Sultan

Malik Mirza Khan (title)
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Governmental: Lala · Agha · Hazinedar
The Sultan Suleiman I is considered one of the most famous Ottoman Sultans.

Sultan (/ˈsʌltən/; Arabic: سلطانsulṭān, pronounced [sʊlˈtˤɑːn, solˈtˤɑːn]) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun سلطة sulṭah, meaning "authority" or "power" (cognate with the Hebrew word "Shilton" שלטון which retained that meaning to the present). Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who claimed almost full sovereignty in practical terms (i.e., the lack of dependence on any higher ruler), albeit without claiming the overall caliphate, or to refer to a powerful governor of a province within the caliphate. The adjective form of the word is "sultanic",[1] and the dynasty and lands ruled by a sultan are referred to as a sultanate (سلطنة salṭanah).

The term is distinct from king (ملك malik), despite both referring to a sovereign ruler. The use of "sultan" is restricted to Muslim countries, where the title carries religious significance,[2][3] contrasting the more secular king, which is used in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

In recent years, "sultan" has been gradually replaced by "king" by contemporary hereditary rulers who wish to emphasize their secular authority under the rule of law. A notable example is Morocco, whose monarch changed his title from sultan to king in 1957.

Feminine forms

As a feminine form of sultan, used by Westerners, is Sultana or Sultanah and this title has been used legally for some (not all) Muslim women monarchs and sultan's mothers and chief consorts. However, Turkish and Ottoman Turkish also uses sultan for imperial lady, as Turkish grammar—which is influenced by Persian grammar—uses the same words for both women and men. However, this styling misconstrues the roles of wives of sultans. In a similar usage, the wife of a German field marshal might be styled Frau Feldmarschall (similarly, in French, constructions of the type madame la maréchale are quite common). The female leaders in Muslim history are correctly known as "sultanas". However, the wife of the sultan in the Sultanate of Sulu is styled as the "panguian" while the sultan's chief wife in many sultanates of Indonesia and Malaysia are known as "permaisuri", "Tunku Ampuan", "Raja Perempuan", or "Tengku Ampuan". The queen consort in Brunei especially is known as Raja Isteri with the title of Pengiran Anak suffixed, should the queen consort also be a royal princess.

Compound ruler titles

Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV attended by a eunuch and two pages.

These are generally secondary titles, either lofty 'poetry' or with a message, e.g.:

Former sultans and sultanates

Anatolia and Central Asia

Caucasus

Levant and Arabian peninsula

H.M. Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, from the Al Said dynasty, ruled Oman for nearly 50 years.

North Africa

Horn of Africa

19th century map of central Somaliland showing the territory of Sultan Nur of the Habr Yunis
Sultan of Adal and his forces (right) battling the Abyssinian King and his men (Le Livre des Merveilles, 15th century).

Southeast Africa and Indian Ocean

Maliki

Apparently derived from the Arabic malik, this was the alternative native style of the sultans of the Kilwa Sultanate in Tanganyika (presently the continental part of Tanzania).

Swahili Coast

Mfalume is the (Ki)Swahili title of various native Muslim rulers, generally rendered in Arabic and in western languages as Sultan:

Sultani

This was the native ruler's title in the Tanzanian state of Uhehe.

West and Central Africa

Southern Asia

Southeast and East Asia

Hamengkubuwono X, the incumbent Sultan of Yogyakarta
Pakubuwono XII, last undisputed Susuhunan of Surakarta
Sultan Saifuddin of Tidore
Mohammed Mahakuttah Abdullah Kiram, last recognised Sultan of Sulu

In Indonesia (formerly in the Dutch East Indies):

In Malaysia:

In Brunei:

In China:

In the Philippines:

In Thailand:

Current sultans

Sultans of sovereign states

Sultans in Federal Monarchies

Sultan with power within Republic

In some parts of the Middle East and North Africa, there still exist regional sultans or people who are descendants of sultans and who are styled as such. See List of current constituent Asian monarchs and List of current constituent African monarchs.

Princely and aristocratic titles

The Valide Sultan (Sultana mother) of the Ottoman Empire

By the beginning of the 16th century, the title sultan was carried by both men and women of the Ottoman dynasty and was replacing other titles by which prominent members of the imperial family had been known (notably khatun for women and bey for men). This usage underlines the Ottoman conception of sovereign power as family prerogative.

Western tradition knows the Ottoman ruler as "sultan", but Ottomans themselves used "padişah" (emperor) or "hünkar" to refer to their ruler. The emperor's formal title consisted of "sultan" together with "khan" (for example, Sultan Suleiman Khan). In formal address, the sultan's children were also entitled "sultan", with imperial princes (Şehzade) carrying the title before their given name, with imperial princesses carrying it after. Example, Şehzade Sultan Mehmed and Mihrimah Sultan, son and daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent. Like imperial princesses, living mother and main consort of reigning sultan also carried the title after their given names, for example, Hafsa Sultan, Suleiman's mother and first valide sultan, and Hürrem Sultan, Suleiman's chief consort and first haseki sultan. The evolving usage of this title reflected power shifts among imperial women, especially between Sultanate of Women, as the position of main consort eroded over the course of 17th century, the main consort lost the title "sultan", which replaced by "kadin", a title related to the earlier "khatun". Henceforth, the mother of the reigning sultan was the only person of non imperial blood to carry the title "sultan".[4]

In Kazakh Khanate a Sultan was a lord from the ruling dynasty (a direct descendants of Genghis Khan) elected by clans, i.e. a kind of princes[citation needed]. The best of sultans was elected as khan by people at Kurultai[citation needed]. See ru:Казахские султаны

Military rank

In a number of post-caliphal states under Mongol or Turkic rule, there was a feudal type of military hierarchy. These administrations were often decimal (mainly in larger empires), using originally princely titles such as khan, malik, amir as mere rank denominations.

In the Persian empire, the rank of sultan was roughly equivalent to that of a modern-day captain in the West; socially in the fifth-rank class, styled 'Ali Jah.

See also

References

  1. ^ Sultanic - Define sultan at dictionary.com
  2. ^ James Edward Montgomery (2004). ʻAbbasid Studies: Occasional Papers of the School of ʻAbbasid Studies, Cambridge, 6-10 July 2002. Peeters Publishers. p. 83. ISBN 978-90-429-1433-9.
  3. ^ Riad Aziz Kassis (1999). The Book of Proverbs and Arabic Proverbial Works. BRILL. p. 65. ISBN 90-04-11305-3.
  4. ^ Peirce, Leslie P. (1993). The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507673-7.