List of Caliphs

This article is a list of people who have held or claimed the title of Caliph (Arabic: خليفة), the supreme religious and political leader of an Islamic state known as the caliphate (Arabic:خلافة).[1][2] Caliphs led the Muslim Ummah as political successors to the Prophet Muhammad,[3] and widely-recognised caliphates have existed in various forms for most of Islamic history.[4]

The first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, was ruled by the four Rashidun caliphs (Arabic:الخلفاء الراشدون,lit. ’Rightly Guided Caliphs’), Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, who are considered by Sunni Muslims to have been the most virtuous and pure caliphs. They were chosen by popular acclamation or by a small committee, in contrast with the following caliphates, which were mostly hereditary.[5] On the other hand, Shiites only recognise Ali and consider the first three caliphs to be usurpers.

The Rashidun caliphate ended with the First Fitna, which transferred authority to the Umayyad dynasty that presided over the Umayyad Caliphate, the largest caliphate and the last one to actively rule the entire Muslim world.[6]

The Abbasid Revolution overthrew the Ummayads and instituted the Abbasid dynasty which ruled over the Abbasid Caliphate.[7] The Abbassid Caliphate was initially strong and united, but gradually fractured into several states whose rulers only paid lip service to the caliph in Baghdad. There were also rivals to the Abbasids who claimed the caliphates for themselves, such as the Isma’ili Shia Fatimids, the Sunni Ummayyads in Córdoba and the Almohads, who followed their own doctrine. When Baghdad fell to the Mongols, the Abbassid family relocated to Cairo, where they continued to claim caliphal authority but had no political power, and actual authority was in the hands of the Mamluk Sultanate.

After the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil III was taken to Constantinople, where he surrendered the caliphate to the Ottoman Sultan Selim I. The caliphate then remained in the House of Osman until after the First world war. The Ottoman Sultanate was abolished in 1922 by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The head of the House of Osman, Abdulmejid II, retained the title of caliph for two more years, after which the caliphate was abolished in 1924.

Rashidun Caliphate (632–661)

Calligraphic name Name (in Arabic) Born (CE) Reigned from (CE) Reigned until (CE) Died Relationship with Muhammad House Notes
20131203 Istanbul 091.jpg
Abu Bakr
(أبو بكر الصديق)
573 8 June 632 22 August 634

Father of Aisha, Muhammad’s wife

Banu Taim

First man to embrace Islam[8]

Chosen to succeed Muhammad in the Saqifa[8]

Led the Ridda Wars against rebel tribes[8]

20131203 Istanbul 118.jpg
(عمر بن الخطاب)
584 23 August 634 3 November 644
(assassinated by Abu Lu’lu’a Firuz)

Father of Hafsa, Muhammad’s wife

Banu Adi  
Ayasofya 13 (cropped).JPG
(عثمان بن عفان)
579 11 November 644 20 June 656
(assassinated at the end of a siege upon his house; see First Fitna)

Husband of Muhammad’s daughters, Ruqayya and later Umm Kulthum, and grandson of Muhammad’s paternal aunt

Banu Ummaya  
Istanbul - Santa Sofia - Medalló (cropped).JPG
(علي بن أبي طالب)
601 20 June 656 29 January 661
(assassinated while praying in the Mosque of Kufa; see First Fitna)

Muhammad’s cousin, and husband of Fatimah, Muhammad’s daughter and Umamah bint Zainab, Muhammad’s granddaughter

Banu Hashim  

Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)

Image/Coin Name Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph) Parents
Anonymous - Muawiya with Councillors, from a manuscript of Hafiz-i Abru’s Majma’ al-tawarikh - 1983.94.4 - Yale University Art Gallery.jpg

Arab-Sasanian coin of Muawiyah I, struck at the Fasa mint in Darabjird (Fars).jpg

