Mohammed bin Faisal Al Saud

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Mohammed bin Faisal Al Saud
Taif, Saudi Arabia
Died14 January 2017(2017-01-14) (aged 79–80)
SpouseMuna bint Abd al Rahman bin Azzam Pasha
Full name
Mohammed bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
HouseHouse of Saud
FatherKing Faisal
MotherIffat Al Thunayan
ReligionWahhabi Hanbali Sunni Islam

Mohammed bin Faisal (Arabic: محمد بن الفيصل سموں پوریا‎, 1937 – 14 January 2017) was a Saudi businessman and a member of House of Saud. He was a son of King Faisal. He was one of the pioneers in the establishment of Islamic banking.

Early life and education[edit]

Mohammed bin Faisal was born in Taif in 1937.[1][2] He was the eldest child of the King Faisal and Iffat Al Thunayan.[3] His full siblings were Saud bin Faisal, Turki bin Faisal, Luluwah bint Faisal, Sara bint Faisal and Haifa bint Faisal. Mohammed also had half-siblings from his fathers other marriages, including Abdullah and Khalid.

Mohammed bin Faisal was the first of his siblings to study abroad.[4] He attended both Lawrenceville School and Hun School. He then attended Swarthmore College. He earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration at Menlo College in California.[4][5]

Early career[edit]

Mohammed bin Faisal began his career at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).[1] In 1964, he was transferred to the ministry of water and agriculture.[5] Next he was appointed director of saline water conversion department at the ministry in 1970.[6] He contributed to the formation of the water desalination program.[6] He was later named deputy minister of water and agriculture responsible for saline water affairs in 1974. He was also named as the governor of the then newly founded saline water conversion corporation in November 1974. He resigned from office in July 1977.[1]

Business activities[edit]

Mohammed bin Faisal began to deal with business after his resignation. During this period he financially supported a study about the feasibility of bringing Antarctic icebergs to Mecca.[7] He established a firm for this objective, Iceberg Transport International.[8][9] On 17 October 1977, he presented his proposal at a conference in London.[8] His plan was the most promising scheme discussed at the conference.[8] However, the findings of the study indicated that it was not feasible, since no iceberg could survive if it passes the equator.[7]

His most significant investments were in the fields of banking and finance, making him one of the pioneers in Islamic banking.[10] Being one of the Saudi nationals, who invested in Egypt, he was the founder of the Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt that was established in Cairo in 1977.[11][12] The bank was officially launched in 1979.[13] The Sudan branch of the bank was also opened in 1977.[14][15] He founded Dar Al Maal Al Islami Trust (the DMI group) in 1981.[16][17] It was established in Geneva that is the international Islamic finance organisation and a parent institution for 55 Islamic banks.[16][18] The DMI group is a Bahamas-incorporated holding company with a portfolio of Islamic banks in Bahrain, Niger, Egypt and Pakistan.[19][20] Then he founded Faisal Private Bank in 1990 that is the pioneer banking institution in Islamic finance industry.[21] Prince Mohammed was the chairman of its board of directors and of the Islamic Finance Group.[22][23] Faisal Private Bank has several branches in different countries, including Switzerland. Its Switzerland branch was granted full banking license by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission (FINMA) in August 2006.[24] Prince Mohammed was also the former president of Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, which was founded in 1975.[25]

In addition to banking sector, Prince Mohammed had other business enterprises. He was a shareholder of Saudi and Gulf Enterprise Ltd. based in Jeddah.[1]

Other positions[edit]

Mohammed bin Faisal was the chairman of the board of trustees of the King Faisal Foundation.[26] He was also a member of Effat University's board of founders and of trustees.[27]


Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the families of the victims launched a lawsuit against Prince Mohammed along with two other members of the House Saud, namely late Prince Sultan and Prince Turki, in addition to other people whom they accused of financing Al Qaeda.[28] In 2009, further evidence was gathered by the families. A Washington lawyer, Michael Kellogg, represented Prince Muhammed in the lawsuit.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Mohammed bin Faisal was married to Muna bint Abdul Rahman bin Azzam Pasha, daughter of Azzam Pasha. He had three children: Amr, Maha and Reema.[30] His son Prince Amr is also a businessman dealing with finance.[31]

