supreme ruler: the title taken by Muhammad's successors as secular and religious heads of Islam
Origin of caliphMiddle English and amp; Old French calife ; from Arabic khal?fa, caliph, successor ; from khalafa, succeed
also ca·lif or kha·lif
A leader of an Islamic polity, regarded as a successor of Muhammad and by tradition always male.
Origin of caliphMiddle English calife, from Old French, from Arabic &hlowbrev;al&imacron;fa, successor (to Muhammad), caliph, from &hlowbrev;alafa, to succeed; see &hlowbrev;lp in Semitic roots.
From Old French caliphe, from Medieval Latin califa, from Arabic خليف (khalīf) - successor.