Mu’awiyah I
602 661 29 April or 1 May 680

Half-brother of Umm Habiba, Muhammad’s wife

Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and Hind bint ‘Utbah

Drachm of Mu'awiya I, 676-677.jpg Yazid I
647 680 11 November 683

Son of Mu’awiyah I

Mu’awiyah I (C) and Maysun bint Bahdal

Umayyad Caliphate. temp. Mu'awiya II ibn Yazid. AH 64 AD 683-684.jpg Mu’awiyah II
(معاوية الثاني)
664 November 683 684

Son of Yazid I

Yazid I (C) and Umm Muawiya al-Kalbiyya

Drachm from Yazid I to Marwan I; Talha governor.jpg Marwan I
(مروان بن الحکم)
623–626 684 7 May 685

First cousin of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan

Hakam ibn Abi al-‘As and Āmina bint ʿAlqama al-Kinānīyya

Gold dinar of Abd al-Malik 697-98.png

‘Abd al-Malik
(عبد الملك بن مروان)
646 685 8 October 705

Son of Marwan I

Marwan I (C) and ‘Aisha bint Muawiya ibn Al-Mughira

Gold dinar of al-Walid 707-708 CE.jpg Al-Walid I
(الوليد الأول)
668 October 705 23 February 715

Son of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan

‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (C) and Walida bint al-‘Abbas

Umayya Sulayman Dinar.jpg Sulayman
(سلیمان بن عبدالملک)
674 February 715 22 September 717

Son of Abd al-Malik and younger brother of Al-Walid I

Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, Ummayad Caliph and Walida bint al-‘Abbas

Gold dinar of Umar II.jpg ‘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 and great-grandson of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab from female-line

‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Marwan and Umm Asim

Yazid II. Dinar.jpg Yazid II
(يزيد الثاني)
687 10 February 720 26 January 724

Son of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan

‘Abd al-Malik (C) and Atikah bint Yazid

Bust of the standing caliph statue .png

Dihrem of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik.jpg

(هشام بن عبد الملك)
691 26 January 724 6 February 743

Son of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan

Abd al-Malik (C) and Fatimah bint Hisham

Umayyad fresco of Prince (future caliph) Walid bin Yazid.jpg

Gold dinar of al-Walid II ibn Yazid, AH 125-126.jpg

Al-Walid II
(الوليد الثاني)
709 6 February 743 17 April 744 (assassinated)

Son of Yazid II and nephew of Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik

Yazid II (C) and Umm al-Hajjaj bint Muhammad al-Thaqafi

Dihrem of Yazid III ibn al-Walid, AH 126.jpg Yazid III
(يزيد الثالث)
701 17 April 744 3/4 October 744

Son of Al-Walid I

Al-Walid I (C) and Shah-i Afrid

Dihrem of Ibrahim ibn al-Walid.jpg Ibrahim
(ابراهيم ابن الوليد)
  744 (few weeks) 25 January 750

Son of Al-Walid I

Al-Walid I (C) and Budayra (also known as Su’ar)

Dirham of Marwan II ibn Muhammad, AH 127-132.jpg Marwan II
(مروان بن محمد)
691 744 6 August 750

Cousin of Al-Walid I, Sulayman, Umar, Yazid II and Hisham.

Muḥammad ibn Marwān and Umm Marwan

Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258)

Image/Coin Regnal name Personal name Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Parents
Balami - Tarikhnama - Abu'l-'Abbas al-Saffah.jpg

Dirhem of al-Saffah, AH 132-136.jpg

As-Sāffaḥ Abul-‘Abbās ‘Abdallah 721 25 January 750 10 June 754
  • Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Abdallah
  • Raita al-Harsia
Abu Jaafar al-Mansur (cropped).jpg

Abbasid Dinar - Al Mansur - 140 AH (758 AD).JPG

Al-Mansur Abu Ja’far ‘Abdallah 714 10 June 754 775
  • Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Abdallah
  • Sallamah
Abbasid al-Mahdi dirham Kirman 166AH.jpg Al-Mahdi Abu ‘Abdallah Muhammad 744/745 775 4 August 785
  • Al-Mansur, Abbasid Caliph
  • Arwa bint Mansur al-Himyari
Dirhem of Al-Hadi, AH 170.jpg Al-Hadi Abu Muhammad Musa 764 August 785 14 September 786
  • Al-Mahdi, Abbasid Caliph
  • Al-Khayzuran bint ‘Atta
Harun al-Rashid cropped.png

