Kingdom of Hejaz

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The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz

المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية
Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah
Coat of arms of Kingdom of Hejaz.svg
Coat of arms
Kingdom of Hejaz Map.svg
Kingdom of Hejaz (green) and present Hejaz region
Capital Mecca
Common languages Arabic
Sunni Islam
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Hussein bin Ali
Ali bin Hussein
Historical era World War 1
Interwar period
 Kingdom established
10 June 1916
10 August 1920
 Foundation of the Sharifian Caliphate
3 March 1924
  Conquered by Nejd
19 December 1925
  Ibn Saud crowned King of Hejaz
8 January 1926
1920250,000 km2 (97,000 sq mi)
Currency Hejaz pound
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Hejaz Vilayet
Kingdom of Hejaz and Sultanate of Nejd Flag of Hejaz 1920.svg
Emirate of Transjordan Flag of Jordan.svg
Today part ofMakkah



The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz (Arabic : المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية, Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah) was a state in the Hejaz region in the Middle East, the western portion of the Arabian peninsula ruled by the Hashemite dynasty. It achieved national independence after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire by the British Empire, during World War I, when the Sharif of Mecca fought in alliance with the British Imperial forces to drive the Ottoman Army from the Arabian Peninsula during the Arab Revolt.

Hejaz Place

The Hejaz, is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. The region is so called as it separates the land of the Najd in the east from the land of Tihamah in the west. It is also known as the "Western Province". It is bordered on the west by the Red Sea, on the north by Jordan, on the east by the Najd, and on the south by 'Asir Region. Its largest city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. As the site of the two holiest sites in Islam, the Hejaz has significance in the Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape.

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.


The new kingdom had a brief life and then was conquered in 1925 by the neighbouring Sultanate of Nejd under a resurgent House of Saud, creating the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. [1]

The Saudi conquest of Hejaz or the Second Saudi-Hashemite War, also known as the Hejaz-Nejd War, was a campaign engaged by Saudi Sultan Abdulaziz Ibn Saud to take over the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz in 1924–25, ending with conquest and incorporation of Hejaz into the Saudi domain.

Sultanate of Nejd

The Sultanate of Nejd was the second iteration of the third Saudi state, from 1921 to 1926. It was a monarchy led by the House of Saud. This version of the third Saudi state was created when Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, Emir of Riyadh, declared himself Sultan over Nejd and its dependencies. In December 1925 the Kingdom of Hejaz surrendered to the forces of Abdul Aziz, who was thereafter proclaimed King of Hejaz in January 1926 and merged his dominions into the Kingdom of Hejaz and Sultanate of Nejd.

House of Saud the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia

The House of Saud 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. 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.

On 23 September 1932, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd joined the Saudi dominions of Al-Hasa and Qatif, as the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [2] [3]

Qatif Place in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Qatif or Al-Qatif is a governorate and urban area located in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. It extends from Ras Tanura and Jubail in the north to Dammam in the south, and from the Persian Gulf in the east to King Fahd International Airport in the west. This region has its own municipality and includes the Qatif downtown and many other smaller cities and towns.

Unification of Saudi Arabia conflict (1902–1932)

The unification of Saudi Arabia was a military and political campaign, by which the various tribes, sheikhdoms, city-states, emirates, and kingdoms of most of the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by the House of Saud, or Al Saud, between 1902 and 1932, when the modern-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed under the leadership of Ibn Saud, creating what is sometimes referred to as the Third Saudi State, to differentiate it from the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State and the Emirate of Nejd, the Second Saudi State, also House of Saud states.

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.


Sharif Hussein Sharif Husayn.jpg
Sharif Hussein

In their capacity as Caliphs, the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire would appoint an official known as the Sharif of Mecca. The role went to a member of the Hashemite family, but the Sultans typically promoted Hashemite inter-familial rivalries in their choice, preventing the building of a solid base of power in the Sharif.

