Faisal of Saudi Arabia

Faisal of Saudi Arabia

Overview
Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (1906 – March 25, 1975) ( ) was King of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 from 1964 to 1975. As king, he is credited with rescuing the country's finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform, while his main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamic Nationalism, anti-Communism
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

, and pro-Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

. He successfully stabilized the kingdom's bureaucracy and his reign had significant popularity among Saudis.
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Encyclopedia
Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (1906 – March 25, 1975) ( ) was King of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 from 1964 to 1975. As king, he is credited with rescuing the country's finances and implementing a policy of modernization and reform, while his main foreign policy themes were pan-Islamic Nationalism, anti-Communism
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

, and pro-Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

. He successfully stabilized the kingdom's bureaucracy and his reign had significant popularity among Saudis. In 1975, he was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid.

Lineage


Faisal was born in Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

. He was the third son of Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdul-Aziz
Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia
King Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was the first monarch of the Third Saudi State known as Saudi Arabia. He was commonly referred to as Ibn Saud....

. Faisal's mother was Tarfa bint Abduallah bin Abdulateef al Sheekh, whom Abdul-Aziz had married in 1902 after capturing Riyadh. She was from the family of the Al ash-Sheikh
Al ash-Sheikh
The Al ash-SheikhIt is incorrect to use the term the Al ash-Sheikh family as the word Al already means family. See Etymology. It would, in theory, be correct to use the term House of the Sheikh, but, unlike House of Saud, in practice this is rarely done...

, descendants of Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab. Her father, Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Latif Al ash-Sheikh
Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Latif Al ash-Sheikh
Sheikh Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Latif Al ash-Sheikh was a leading Sunni Muslim scholar in Saudi Arabia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was the grandfather of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.-Background:...

, was one of Abdul-Aziz's principal religious teachers and advisers. By the time of his father's death, Faisal was the second oldest surviving son.

Early life


As one of Abdul-Aziz's eldest sons, Faisal was delegated numerous responsibilities to consolidate control over Arabia. In 1925, Faisal, in command of an army of Saudi loyalists, won a decisive victory in the Hijaz. In return, he was made the governor of Hijaz the following year.

After the new Saudi kingdom was formalized in 1932, Faisal became Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Saudi Arabia)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the ministry responsible for handling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's external relations. The ministry oversees "political, cultural and financial international relations" and monitors the Kingdom's diplomatic relations. It was created in 1930 by a royal decree...

, a position he continued to hold even as King. Faisal also commanded a section of the Saudi forces that took part in the brief Saudi-Yemeni War
Saudi-Yemeni War
- The conflict :Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, had been named King of the Nejd when the British partitioned the Arabian peninsula following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. Ibn Saud, by war and alliance, won control of much more, and in 1932 proclaimed the merger of the Nejd and Hejaz...

 of 1934, successfully fighting off Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i claims over Saudi Arabia's southern provinces.

ARAMCO's development of Saudi oil after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 nearly sextupled revenue from $10.4 million in 1946 to $56.7 million in 1950. As King Abdul-Aziz's health declined and his leadership became lax, Faisal comprehended the necessity for better economic management. In the summer of 1951, Abdul-Aziz enlarged the government bureaucracy to include many more members of the extended royal family. Faisal's son Abdullah was appointed Minister of Health and Interior.

Crown Prince and Prime Minister


Upon the accession of Faisal's elder brother, Saud, to the throne in 1953, Faisal was appointed Crown Prince
Crown Prince
A crown prince or crown princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. The wife of a crown prince is also titled crown princess....

. Saud, however, embarked on a lavish and ill-considered spending program that included the construction of a massive royal residence on the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh. He also faced pressure from neighboring Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, where Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

 had overthrown the monarchy in 1952. Nasser was able to cultivate a group of dissident princes led by Prince Talal who defected to Egypt (see Free Princes
Free Princes
Free Princes Movement was a Saudi liberal political movement from 1958-64. Its members were known as the Young Najd, Free Princes, and Liberal Princes....

). Fearing that Saud's financial policies were bringing the state to the brink of collapse, and that his handling of foreign affairs was inept, senior members of the royal family and the religious leadership (the ulema
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

) pressured Saud into appointing Faisal to the position of prime minister in 1958, giving Faisal wide executive powers. In this new position, Faisal set about cutting spending dramatically in an effort to rescue the state treasury from bankruptcy. This policy of financial prudence was to become a hallmark of his era and earned him a reputation for thriftiness among the populace.

A power struggle ensued thereafter between Saud and Faisal, and on December 18, 1960, Faisal resigned as prime minister in protest, arguing that Saud was frustrating his financial reforms. Saud took back his executive powers and, having induced Talal to return from Egypt, appointed Talal as minister of finance. In 1962, however, Faisal rallied enough support within the royal family to install himself as prime minister for a second time.

