House of Saud

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House of Saud
آل سعود
Royal house
Emblem of Saudi Arabia.svg
Emblem of Saudi Arabia, adopted in 1950
Parent familyAl-Muqrin of the Diriyah house of Al-Muraydi of either Anizzah or Banu Hanifa
CountryFlag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Founded1744 (1744)
Founder Muhammad bin Saud (died 1765)
Current head Salman bin Abdulaziz
Titles
Members Salman of Saudi Arabia and other members with relationship
ReligionIslam

The House of Saud (Arabic : آل سعود, romanized: ʾĀl SuʿūdIPA:  [ʔaːl sʊʕuːd] ) is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. It is composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the Emirate of Diriyah, known as the First Saudi state (1744–1818), and his brothers, though the ruling faction of the family is primarily led by the descendants of Ibn Saud, the modern founder of Saudi Arabia. [1] The most influential position of the royal family is the King of Saudi Arabia. King Salman, who reigns currently, chose first his nephew and then his son as the crown prince without consulting the Allegiance Council. The family is estimated to comprise 15,000 members, but the majority of the power and wealth is possessed by a group of about 2,000 of them. [2] [3]

The romanization of Arabic writes written and spoken Arabic in the Latin script in one of various systematic ways. Romanized Arabic is used for a number of different purposes, among them transcription of names and titles, cataloging Arabic language works, language education when used in lieu of or alongside the Arabic script, and representation of the language in scientific publications by linguists. These formal systems, which often make use of diacritics and non-standard Latin characters and are used in academic settings or for the benefit of non-speakers, contrast with informal means of written communication used by speakers such as the Latin-based Arabic chat alphabet.

A royal family is the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family. The term imperial family appropriately describes the family of an emperor or empress, and the term papal family describes the family of a pope, while the terms baronial family, comital family, ducal family, archducal family, grand ducal family, or princely family are more appropriate to describe, respectively, the relatives of a reigning baron, count, duke, archduke, grand duke, or prince. However, in common parlance members of any family which reigns by hereditary right are often referred to as royalty or "royals." It is also customary in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family. A dynasty is sometimes referred to as "the House of ...". As of July 2013, there are 26 active sovereign monarchies in the world who rule or reign over 43 countries in all.

Saudi Arabia Country in Western Asia

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second-largest in the Arab world, the fifth-largest in Asia, and the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south; it is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia also enjoys one of the world's youngest populations; 50% of its 33.4 million people are under 25 years old.

Contents

The House of Saud has gone through three phases: the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State (1744–1818), marked by the expansion of Wahhabism; the Emirate of Nejd, the Second Saudi State (1824–1891), marked with continuous infighting; and the Third Saudi State (1902–present), which evolved into Saudi Arabia in 1932 and now wields considerable influence in the Middle East. The family has had conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, the Sharif of Mecca, the Al Rashid family of Ha'il and their vassal houses in Najd, numerous Islamist groups both inside and outside Saudi Arabia and Shia minority in Saudi Arabia.

Emirate of Diriyah 1744–1818 country in Arabian Peninsula

The Emirate of Diriyah was the first Saudi state. It was established in the year 1744 when Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Prince Muhammad bin Saud formed an alliance to found a socio-religious reform movement to unify the many states of the Arabian Peninsula and free it from Ottoman rule. In 1744, both Muhammed bin Abd Al Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud took an oath to achieve their goal. Marriage between Muhammad bin Saud's son, Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad, and the daughter of the Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab helped to seal the pact between their families which has lasted through the centuries to the present day.

Wahhabism Religious movement and branch of Sunni Islam

Wahhabism is an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. It has been variously described as "ultraconservative", "austere", "fundamentalist", or "puritan(ical)"; as an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship" (tawhid) by devotees; and as a "deviant sectarian movement", "vile sect" and a distortion of Islam by its detractors. The term Wahhabi(sm) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid. claiming to emphasize the principle of tawhid, for exclusivity on monotheism, dismissing other Muslims as practising shirk, (idolatry). It follows the theology of Ibn Taymiyyah and the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, although Hanbali leaders renounced Abd al-Wahhab's views.

