With the addition of the sword of Islam DLC players in crusader kings now have the option to play as a muslim ruler. The gameplay for muslims has many differences when compared to regular christian gameplay, and these new aspects must be considered if one is to be successful.
Unlike marriage in the other states the muslims play by different rules:
- A Muslim ruler may have multiple wives who can grant him an heir. In fact if a muslim ruler does not have enough wives than he may suffer a prestige penalty.
- The first woman a Muslim ruler marries is his 'first' wife. This means that she is the highest ranked among his spouses. This may cause friction between the other wives who may ask to be named first wife. The 'first' wife is also the only one whose stats contribute to your state statistics.
- You cannot take a wife who is older than 40 years old.
- Divorces are instant and do not require religious approval, however a fee is always required along with her relative's disaproval.
- All of your wives can get pregnant based on normal fertility chances. This can result in a flood of babies if your lustful 16 year old ruler marries 4 16 year old wives.
- Muslim women cannot marry matrilinarly at all.
- With each ruler able to take up to 4 wives, it is easier to establish and maintain alliances with other muslim nations.
For Muslim rulers there is only one type of succession law available, Agnatic Open/Turkish Sucession. Under this type of law all of a rulers male heirs hold a claim to the throne when the ruler dies. This means Muslim rulers have a very large risk of civil war within their realm upon the death of their ruler, if all of the sons have holdings.
This means the player can choose his own heir by simply giving land to one of his children and not the rest. This will make the landed son (because he is now most powerful) the heir regardless of his age. Greatly reducing the risk of civil war due to the claimants being unlanded and powerless. If the player gives land to more than one son, then the most powerful will become heir. Take care as this can change with the unintended heir conquering inside or outside the realm thereby making him heir. Therefore it is important to only land 1 son as your heir if you are not in need of landing others, reducing the risk of civil war upon your succesion.
Sayyids and Mirzas
At the start of the game several members of the Fatimid and Abbasid families, who also hold the caliphates, are relatives of the prophet himself. Their familial ties to Prophet Mohammed grant these rulers a +10 bonus to the opinion of their vassals. It is possible to marry into this bloodline but heirs who claim heritage from the mothers line are Mirzas and recieve a lesser bonus.
Female children will be automatically assigned to guardians without asking you to choose a tutor. You can still re-assign a prefered guardian by using the educate child diplomacy option. Male children are treated in the same way as Catholic children, with prompts to choose a tutor, and with vassals occasionally asking you to tutor your child.
The Caliph is the religious head of both sunni and shia islam, each with their own caliphs, they function as fairly toothless religious heads. They can call jihads and subjugate a country of their own religion at timed intervals. However unlike the pope their power is hardly as far reaching and influence on fellow muslim rulers is minimal. The title of caliph can be given away like any other landed title.