Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Muscat and Oman

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Said Bin Sultan
Said Bin Sultan.jpg
H.E. Said bin Sultan
Sultans of Oman
Reign 1807–1856
Predecessor Sultan bin Ahmad
Successor Thuwayni bin Said (Sultan of Oman)
Majid bin Said (As Sultan of Zanzibar)
Born (1797-06-05)5 June 1797[1]
Died 19 October 1856(1856-10-19) (aged 59)
Burial Makusurani Cemetery[2]
Dynasty Al Said
Father Sultan bin Ahmad
Mother Sheikha Ghanneyeh bint Saif Al-Busaidi
Religion Ibadi Islam

Said bin Sultan Al-Said (Arabic: سعيد بن سلطان‎‎, Sa‘id bin Sulṭān, Swahili: Said bin Sultani) (5 June 1797 – 19 October 1856) was Sultan of Muscat and Oman from March 1807 to 4 June 1856.[3]

Early years[edit]

Said bin Sultan was son of Sultan bin Ahmad, who ruled Oman from 1792 to 1804. Sultan bin Ahmad died in 1804 on an expedition to Basra. He appointed Mohammed bin Nasir bin Mohammed al-Jabry as the Regent and guardian of his two sons, Salim bin Sultan and Said bin Sultan.[4] Sultan's brother Qais bin Ahmad, ruler of Sohar, decided to attempt to seize power. Early in 1805 Qais and his brother Mohammed marched south along the coast to Muttrah, which he easily captured. Qais then started to besiege Muscat. Mohammed bin Nasir tried to bribe Qais to leave, but did not succeed.[4]

Mohammed bin Nasir called on Badr bin Saif for help.[4] After a series of engagements, Qais was forced to retire to Sohar. Badr bin Saif became the effective ruler.[5] Allied with the Wahhabis, Badr bin Saif became increasingly unpopular.[6] To get his wards out of the way, Badr bin Saif made Salim bin Sultan governor of Al Maşna‘ah, on the Batinah coast and Said bin Sultan governor of Barka.[7]

In March 1807 Said bin Sultan lured Badr bin Saif to Barka and murdered him nearby. Said was proclaimed ruler of Oman.[8][1] There are different accounts of what happened, but it seems clear that Said struck the first blow and his supporters finished the job. Said was acclaimed by the people as a liberator from the Wahhabis, who left the country. Qais bin Ahmad at once gave his support to Said. Nervous of the Wahhabi reaction, Said blamed Mohammed bin Nasir for the murder.[1]


Said bin Sultan became the sole ruler of Oman, apparently with the consent of his brother. Their aunt, the daughter of the Imam Ahmad bin Said al-Busaidi, seems to have influenced this decision.[9]

In 1835, he ratified a treaty with the United States on very favorable terms, that had been negotiated by Edmund Roberts at Muscat on September 21, 1833,[10] and returned by USS Peacock.[11]

In 1837, he conquered Mombasa, Kenya. In 1840, Said moved his capital from Muscat, Oman, to Stone Town, Zanzibar where Richard Waters was American Consul,[12] and sent a ship to the United States to try to further a trading relationship.[13]

Upon Said's death in 1856, his realm was divided. His third son, Thuwaini bin Said, became the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, and his sixth son, Majid bin Said, became the Sultan of Zanzibar.

The National Museum of Oman in Muscat houses numerous items of silverware and other possessions that belonged to Said.


