First Saudi State

First Saudi State

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The First Saudi State was established in the year 1744 (1157 A.H.
Hijri year
The Hijri year is year numbering system used in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Hijra , or emigration of Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina in 622 CE. In Arabic, AH is symbolized by the letter هـ...

) 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. This joint effort in reviving the Islamic religion in its purest form is seen by Salafis as the restoration of the basic belief in Tawhid
Tawhid
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....

, while other Islamic sects and orientalists maintain it marks the beginning of the Salafi
Salafi
A Salafi come from Sunni Islam is a follower of an Islamic movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic period of early Islam as model examples...

 revivalist movement. Practices such as offering prayers to saintly figures, making pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, venerating trees, caves, and stones were abolished under this rule. Since the establishment of the First Saudi State none of these practices have ever been observed again in 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...

. In 1744, both Muhammed bin Abd Al Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud took an oath to achieve their goal. Marriage between Saud's son, Abdul Aziz Ibn Mohammed Ibn Saud, and the daughter of the Imam helped to seal the pact between their families which has lasted through the centuries to present day.

House of Saud: Establishment of sovereignty


The 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...

 and its allies quickly rose to become the dominant sovereignty in Arabia by first conquering Nejd, and then expanding their influence over the eastern coast which measures from Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 down to the northern borders of Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

. Furthermore, Saud's forces brought the highlands of 'Asir under their suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

, while Muhammed bin Abd Al Wahhab wrote letters to people and scholars to enter the field of jihad, by means of debate and scholarly work, to remove elements of polytheism which existed in their countries such as Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, 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...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, 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....

 and 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....

. After many military campaigns, Saud died in 1765, leaving the leadership to his son, Abdul Aziz Bin Muhammad. Saud's forces went so far as to gain command of the Shi'a holy city
Holy city
Holy city is a synonym applied to many cities, all of them central to the history or faith of specific religions. Such cities may also contain at least one headquarters complex which constitutes a major destination of human...

 of Karbala
Karbala
Karbala is a city in Iraq, located about southwest of Baghdad. Karbala is the capital of Karbala Governorate, and has an estimated population of 572,300 people ....

 in 1801. Here they destroyed grave markers of saints and monuments, which the ultra-conservative Salafi brand of Islam considers to be acts of polytheism. Eleven years after the death of Muhammed bin Abd Al Wahhab the son of Abdul Aziz Bin Muhammad, Saud ibn Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud, set out forces to bring the region of Hejaz
Hejaz
al-Hejaz, also Hijaz is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. Defined primarily by its western border on the Red Sea, it extends from Haql on the Gulf of Aqaba to Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

 under his rule. Taif was the first city to be captured, and later the two holy cities of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

. This was seen as a major challenge to the authority of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, which had exercised its rule over the holy cities since 1517.

Decline of sovereignty


The task of weakening the grip of the House of Saud was given to the powerful viceroy of 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...

, Muhammad Ali Pasha, by the Ottomans. This initiated the Ottoman-Saudi war, in which Muhammad Ali sent his troops to the Hejaz region by sea. His son, Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

, then led Ottoman forces into the heart of Nejd, capturing town after town. Saud's successor, his son Abdullah bin Saud
Abdullah bin Saud
*Saad*Saud*MuhammadAbdullah bin Saud ruled the First Saudi State from 1814 to 1818. He was the last ruler of the First Saudi State and was executed by the Ottomans...

, was unable to prevent the recapture of the region. Finally, Ibrahim reached the Saudi capital at Diriyah
Diriyah
Al-Diriyah is a town in Saudi Arabia located on the northwestern outskirts of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818...

 and placed it under siege for several months until it surrendered in the winter of 1818. Ibrahim then shipped off many members of the clans of Al Saud and Muhammed Ibn Abd Al Wahhab to Egypt and the Ottoman capital, 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...

. Before he left he ordered a systematic destruction of Diriyah, whose ruins have remained untouched ever since. Abdullah bin Saud
Abdullah bin Saud
*Saad*Saud*MuhammadAbdullah bin Saud ruled the First Saudi State from 1814 to 1818. He was the last ruler of the First Saudi State and was executed by the Ottomans...

 was later executed in the Ottoman capital
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...

, with his severed head later thrown into the waters of the Bosphorus, marking the end of what was known as the First Saudi State. However, both the Salafi movement and the remaining members of the Al Saud clan stayed committed to found a Second Saudi State
Second Saudi State
The Second Saudi State existed during the 19th century when the rule of the House of Saud was restored to central and eastern Arabia after having previously been brought down by an Ottoman-Egyptian invasion in 1818...

 that lasted until 1891, and later a third state, 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...

, which continues to rule till the present day.

Rulers of the first Saudi state

  • Muhammad ibn Saud 1726–1744 (Prince of Diriyah) ,1744–1765 (Prince of Saudi State)
  • Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud
    Abdul Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud
    SaudImam Abdul Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud was the second ruler of the First Saudi State and son of Muhammad bin Saud. He was also the son-in-law of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. He ruled from 1765 until 1803.-Kingship:...

     1765–1803 (1179–1218 H)
  • Saud ibn Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud (Saud Al Kabeer) 1803–1814 (1218–1233 H)
  • Abdullah bin Saud
    Abdullah bin Saud
    *Saad*Saud*MuhammadAbdullah bin Saud ruled the First Saudi State from 1814 to 1818. He was the last ruler of the First Saudi State and was executed by the Ottomans...

     1814–1818

See also

  • Ottoman-Saudi war
  • Second Saudi State
    Second Saudi State
    The Second Saudi State existed during the 19th century when the rule of the House of Saud was restored to central and eastern Arabia after having previously been brought down by an Ottoman-Egyptian invasion in 1818...

  • 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...

  • List of Sunni Muslim dynasties