THE title of Khalifah seems during this period to have assumed a new significance; it certainly no longer implied descent from the house of 'Abbas or any claim to belong to the tribe of the Quraysh. The Muslim monarch now claimed to derive his authority directly from God, to be the vicegerent of Allah, not a mere successor of the Prophet; and the other designations, such as Imam and Amlr ul-Mu'minin, that had hitherto been associated with the Caliphate, generally dropped into abeyance, and were rarely assumed by those who called themselves Caliphs. The frequent quotation of the verses (Qur'an, xxxviii. 25) 'And we have made thee a KhalIfah (vicegerent) on the earth " and (Qur'an, vi. 165) , He hath made you Caliphs on the earth' in the official documents of this period,l to the virtual exclusion of any other Qur' anic verse or any Tradition that had been commonly adduced by theologians of an earlier age when dealing with the Khilafat, points to the same conclusion; it was from God and God alone that these rulers derived their authority and in such verses He Himself announced their appointment as His vicegerents. Thus the title of Caliph passed from the supreme authority who used to nominate Sultans, to any Sultan who cared to assume a designation once held to be unique. When so many

A similar letter of congratulation, sent by

The capture of Nish, one of the furthest points of Murad's victorious campaigns on the high road to Hungary, after a siege of twenty-five days in 1375, was the occasion of another letter of congratulation-this time from 'Ali Beg of Karamania, who expresses his delight at this victory of 'the ornament of the throne of the Caliphate' and prays that' God Almighty may stablish the pillars of his Caliphate until the judgement day'. 6

The aggressive attitude of his son and successor, Bayazid I (1389-1402), towards the Amirs of Asia Minor was not calculated to induce them to bestow on him titles implying the headship of the Muhammadan world, and his more powerful rivals such as the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt and (for a time) Sultan AJ:.:tmad Jala'ir of 'Iraq appear to have regarded his military successes and the extension of his territories as constituting a grave menace to their own safety. Least of all, was his most serious rival, Timflr, who later achieved his ruin and took him prisoner after the disastrous battle of Angora (1402), ready to pay him compliments, and the bitter tone of their correspondence left no

room for the mellifluous elegancies of diplomatic phraseology; indeed, the acrimony of it reached such a point that, instead of a long enumeration of titles and invocations of divine blessing, Timur bluntly addresses (probably about 1401) his rival with the words, '0 King in Rum, Yildirim Bayazid.' 7 But Bayazid when, about the end of November 1395, he published the news of his victories to the q aQ.is and other officials of his kingdom did not hesitate to write to them: 'God has fitted me whose nature bears the marks of the Caliphate, to be a sultan and a world-conqueror, and has set (His words) "We have made thee a Khalifah on the earth" in my royal cipher and device.' 8

brother Musa,i and to the qa<:!i of Brusa,lo Mul).ammad I makes no claim to the title of Khalifah, but he soon adopted the fashion of his fathers and in 1416 in a letter to Shah Rukh speaks of 'affairs of his Sultanate and Caliphate' ; 11 and in a letter to Qara Yusuf, the Turkoman Sultan of the Black Sheep (the Qara-Qoyunlu), about 1418, he describes his capital as 'the abode of the Khilafat ' ,12 Nor did he lack those who would flatter him with such exalted terms of address; about 1417 Qara Iskandar, the son (and afterwards successor) of the above-mentioned Qara Yusuf, who at that time ruled over the greater part of Persia and 'Iraq, addressed him as' the sun in the sign of the Khilafat' ,13 About the same period, the governor of the province of Shirwan, Sultan Khalil, invented for him the strange appellation of 'the index of the book of the Sultanate and the preface of the (divine) message of the Caliphate', by which he implied that Mu4ammad I was both Sultan and Khalifah. 14

The recognition which his son Murad II received on his accession in 1421 was immediate; Jahan Shah Mirza, brother of the Qara Qoyunlu prince, Iskandar, who had acknowledged the Caliphate of Mul).ammad I, exhausted the resources of the Persian language in his letter of congratulation to Murad on his ascending the throne of his father; after declaring that God bestows the robe of honour of the Caliphate and the cloak of the Sultanate on one of the chosen of the sons of Adam,

and exalt his dignity above the heavens. 1s Similarly the governor of Mardin, Na~ir ud-Din, when about 1439 he submits a report of his military successes, addresses Murad II as 'the Sultan of the Sultans of the Turks and the Arabs and the Persians, the star of the Khilafat ... the shadow of the mercy of God' .19