Said had 36 children

  1. Sheikh Sultan bin Said al-Said (ca. 1815–1851): an alcoholic, according to Ruete (Ch. 15), he left three sons, Saud, Faisal, and Muhammed
  2. Sheikh Khalid bin Said al-Said (c.1819–1854)
  3. Sheikh Thuwaini bin Said al-Said (also called Tueni) (−1866): Sultan of Muscat and Oman, 1856–1866
  4. Sheikh Muhammad bin Said al-Said (1826–1863): he "...was considered the most pious of our entire family.... cared little for the world and wordly goods.... possessed by... antipathy against Zanzibar" (Ch. 14, Ruete); he lived most of his life in Oman
  5. Sheikh Turki bin Said (1832–1888): Sultan of Muscat and Oman, 1871–1888
  6. Sheikh Majid bin Said Al-Busaid, 1st Sultan of Zanzibar (1834/5-1870): Sultan of Zanzibar, 1856–1870
  7. Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Said (?-1893)
  8. Sheikh Barghash bin Said Al-Busaid, 2nd Sultan of Zanzibar (1837–1888): Sultan of Zanzibar, 1870–1888
  9. Sheikh Abdu'l-Wahhab bin Said al-Said (1840–1866)
  10. Sheikh Jamshid bin Said al-Said (1842–1870)
  11. Sheikh Hamdan bin Said al-Said (1843–1858)
  12. Sheikh Ghalib bin Said al-Said
  13. Sheikh Sawedan bin Said al-Said (1845–?)
  14. Sheikh Abdu'l-Aziz bin Said al-Said (1850–1907)
  15. Sheikh Khalifah bin Said Al-Busaid, 3rd Sultan of Zanzibar (1852–1890): Sultan of Zanzibar, 1888–1890
  16. Sheikh Hamad bin Said al-Said
  17. Sheikh Shuwaid bin Said al-Said
  18. Sheikh Abbas bin Said al-Said
  19. Sheikh Manin bin Said al-Said
  20. Sheikh Ali bin Said Al-Busaid, 4th Sultan of Zanzibar (1854–1893): Sultan of Zanzibar, 1890–1893
  21. Sheikh Badran bin Said al-Said (?-1887)
  22. Sheikh Nasir bin Said al-Said (also called Nasor) (?-1887) went to Mecca with his older sister Chadudj: died in his twenties
  23. Sheikh Abdu'l-Rab bin Said al-Said (?-1888)
  24. Sheikh Ahmad bin Said al-Said
  25. Sheikh Talib bin Said al-Said
  26. Sheikh Abdullah bin Said al-Said
  27. Sheikha Sharîfe of Zanzibar and Oman: the daughter of a Circassian woman, she was "a dazzling beauty with the complexion of a German blonde. Besides, she possessed a sharp intellect, which made her into a faithful advisor of my father's" (described in Ruete, Ch. 15)
  28. Sheikha Chole (or Khwala) of Zanzibar and Oman (died 1875): the daughter of a Mesopotamian woman, she "was particularly close to our father; her enchanting personality, her cheerfulness and charm won him over completely" (Ruete, Ch. 15)
  29. Sheikha Aashe of Zanzibar and Oman: full sister of Chole; after the death of their brother Hilal (1851), she "took motherly care of his eldest son Suud" (Ruete)
  30. Sheikha Chadudj of Zanzibar and Oman: full sister of Majid; after his death (1870), she went with her younger brother Nasir to Mecca and died not long afterward (Ruete)
  31. Sheikha Shewâne of Zanzibar and Oman: the daughter of an Abyssinian woman; "a classical beauty ... endowed with a keen mind", she died early (Ruete)
  32. Sheikha Mettle of Zanzibar and Oman: the daughter of an Abyssinian woman, she married a "distant cousin" in Stonetown and had "two charming twin boys" (Ruete)
  33. Sheikha Zeyâne of Zanzibar and Oman: the daughter of an Abyssinian woman (Ruete)
  34. Sheikha Semsem of Zanzibar and Oman: full sister of Zeyâne, she was married "rather late in life [to] our distant cousin Humud" (Ruete)
  35. Sheikha Nunu of Zanzibar and Oman: the daughter of a Circassian woman, she was born blind; after the deaths of her parents, she lived with her sister Aashe (Ruete)
  36. Sheikha Salme of Zanzibar and Oman (1844–1924): she became known as Emily Ruete[14]from then


Said bin Sultan honors that included:[15]

Further reading[edit]

  • Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar, Emily Ruete, 1888. (Many reprints). Author (1844–1924) was born Princess Salme of Zanzibar and Oman and was a daughter of Sayyid Said. In the fifteenth chapter of her book, she describes her sisters and two of her brothers (Hilal and Thuweini).




External links[edit]