Gold dinar of Harun al-Rashid, AH 170-193.jpg

Al-Rashid Harun 763/766 14 September 786 24 March 809
  • Al-Mahdi, Abbasid Caliph
  • Al-Khayzuran bint ‘Atta
Abbasid Dinar - Al Amin - 195 AH (811 AD).jpg Al-Amin Muhammad 787 March 809 24/25 September 813
  • Harun ar-Rashid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Zubaidah bint Ja`far, granddaughter of Al-Mansur, Abbasid Caliph
Mamun sends an envoy to Theophilos (cropped).png

Coin of the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun.jpg

Al-Ma’mun Abu al-Abbas ‘Abdallah 13/14 September 786 September 813 9 August 833
  • Harun ar-Rashid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Marajil
Byzantine emissaries to the Caliph (cropped).jpg

Abbasid Dinar - Al-Mu'tasim-225h.jpg

Al-Mu’tasim Abū Ishaq Muhammad October 796 9 August 833 5 January 842
  • Harun ar-Rashid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Marida bint Shabib
Deaths of Al-Wathiq and Muhammad B. Baiis Jalis (recto), Death of Anbakh (verso), Folio from a Tarikh-I Alfi Manuscript LACMA M.78.9.4 (1 of 2).jpg

Dinar of al-Wathiq, AH 227-232.jpg

Al-Wathiq Abu Ja’far Harun 811–813 5 January 842 10 August 847
  • Al-Mu’tasim, Abbasid Caliph
  • Qaratis

Dinar of Al-Mutawakkil, AH 232-247.jpg

Al-Mutawakkil Ja’far February/March 822 10 August 847 11 December 861
  • Al-Mu’tasim, Abbasid Caliph
  • Shuja
Dirhem of al-Muntasir, AH 247-248.jpg Al-Muntasir Abu Ja’far Muhammad November 837 861 7 or 8 June 862
  • Al-Mutawakkil, Abbasid Caliph
  • Hubshiya, a Greek concubine
Dinar of Al-Musta'in, AH 248-252.jpg Al-Musta’in Ahmad 836 862 866 (executed)
  • Muhammad ibn al-Mu’tasim, Abbasid prince
  • Makhariq (concubine)
Al-Mu'tazz (cropped).jpg

