List of caliphs

Khalīfah (Caliph)
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
Style Amir al-Mu'minin
Appointer Hereditary (since 661)
Formation 8 June 632
First holder Abu Bakr
Final holder Abdulmejid II
Abolished 3 March 1924
Succession None

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.


After the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632, a succession crisis arose as Muhammad had not left a generally acknowledged heir. The Ansar (natives of Medina) gathered to decide on a new leader of the Muslim community among themselves. Abu Bakr, a prominent companion of Muhammad, addressed that an attempt to elect a leader outside of Muhammad's tribe, the Quraysh, would likely result in dissension in the community. He presented Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah to the Ansar as potential choices. Another suggestion was that the Quraysh and the Ansar choose a leader each from among themselves, who would then rule jointly. Eventually, Umar swore his own allegiance to Abu Bakr, citing his prominence among the companions. Others soon followed, accepting Abu Bakr near-universally as the first Caliph of Islam.

Abu Bakr and the three caliphs following him are regarded as the Rashidun Caliphs (or rightly-guided caliphs) by the adherents of Sunni Islam. Abu Bakr nominated Umar as his successor on his deathbed. Umar, the second caliph, was assassinated by a Persian named Piruz Nahavandi. His successor, Uthman, was elected by a council of electors (majlis). Uthman was killed by members of a disaffected group. Ali then took control but was not universally accepted as caliph by the governors of Egypt, headed by Muawiyah, who wanted revenge for Uthman's murder. This culminated into the Fitna, or the first Islamic civil war. Ali was assassinated by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Khawarij. His son, Hasan ibn Ali abdicated in favor of Muawiyah, who transformed the caliphate into a hereditary office, thus founding the Umayyad dynasty.

Ecumenical caliphates

Rashidun Caliphate (8 June 632 – 29 January 661)

No. Calligraphic/Coin 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)
573 8 June 632 (03-13-11 AH) 22 August 634
  • Father of Aisha, Muhammad's wife
Banu Taim
  • Approximately the fourth person to accept Islam after the beginning of Muhammad's prophethood
  • Launched the Ridda Wars in 632
2 Rashidun Caliphs Umar ibn Al-Khattāb - عُمر بن الخطّاب ثاني الخلفاء الراشدين.svg ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab
(عمر بن الخطاب)
584 23 August 634 (06-22-13 AH) 3 November 644
  • Father of Hafsa, Muhammad's wife
Banu Adi
  • Became a Muslim in approximately the sixth year of Muhammad's prophethood
3 Rashidun Caliph Uthman ibn Affan - عثمان بن عفان ثالث الخلفاء الراشدين.svgFirst Islamic coins by caliph Uthman-mohammad adil rais.jpg 'Uthman ibn 'Affan
(عثمان بن عفان)
Dhun Nurayn
579 11 November 644 (01-05-24 AH) 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.svgIslamic coin, Time of the Rashidun. Khosrau type. AH 31-41 AD 651-661.jpg 'Ali ibn Abi Talib
(علي بن أبي طالب)
Amir al-Mu'minin
Abu Turab
15 September 601 20 June 656 (12-21-35 AH) 29 January 661
(assassinated while praying in the Mosque of 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
  • Born in the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam
  • First male to openly accept Islam
  • Considered the first successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims

Hasan ibn Ali's Caliphate (661)

No. Calligraphic/Coin Name (and titles) Birth Reigned from Reigned until Death Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph) Parents House Notes
الحسن ابن علي.svg
Coin from the time of Hassan ibn Ali.jpg
Ḥasan ibn ʿAli
(الحسن بن علي)

Ahl al-Bayt
624 661 (six or seven months) 670
  • Grandson of Muhammad
  • Son of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib
Banu Hashim
  • Considered the second successor to Muhammad by Shia Muslims
  • Made a treaty with Mu'awiyah that led to the latter assuming political power
  • Also known as the 5th Rashidun Caliph

Umayyad Caliphate (661 – 6 August 750)

