Sultan (Arabic: سلطان Sultan, rule ',' ruler ') is an Islamic ruler tracks ( also persons name), which was used from the 10th century bourgeois era in different eras and regions of the world, for example in India and the Ottoman Empire.


The title includes both moral weight and religious authority, and is based on the role of the ruler, as defined in the Koran. However, the Sultan was not a religious teacher. The dominion of the Sultan is called Sultanate.

The first Islamic monarch who bore this title was the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmud of Ghazni ( 998-1030 ). Later, Sultan became the usual title of the Seljuk, Ayyubid, Mamluk, Ottoman and other rulers in the Muslim world.

In Anatolia, the Sultanate of the Ottoman Empire, the there since the 15th century ( fall of Constantinople ) was the imperial rank claimed in 1922 abolished. Today, Oman and Brunei are the only sovereign states whose leaders still carry the title Sultan. The Sultan of Morocco changed his title in 1956 to King (Arabic ملك malik ).

Second-ranking designated the title and female members of the Ottoman dynasty.

In East Africa, the title was formerly also used for village chiefs. In some African countries (eg Nigeria) still exist partially autonomous sultanates, as in the Southeast Asian kingdom Malaysia and Mindanao. In Indonesia, the Sultanate of Yogyakarta exists as a semi-autonomous region.

Like other rulers name the term Sultan is nowadays mostly used in a different context, namely in tourism. This is due probably to the fact that the travel providers want to make an association with the once magnificent Sultan palaces claim for themselves. To advertise many hotels and tour operators, especially in the geographical environment of the former Ottoman Empire, today the term sultan.


Sultan (Arabic: "strength" ) referred to in the language of politics, the state's authority and later the Islamic holder of governance. For the first time the Seljuk Beg Toghril the title " Sultan " was awarded in 1055 by a caliph. From 1517 to 1924 the Turkish Ottoman sultans as the successor to the Abbasid Caliphs were thus at the same time as. Since there is no caliph. The feminine form of " Sultana " there were rare; only some key women of the Caliph of Cordoba were so called, some of them only as a widow.

In the literature

The Serbian Janissary Constantine from Ostrovitza wrote in his memoirs of a janissary in Chapter 48:

" The name of the Sultan is in Turkish so: the first büyük beg, meaning great lord; the second Hunkar, ie Turkish prince; the third Mirza, that is power; the fourth Sultan, which means Kaiser; according to his ancestors he calls himself Osmanoğlı, which means son of the Ottomans. The others call him Padisah, that is the name of the name. "