It was during this period as head of the Saudi government that Faisal, though still not king, established his reputation as a reforming and modernizing figure. He introduced education for women and girls despite the consternation of many conservatives in the religious establishment. To appease the objectors, however, he allowed the female educational curriculum to be written and overseen by members of the religious leadership, a policy which lasted long after Faisal's death. It was also during this time that Faisal formally abolished slavery.

In 1963, Faisal established the country's first television station, though actual broadcasts would not begin for another two years. As with many of his other policies, the move aroused strong objections from the religious and conservative sections of the country. Faisal assured them, however, that Islamic principles of modesty would be strictly observed, and made sure that the broadcasts contained a large amount of religious programming.

Struggle with Saud


The struggle with King Saud continued in the background during this time. Taking advantage of the king's absence from the country for medical reasons in early 1963, Faisal began amassing more power for himself. He removed many of Saud's loyalists from their posts and appointed like-minded princes in key military and security positions, such as his brother Abdullah
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is the King of Saudi Arabia. He succeeded to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. When Crown Prince, he governed Saudi Arabia as regent from 1998 to 2005...

, to whom he gave command of the National Guard in 1962. Upon Saud's return, Faisal demanded that he be made regent and that Saud be reduced to a purely ceremonial role. In this, he had the crucial backing of the ulema, including an edict (or fatwa) issued by the grand mufti
Mufti
A mufti is a Sunni Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law . In religious administrative terms, a mufti is roughly equivalent to a deacon to a Sunni population...

 of Saudi Arabia, a relative of Faisal's on his mother's side, calling on Saud to accede to his brother's demands. Saud refused, however, and made a last-ditch attempt to retake executive powers, leading Faisal to order the National Guard to surround Saud's palace. His loyalists outnumbered and outgunned, Saud relented, and on March 4, 1964, Faisal was appointed regent. A meeting of the elders of the royal family and the ulema was convened later that year, and a second fatwa was decreed by the grand mufti calling on Saud to abdicate the throne in favor of his brother. The royal family supported the fatwa and immediately informed Saud of their decision. Saud, by now shorn of all his powers, agreed, and Faisal was proclaimed king on November 2, 1964. Shortly thereafter, Saud left into exile in Greece.

King of Saudi Arabia


Upon his ascension, Faisal still viewed the restoration of the country's finances as his main priority. He continued to pursue his conservative financial policies during the first few years of his reign, and his aims of balancing the country's budget eventually succeeded, helped by an increase in oil production.

Faisal embarked on a modernization project that encompassed vast parts of the kingdom and involved various public sector institutions. The pinnacle of his achievements in modernizing the Kingdom was the establishment of a judicial system, a project led and executed by an international lawyer and judge, the former Syrian Minister of Justice, Zafer Moussly. Several universities were established or expanded during his rule, and he continued to send a great number of students to foreign universities, especially in the United States. These students would later form the core of the Saudi civil service.

Many of the country's ministries, government agencies, and welfare programs were begun during Faisal's reign, and he invested heavily in infrastructure. He also introduced policies such as agricultural and industrial subsidies that were later to reach their height under his successors, Khalid and Fahd.

Early in his rule, he issued an edict that all Saudi princes had to school their children inside the country, rather than sending them abroad; this had the effect of making it "fashionable" for upper class families to bring their sons back to study in the Kingdom. Faisal also introduced the country's current system of administrative regions, and laid the foundations for a modern welfare system. In 1970, he established the Ministry of Justice and inaugurated the country's first "five-year plan" for economic development.

Television broadcasts officially began in 1965. In 1966, an especially zealous nephew of Faisal attacked the newly-established headquarters of Saudi television but was killed by security personnel. The attacker was the brother of Faisal's future assassin, and the incident is the most widely-accepted motive for the murder. Despite the opposition from conservative Saudis to his reforms, however, Faisal continued to pursue modernization while always making sure to couch his policies in Islamic terms.

The 1950s and 1960s saw numerous coups d'état in the region. Muammar al-Gaddafi
Muammar al-Gaddafi
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi or "September 1942" 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was the official ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then the "Brother Leader" of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011.He seized power in a...

's coup that overthrew the monarchy in oil-rich Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 in 1969 was especially ominous for Saudi Arabia due to the similarity between the two sparsely-populated desert countries. As a result, Faisal undertook to build a sophisticated security apparatus and cracked down firmly on dissent. As in all affairs, Faisal justified these policies in Islamic terms. Early in his reign, when faced by demands for a written constitution for the country, Faisal responded that "our constitution is the Quran." In 1969, Faisal ordered the arrest of hundreds of military officers, including some generals, alleging that a military coup was being planned. The arrests were possibly based on a tip from American intelligence, but it is unclear how serious the threat actually was.

