(1) Deputy or steward; sometimes translated as vicegerent. According to the teachings of Islam, each individual is a khalifah to God. Muslims in particular must strive to adhere to and advance God's will by establishing a society that reflects human dignity and justice. Accordingly, human beings have been given the necessary intelligence, strength, and divine guidance to benefit humanity. Adam was the first appointed khalifah. King David is also identified by the Quran as a khalifah since he modeled his actions on God's commands and moral laws. (2) Successor; the dynastic rulers of the Muslim empire. (3) Leader of a Sufi order.
See also Caliph/Caliphate