After the Prophet (ﷺ) had passed away the Muslim world needed a leader, someone that could be a spiritual guide and a political leader, this is position is what is commonly referred to as the Caliph. Abū Bakr was the first Caliph, and then ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān and Imām ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib – they are commonly known as the Khulafā’ al-Rāshidūn (Rightly Guided Caliphs). The position of Caliph later became a hereditary position, first occupied by the Umayyads and then later the Abbasids. In 1517, the Ottoman family came into control and they ruled one of the largest and most powerful empires.