Faisal also put down protests by Saudi workers employed by the international oil company, Aramco, in the Eastern Province, and banned the formation of labor unions in 1965. In compensation for these actions, however, Faisal introduced a far-reaching labor law with the aim of providing maximum job security for the Saudi workforce. He also introduced pension and social insurance programs for workers despite objections from some of the ulema.

Foreign relations



As king, Faisal continued the close alliance with the United States begun by his father, and relied on the U.S. heavily for arming and training his armed forces. Faisal was also anti-Communist. He refused any political ties with the Soviet Union and other Communist bloc countries, professing to see a complete incompatibility between Communism and Islam, and associating Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 with Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

, which he also criticized sharply.

Faisal also supported monarchist and conservative movements in the Arab world, and sought to counter the influences of socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and Arab Nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 in the region by promoting pan-Islamic Nationalism as an alternative. To that end, he called for the establishment of the Muslim World League, visiting several Muslim countries to advocate the idea. He also engaged in a propaganda and media war with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

's pan-Arabist president, Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

, and engaged in a proxy war with Egypt in Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 that lasted until 1967 (see Yemeni Civil War). Faisal never explicitly repudiated pan-Arabism, however, and continued to call for inter-Arab solidarity in broad terms.

Following the death of Nasser in 1970, Faisal drew closer to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

's new president, Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

, who himself was planning a break with the Soviet Union and a move towards the pro-American camp. During the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, launched by Sadat, Faisal withdrew Saudi oil from world markets, in protest over Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 support for Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 during the conflict. This action quadrupled the price of oil and was the primary force behind the 1973 energy crisis. It was to be the defining act of Faisal's career, and gained him lasting prestige among many Arabs and Muslims worldwide. In 1974, he was named Time magazine's Man of the Year
Person of the Year
Person of the Year is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."- History :The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year...

, and the financial windfall generated by the crisis fueled the economic boom that occurred in Saudi Arabia after his death. The new oil revenue also allowed Faisal to greatly increase the aid and subsidies begun following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War to Egypt, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

. It is a commonly-held belief in Saudi Arabia and the Arab
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 world that Faisal's oil boycott was the real cause of his assassination, via a Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 conspiracy, his assassin having just returned from the United States (see below).

Faisal also developed a close alliance with Pakistan, where he is regarded highly for his foreign policy and pan-Islamic ideals. He was a very close friend of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 renowned Prime Minister of Pakistan, as well as General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq. Lyallpur
Lyallpur
Lyallpur may refer to* the former name of Faisalabad city, Pakistan* Lyallpur Town, a municipal area of Faisalabad city, Pakistan...

, which was then the third largest city and currently is the fifth largest in Pakistan, was renamed Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Faisalabad , formerly known as Lyallpur, is the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, the second largest in the province of Punjab after Lahore, and a major industrial center in the heart of Pakistan. Before the foundation of the city in 1880, the area was very thinly populated. The population has...

 (lit. "City of Faisal") in 1979 in his honor. The Faisal Mosque
Faisal Mosque
The Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan and is located in the national capital city of Islamabad.Faisal Mosque is conceived as the National Mosque of Pakistan...

 in Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

 is named after him as well. The main highway in Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 was renamed Shahrah-e-Faisal
Shahrah-e-Faisal
Shara-e-Faisal is one of the major boulevard in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is named after King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Shah Faisal Colony a suburb close to Karachi Airport was also named after Shah Faisal...

 and a suburb close to Karachi Airport
Jinnah International Airport
Jinnah International Airport is Pakistan's largest international and domestic airport. It is located in Karachi, Pakistan, and its passenger terminal is also commonly known as the جناح ٹرمینل Jinnah Terminal...

 was also renamed Shah Faisal Colony. One of the two major air force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

 bases in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, is named "PAF Base Faisal" in the honour of King Faisal.

Assassination


On March 25, 1975, Faisal was shot point-blank and killed by his half-brother's son, Faisal bin Musaid, who had just come back from the United States. The murder occurred at a majlis (Arabic for "a place for sitting"), an event where the king or leader opens up his residence to the citizens to enter and petition the king.

In the waiting room, Prince Faisal talked to Kuwaiti representatives who were also waiting to meet King Faisal. When the Prince went to embrace him, King Faisal leaned to kiss his nephew in accordance with Saudi culture. At that instant, Prince Faisal took out a pistol and shot him. The first shot hit King Faisal's chin and the second one went through King Faisal's ear. A bodyguard hit Prince Faisal with a sheathed sword. Oil minister Sheikh Yamani yelled repeatedly to not kill Prince Faisal.