No. Image/Coin Name (and titles) Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Relationship with Muhammad (or previous Caliph) Parents Notes
6 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
  • Worked as one of at least 29 scribes during the time of Muhammad
  • Became Governor of Syria during the reign of Umar
7 Drachm of Mu'awiya I, 676-677.jpg Yazid I
647 680 11 November 683
8 Umayyad Caliphate. temp. Mu'awiya II ibn Yazid. AH 64 AD 683-684.jpg Mu'awiyah II
(معاوية الثاني)
664 November 683 684
  • Last Ummayad Caliph from Sufyanid line
  • Died without children
9 Drachm from Yazid I to Marwan I; Talha governor.jpg 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)

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

'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 Gold dinar of al-Walid obverse, 707-708 CE.jpg Al-Walid I
(الوليد الأول)
668 October 705 23 February 715
12 Umayya Sulayman Dinar.jpg Sulayman ibn 'Abd al-Malik
(سلیمان بن عبدالملک)
674 February 715 22 September 717
13 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
  • Great-grandson of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab from female-line
14 Yazid II. Dinar.jpg Yazid II
(يزيد الثاني)
687 10 February 720 26 January 724
Bust of the standing caliph statue .png
Dihrem of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik.jpg
Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik
(هشام بن عبد الملك)
691 26 January 724 6 February 743
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
  • Nephew of Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik
17 Dihrem of Yazid III ibn al-Walid, AH 126.jpg Yazid III
(يزيد الثالث)
701 17 April 744 3/4 October 744
18 Dihrem of Ibrahim ibn al-Walid.jpg Ibrahim ibn al-Walid
(ابراهيم ابن الوليد)
744 (few weeks) 25 January 750
19 Dirham of Marwan II ibn Muhammad, AH 127-132.jpg Marwan II
(مروان بن محمد)
691 744 6 August 750
  • Grandson of Marwan I

Abbasid Caliphate (25 January 750 – 20 February 1258)

No. Image/Coin Regnal name Personal name Born Reigned from Reigned until Died Parents Notes
Balami - Tarikhnama - Abu'l-'Abbas al-Saffah.jpg
Dirhem of al-Saffah, AH 132-136.jpg
As-Sāffaḥ 'Abdallah Abul-'Abbās 721 750 10 June 754
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
  • Remembered for killing Ja'far al-Sadiq, who was a descendant of Muhammad, the sixth Shia Imam and a major figure in Sunni jurisprudence[2]
22 Abbasid al-Mahdi dirham Kirman 166AH.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[3]
23 Dirhem of Al-Hadi, AH 170.jpg Al-Hadi Abu Muhammad Musa 764 August 785 14 September 786
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
25 Abbasid Dinar - Al Amin - 195 AH (811 AD).jpg Al-Amin Muhammad 787 March 809 24/25 September 813
Mamun sends an envoy to Theophilos (cropped).png
Coin of the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun.jpg
Al-Ma'mun Abu Jaʿfar 'Abdallah 13/14 September 786 September 813 9 August 833
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
28 Dinar of al-Wathiq, AH 227-232.jpg Al-Wathiq Abu Ja'far Harun 811–813 5 January 842 10 August 847

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

Al-Mutawakkil Ja'far February/March 822 10 August 847 11 December 861
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)
Al-Mu'tazz (cropped).jpg
Dinar of al-Mu'tazz, AH 253.jpg
Al-Mu'tazz Abū ʿAbd allāh Muhammad 847 866 869
33 Dirham of al-Muhtadi, AH 255-256.jpg Al-Muhtadi Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad 869 21 June 870
  • Al-Wathiq, Abbasid Caliph
  • Qurb (greek concubine)
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
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
(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
  • Beginning of the later Abbasid period
41 Dirham of al Al-Mustakfi 334h.jpg Al-Mustakfi 'Abdallah 905 September 944 January 946 September/October 949
42 Dinar Al-Muti(334-363h).jpg Al-Muti Abu al-Qasim al-Faḍl 914 January 946 974
43 Adud al-DawlaOtherFirstCoinHistoryofIran.jpg At-Ta'i Abd al-Karīm 932 974 991 3 August 1003
44 Mahmud coin minted in Ghazni.jpg Al-Qadir Ahmad 947 1 November 991 29 November 1031
45 TughrilCoin.jpg Al-Qa'im Abu Ja'far 1001 29 November 1031 2 April 1075
46 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
47 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
49 Al-Rashid Billah Abu Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr 1109 29 August 1135 1136 6 June 1138
(killed by Hashshashins)
50 Dinar of Al-Muqtafi, 905-906.jpg Al-Muqtafi Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad 9 March 1096 1136 12 March 1160
51 Al-Mustanjid Abū'l-Muẓaffar Yūsuf 1124 12 March 1160 20 December 1170
52 Turquoise glass stamp of calif Mustadi 1170 1180.jpg Al-Mustadi Hassan 1142 20 December 1170 30 March 1180
53 Dinar of Al-Nasir 607h.jpg An-Nasir Abu'l-ʿAbbās Ahmad 6 August 1158 2 March 1180 4 October 1225
54 Al-Zahir Muhammad 1176 5 October 1225 11 July 1226
55 Al-Mustansir Abû Ja`far al-Manṣūr 17 February 1192 11 July 1226 2 December 1242
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
  • Last Abbasid Caliph