Dinar of al-Mu'tazz, AH 253.jpg

Al-Mu’tazz Abū ʿAbd allāh Muhammad 847 866 869
  • Al-Mutawakkil, Abbasid Caliph
  • Qabiha
Dirham of al-Muhtadi, AH 255-256.jpg Al-Muhtadi Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad   869 21 June 870
  • Al-Wathiq, Abbasid Caliph
  • Qurb (greek concubine)
Dinar of al-Mu'tamid, AH 271.jpg Al-Mu’tamid Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad 842 21 June 870 15 October 892
  • Al-Mutawakkil, Abbasid Caliph
  • Fityan
Dinar of al-Mu'tadid, AH 285.jpg Al-Mu’tadid Abu’l-‘Abbas Ahmad 854/861 October 892 5 April 902
  • Al-Muwaffaq, Abbasid prince and Commander-in-chief
  • Dirar
Dinar of al-Muktafi, AH 292.jpg Al-Muktafi Abu Muhammad ʿAlî 877/878 5 April 902 13 August 908
  • Al-Mu’tadid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Jijak
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
  • Al-Mu’tadid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Shaghab
Gold dinar of al-Qahir, AH 320-322.jpg Al-Qahir Abu Mansur Muhammad 899 929 950
  • Al-Mu’tadid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Fitnah
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
  • Al-Mu’tadid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Shaghab
Gold dinar of al-Qahir, AH 320-322.jpg Al-Qahir Abu Mansur Muhammad 899 31 October 932 934 950
  • Al-Mu’tadid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Fitnah
Gold dinar of al-Radi, 323 AH.jpg Al-Radi Abu al-‘Abbas Muhammad December 909 934 23 December 940
  • Al-Muqtadir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Zalum
Dirham of al-Muttaqi.jpg Al-Muttaqi Abu Ishaq Ibrahim 908 940 944 July 968
  • Al-Muqtadir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Khalub also known as Zuhra
Dirham of al Al-Mustakfi 334h.jpg Al-Mustakfi Abu’l-Qasim ‘Abdallah 905 September 944 January 946 September/October 949
  • Al-Muktafi, Abbasid Caliph
  • Ghusn, Greek concubine
Dinar Al-Muti(334-363h).jpg Al-Muti Abu al-Qasim al-Faḍl 914 January 946 5 August 974 12 October 974
  • Al-Muqtadir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Mash’ala
Adud al-DawlaOtherFirstCoinHistoryofIran.jpg At-Ta’i Abd al-Karīm 932 974 991 3 August 1003
  • Al-Muti, Abbasid Caliph
  • Hazar also known as Atab
Mahmud coin minted in Ghazni.jpg Al-Qadir Abu’l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Ishaq ibn al-Muqtadir 947 1 November 991 29 November 1031
  • Ishaq ibn al-Muqtadir, Abbasid prince
  • Dimna
TughrilCoin.jpg Al-Qa’im Abu Ja’far 1001 29 November 1031 2 April 1075
  • Al-Qadir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Badr al-Dija also known as Qatr al-Nida
Dinar of Malik Shah I, AH 465-485.jpg Al-Muqtadi Abū’l-Qāsim ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muhammad ibn al-Qa’im 1056 2 April 1075 February 1094
  • Muhammad ibn al-Qa’im Abbasid prince,
  • Urjuman, (Armenian concubine)
MuhammadITaparSeljuqCoin.jpg Al-Mustazhir Abū l-ʿAbbās Ahmad April/May 1078 February 1094 6 August 1118
  • Al-Muqtadi, Abbasid Caliph
  • Altın (Turkic concubine)
Al-Mustarshid Billah (cropped).jpg
Al-Mustarshid Abū’l-Manṣūr al-Faḍl April/May 1092 6 August 1118 29 August 1135
  • Al-Mustazhir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Lubaba
  Al-Rashid Billah Abu Jaʿfar Manṣūr 1109 29 August 1135 1136 6 June 1138
(killed by Hashshashins)
  • Al-Mustarshid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Khushf
Dinar of al-Muktafi, 905-906.jpg Al-Muqtafi Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad 9 March 1096 1136 12 March 1160
  • Al-Mustazhir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Ashin Umm Muhammad
Dirham of Najm al-Din Alpi, AH 547-572.jpg Al-Mustanjid Abū’l-Muẓaffar Yūsuf 1124 12 March 1160 20 December 1170
  • Al-Muqtafi, Abbasid Caliph
  • Thawus
Turquoise glass stamp of calif Mustadi 1170 1180.jpg Al-Mustadi Hassan 1142 20 December 1170 30 March 1180
  • Al-Mustanjid, Abbasid Caliph
  • Ghadha
Dinar of Al-Nasir 607h.jpg Al-Nasir Abu’l-ʿAbbās Ahmad 6 August 1158 2 March 1180 4 October 1225
  • Al-Mustadi, Abbasid Caliph
  • Zumurrud, concubine
Qarlughids. Sind. Saif al-Din al-Hasan 1239-1249 In the name of the Abbasid Caliph, al-Zahir struck 1225-1226.jpg Al-Zahir Abu Nasr Muhammad 1176 5 October 1225 11 July 1226
  • Al-Nasir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Asma
Dirham of Al-Mustansir, AH 623-640.jpg Al-Mustansir Abû Ja`far al-Manṣūr 17 February 1192 11 July 1226 2 December 1242
  • Az-Zahir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Zahra
Al-Musta'sim (cropped).JPG

Dinar Abbasside - al-Musta'sim bi-llah - 641 AH.jpg

Al-Musta’sim Abu Ahmad Abdallah 1213 2 December 1242 20 February 1258
  • Al-Mustansir, Abbasid Caliph
  • Hajir

During the later period of Abbasid rule, Muslim rulers began using other titles, such as Amir al-umara and Sultan.

