Cairo Arabic al-Qahira (meaning ‘victorious’), The capital city of Egypt and the most populous city in the continent of Africa. The city has significant cultural importance, particularly in Islam. It was founded by the Fatimids in 969 and fortified with the hilltop citadel in 1176 by Saladin. The city flourished under the Mamluks (13th to 16th century), who erected splendid mosques, khans, khanqahs (Sufi lodges) and madrassas for religious education; it is home to the al-Azhar University, one of the leading centres of Islamic study as well as secular study. Cairo is known colloquially as the city of a thousand minarets thanks to its many mosques and Islamic architecture, although it was transformed in the 19th century with the building of European-style structures. It remains a major cultural and educational centre for the Arab and Islamic worlds.
caliph A name given to dynastic rulers of the Muslim world which is a reference to their status as successors of the Prophet Muhammad. After semi-democratic choices for the first caliphs (they were chosen by elders), the caliphate became hereditary and from these beginnings two long-lasting dynasties, the Umayyads and Abbasids, were to emerge. Although the role of caliph is military and administrative rather than religious, the role does implicitly demand an adherence to Islam and the need to spread the religion over its sphere of rule, known as the caliphate.
caliphate, khilafat (i) A region under the control of a caliph; (ii) a name used to describe the lineage of the caliphs; and (iii) the empire ruled by a caliph at a particular point in time. At the peak of the Umayyad Caliphate, when the Islamic Caliphate was at its broadest (at around 720 ce) most of present-day Spain, all of Portugal, the whole of Saharan and Mediterranean Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Pakistan and covered five million square miles (13 million square kilometres).
call The common shortened name for a call option.
call option A contract between two parties, the buyer and the seller, where the buyer has the right (but not the obligation) to purchase an agreed quantity of a certain commodity from the seller at a particular time and for a certain price. If the potential buyer decides to go ahead with the purchase, the seller must then sell the commodity to the contract holder. However, for this freedom, choice and power, the buyer will have to pay a fee known as a premium.
call to prayer English for adhan, where the muezzin calls from the minaret for all Muslims to attend the mosque to perform their daily prayers.
capital Assets which are readily available for use in the production of other assets; money or property owned by a person or business.