The House of Khalifa (Arabic: آل خليفة Āl Khalīfah) is the ruling family 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 an absolute monarch.
As of 2010, roughly half of the serving cabinet ministers of Bahrain have been selected from the Al Khalifa royal family, while the country's only Prime Minister, Khalifah bin Salman al-Khalifah, (serving since independence in 1971) is also from the Al Khalifa family and is the uncle of the current King.
|Name||Years as ruler||Title|
|Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Khalifa||1783–1796||Hakim|
|Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, ruling jointly with
Shaikh Salman bin Ahmad Al Khalifa
Shaikh Khalifah bin Sulman Al Khalifa
|Shaikh Muhammad bin Khalifah Al Khalifa||1834–1842
|Shaikh Ali bin Khalifah Al Khalifa||1868–1869||Hakim|
|Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdullah Al Khalifa||1869-1869||Hakim|
|Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa||1869–1932||Hakim|
|Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa||1932–1942||Hakim|
|Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa||1942–1961||Hakim|
|Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa||1961–1971
|King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa||1999–2002
Decisions pertaining to the Al Khalifa family, as well as disputes between family members are arbitrated by the Ruling Family Council (Arabic: مجلس العائلة الحاكمة). The council attends to internal family disputes particularly those related to appropriation of land, sale of real estate and other properties. Members of the ruling family are not allowed to refer these or other disputes to ordinary law courts.
Relations between the political leadership and the rest of the "rank and file" members of the Al Khalifa ruling family have been formally managed by the council since 1932. However, on the eve of the 1973 parliamentary elections, then the Amir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa issued a decree restructuring the Ruling Family Council to become a formal organ of the state, and giving the administrative head of the council the rank of minister.
The Ruling Family Council is currently chaired by King Hamad, its Deputy Chairman is Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the Director General is Ibrahim bin Khalid bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
The King appoints the members of the board of the Ruling Family Council as recognised representatives of various kingship lines and factional alliances within the Al Khalifa family.
Al Khalifa is commonly mistranscribed al-Khalifa. The Al (آل) written with the long (madda) alif is unconnected to the following word and means house, in the sense of family or dynasty, and is not the definite article particle al- 'Al' can also mean 'of'.
H.R.H. Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Prime Minister
H.R.H. Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa The Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister
H.H. Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Deputy Prime Minister
H.H. Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa Deputy Prime Minister
H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa Deputy Prime Minister
Lt- General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa Minister of Interior
H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Minister of Foreign Affairs
H.E. Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Minister of Finance
H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdulla Al Khalifa Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment
H.E. Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa Minister of Oil
The trio's relationship to their primary political support base, the wider royal family, is managed by the Family Council.