Mamluk Abbasid dynasty (1261–1517)

The Cairo Abbasids were largely ceremonial Caliphs under the patronage of the Mamluk Sultanate that existed after the takeover of the Ayyubid dynasty.[9][10]

Regnal name Personal name Reign Parents
Al-Mustansir Abu al-Qasim Ahmad 13 June 1261 – 28 November 1261
  • Az-Zahir
Al-Hakim I Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad 16 November 1262 – 19 January 1302
  • Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan
Al-Mustakfi I Abu ar-Rabi’ Sulaiman 20 January 1302 – February 1340
  • Al-Hakim I
Al-Wathiq I Abu Ishaq Ibrahim February 1340 – 17 June 1341
  • Muhammad, son of Al-Hakim I
Al-Hakim II Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad 1341–1352
  • Al-Mustakfi I
Al-Mu’tadid I Abu Bakr 1352–1362
  • Al-Mustakfi I
Al-Mutawakkil I Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad 1362–1377
  • Al-Mu’tadid I
Al-Musta’sim Abu Yahya Zakariya 1377
  • Al-Wathiq I
Al-Mutawakkil I Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad 1377–1383
  • Al-Mu’tadid I
Al-Wathiq II ‘Umar September 1383 – 13 November 1386
  • Al-Wathiq I
Al-Musta’sim Abu Yahya Zakariya 1386–1389
  • Al-Wathiq I
Al-Mutawakkil I Abu ‘Abdillah Muhammad 1389 – 9 January 1406
  • Al-Mu’tadid I
Al-Musta’in Abu al-Fadl al-‘Abbas 22 January 1406 – 9 March 1414
  • Al-Mutawakkil I
  • Bay Khatun
Al-Mu’tadid II Abu al-Fath Dawud 1414–1441
  • Al-Mutawakkil I
  • Kazal
Al-Mustakfi II Abu ar-Rabi’ Sulayman 1441 – 29 January 1451
  • Al-Mutawakkil I
Al-Qa’im Abu Al-Baqa Hamzah 1451–1455
  • Al-Mutawakkil I
Al-Mustanjid Abu al-Mahasin Yusuf 1455 – 7 April 1479
  • Al-Mutawakkil I
Al-Mutawakkil II Abu al-‘Izz ‘Abdul ‘Aziz 5 April 1479 – 27 September 1497
  • Ya’qub bin Al-Mutawakkil I
  • Haj al-Malik
Al-Mustamsik Abu as-Sabr 1497–1508
  • Al-Mutawakkil II
Al-Mutawakkil III Muhammad 1508–1516
  • Al-Mustamsik
Al-Mustamsik Abu as-Sabr 1516–1517
  • Al-Mutawakkil II
Al-Mutawakkil III Muhammad 1517
  • Al-Mustamsik

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.[11][12] Murad I (reigned 1362–1389) was the first Ottoman claimant to the title of Caliph; claimed the title after conquering Edirne.[13]

