See also:borne originally by
See also:Abu Bekr, who, on the
See also:death of Mahomet, became the
See also:civil and religious
See also:head of the
See also:Mahommedan state . In the same sense the
See also:term is used in the
See also:Koran of both
See also:Adam and
See also:David as the vicegerents of
See also:God . Abu Bekr and his three (or four) immediate successors are known as the " perfect " caliphs; after them the title was borne by the thirteen Omayyad caliphs of
See also:Damascus, and subsequently by the
See also:thirty-seven Abbasid caliphs of
See also:Bagdad whose
See also:dynasty fell before the
See also:Turks in 1258 . By some rigid Moslems these rulers were regarded as only amirs, not caliphs . There were titular caliphs of Abbasid descent in
See also:Egypt from that date till 1517 when the last
See also:caliph was captured by
See also:Selim I . On the fall of the Omayyad dynasty at Damascus, the title was assumed by the
See also:Spanish branch of the
See also:family who ruled in Spain at Cordova (755-1031), and the Fatimite rulers of Egypt, who pretended to descent from
See also:Ali, and Fatima, Mahomet's daughter, also assumed the name (see FATIMITES) . According to the Shiite Moslems, who
See also:call the
See also:office the " imamate " or leadership, no caliph is legitimate unless he is a lineal descendant of the
See also:Prophet . The
See also:Sunnites insist that the office belongs to the tribe of Koreish (Quraish) to which Mahomet himself belonged, but this
See also:condition would vitiate the claim of the
See also:Turkish sultans, who have held the office since its transference by the last caliph to Selim I .
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