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Amir al-Mu'minin (Arabic أمير المؤمنين; latinized as Miramolinus, hence Italian Miramolino and Spanish Miramamolín) usually translated Commander of the Faithful or Prince of the Faithful, is the Arabic style of 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 Muslim leaders.

Use

The title is also used by Shia Muslims to refer to their first Imam, Ali ibn Abi Talib, since he was also the Caliph. Sunni Muslims use it to refer to the first four Caliphs, the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. It has also been adopted by various Caliphs of the succeeding Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties, as well as by some contemporary Arab monarchs.

For current use, see below.

Sunni view

Sunni view that Umar was the first person to be given the title:



Shi'a view

Shi'a view that Ali, the prophet of Islam's son-in-law and the only person to father the prophets only continuing lineage, was given the title during Muhammad's era.

Shia's view this title as only applicable to the worthy Imams, especially the first Imam, Ali. Being called the commander of the faithful does not entail only political authority, but spiritual and religious authority as well. Since the prophets and the imams are the only infallible humans, this title only is worthy of them.

Some sunni Muslims refer to anyone in political power as Amir Al-Mumenin, the caliphate of past Islamic dynasties, and some even call the present day king of Saudi Arabia by this title. This is viewed wrongly in the Shia perspective and it is an unworthy use of this title.

Current positions that officially use this title

  • According to the Moroccan constitution the King of Morocco is also Amir al-Mu'minin.
  • The Sultan of Sokoto.
  • The spiritual leader and Caliph of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is also called Amir al-Mu'minin.

Defunct offices that officially used this title

  • Various Caliphs.
  • The Taliban leader Mohammed Omar took the title while he was in control of Afghanistan.

Leaders for whom supporters informally used the title

  • Gen. Zia-ul-Haq

See also

  • Compare Fidei defensor

References

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