Image Tughra Name Reign Parents
Yavuz Sultan I. Selim Han.jpg
Tughra of Selim I
Selim I 1517 – 21 September 1520
  • Bayezid II
  • Gülbahar Hatun
Tughra of Suleiman I
Suleiman I 30 September 1520 – 6 or 7 September 1566
  • Selim I
  • Hafsa Sultan
II. Selim Han.jpg
Tughra of Selim II
Selim II 29 September 1566 – 21 December 1574
  • Suleiman I
  • Hürrem Sultan
Sultan Murad III.jpeg
Tughra of Murad III
Murad III 22 December 1574 – 16 January 1595
  • Selim II
  • Nurbanu Sultan
Sultan Mehmet III of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Tughra of Mehmed III
Mehmed III 27 January 1595 – 20 or 21 December 1603
  • Murad III
  • Safiye Sultan
Sultan I. Ahmet.jpg
Tughra of Ahmed I
Ahmed I 21 December 1603 – 22 November 1617
  • Mehmed III
  • Handan Sultan
I Mustafa (cropped).jpg
Tughra of Mustafa I
Mustafa I 22 November 1617 – 26 February 1618
  • Mehmed III
  • Halime Sultan
Osman 2.jpg
Tughra of Osman II
Osman II 26 February 1618 – 19 May 1622
  • Ahmed I
  • Mahfiruz Hatun
I Mustafa (cropped).jpg
Tughra of Mustafa I
Mustafa I 20 May 1622 – 10 September 1623
  • Mehmed III
  • Halime Sultan
Murad IV.jpg
Tughra of Murad IV
Murad IV 10 September 1623 – 8 or 9 February 1640
  • Ahmed I
  • Kösem Sultan
Ibrahim I.jpg
Tughra of Ibrahim
Ibrahim 9 February 1640 – 8 August 1648
  • Ahmed I
  • Kösem Sultan
Sultan Mehmed IV (2).jpg
Tughra of Mehmed IV
Mehmed IV 8 August 1648 – 8 November 1687
  • Ibrahim
  • Turhan Sultan
Süleyman II.jpg
Tughra of Suleiman II
Suleiman II 8 November 1687 – 22 June 1691
  • Ibrahim
  • Aşub Sultan
Ahmet II.jpg
Tughra of Ahmed II
Ahmed II 22 June 1691 – 6 February 1695
  • Ibrahim
  • Muazzez Sultan
II. Mustafa.jpg
Tughra of Mustafa II
Mustafa II 6 February 1695 – 22 August 1703
  • Mehmed IV
  • Gülnuş Sultan
III. Ahmet.jpg
Tughra of Ahmed III
Ahmed III 22 August 1703 – 1 or 2 October 1730
  • Mehmed IV
  • Gülnuş Sultan
Tughra of Mahmud I
Mahmud I 2 October 1730 – 13 December 1754
  • Mustafa II
  • Saliha Sultan
Tughra of Osman III
Osman III 13 December 1754 – 29 or 30 October 1757
  • Mustafa II
  • Şehsuvar Sultan
Tughra of Mustafa III
Mustafa III 30 October 1757 – 21 January 1774
  • Ahmed III
  • Mihrişah Kadın
Portrait of Abdülhamid I of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Tughra of Abdülhamid I
Abdul Hamid I 21 January 1774 – 6 or 7 April 1789
  • Son of Ahmed III
  • Şermi Kadın
Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki - Sultan Selim III - Google Art Project.jpg
Tughra of Selim III
Selim III 7 April 1789 – 29 May 1807
  • Mustafa III
  • Mihrişah Sultan
IV. Mustafa.jpg
Tughra of Mustafa IV
Mustafa IV 29 May 1807 – 28 July 1808
  • Abdul Hamid I
  • Sineperver Sultan
Mahmud II.jpg
Tughra of Mahmud II
Mahmud II 28 July 1808 – 1 July 1839
  • Abdul Hamid I
  • Nakşidil Sultan
Sultan Abdülmecid - Google Art Project.jpg
Tughra of Abdülmecid I
Abdulmejid I 1 July 1839 – 25 June 1861
  • Mahmud II
  • Bezmiâlem Sultan
Tughra of Abdulaziz
Abdulaziz 25 June 1861 – 30 May 1876
  • Mahmud II
  • Pertevniyal Sultan
Portrait of Murad V.jpg
Tughra of Murad V
Murad V 30 May 1876 – 31 August 1876
  • Abdulmejid I
  • Şevkefza Kadın
Abdul Hamid II in Balmoral Castle in 1867-colored.jpg
Tughra of Abdülhamid II
Abdul Hamid II 31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
  • Abdulmejid I
  • Tirimüjgan Kadın
Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire cropped.jpg
Tughra of Mehmed V
Mehmed V 27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918
  • Abdulmejid I
  • Gülcemal Kadın
Sultan Mehmed VI of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Tughra of Mehmed VI
Mehmed VI 4 July 1918 – 1 November 1922
  • Abdulmejid I
  • Gülüstü Hanım
Portrait Caliph Abdulmecid II.jpg

