Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Arabic: خادم الحرمين الشريفين Ḫādim al-Ḥaramayn aš-Šarīfayn), a historical term, was a pious title taken by the Ayyubids, the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, and the Ottoman Sultans; it has been revived by modern Saudi kings.
Turkish miniature of Sultan Selim I
Ottoman monarchy 
It was used by all the Ottoman sultans from Selim I to Mehmed VI. This term has two meanings: Protector and servant. It is very important to imply in first place that the sultans were servants not sovereigns of these cities/mosques.
Saudi monarchy 
It is most known today as the title taken by the King of Saudi Arabia in his role as protector of the two holiest mosques in Islam, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. This role had traditionally been that of the Caliph.
The first Saudi king to assume the title was Fahd bin Abdul Aziz in 1986. King Fahd replaced the term "His Majesty" with "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques". The reigning king, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, has taken the same title after the death of King Fahd, his half brother, in 2005.
See also 
- ^ a b c Wood, Paul (August 1, 2005). "Life and legacy of King Fahd". BBC News. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- ^ a b "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz". Retrieved April 6, 2011.