King Faisal was quickly taken to the hospital. He was still alive as doctors massaged his heart and gave him a blood transfusion. They were unsuccessful and King Faisal died shortly afterward. Both before and after the assassination the prince was reported to be calm. Following the killing, Riyadh had three days of mourning and all government activities were at a standstill.

Prince Faisal, who was captured directly after the attack, was officially declared insane. But following the trial, a panel of Saudi medical experts decided that Faisal was sane when he gunned the king down. The nation's high religious court convicted him of regicide
Regicide
The broad definition of regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for the killing of a monarch. In a narrower sense, in the British tradition, it refers to the judicial execution of a king after a trial...

 and sentenced him to execution. Despite Faisal's dying request that the life of his assassin be spared, he was beheaded
Decapitation
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 in the public square in Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

. The public execution took place June 18, 1975 at 4:30 p.m.—three hours before sundown—before a throng of thousands at the Al Hukm Palace (Palace of Justice).

King Faisal was buried in Riyadh. His successor, Khalid
Khalid of Saudi Arabia
Khalid bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud was King of Saudi Arabia from 1975 to 1982. He ruled during Saudi Arabia's oil boom years. In 1979, he had to deal with the Grand Mosque Seizure...

, wept over his body at his funeral.

Family


Faisal married three times. He only had one wife at a time. The first wife passed away. He divorced his second wife. His last and his most prominent wife was Iffat Al-Thuniyyan. She was raised in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and was a descendant of the Al Saud clan who were taken to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 or Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 by Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian forces in 1818 (see First Saudi State
First Saudi State
The First Saudi State was established in the year 1744 when imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Prince Muhammad ibn Saud formed an alliance to establish a religious & political sovereignty determined to cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of heretical practices and deviations from orthodox Islam...

). Iffat is credited with being the influence behind many of her late husband's reforms, particularly with regards to women.

The late King's sons have held and continue to hold important positions within the Saudi government. Prince Khalid
Khalid Al-Faisal
Prince Khalid al-Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is the current Governor of the Makkah Province. He previously served as the Governor of the Asir Province from 1971 to 2007....

 was the governor of Asir Province in southwestern Saudi Arabia for more than three decades before becoming governor of Makkah Province in 2007. Prince Saud has been the Saudi foreign minister since 1975. Prince Turki served as head of Saudi intelligence, ambassador to the United Kingdom, and later ambassador to the United States.

His sons received exceptional education compared to other princes born to Saudi monarchs. Turki received formal education at prestigious schools in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, and later attended Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

, while Saud is an alumnus
Alumnus
An alumnus , according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is "a graduate of a school, college, or university." An alumnus can also be a former member, employee, contributor or inmate as well as a former student. In addition, an alumna is "a female graduate or former student of a school, college,...

 of Princeton
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

.

Faisal's daughter, Princess Haifa
Haifa bint Faisal
Princess Haifa bint Faisal, also known as Haifa al Faisal, is the wife of Prince Bandar bin Sultan and daughter of the late King Faisal and Queen Iffat. She is the sister of Saud Al-Faisal and Turki Al-Faisal...

, is married to his nephew Bandar bin Sultan
Bandar bin Sultan
Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is a prince of the Saudi royal family and was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. He was appointed Secretary-General of the National Security Council by King Abdullah on 16 October 2005...

, the former long-serving Saudi ambassador to the United States and current Saudi national security adviser. Bandar had been all but disowned by his father Sultan at the time due to his perceived inferior lineage. Faisal, however, forced Sultan to recognize Bandar as a legitimate prince by giving Bandar his own daughter's hand in marriage.

Another daughter, Lolowah is a prominent activist for women's education in Saudi Arabia.

After his death, Faisal's family established the King Faisal Foundation
King Faisal Foundation
The King Faisal Foundation was established in 1976 by the sons of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The Director-General is HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal...

.

See also

  • House of Saud
    House of Saud
    The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

  • King Faisal Foundation
    King Faisal Foundation
    The King Faisal Foundation was established in 1976 by the sons of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The Director-General is HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal...

  • Blues For Allah
    Blues for Allah
    Blues for Allah is the eighth studio album by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded between February 27 and May 7, 1975 and originally released on September 1, 1975. It was the third release under the band's own label, Grateful Dead Records, after fulfilling their contract with Warner Bros...

    , written as a reguiem for King Faisal by the Grateful Dead
    Grateful Dead
    The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long...


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