During the later period of Abbasid rule, Muslim rulers began using other titles, such as 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.[6][7]

No. Regnal name Personal name Reign Parents Notes
57 Al-Mustansir 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)

The head of the Ottoman dynasty was just entitled Sultan originally, but soon it started accumulating titles assumed from subjected peoples.[8][9] Murad I (reigned 1362–1389) was the first Ottoman claimant to the title of Caliph; claimed the title after conquering Edirne.[10]

No. Image Tughra Name Reign Parents Notes
Yavuz Sultan I. Selim Han.jpg
Tughra of Selim I
Selim I 1517 – 21 September 1520
  • Reigned until his death.[11]
Tughra of Suleiman I
Suleiman I 30 September 1520 – 6 or 7 September 1566
  • Reigned until his death.[12]
II. Selim Han.jpg
Tughra of Selim II
Selim II 29 September 1566 – 21 December 1574
  • Reigned until his death.[13]
Sultan Murad III.jpeg
Tughra of Murad III
Murad III 22 December 1574 – 16 January 1595
  • Reigned until his death.[14]
Sultan Mehmet III of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Tughra of Mehmed III
Mehmed III 27 January 1595 – 20 or 21 December 1603
  • Reigned until his death.[15]
Sultan I. Ahmet.jpg
Tughra of Ahmed I
Ahmed I 21 December 1603 – 22 November 1617
  • Reigned until his death.[16]
I Mustafa (cropped).jpg
Tughra of Mustafa I
Mustafa I 22 November 1617 – 26 February 1618
Osman 2.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.[18]
I Mustafa (cropped).jpg
Tughra of Mustafa I
Mustafa I 20 May 1622 – 10 September 1623
Murad IV.jpg
Tughra of Murad IV
Murad IV 10 September 1623 – 8 or 9 February 1640
  • Reigned until his death.[19]
Ibrahim I.jpg
Tughra of Ibrahim
Ibrahim 9 February 1640 – 8 August 1648
Sultan Mehmed IV (2).jpg
Tughra of Mehmed IV
Mehmed IV 8 August 1648 – 8 November 1687
Süleyman II.jpg
Tughra of Suleiman II
Suleiman II 8 November 1687 – 22 June 1691
  • Reigned until his death.[22]
Ahmet II.jpg
Tughra of Ahmed II
Ahmed II 22 June 1691 – 6 February 1695
  • Reigned until his death.[23]
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.[24]
III. Ahmet.jpg
Tughra of Ahmed III
Ahmed III 22 August 1703 – 1 or 2 October 1730
Tughra of Mahmud I
Mahmud I 2 October 1730 – 13 December 1754
  • Reigned until his death.[26]
Tughra of Osman III
Osman III 13 December 1754 – 29 or 30 October 1757
  • Reigned until his death.[27]
Tughra of Mustafa III
Mustafa III 30 October 1757 – 21 January 1774
  • Reigned until his death.[28]
Portrait of Abdülhamid I of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Tughra of Abdülhamid I
Abdul Hamid I 21 January 1774 – 6 or 7 April 1789
  • Reigned until his death.[29]
Joseph Warnia-Zarzecki - Sultan Selim III - Google Art Project.jpg
Tughra of Selim III
Selim III 7 April 1789 – 29 May 1807
IV. Mustafa.jpg
Tughra of Mustafa IV
Mustafa IV 29 May 1807 – 28 July 1808
Tughra of Mahmud II
Mahmud II 28 July 1808 – 1 July 1839
Sultan Abdülmecid - Google Art Project.jpg
Tughra of Abdülmecid I
Abdulmejid I 1 July 1839 – 25 June 1861
Tughra of Abdulaziz
Abdulaziz 25 June 1861 – 30 May 1876
  • Deposed by his ministers;
  • Found dead (suicide or murder) five days later.[34]
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.[35]
Abdul Hamid II in Balmoral Castle in 1867-colored.jpg
Tughra of Abdülhamid II
Abdul Hamid II 31 August 1876 – 27 April 1909
Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire cropped.jpg
Tughra of Mehmed V
Mehmed V 27 April 1909 – 3 July 1918
Sultan Mehmed VI of the Ottoman Empire.jpg
Tughra of Mehmed VI
Mehmed VI 4 July 1918 – 1 November 1922
Portrait Caliph Abdulmecid II.jpg

