House of Khalifa

Al Khalifa
Emblem of Bahrain.svg
Parent houseHouse of Utbah
FounderKhalifa bin Mohammed[1]
Current headHamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
TitlesKing of Bahrain

The House of Khalifa (Arabic: آل خليفةĀl Khalīfah) is the ruling family of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Al Khalifas profess Sunni Islam and belong to the Utub tribe that migrated from Najd to Kuwait in the early 18th century. The Utub tribe is part of the larger Anizah tribal confederation. The current head of the family is Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who became the Emir of Bahrain in 1999 and proclaimed himself King of Bahrain in 2002, in fact becoming a constitutional monarch.

As of 2010, roughly half of the serving cabinet ministers of Bahrain were members of the Al Khalifa royal family,[2] while the country's only Prime Minister, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, (serving since independence in 1971) is also from the Al Khalifa family and is the uncle of the current King.


Bahrain fell under the control of Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalifa in 1783, following the defeat of Nasr Al-Madhkur who ruled the archipelago as a dependency of Persia. (See Bani Utbah invasion of Bahrain.) Ahmed ruled Bahrain as hakim until 1796, but was based in Zubarah (in modern day Qatar) and spent summers in Bahrain. Ahmed was the first hakim of Bahrain and the progenitor of the ruling Al Khalifa family of Bahrain. All of the Al Khalifa rulers of Bahrain are his descendants.

Ahmed had four children. Following his death in 1796, two of Ahmed's sons Salman and Abdulla moved to Bahrain, and co-ruled it as feudal estates and imposed taxes on the indigenous Baharnah population. Salman settled in Bahrain Island and Abdulla in Muharraq Island, each ruling independently. The Al Khalifa soon became split into two branches, Al-Abdulla and Al-Salman that engaged in open conflict between 1842 and 1846.[b] Al-Salman branch was victorious and enjoyed complete rule of Bahrain. Until 1869, Bahrain was under threat of occupation by various external powers including the Wahhabis, Omanis, Ottomans, Egyptians and Persians, yet the Al Khalifa managed to keep it under their control.[4] The Al-Abdulla branch continued to be a cause of threat until 1895.[5] Today, Abdulla ibn Ahmad Al Khalifa descendants live in Qatar, while Salman ibn Ahmad Al Khalifa's descendants live in Bahrain.

Other Languages
العربية: آل خليفة
asturianu: Al Jalifa
беларуская: Аль-Халіфа
català: Al Khalifa
čeština: Al Chalífa
Deutsch: Al Chalifa
español: Al Jalifa
فارسی: آل خلیفه
français: Al Khalifa
Bahasa Indonesia: Wangsa Al Khalifa
italiano: Al Khalifa
עברית: בית ח'ליפה
მარგალური: ალ ხალიფა
português: Al Khalifa
română: Al-Khalifa
русский: Аль Халифа
Simple English: House of Khalifa
suomi: Al Khalifa
українська: Аль-Халіфа
اردو: آل خلیفہ