Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Turkish miniature of Sultan Selim I

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Arabic: خادم الحرمين الشريفينḪādim al-Ḥaramayn aš-Šarīfayn), sometimes translated as Servant of the Two Noble Sanctuaries or Protector of the Two Holy Cities, is a pious royal style that has been used by many Islamic rulers including the Ayyubids, the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, the Ottoman Sultans, and the modern Saudi kings.[1] The title refers to the monarch taking the responsibility of guarding and maintaining the two holiest mosques in Islam, al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.[1][2]


After defeating the Mamluks and gaining control of Mecca and Medina in 1517, the Ottoman sultan Selim I adopted the title. It was used by all subsequent sultans until Mehmed VI, the last.

The first Saudi king to assume the title was Fahd bin Abdul Aziz in 1986.[1] 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.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wood, Paul (August 1, 2005). "Life and legacy of King Fahd". BBC News. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz". Retrieved April 6, 2011.