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caliph

caliph Leader of the Muslim community. After the death of Muhammad, Abu Bakr was chosen to be his caliph (successor). The role was originally elective but later became hereditary. The title remained with the Ottoman sultans (1517–1924), after which it was abolished. Sunni Muslims recognize the first four caliphs: Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali. Shiites accept authority as passing directly from Muhammad to Ali.

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caliph

ca·liph / ˈkālif; ˈkal-/ • n. hist. the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of Muhammad. DERIVATIVES: cal·iph·ate / ˈkāləˌfāt; ˈkal-; -fit/ n.

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caliph

caliph the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of Muhammad. The caliph ruled in Baghdad until 1258 and then in Egypt until the Ottoman conquest of 1517; the title was then held by the Ottoman sultans until it was abolished in 1924.

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caliph

caliph Muslim chief ruler (successor of Muhammad). XIV. — (O)F. caliphe (medL. calīpha, -es) — Arab. ḵalīfa, f. ḵalofa succeed.
So caliphate XVIII. — F. caliphat (medL. caliphātus); see -ATE 1.

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Caliph

Caliph (successor, representative): see KHALĪFA.

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caliph

caliphbiff, cliff, glyph, if, kif, miff, niff, quiff, riff, skew-whiff, skiff, sniff, spliff, stiff, tiff, whiff •mischief • handkerchief •neckerchief • kerchief • Cardiff •Radcliffe •bailiff, calif, caliph •Wyclif • Northcliffe • anaglyph •hieroglyph • tariff •serif, sheriff •midriff • hippogriff • mastiff • caitiff •plaintiff • pontiff • Joseph

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