Emirate of Nejd 1818– 1891 country in Arabian Peninsula

The Emirate of Nejd was the second Saudi state, existing between 1824 and 1891 in Nejd, the regions of Riyadh and Ha'il of what is now Saudi Arabia. Saudi rule was restored to central and eastern Arabia after the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State, having previously been brought down by the Ottoman Empire's Egypt Eyalet in the Ottoman–Wahhabi War (1811–1818).

The succession to the Saudi Arabian throne was designed to pass from one son of the first king, Ibn Saud, to another. The next in line, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is the son of King Salman. [4] [5] [6] The king-appointed cabinet includes more members of the royal family. The monarchy was hereditary by agnatic seniority until 2006, when a royal decree provided that future Saudi kings are to be elected by a committee of Saudi princes. [7]

Succession to the Saudi Arabian throne

The order of succession to the throne of Saudi Arabia is determined by, and within, the House of Saud. Every King of Saudi Arabia, upon his death, has been duly succeeded by the crown prince, with a new crown prince then being appointed according to agnatic seniority among the sons of Ibn Saud, though various members of the family have been bypassed for various reasons. A deputy crown prince was first selected in 2014.

Mohammad bin Salman Saudi crown prince and minister of defense

Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, colloquially known as MbS, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He is currently serving as the country's deputy prime minister and is also chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and minister of defense – the world's youngest at the time of his appointment. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman. He was appointed crown prince in June 2017 following King Salman's decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammed bin Salman heir presumptive to the throne.

Hereditary monarchy is a form of government and succession of power in which the throne passes from one member of a royal family to another member of the same family. It represents an institutionalised form of nepotism.

Title

Genealogical table of the leaders of the Al Saud House of Saud rulers.svg
Genealogical table of the leaders of the Āl Saud

House of Saud is a translation of Al Saud, an Arabic dynastic name formed by adding the word Al (meaning "family of" or "House of") [8] to the personal name of an ancestor. In the case of the Al Saud, the ancestor is Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin, the father of the dynasty's 18th century founder Muhammad bin Saud (Muhammad, son of Saud). [9]

Arabic names were historically based on a long naming system; most Arabs did not have given/middle/family names, but a full chain of names. This system is mainly in use throughout the Arab world.

Sheikh Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin was the eponymous ancestor of the House of Saud, otherwise known as the Al-Saud.

Muhammad ibn Saud, also known as Ibn Saud, was the emir of Ad-Diriyyah and is considered the founder of the First Saudi State and the Saud dynasty, which are technically named for his father – Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin. Ibn Saud's family traced its descent to the tribe of Banu Audi and Hanifa tribes but, despite popular misconceptions, Muhammad ibn Saud was neither a nomadic bedouin nor was he a tribal leader. Rather, he was the chief (emir) of an agricultural settlement near modern-day Riyadh, called Diriyah. Furthermore, he was a competent and ambitious desert warrior.

Today, the surname "Al Saud" is carried by any descendant of Muhammad bin Saud or his three brothers Farhan, Thunayyan, and Mishari. Al Saud's other family branches like Saud al-Kabir, the Al Jiluwi, the Al Thunayan, the Al Mishari and the Al Farhan are called cadet branches. Members of the cadet branches hold high and influential positions in government though they are not in the line of succession to the Saudi throne. Many cadet members intermarry within the Al Saud to reestablish their lineage and continue to wield influence in the government. [10] [11]

All members of the royal family have the title of Emir (Prince) but sons, daughters, patrilineal granddaughters and grandsons of Ibn Saud are referred to by the style "His Royal Highness" (HRH), differing from those belonging to the cadet branches who are called "His Highness" (HH), while the reigning king has the additional title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. [10] [11] [12]

A prince is a male ruler ranked below a king and above a duke or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is also a title of nobility, often hereditary, in some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun princeps, from primus (first) and capio, meaning "the chief, most distinguished, ruler, prince".

Ibn Saud Founder of Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz ibn Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Saud, usually known within the Arab world as Abdulaziz and in the West as Ibn Saud, was the first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia, the "third Saudi state".

A style of office, honorific or manner/form of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address, and may often be used in conjunction with a title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religious figures also have styles.

