Amir al-Mu'minin (Arabic: أمير المؤمنين), usually
translated "Commander of the Faithful" or "Leader of the Faithful", is
the Arabic style of some Caliphs and other independent sovereign
Muslim rulers that claim legitimacy from a community of Muslims. It
has been claimed as the title of rulers in
Muslim countries and
empires and is still used for some
The use of the title does not necessarily signify a claim to caliphate
as it is usually taken to be, but described a certain form of activist
leadership which may have been attached to a caliph but also could
signify a level of authority beneath that. The Ottoman sultans, in
particular, made scant use of it. Moreover, the term was used by men
who made no claim to be caliphs.
2 Sunni view
3 Shia view
4 Current usage
5 Past usage
7 See also
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Amir al-Mu'minin is latinized as Miramolinus, hence Italian
Miramolino, French Miramolin, Spanish Miramolín and Portuguese
Miramolim, in Byzantine Greek: ἀμερμουμνῆς amermoumnês.
It is also translated as "Prince of the believers" since "Amir" or
"Emir" is also used as a princely title in states ruled by the royalty
Sunnis generally consider
Umar the first person given the title,
although according to several famous Sunni scholars such as Ibn
al-Jawzi, Al-Dhahabi, Ibn 'Asakir, etc. the Prophet (Muhammad) called
But about the first view, according to the Islamic scholar as-Suyuti
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz asked
Abu Bakr ibn Sulayman ibn Abi Hathamah what
was the reason that it used to be written, "From the Khalifah of the
Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace," in the
time of Abu Bakr, then later
Umar used to write at first, "From the
Khalifah of Abu Bakr."? Then who was the first to write, "From the
Amir al-Muminin (the Commander of the Believers)"?
He said, "Ash-Shifa, who was one of the women of the Muhajirun, told
Abu Bakr used to write, "From the Khalifah of the Messenger of
Umar used to write, "From the Khalifah of the Khalifah of
the Messenger of Allah," until one day
Umar wrote to the governor of
Iraq, to send him two strong men whom he could ask about
Iraq and its
inhabitants. He sent to him
Labid ibn Rabi'ah and Adi ibn Hatim, and
they came to
Madinah and entered the mosque where they found Amr ibn
They said, "Get permission for us (to visit) the
Amir al-Muminin." Amr
said, "You two, by Allah, have hit upon his name!" Then Amr went in to
him and said, "Peace be upon you,
Amir al-Mu'minin." He said, "What
occurred to you about this name? You must explain what you have said."
He told him and said, "You are the amir (commander) and we are the
muminun (the believers)." Thus letters have continued to be written
with that from that day.
An-Nawawi said in his Tahdhib:
Adi ibn Hatim and Labid ibn Rabi'ah
named him thus when they came as a deputation from 'Iraq. It has been
said that al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah named him with this name. It has
also been said that '
Umar said to people, 'You are the believers and I
am your amir,' and so he was called
Amir al-Muminin, and before that
he was known as the Khalifah of the Khalifah of the Messenger of
Allah, but they changed from that expression because of its length.
Mu'awiyyah ibn Qurrah said: It used to be written 'From
Abu Bakr the
Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah,' and then when it was '
al-Khattab they wanted to say, 'The Khalifah of the Khalifah of the
Messenger of Allah.' '
Umar said, 'This is lengthy.' They said, 'No.
But we have appointed you as amir over us, so you are our amir.' He
said, 'Yes, and you are the believers, and I am your amir.' Then it
Shias view that Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad and the
progenitor of his only continuing lineage, was given the title during
Muhammad's era. 
Shias believe the title is exclusive to Ali.:276:600 Being
called the commander of the faithful does not entail only political
authority, but spiritual and religious authority as well.[citation
Muslim Caliph, Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
According to the Moroccan constitution the King of
Morocco is also
The Sultan of Sokoto
The supreme leaders of the Afghan Taliban
Umar Khan of the Kokand Khanate took on the title.
Abdelkader El Djezairi
Abdelkader El Djezairi assumed the title in 1834.
