Khalif, Chalif, Titel der Nachfolger Mohammeds als religiöses u. weltl. Oberhaupt des Islam. Reichs.
Sinonimi: calif | kaliph | kalif | khalif
ETYM Old Eng. caliphe, califfe, French calife (cf. Spanish califa), from Arabic khalîfan successor, from khalafa to succed.
The civil and religious leader of a Muslim state; a successor of Muhammad; SYN. calif, kaliph, kalif, khalif.
Ruler of Islam. Title of civic and religious heads of the world of Islam. The first caliph was Abu Bakr. Nominally elective, the office became hereditary, held by the Umayyad dynasty 661–750 and then by the Abbasid dynasty. After the death of the last Abbasid (1258), the title was claimed by a number of Muslim chieftains in Egypt, Turkey, and India. The most powerful of these were the Turkish sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
The title was adopted by the prophet Mohammed's successors. During the 10th century the political and military power passed to the leader of the caliph's Turkish bodyguard; about the same time, an independent Fatimid caliphate sprang up in Egypt. The last of the Turkish caliphs was deposed by Kemal Atatürk in 1924.