[nb 1]
Abdulmejid II 18 November 1922 – 3 March 1924

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.

Non-ecumenical caliphates

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.[42]

No. Coin Name (and titles) Birth Reigned from Reigned until Death Parents House Notes
1 Silver dirham of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr May, 624 AD November, 683 AD November, 692 AD November, 692 AD *al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam *Asma bint Abi Bakr, Banu Asad Grandchild of Abu Bakar as-Siddiq
(the first holder of Rashidun Caliphate)

Ummayad Caliphate of Córdoba (929–1031)

(Not universally accepted; actual authority confined to Spain and parts of Maghreb)[43][44]

Name Reign Parents Notes
Abd-ar-Rahman III 929–961
Al-Hakam II 961–976
Hisham II al-Hakam 976–1009
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
Hisham II al-Hakam 1010–1013
Sulayman ibn al-Hakam 1013–1016
Abd ar-Rahman IV 1021–1022
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

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).[45][46]

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 bi-Nasr Allah 946–953
Al-Muizz Lideenillah 953–975 Egypt is conquered during his reign. Cairo is founded and becomes the new seat of the dynasty.
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 NizariMusta'li schism
Al-Amir 1101–1130
Al-Hafiz 1130–1149
  • Muhammad ibn al-Mustansir
HafiziTayyibi schism in Musta'li Isma'ilism
Al-Zafir 1149–1154
Al-Faiz 1154–1160
Al-Azid 1160–1171 Saladin abolishes the Fatimid Caliphate

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)[47][48]

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

Indian caliphates

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.[49][50][51][52]

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.

Bornu and Songhai Empires

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

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

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.[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 Fatimid caliphs, he was a descendant of Muhammad through a grandson of Hasan ibn Ali.

Islamic State

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.[55][56] The caliphate's claimed territory at its peak controlled 12 million people. Territories under the control of the Islamic State included Wilayat Al-'iraq, Wilyat Ash-sham, Wilayat gharb Ifriqiyyah (the state of West Africa), Wilayat Sharq Asia (the State of North Asia), Wilayat Khorasan, Wilayat wasat Ifriqiyyah (the State of Central of Africa), Wilayat Al-Yaman (the State of Yemen), and Wilayat Sina' (the State of Sinai).[57][58][failed verification]

On 7 March 2015, Abubakar Shekau pledged allegiance to The Islamic State via an official audio message.[59][60] Afterwords, jama'ah Ahlu-sunnah lilda'wah wal-jihad assumed the name "Wilāyat Gharb Ifriqiyyah" (Arabic: ولاية غرب إفريقية‎, "West Africa Province") or "Islamic State of West Africa" (ISWAP).[61]

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."[62]

No. Image "Caliph" Date of birth Reigned from Reigned until
1 Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 2004.jpg Abu-Bakr Ibrahim bin Awwad bin Ibrahim bin Ali bin Muhammad Al-Badri Al-Husaini Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi As-sammera'i al-Baghdadi 28 July 1971 29 June 2014 27 October 2019
2 Hajji‘Abdallah.jpg Abu-Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Quraishi Unknown 31 October 2019 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 the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as Amir al-Mu'minin (Leader of the Faithful). The fifth and 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.[66]

See also