History

Origins and early history

The earliest recorded ancestor of the Al Saud was Mani' ibn Rabiah Al-Muraydi who settled in Diriyah in 1446–1447 with his clan, the Mrudah. [13] Although the Mrudah are believed to be descended from the Rabi'ah tribal confederation, the 'Anizza branches of the Rabi'ah. [13] Mani was invited by a relative named Ibn Dir. Ibn Dir was the ruler of a set of villages and estates that make up modern-day Riyadh. [14] [15] [16] Mani's clan had been on a sojourn in east Arabia, near al-Qatif, from an unknown point in time. Ibn Dir handed Mani two estates called al-Mulaybeed and Ghusayba. Mani and his family settled and renamed the region "al-Diriyah", after their benefactor Ibn Dir. [17] [18]

The Mrudah became rulers of al-Diriyah, which prospered along the banks of Wadi Hanifa and became an important Najdi settlement. As the clan grew larger, power struggles ensued, with one branch leaving for nearby Dhruma, while another branch (the "Al Watban") left for the town of az-Zubayr in southern Iraq. The Al Muqrin became the ruling family among the Mrudah in Diriyah.

The name of the clan comes from Sheikh Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin who died in 1725. [19]

First Saudi state

The First Saudi State was founded in 1744. This period was marked by conquest of neighboring areas and by religious zeal. At its height, the First Saudi State included most of the territory of modern-day Saudi Arabia, and raids by Al Saud's allies and followers reached into Yemen, Oman, Syria, and Iraq. Islamic Scholars, particularly Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and his descendants, are believed to have played a significant role in Saudi rule during this period. The Saudis and their allies referred to themselves during this period as the Muwahhidun or Ahl al-Tawhid ("the monotheists"). Later they were referred to as the Wahhabis, a group of particularly strict, puritanical Sunni sect, named for its founder.

Leadership of the Al Saud during the time of their first state passed from father to son without incident. The first imam, Muhammad ibn Saud, was succeeded by his eldest son Abdulaziz in 1765. In 1802, Abdulaziz led ten thousand Wahhabi soldiers into an attack on the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala, in what is now southern Iraq and where Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad is buried. [20] Led by Abdulaziz, the Wahhabi soldiers killed more than two thousand people, including women and children. [20] The soldiers plundered the city, demolishing the massive golden dome above Hussein's tomb and loaded hundreds of camels with weapons, jewelry, coins and other valuable goods. [20]

The attack on Karbala convinced the Ottomans and the Egyptians that the Saudis were a threat to regional peace. [21] Abdulaziz was killed in 1803 by an assassin, believed by some to have been a Shi'ite seeking revenge over the sacking of Karbala the year before. Abdul-Aziz was in turn succeeded by his son, Saud, under whose rule the Saudi state reached its greatest extent. By the time Saud died in 1814, his son and successor Abdullah ibn Saud had to contend with an Ottoman-Egyptian invasion in the Ottoman–Wahhabi War seeking to retake lost Ottoman Empire territory. The mainly Egyptian force succeeded in defeating Abdullah's forces, taking over the Saudi capital of Diriyyah in 1818. Abdullah was taken prisoner and was soon beheaded by the Ottomans in Constantinople, putting an end to the First Saudi State. The Egyptians sent many members of the Al Saud clan and other members of the local nobility as prisoners to Egypt and Constantinople, and razed the Saudi capital Diriyyah.

Second Saudi state

Flag of the Second Saudi State Flag of the Second Saudi State.svg
Flag of the Second Saudi State

A few years after the fall of Diriyah in 1818, the Saudis were able to re-establish their authority in Najd, establishing the Emirate of Nejd, commonly known as the Second Saudi State, with its capital in Riyadh.

Compared to the First Saudi State, the second Saudi period was marked by less territorial expansion (it never reconquered the Hijaz or 'Asir, for example) and less religious zeal, although the Saudi leaders continued to go by the title of imam and still employed Salafi religious scholars. The second state was also marked by severe internal conflicts within the Saudi family, eventually leading to the dynasty's downfall. In all but one instance, succession occurred by assassination or civil war, the exception being the passage of authority from Faisal ibn Turki to his son Abdullah ibn Faisal ibn Turki.

