Definitions for caliphˈkeɪ lɪf, ˈkæl ɪf
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
ca•liphˈkeɪ lɪf, ˈkæl ɪf(n.)
or ca•lif 1
a former title for any of the religious and civil rulers of the Islamic world, claiming succession from Muhammad.
Origin of caliph:
1350–1400; ME caliphe, califfe < MF < ML calipha < Ar khalīf(a) successor (of Muhammad), der. of khalafa succeed
cal•iph•alˈkæl ə fəl, ˈkeɪ lə-(adj.)
caliph, calif, kaliph, kalif, khalif, khalifah(noun)
the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state considered to be a representative of Allah on earth
"many radical Muslims believe a Khalifah will unite all Islamic lands and people and subjugate the rest of the world"
The political leader of the Muslim world, successor of Muhammad's political authority, not religious or spiritual
Origin: From (khalīfä).
successor or vicar; -- a title of the successors of Mohammed both as temporal and spiritual rulers, now used by the sultans of Turkey
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
the title adopted by the successors of Mahomet, as supreme in both civil and religious matters. The principal caliphates are: (1) the Caliphate of the East, established by Abubekr at Mecca, transferred to Bagdad by the Abassides (632-1258); (2) the Caliphate of Cordova, established at Cordova by Abderrahman (756-1031); (3) the Caliphate of Egypt, established by the Fatimites (909-1171). It was at Bagdad that Moslem civilisation achieved its final development.