Caliph is ... The meaning of the word and the male name
In oriental tales and cartoons, the noun “caliph” is often found. It is clear, of course, that this title. But how is it possible to explain to a child who the caliphs are, what are their duties and can they be met today? This article will come to the rescue.
The etymology of the word "caliph"
In order to understand who the caliph is, it is worth referring to the etymological dictionary. The roots of the word caliph are Arabic. خليفة (khalīfah) can be translated as “heir” or “successor”.
Meaning of the word "caliph" in the explanatory dictionary
French writer and literary critic Anatole France wrote that the explanatory dictionary is a big world, located in alphabetical order. Is there a noun "caliph" in this world?
In the dictionary, compiled by Tatyana Efremova Fedorovna, there are two meanings of this word:
- Caliph is a title. The sovereign who bore him combined secular power with spiritual power and was considered the successor of Muhammad.
- Caliph called Sultans (first Egyptian, and then Turkish), who were the spiritual heads of all Muslims.
The definition of the word “caliph” in the dictionary, compiled by Dmitry Nikolayevich Ushakov, is slightly different: here the caliph is the supreme Muslim head who combined spiritual power with secular power in the Arab states until the 13th century. Encyclopedic dictionary specifies - in Turkey, the title caliph was maintained until 1924. The most complete definition of the word “caliph” can be found in the dictionary, released by Friedrich Brockhaus and Ilya Efron. In this edition it is indicated that Caliphs called both the successors of Mohammed (in spiritual and political power), and vicars of sheikhs in various Muslim sects and dervish orders. In addition, caliphs could even be called assistant directors of bureaucratic bureaux.
The very first caliphs, which appeared in 632, for almost three decades were considered the successors of the Prophet Muhammad. And in 661, during the dynasty of the Umayyad caliphs, they began to be considered the vicar of Allah. In the tenth century, the Caliphs reincarnated as Muslim high priests.
Dynasties of caliphs
Most of the caliphs can be attributed to the Sunni branch of Islam. The main idea of the Sunnis was that the Prophet Mohammed was called upon by divine decree. Therefore, he could not bequeath or transfer his ministry to his successors.That is, his successors could inherit only earthly power.
The conquering policy of the Righteous Caliphate (the state created in 632 after the death of the Prophet Muhammad) was continued by the Umayyads. This dynasty was founded in 661. Umayyad rule until the middle of the eighth century. In 750, this dynasty was overthrown by the Abbasids, almost all of the representatives were destroyed. Only the grandson of Caliph Hisham Abd ar-Rahman remained alive.
The Abbasid Caliphate existed from 750 to 1258. It consisted of territories in which the Arab countries of Asia and part of Central Asia, North Africa, Iran and Egypt are located in our time. For two centuries, the Abbasid state actively developed, but gradually fell into decay. The reason for this was the feudal fragmentation, the growth of the political influence of the Guard, which included Turkic slaves-ghouls.
We can not say about the Fatimid caliphate. He broke away from Abbasid after the uprising in the province of Ifrikia. In its heyday, he occupied the territories of Egypt, Syria, the Maghreb and Palestine. From 996, during the reign of the Caliph al-Hakim, the decline of the Caliph authority began.The Fatimid caliphate was overthrown by Saladin. This commander was called in to organize defense against the Crusaders in 1169.
The last caliphate was the Ottoman. It was abolished after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1924. The Turkish state, founded by Mustafa Ataturk, was already secular.
The revival of the institute of the caliphate today is quite possible. This is stated by representatives of a number of Islamic organizations and movements. The most likely contender for the title of Caliph is a descendant of the last Ottoman Caliph.
By the way, there is an unrecognized caliph. This is the head of ISIS (a banned organization in Russia) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It was declared during the civil war in Iraq, after the creation of a caliphate on the territory of Syria and Iraq.
Caliph for an hour: the meaning of a phraseological unit
“Caliph for an hour” is a popular expression derived from the eponymous name of a fairy tale from the collection “1000 and one night”. According to the plot of this story, a resident of Baghdad Abu-Ghassan invites a stranger to himself, without even realizing that Caliph Harun-al-Rashid is in front of him, by the way - a lover of walking around Baghdad under the guise of a visiting merchant.The young man shares his cherished dream with a new friend - to take the place of a ruler, at least for a short time. The desire to have fun immediately wakes up from the Caliph. He adds a soporific powder to Abu-Ghassan’s wine and gives an order to transfer it to the palace. All the next day, Abu-Ghassan believes that he is a real caliph. The retinue of the present ruler also played its role in this. In the evening, the young man again receives a glass of wine with sleeping pills and wakes up at home.
That is the meaning of the phraseologism “caliph for an hour” is that the person who is so called received power for a short time. Another meaning is a person who accidentally became someone who is engaged in an activity that is not typical for him, most often prestigious.
However, the caliph is not only a title, but also a male name! Most often, children by this name are called Arabs and Tatars. A person who is capable of deeds and sacrifices, leading the life of an ascetic - one can characterize the person bearing this name. However, the Caliph does this not for the sake of lofty goals, but simply because he can afford it. Another important feature of the Khalifa is the ability to give up your happiness in the name of the happiness of another person, perhaps even to throw the whole world at someone’s feet.This means that next to the owner of this name there must be a person playing the role of an “application object”, otherwise the life of Khalif will simply lose its meaning. By the way, the meaning of the name Caliph is "heir."