Saudi Arabia

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Ibn Saud and Franklin D. Roosevelt in February 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt with King Ibn Saud aboard USS Quincy (CA-71) on 14 February 1945 (USA-C-545).jpg
Ibn Saud and Franklin D. Roosevelt in February 1945

After his defeat at Mulayda, Abdul-Rahman ibn Faisal went with his family into exile in the deserts of eastern Arabia among the Al Murra bedouin. Soon afterward, however, he found refuge in Kuwait as a guest of the Kuwaiti emir, Mubarak Al Sabah. In 1902, Abdul-Rahman's son, Abdul Aziz, took on the task of restoring Saudi rule in Riyadh. Supported by a few dozen followers and accompanied by some of his brothers and relatives, Abdul Aziz was able to capture Riyadh's Masmak fort and kill the governor appointed there by Ibn Rashid. Abdul Aziz, reported to have been barely 20 at the time, was immediately proclaimed ruler in Riyadh. As the new leader of the House of Saud, Abdul Aziz became commonly known from that time onward as "Ibn Saud" in Western sources, though he is still called "Abdul Aziz" in the Arab world.

Ibn Saud spent the next three decades trying to re-establish his family's rule over central Arabia, starting with his native Najd. His chief rivals were the Al Rashid clan in Ha'il, the Sharifs of Mecca in the Hijaz, and the Ottoman Turks in al-Hasa. Ibn Saud also had to contend, however, with the descendants of his late uncle Saud ibn Faisal (later known as the "Saud al-Kabir" branch of the family), who posed as the rightful heirs to the throne. Though for a time acknowledging the sovereignty of the Ottoman Sultans and even taking the title of pasha , Ibn Saud allied himself to the British, in opposition to the Ottoman-backed Al Rashid. From 1915 to 1927, Ibn Saud's dominions were a protectorate of the British Empire, pursuant to the 1915 Treaty of Darin.

Ibn Saud won final victory over the Rashidis in 1921, making him the ruler of most of central Arabia. He consolidated his dominions as the Sultanate of Nejd. He then turned his attention to the Hijaz, finally conquering it in 1926, just months before the British protectorate ended. For the next five and a half years, he administered the two parts of his dual realm, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd, as separate units.

By 1932, Ibn Saud had disposed of all his main rivals and consolidated his rule over much of the Arabian Peninsula. He united his dominions into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that year. Ibn Saud's father, Abdul Rahman retained the honorary title of "imam." In 1937 near Dammam, American surveyors discovered what later proved to be Saudi Arabia's vast oil reserves. Before the discovery of oil, many family members were destitute. [22]

Ibn Saud sired dozens of children by his many wives. He had at most four wives at a time, divorcing many times. He made sure to marry into many of the noble clans and tribes within his territory, including the chiefs of the Bani Khalid, Ajman, and Shammar tribes, as well as the Al ash-Sheikh (descendants of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab). He also arranged for his sons and relatives to enter into similar marriages. He appointed his eldest surviving son, Saud as heir apparent, to be succeeded by the next eldest son, Faisal. The Saudi family became known as the "royal family," and each member, male and female, was accorded the title amir ("prince") or amira ("princess"), respectively.

Ibn Saud died in 1953, after having cemented an alliance with the United States in 1945. He is still celebrated officially as the "Founder," and only his direct descendants may take on the title of "his or her Royal Highness." The date of his recapture of Riyadh in 1902 was chosen to mark Saudi Arabia's centennial in 1999 (according to the Islamic lunar calendar).

Upon Ibn Saud's death, his son Saud assumed the throne without incident, but his lavish spending led to a power struggle with his brother, Crown Prince Faisal. In 1964, the royal family forced Saud to abdicate in favor of Faisal, aided by an edict from the country's grand mufti. During this period, some of Ibn Saud's younger sons, led by Talal ibn Abdul Aziz, defected to Egypt, calling themselves the "Free Princes" and calling for liberalization and reform, but were later induced to return by Faisal. They were fully pardoned but were also barred from any future positions in government.

U.S. President Barack Obama offers condolences on death of Saudi King Abdullah, Riyadh, 27 January 2015 President and First Lady Obama, With Saudi King Salman, Shake Hands With Members of the Saudi Royal Family.jpg
U.S. President Barack Obama offers condolences on death of Saudi King Abdullah, Riyadh, 27 January 2015

Faisal was assassinated in 1975 by a nephew, Faisal ibn Musaid, who was promptly executed. Another brother, Khalid, assumed the throne. The next prince in line had actually been Prince Muhammad, but he had relinquished his claim to the throne in favor of Khalid, his only full brother.