[nb 1]
Abdulmejid II 18 November 1922 – 3 March 1924
  • Abdulaziz
  • Hayranidil Kadın;[14]

The Office of the 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 abolition 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.

Other caliphates

Hasan ibn Ali’s Caliphate (661)

After the death of Ali, the Muslims selected Hasan ibn Ali as the caliph. He successfully made a treaty with governor Mu’awiyah that led to the latter assuming political power. Later, he abdicated as the caliph after ruling for six or seven months.

Calligraphic/Coin Name (and titles) Birth Reigned from Reigned until Death Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph) Parents House
Coin from the time of Hassan ibn Ali.jpg
Hasan ibn Ali
(حسن بن علي)

Ahl al-Bayt
624 661 (six or seven months) 670
  • Grandson of Muhammad
  • Son of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib
  • ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib, fourth Rashidun Caliph and first Imam of Shia Islam
  • Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad and his first wife Khadijah
Banu Hashim

Abd Allah 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.[15]

Coin Name (and titles) Birth Reigned from Reigned until Death Parents House
Silver dirham of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr
(عبد الله ابن الزبير)
May, 624 AD November 683 AD November 692 AD November 692 AD
  • al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam
  • Asma bint Abi Bakr,
Banu Asad

Talib al-Haqq (747–748)

Calligraphic/Coin Name (and titles) Birth Reigned from Reigned until Death Parents House
  Talib al-Haqq
(طالب الحق)
709 745 748 749    

Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171)

The Fatimid Caliphate

(The Fatimids were Isma’ili Shia who claimed to be descendants of Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah and were seen as heretics by Sunnis. Their claims to a caliphate are also not recognized by the Muslim Ummah as a legitimate successor of the title of Caliph passed down from Muhammad, as no legitimate proof existed they were descendant from Fatimah).[16][17]

Name Reign Parents
Al-Mahdi Billah 909–934
  • Radi Abdullah, Imamah of Isma’ilism
Al-Qa’im Bi-Amrillah 934–946
  • Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah
Al-Mansur bi-Nasr Allah 946–953
  • Al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah
Al-Muizz Lideenillah 953–975
  • Al-Mansur bi-Nasr Allah
Al-Aziz Billah 975–996
  • Al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah 996–1021
  • Al-Aziz Billah
Ali az-Zahir 1021–1036
  • Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
Al-Mustansir Billah 1036–1094
  • Ali az-Zahir
Al-Musta’li 1094–1101
  • Al-Mustansir Billah
Al-Amir 1101–1130
  • Al-Musta’li
Al-Hafiz 1130–1149
  • Muhammad ibn al-Mustansir
Al-Zafir 1149–1154
  • Al-Hafiz
Al-Faiz 1154–1160

  • Al-Zafir
Al-Adid 1160–1171
  • Yusuf, son of Al-Hafiz

Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031)

(Not universally accepted; actual authority confined to Spain and parts of Maghreb)[18][19]

Name Reign Parents
Abd-ar-Rahman III 929–961
  • Muhammad ibn Abdullah son of the Emir of Córdoba Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Umawi
  • Muzna
Al-Hakam II 961–976
  • Abd-ar-Rahman III
  • Murjan
Hisham II al-Hakam 976–1009
  • Al-Hakam II
  • Subh
Muhammad II 1009
  • Hisham bin Abd al-Jabbar bin Abd ar-Rahman III, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
  • Muzna
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam 1009–1010
  • Al-Hakam bin Sulayman bin Abd ar-Rahman III, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
  • Thabiya
Hisham II al-Hakam 1010–1013
  • Al-Hakam II
  • Subh
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam 1013–1016
  • Al-Hakam bin Sulayman bin Abd ar-Rahman III, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
  • Thabiya
Abd ar-Rahman IV 1021–1022
  • Mohammed, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
Abd ar-Rahman V 1022–1023
  • Hisham bin Abd al-Jabbar bin Abd ar-Rahman III, grandson of Abd ar-Rahman III
  • Ghala
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

