Abdullah bin Saud

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Abdullah bin Saud
Image-Abdullah bin Saud FSS2.JPG
Abdullah bin Saud
Emir of Diriyah
Reign1814  – 1818
PredecessorSaud I
SuccessorPost abolished
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Abdullah bin Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Muhammad bin Saud
HouseHouse of Saud
FatherSaud bin Abdulaziz bin Muhammad

Abdullah bin Saud Al Saud (Arabic: عبد الله الأول بن سعود آل سعود‎, romanizedabd allah bin suud al suud) (died 1818) ruled the First Saudi State from 1814 to 1818.[1] He was the last ruler of the First Saudi State and was executed in Constantinople under the Ottoman Empire.[2] Although the Ottomans maintained several garrisons in the Najd thereafter, they were unable to prevent the rise of the Emirate of Nejd (the Second Saudi State) led by Turki bin Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Saud.

Fall of the First Saudi State[edit]

Abdullah succeeded his father – Saud.[3] At the beginning of his reign Abdullah faced intrafamily challenges from his uncle Abdullah bin Muhammad, but Abdullah managed to settle down these problems.[1] His father, Saud, had initiated a war with the Ottoman Empire with the capture of Mecca and Medina which were regained by the Ottomans in 1813.[3]

Because of his father's conquest, Abdullah immediately had to face an invasion of his domains by an Ottoman-Egyptian army under the command of Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Muhammad Ali.[4] The Ottoman forces began their campaign by quickly recapturing Mecca and Medina.[4] Heavily outnumbered and under-equipped, the Saudi forces retreated to their stronghold of Najd.[3]

Rather than engage the invaders in open battle, Abdullah decided to attempt to weather the invasion by fortifying his forces in the Najd towns. As a result, Ibrahim took the villages of Najd one by one, sacking any town that resisted. Ibrahim finally reached the Saudi capital at Diriyah. After a siege that lasted several months, Abdullah finally surrendered in September 1818, marking the end of the Saudi state.[4] Ibrahim systematically razed Diriyah to the ground and sent many members of the Al Saud clan into captivity in Egypt and Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire. Abdullah himself was promptly executed in the square before Hagia Sophia, Constantinople.[4]

Reasons for his execution[edit]

In 1801, the mausoleum of Imam Husayn was defaced[5] by the army of Abdullah bin Saud, causing anger and shock among entire Muslim world.[6] As a result, the Ottoman authorities found themselves in a situation that they had to punish the Saudis for their crimes. The guardian of Islam's religious places was the Turkish-Ottoman Caliph in Istanbul, Mahmud II. Mahmud II ordered that an Egyptian force be sent to the Arabian Peninsula to defeat Abdullah bin Saud and his allies. In 1818, an Egyptian army led by Ibrahim Pasha (Mohammad Ali's son) completely destroyed Abdullah's forces and took their capital, Diriyah in Najd.[7] Abdullah bin Saud was captured along with two of his supporters. They were then sent to prison in Istanbul.[7] Abdullah and his two followers were publicly beheaded for their crimes against holy cities and mosques.[6][8] Prior to his execution, Abdullah, who forbade to listen to music, was forced to listen to the lute.[9]


  1. ^ a b Parvaiz Ahmad Khanday (2009). A Critical Analysis of the Religio-Political Conditions of Modern Saudi Arabia (PDF) (PhD thesis). Aligarh Muslim University. Retrieved 20 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Jorg Matthias Determann (2012). Globalization, the state, and narrative plurality: historiography in Saudi Arabia (PDF) (PhD thesis). SOAS, University of London. Retrieved 15 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c Shazia Farhat (2018). Exploring the Perspectives of the Saudi State’s Destruction of Holy Sites: Justifications and Motivations (PDF) (Master of Liberal Arts thesis). Harvard Extension School. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d R. Bayly Winder (1950). A history of the Su'udi state from 1233/1818 until 1308/1891 (PhD thesis). Princeton University. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Sahih Muslim 969a, 969b - The Book of Prayer - Funerals - كتاب الجنائز - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". sunnah.com. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  6. ^ a b Abdullah Mohammad Sindi. "The Direct Instruments of Western Control over the Arabs: The Shining Example of the House of Saud". Social sciences and humanities. Retrieved 4 June 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b Roby C. Barrett (June 2015). "Saudi Arabia: Modernity, Stability, and the Twenty-First Century Monarchy" (Report). Joint Special Operations University. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  8. ^ Yaroslav Trofimov. (26 October 2018). The Long Struggle for Supremacy in the Muslim World The Wall Street Journal
  9. ^ Selim Koru. (24 July 2015). Turkey's 200-Year War against 'ISIS' The National Interest

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Saud bin Abdulaziz
Imam of First Saudi State
Title next held by
Turki ibn Abdallah
Next known title holder:
Imam of Second Saudi State