Ahmad bin Yahya

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Imam Ahmad bin Yahya
King and Imam of Yemen
Reign 17 February 1948 – 18 September 1962
Predecessor Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din
Successor Muhammad al-Badr
Issue Muhammad al-Badr
Abdullah bin Ahmad
Al-Abbas bin Ahmad
House Rassids
Father Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din
Mother Fatima Al-Washali
Born (1891-06-18)18 June 1891
Alohnom, Ottoman Empire
Died 18 September 1962(1962-09-18) (aged 71)
Ta'izz, Yemen
Religion Zaidi Shia Islam

Ahmad bin Yahya Hamidaddin (18 June 1891 – 18 September 1962)[1] was the penultimate king of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen from 1948 to 1962. His full name and title was H.M. al-Nasir-li-Dinullah Ahmad bin al-Mutawakkil 'Alallah Yahya, Imam and Commander of the Faithful, and King of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of the Yemen was considered to be a despot, and his main focus was on modernising the military.

In international politics, Ahmad forged many bonds with communist regimes, including the Soviet Union and China. He also joined the union between Egypt and Syria, but this would only last 3 years. Closer to home, he worked for the creation of Greater Yemen, which would have involved the annexation of the British Aden Protectorate.

Bin Yahya was the oldest son of Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din, of the Hamid al-Din branch of the al-Qasimi dynasty. In the 1920s and 1930s, as the effective crown prince (known as Saif al-Islam, or Sword of Islam), Ahmad assisted his father by leading campaigns to suppress tribal revolts. Following the death of his father in a 1948 coup d'état, Ahmad was able to regain power some months later. He was formally elected Imam of the Zaydi tribal leaders. The structures of the state gave him effectively supreme power in the country. In 1955 a coup by a group of officers and two of Ahmad's brothers was crushed. In April 1956 Ahmad bin Yahya signed a mutual defense pact with Egypt, involving a unified military command.

On 19 September 1962 Ahmad died in his sleep. Ahmad bin Yahya's oldest son, Muhammad al-Badr was proclaimed Imam and King and took the title of al-Mansur, but a week later rebels shelled his residence, Dar al Bashair, in the Bir al-Azab district of Sana'a, and set up a republic. In the 1962 coup imam Muhammad al-Badr was deposed by a group of nationalist officers. The Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) was proclaimed under the leadership of Abdullah al-Sallal.[2]


  1. ^ Royal Ark
  2. ^ Paul Dresch, A history of modern Yemen, Cambridge 2000, pp. 28-88 [1].
Preceded by
Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din
King of Yemen
Succeeded by
Muhammad al-Badr