
- Worldwide Caliphate
- Amir al-Mu'minin
- Shaykh al-Islām
- Grand Imam of al-Azhar
- Succession to Muhammad
- History of Islam
- Shi'a Islam
- Sunni Islam
- Sharifate of Mecca
- Sharif of Mecca
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