Khalid died of a heart attack in 1982, and was succeeded by Fahd, the eldest of the powerful "Sudairi Seven", so-called because they were all sons of Ibn Saud by his wife Hassa Al Sudairi. Fahd did away with the previous royal title of "his Majesty" and replaced it with the honorific "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques", in reference to the two Islamic holy sites in Mecca and Medina, in 1986.

A stroke in 1995 left Fahd largely incapacitated. His half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, gradually took over most of the king's responsibilities until Fahd's death in August 2005. Abdullah was proclaimed king on the day of Fahd's death and promptly appointed his younger brother, Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the minister of defense and Fahd's "Second Deputy Prime Minister," as the new heir apparent. On 27 March 2009, Abdullah appointed Prince Nayef Interior Minister as his "second deputy prime minister" and Crown Prince on 27 October. [23] Sultan died in October 2011 while Nayef died in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 June 2012. On 23 January 2015, Abdullah died after a prolonged illness, and his half-brother, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was declared the new King.

Political power

Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Pentagon, 13 May 2015 U.S.Defense Secretary Ash Carter places his hand over his heart as the national anthem plays during an honor cordon to welcome Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud to the Pentagon, May 13, 2015 150513-D-NI589-527c.jpg
Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Pentagon, 13 May 2015

The head of the House of Saud is the King of Saudi Arabia who serves as Head of State and monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The King holds almost absolute political power. The King appoints ministers to his cabinet who supervise their respective ministries in his name. The key ministries of Defence, the Interior, and Foreign Affairs are usually held by members of the Saud family, as are most of the thirteen regional governorships. Most portfolios, however, such as Finance, Labor, Information, Planning, Petroleum Affairs and Industry, have traditionally been given to commoners, often with junior Al Saud members serving as their deputies. House of Saud family members also hold many of the Kingdom's critical military and governmental departmental posts. Ultimate power in the Kingdom has always rested upon the Al Saud, though support from the Ulema, the merchant community, and the population at large has been key to the maintenance of the royal family's political status quo.

Long-term political and government appointments have occurred, such as those of King Faisal, who was Foreign Minister almost continuously from 1932 to 1975, King Abdullah, who was Commander of the National Guard from 1963 to 2010, and former Crown prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who was Minister of Defence and Aviation from 1962 until his death in 2011. Such terms of service have enabled senior princes to mingle their personal wealth with that of their respective domains. They have often appointed their own sons to senior positions within their own fiefdom. Examples of these include Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah as assistant commander in the National Guard until 2010; Prince Khalid bin Sultan as assistant minister of defence until 2013; Prince Mansour bin Mutaib as assistant minister for Municipal and Rural Affairs until he replaced his father in 2009; and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as assistant minister in the Interior Ministry. In cases, where portfolios have notably substantial budgets, appointments of younger, often full, brothers have been necessary, as deputies or vice ministers, ostensibly to share the wealth and the burdens of responsibility, of each fiefdom. Examples of these include Prince Abdul Rahman who was vice minister of defence and aviation under Prince Sultan; Prince Badr, deputy to King Abdullah in the National Guard; Prince Sattam, who was Deputy Riyadh Governor during King Salman's term; and Prince Ahmed, who held the deputy minister's portfolio under Prince Nayef's interior ministry.

Unlike Western royal families, the Saudi Monarchy has not had a clearly defined order of succession. Historically, upon becoming King, the monarch has designated an heir apparent to the throne who serves as Crown Prince of the Kingdom. Upon the King's death the Crown Prince becomes King, and during the King's incapacitation the Crown Prince, likewise, assumes power as regent. Though other members of the Al Saud hold political positions in the Saudi government, technically it is only the King and Crown Prince who legally constitute the political institutions.