Mohammed bin Faisal was among the 500 influential Muslims list developed by Georgetown University's center for Muslim-Christian understanding in 2009.[32]

On 14 January 2017 he died, and it was announced that the funeral prayer would be performed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.[33]



  1. ^ a b c d Sabri Sharif (2001). The House of Saud in Commerce: A Study of Royal Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia,. New Delhi: I. S. Publication. ISBN 81-901254-0-0.
  2. ^ Winberg Chai (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. ^ Delinda C. Hanley (December 2003). "Late Queen Effat of Saudi Arabia". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. 22 (10). Retrieved 29 August 2013.  – via Questia (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b "The Princes of Princeton". Saudi Aramco World. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Nick Luddington (5 April 1975). "King Faisal's eight sons". Lewiston Evening Journal. Jeddah. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b Simon Henderson (1994). "After King Fahd" (Policy Paper). Washington Institute. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b Marq De Villiers (12 July 2001). Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-618-12744-3. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Alexis Madrigal (10 August 2011). "The Many Failures and Few Successes of Zany Iceberg Towing Schemes". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  9. ^ Murray Yanowitch (August 1978). "Of Oil and Ice". Challenge. 21 (3): 25–31. JSTOR 40719756.
  10. ^ Ibrahim Warde (2010). Islamic Finance in the Global Economy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 72.
  11. ^ "H.R.H. Prince Mohammed Al Faisal". The Muslims 500. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  12. ^ Gil Feiler (2003). Economic Relations Between Egypt and the Gulf Oil States, 1967–2000: Petro Wealth and Patterns of Influence. Sussex Academic Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-903900-40-6. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  13. ^ "The Pioneers of Islamic Banking". Asharq Alawsat. Riyadh. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Sudan Islamic Banking". Photius. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  15. ^ M. Mansoor Khan; M. Ishaq Bhatti (2008). "Islamic banking and finance: on its way to globalization" (PDF). Managerial Finance. 34 (10): 708–725. doi:10.1108/03074350810891029. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  16. ^ a b Banu Eligur. The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey. Cambridge University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-139-48658-3. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  17. ^ Haim Shaked and Daniel Dishon, Eds. (1986). Middle East Contemporary Survey, Vol. 8, 1983–84. The Moshe Dayan Center. p. 166. ISBN 978-965-224-006-4. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  18. ^ Rodney Wilson. Handbook of Islamic Banking: Islamic banking in the West (PDF).
  19. ^ Landon Thomas Jr. (9 August 2007). "Islamic Finance and Its Critics". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  20. ^ Landon Thomas Jr. (8 August 2007). "Muslim financiers fight suspicion in U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  21. ^ "About us". Faisal Private Bank. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  22. ^ "The General Assembly". Faisal Bank Egypt. Archived from the original on 14 December 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  23. ^ "King receives Prince Mohammed Al Faisal". Bahrain News Agency. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Faisal Private Bank (Switzerland)". My Swiss. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  25. ^ Traute Scharf (1983). Arab and Islamic Banks: New Business Partners for Developing Countries. OECD Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 978-92-64-12562-9. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  26. ^ "The current board of trustees of the King Faisal Foundation". King Faisal Foundation. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Board of Founders". Effat College. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  28. ^ "Saudis 'should reconsider US ties". BBC. 16 August 2002. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  29. ^ Lichtblau, Eric (24 June 2009). "Documents Back Saudi Link to Extremists, but May Never Be Used in 9/11 Suit". The New York Times. p. 11. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  30. ^ "Family Tree of Mohammed bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Ithmaar Bank B.S.C." CPI Financial. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  32. ^ "The 500 Most Influential Muslims" (PDF). Center Muslim-Christian Understanding. 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  33. ^ "Royal Court Announces Death of Prince Mohammed bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Saudi Press Agency. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.