Dost Mohammad Khan
Dost Mohammad Khan was conferred the title in 1836 by the ulama of
Kabul, granting legitimacy to his Emirate and his jihad against the
Mohammed Omar was conferred the title in April 1996 by a
Taliban-convened shura (assembly) of approximately 1000-1500 Afghan
ulama in Kandahar, when he displayed the Cloak of the Prophet before
the crowd. The title granted legitimacy to Omar's leadership of
Afghanistan and his declared jihad against the government led by
Burhanuddin Rabbani. Omar was still referred to as
Amir al-Mu'minin by
his followers and other jihadists, notably al-Qaeda leader Ayman
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, the successor of Mullah Omar, was
conferred the title in July 2015 upon his appointment as the new
leader of the Taliban. He was killed in a US drone attack in May
Molavee Haibatullah Akhunzada, the successor of Mullah Mansoor as the
Taliban supreme commander, was also conferred the title upon his
election in 2016.
Umar al-Baghdadi was conferred the title after his appointment in
October 2006 by the Mujahideen
Shura Council as the first
Emir of the
newly declared Islamic State of Iraq.
The Kitáb-i-Íqán, the primary theological work of the Bahá'í
Faith, applies the title Commander of the Faithful to Ali, the
son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
A similar (but not the same) title was afforded to the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth's monarch as the Grand Duke of
Lithuania by the Lipka Tatars, who used to speak a Turkic language.
The title of sire was used "Vatad", as in "homeland" ("Vatan"), which
meant "defender of the rights of Muslims in non-Islamic countries".
The Grand Duchy was viewed as a new homeland. Vatad was viewed as
variation on the name
Vytautas in Lithuanian or Władysław in Polish,
which was known in the diplomatic notes between the
Golden Horde and
the countries of Poland (Lechistan) and Lithuania (Lipka) as "Dawood".
One can claim that, since Casimir the Great, the Polish-Lithuanian
monarch as the King of Poland was tasked with the protection of the
rights of the Jews and other non-Christians.
Sunni view of the Sahaba
Holy Roman Emperor
^ Pennell, Richard (11 March 2016). "What is the significance of the
title 'Amīr al-mu'minīn?'". The Journal of North African Studies. 21
(4): 623–644. doi:10.1080/13629387.2016.1157482.
^ Ibn al-Jawzi, Al-Mozooat, Vol. 1, PP. 376-377
^ Ibn 'Asakir , The history of Medina Damascus, Vol. 42, P. 386
^ Al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-E’tedaal,Vol.1 P. 64
History of the Caliphs by Suyuti
^ Majlesi, Bahar al-Anwar, Vol. 37, P. 339, hadith 81
^ Shia Encyclopedia, Vol. 2
^ Muhammad Ibn Masoud Ayyashi. Tasfir Al Ayashi. 1. this is a title
only suitable for Imam Ali
^ Shaikh al-Hur al-Aamili. Wasā'il al-Shīʿa. 14. this is a title
only suitable for Imam Ali
^ Valentine, Simon, Ross. Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jamaʻat: History,
Belief, Practice. Columbia University Press. p. 208.
^ Sobolev, Leonid Nikolaevich (1876). Latest History of the Khanates
of Bokhara and Kokand. Foreign Department Press.
^ Esposito, John L. (2003). "Abd al-Qadir". The Oxford Dictionary of
Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1.
^ Shahrani, M. Nazif (1986). "State Building and Social Fragmentation
in Afghanistan: A Historical Perspective". In Banuazizi, Ali; Weiner,
Myron. The State, Religion, and Ethnic Politics: Afghanistan, Iran,
and Pakistan. Syracuse University Press. p. 35.
^ Roggio, Bill; Joscelyn, Thomas. "The Taliban's new leadership is
allied with al Qaeda". The Long War Journal.
^ "Statement by the Leadership Council of Islamic Emirate regarding
the martyrdom of
Amir ul Mumineen Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour and
the election of the new leader". Voice of Jihad. 25 May 2016.
Retrieved 14 June 2016. [permanent dead link]
^ Kohlmann, Evan (15 October 2006). "Controversy Grows Over Supposed
Unity of Iraqi Mujahideen as Al-Qaida Announces Founding of Sunni
Islamic State". Counterterrorism Blog. Archived from the original on
13 October 2009.
^ Bunzel, Cole (March 2015). "From Paper State to Caliphate: The
Ideology of the Islamic State" (PDF). The Brookings Project on U.S.
Relations with the Islamic World. Washington, D.C.: Center for Middle
East Policy, Brookings Institution (Analysis Paper No. 19).
^  "The
Kitáb-i-Íqán PART ONE". BAHA'I REFERENCE LIBRARY.