The Sharif of Mecca or Hejaz was the title of the leader of the Sharifate of Mecca, traditional steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the surrounding Hejaz. The term sharif means "noble" in Arabic and is used to describe the descendants of Prophet Muhammad's grandson al-Hassan ibn Ali.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Sultan, in his capacity as Caliph, declared a jihad against the Entente powers. The British in particular hoped to co-opt the Sharif as a weighty alternative religious figure backing them in the conflict. The British already had a series of treaties with other Arab leaders in the region and were also fearful that the Hejaz could be used as a base to attack their shipping to and from India. The Sharif was cautious but, after discovering that the Ottomans planned to remove and possibly murder him, agreed to work with the British if they would support a wider Arab revolt and the establishment of an independent Arab kingdom the British implied they would. After the Ottomans executed other Arab nationalist leaders in Damascus and Beirut, the Hejaz rose against and soundly defeated them, almost completely expelling them (Medina remaining under Ottoman control throughout).

Jihad is an Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim. In an Islamic context, it can refer to almost any effort to make personal and social life conform with God's guidance, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, religious proselytizing, or efforts toward the moral betterment of the ummah, though it is most frequently associated with war. In classical Islamic law, the term refers to armed struggle against unbelievers, while modernist Islamic scholars generally equate military jihad with defensive warfare. In Sufi and pious circles, spiritual and moral jihad has been traditionally emphasized under the name of greater jihad. The term has gained additional attention in recent decades through its use by terrorist groups.

Damascus City in Syria

Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic; it is also the country's largest city, following the decline in population of Aleppo due to the battle for the city. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām (الشام) and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009.

Beirut City in Lebanon

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country's largest and main seaport.

In 1916, the Sharif of Mecca Hussein bin Ali declared himself King of Hejaz as his Sharifian Army participated with other Arab forces and the British Empire in expelling the Turks from the Arabian peninsula. [4] [5]

Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca King of Hejaz

Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi was a Hashemite Arab leader who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after proclaiming the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, King of the Hejaz from 1916 to 1924. At the end of his reign he also briefly laid claim to the office of Caliph. He was said to be a 37th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family.

Sharifian Army

The Sharifian Army, also known as the Arab Army or the Hejazi army was the military force behind the Arab Revolt which was a part of the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. Sharif Husayn ibn 'Ali of the Kingdom of Hejaz, who was proclaimed "Sultan of the Arabs" in 1916, led the Sharifian Army in a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire with the ultimate goal of uniting the Arab people under an independent government. Aided both financially and militarily by the British, Husayn's forces gradually moved north through the Hijaz and, fought alongside the British-controlled Egyptian Expeditionary Force, eventually taking Damascus. Once there, members of the Sharifian Army set up a short-lived monarchy led by Faisal, a son of Sharif Husayn.

The British though, were compromised by their agreement to give the French control of Syria (comprising modern-day Syria and Lebanon) and did not, in Hussein's eyes, honour their commitments. Nevertheless, they did eventually create Hashemite-ruled kingdoms (in protectorate form) in Jordan and in Iraq, as well as Hejaz. Hussein refused to conclude a treaty of friendship with the British, who then later chose not to intervene when another British client, Ibn Saud invaded and conquered Hejaz.

Kings of Hejaz

See also

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  1. Yamani, M. (2009), Cradle of Islam: the Hijaz and the quest for an Arabian identity (Pbk. ed.), I.B. Tauris, ISBN   978-1-84511-824-2
  2. Al-Rasheed, M. A History of Saudi Arabia. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  3. A Brief overview of Hejaz - Hejaz history
  4. Baker, Randall (1979), King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz, Cambridge, England. New York: Oleander Press, ISBN   978-0-900891-48-9
  5. Teitelbaum, Joshua (2001), The rise and fall of the Hashimite Kingdom of Arabia, New York University Press, ISBN   978-0-8147-8271-2