Almohad Caliphate (1145–1269)

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

(Not widely accepted, actual dominions were parts of North Africa and Iberia)[20][21]

Name Reign
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

Bornu and Songhai Empires (15th/16th century)

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.[22]

Indian caliphates (late medieval/early modern)

Since the 12th century, despite the South Asian domination of numerous Muslim empires, kingdoms and sultanates, Islamic caliphates were not fully attempted to be established across the Indian subcontinent. However, under the sharia based reigns of Sunni emperors such as Alauddin Khalji, Mughal Empire’s Aurangzeb, and Mysore’s rulers Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, absolute forms of caliphates were clearly to have appeared. These largely impacted the French-Italian emperor Napoleone Bonaparte and soldiers of the British Empire.[23][24][25][26]

Sokoto Caliphate (1804–1903)

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.

Ahmadiyya Caliphate (1908–present)

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Flag.

The Khalīfatul Masīh (Arabic: خليفة المسيح; Urdu: خلیفہ المسیح; English: Successor of the Messiah), sometimes simply referred to as Khalifah (i.e. Caliph, successor), is the elected spiritual and organizational leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is the successor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who had taken the titles of Mahdi and Messiah of Islam.[nb 2] The Caliph is believed to be divinely guided and is also referred to by members of current Khalifatul Masih is Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

After the death of Ghulam Ahmad, his successors directed the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from Qadian in Punjab, British India, which remained the headquarters of the community until 1947 with the independence of Pakistan. From this time on, the headquarters moved to and 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.[30]

Sharifian Caliphate (1924–1925)

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.[31] Like the Fatimid caliphs, he was a descendant of Muhammad through a grandson of Hasan ibn Ali. Hussein’s claim for caliphate was not accepted by the Wahhabi and Salafi movements, and in 1925 he was driven from Hejaz by the forces of Ibn Saud as an outcome of the Second Saudi-Hashemite War. He continued to use the title of caliph during his remaining life in exile, until his death in 1931.

Islamic State (2014–present)

On 29 June 2014, the Islamic State proclaimed the return of the Islamic caliphate, with its first “caliph” as Amir al-Mu’minin Abu Bakr Ibrahim bin Awwad Al-Badri Al-Husaini Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi As-sammera’i al-Baghdadi.[32][33] The caliphate’s claimed territory at its peak controlled 12 million people. At its height, Islamic State ruled territories in various countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Nigeria, Libya, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Congo, Yemen, and the Sinai region in Egypt, in addition to running guerrilla cells in many other countries.[34][35][failed verification]

In 2014-15, dozens of Salafi Jihadi groups[36] and scholars[37] around the world pledged alligience to ISIL claimed Caliphate.

On 10 April 2018, during a rally of U.S. President Donald Trump in Elkhart, Indiana in support of Mike Braun’s bid for the US Senate, 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.”[38]

As of early, 2022 Islamic State occupies some territory in Nigeria and has 3 million people under its rule;[39] and also it continues to maintain control over some of rural un-habitant areas in both Iraq and Syria[40][41]

No. Image “Caliph” Date of birth Reigned from Reigned until
1 Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 2004.jpg Abu-Bakr Ibrahim bin Awwad al-Baghdadi 28 July 1971 29 June 2014 27 October 2019
2 Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla.jpg Abu-Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi October 1976 31 October 2019 3 February 2022
3 Nour karim Mutni.jpg Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi Unknown 4 February 2022 October 2022
4 Calligraphic representation of Islamic State 4th leader, Abu Al-Hussein Al-Husseini.png Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi Unknown October 2022 Present


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