Succession

U.S. President Jimmy Carter meets with King Khalid and Crown Prince Fahd in January 1978 Jimmy Carter and Cyrus Vance meet with Crown Prince Fahd and King Khalid of Saudi Arabia. - NARA - 177434.tif
U.S. President Jimmy Carter meets with King Khalid and Crown Prince Fahd in January 1978

Succession has been from brother-to-brother since the death of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Ibn Saud was succeeded by his son Saud. Saud was succeeded by his brother Faisal. Faisal was succeeded by his brother Khalid who, in turn, was succeeded by his brother Fahd. Fahd was succeeded by his brother Abdullah, and Abdullah by his brother Salman, the current King. Salman appointed his half-brother Muqrin as Crown Prince in January 2015 and removed him in April 2015. Even Abdulaziz's youngest son was to turn 70 in 2015. Abdulaziz, in 1920, had said that the further succession would be from brother-to-brother, not from father-to-son.

King Salman ended the brother-to-brother succession and appointed his 56-year-old nephew Muhammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince in April 2015, thus making the next succession from uncle-to-nephew. At the same time, King Salman appointed his son, Mohammad bin Salman, as Deputy Crown Prince, thus making the following succession from cousin-to-cousin, as Mohammad bin Salman is the cousin of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef. However, in June 2017, Salman elevated Mohammad bin Salman to Crown Prince, following his decision to depose Muhammad bin Nayef of all positions, making his son heir apparent to the throne, and making the next succession father-to-son, for the first time since 1953, when Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud succeeded his father, the founder of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud. [4] [5] [6]

Amid international outcry over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, members of Saudi's royal families are distressed over the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman becoming the next king. A lot of princes and members of the Al Saud family want Prince Ahmed to become the next king instead of MbS. During his London tour, Prince Ahmed criticized the Saudi leadership. He was also the only member of the ruling family to oppose MbS from becoming the crown prince in 2017. [24]

Wealth

Luxury yacht Kingdom 5KR owned by Saudi royal family, docked in Antibes, French Riviera Kingdom 5KR.jpg
Luxury yacht Kingdom 5KR owned by Saudi royal family, docked in Antibes, French Riviera

In June 2015 Forbes listed Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal as the 34th-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$28 billion. [25] Prince Al-Waleed had a net worth of $20.4 billion in 2014. [26] King Salman had a net worth estimated at US$17 billion in 2016. [27]

The net worth of the entire royal family has been estimated at well over $1.4 trillion which makes them one of the wealthiest families in the world if not the wealthiest. [28]

Many princes and government officials have been arrested in the 2017 in alleged anti corruption campaign by the King and Crown prince. United States President Donald Trump has expressed support for the arrests. [29]

Opposition

Demonstrators in Eastern Province during the 1979 Qatif Uprising Eastern Province Uprising 1979 5.jpg
Demonstrators in Eastern Province during the 1979 Qatif Uprising

Due to its authoritarian and quasi-theocratic rule, the House of Saud has attracted much criticism during its rule of Saudi Arabia. There have been numerous incidents, including the Wahhabi Ikhwan militia uprising during the reign of Ibn Saud. Osama Bin Laden, a critic of the US, was a critic of Saudi Arabia and was denaturalized in the mid 1990s. [30]

On 20 November 1979, the Grand Mosque seizure saw the al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca violently seized by a group of 500 heavily armed and provisioned Saudi dissidents led by Juhayman al-Otaybi and Abdullah al-Qahtani, [31] consisting mostly of members of the former Ikhwan militia of Otaibah [32] but also of other peninsular Arabs and a few Egyptians enrolled in Islamic studies at the Islamic University of Madinah. The Saudi royal family turned to the Ulema who duly issued a fatwa permitting the storming of the holy sanctuary by Saudi forces, aided by French and Pakistani special ops units. [33] According to Lawrence Wright, the GIGN commandos did convert to Islam. [34] Most of those responsible, including Al-Otaybi himself, were beheaded publicly in four cities of Saudi Arabia. [35]

In January 2016, Saudi Arabia executed the prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr, who had called for pro-democracy demonstrations, along with forty-seven other Saudi shia citizens sentenced by the Specialized Criminal Court on terrorism charges. [36]

Since May 2017 in response to protests against the government[ disputed ], the predominantly Shia town of Al-Awamiyah has been put under full siege by the Saudi military. Residents are not allowed to enter or leave, and military indiscriminately shells the neighborhoods with airstrikes, mortar [37] and artillery [38] fire along with snipers [39] shooting residents. [40] [41] [42] [43] Dozens of Shia civilians were killed, including a three year old and [44] a two-year-old child. [45] [46] The Saudi government claims it is fighting terrorists in al-Awamiyah.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman kept his own mother away from his father for more than two years, out of the fear that she would stop the king from giving the power to him. Princess Fahda bint Falah Al Hathleen, third wife of King Salman was said to be in the US for medical treatment. However, according to the US intelligence she was not in the country. [47]

Heads

King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Prince Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud at the Pentagon April 2012.jpg
King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

First Saudi state

  1. Muhammad ibn Saud (approx. 1710 [48] −1765) ruled 1744–1765
  2. Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud (died 1803) ruled 1765–1803
  3. Saud ibn Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad Al Saud (died 1814) ruled 1803–1814
  4. Abdullah ibn Saud (died 1818) ruled 1814–1818

Second Saudi state

1. Turki ibn Abdallah (1755–1834) ruled 1824 [49] −1834
2 and 5. Faisal ibn Turki Al Saud (1785–1865) ruled 1834–1838 and 1843–1865. Son of Turki
3. Khalid bin Saud ibn Abdul-Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud ruled 1838–1841. Distant cousin
4. Abdullah ibn Thunayyan ruled 1841–1843. Distant cousin
6, 8, and 11. Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud ruled 1865–1871, 1871–1873, 1876–1889. Son of Faisal
7 and 9. Saud ibn Faisal ibn Turki (died 1875) ruled 1871 and 1873–1875. Son of Faisal
10 and 12. Abdul-Rahman bin Faisal (1850–1928) ruled 1875–1876 and 1889–1891. Son of Faisal

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Royal Standard of the King Royal Standard of Saudi Arabia.svg
Royal Standard of the King
  1. Abdulaziz bin Abdul-Rahman bin Faisal known as Ibn Saud (15 January 1876 – 9 November 1953) ruled 1932 [50] –1953
  2. King Saud bin Abdulaziz (15 January 1902 – 24 January 1969) ruled 1953–1964
  3. King Faisal bin Abdulaziz (April 1906 – 25 March 1975) ruled 1964–1975
  4. King Khalid bin Abdulaziz (13 February 1913 – 13 June 1982) ruled 1975–1982
  5. King Fahd bin Abdulaziz (16 March 1920 – 1 August 2005) ruled 1982–2005
  6. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (1 August 1924 – 23 January 2015) ruled 2005–2015
  7. King Salman bin Abdulaziz (born 31 December 1935) since 2015

Most notable current members

Sons of King Abdulaziz

The list of King Abdulaziz's surviving sons, except for current Saudi monarch Salman, are as follows:

  1. Bandar bin Abdulaziz (born 1923)  Eldest surviving son, who is reportedly still alive.
  2. Mutaib bin Abdulaziz (born 1931)  Minister of municipal and rural affairs from 1975 to 2009. He has a long-standing family alliance with King Abdullah.
  3. Abdul llah bin Abdulaziz (born 1939)  Former governor of Al Jawf Province. He was special advisor to King Abdullah from 2008 to 2015.
  4. Mamdouh bin Abdulaziz (born 1940)  Former governor of Tabuk region who was removed from the post by King Fahd for insubordination. Later he was made director of Saudi Center of Strategic Studies.
  5. Ahmed bin Abdulaziz (born 1942)  Deputy minister of interior from 1975 to 2012; minister of interior from June 2012 to 5 November 2012.
  6. Mashhur bin Abdulaziz (born 1942)
  7. Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (born 1945)  Director general of the General Intelligence Directorate from 2005 to 2012; former governor of Ha'il and Madinah provinces. He was appointed second deputy prime minister on 1 February 2013 and he was made crown prince on 23 January 2015 when his half-brother Salman became king. On 28 April 2015 Muqrin was granted resignation based on his request to start the next generation of the royals.
Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Melania Trump, Riyadh, 20 May 2017 President Trump's Trip Abroad (34784285005).jpg
Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Melania Trump, Riyadh, 20 May 2017

Living daughter of King Abdulaziz

  1. Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz Al Saud

See also

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  50. Abdul-Aziz ruled various parts of the area between 1902 and 1932. The Kingdom was officially founded in 1932.

Further reading