Sites of major battles during the war.
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
| 4,000 dead|
| 2,000 dead|
The Wahhabi War or Ottoman-Saudi War (Turkish : Osmanlı-Suudi Savaşları, Arabic : الحرب العثمانية السعودية) was fought from early 1811 to 1818, between Egypt Eyalet under the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha (nominally under Ottoman rule) and the army of the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State, resulting in the destruction of the latter.
The Wahhabi movement is a reformist revivalist movement within Islam founded by Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab that would lead to creation of the Emirate of Diriyah as he and Muhammad bin Saud launched their campaign to reform Islam and consolidate power in Arabia from their power-base, and its eventual crushing by the Ottoman Empire's Egyptian khedive Muhammad Ali of Egypt.
In 1802 12,000 Wahhabis sacked Karbala in Iraq killing up to 5,000 people and plundering the Imam Husayn Shrine.By 1805, the Wahhabis controlled Mecca and Medina. The Wahhabis also attacked Ottoman trade caravans which interrupted the Ottoman finances. The Saudi amir denounced the Ottoman sultan and called into question the validity of his claim to be caliph and guardian of the sanctuaries of the Hejaz and the Ottoman Empire, suspicious of the ambitious Muhammad Ali, instructed him to fight the Wahhabis, as the defeat of either would be beneficial to them. Tensions between Muhammad Ali and his Albanian troops also prompted him to send them to Arabia and fight against the Wahhabi movement where many died.
Muhammad Ali was ordered to crush the Saudi state as early as December 1807 by Sultan Mustafa IV, however internal strife within Egypt prevented him from giving full attention to the Wahhabis. The Albanians were not able to recapture the holy cities until 1811.
in 1817, Ibrahim Pasha, Muhammad Ali's son, had taken over the campaign, gaining support of the volatile Arabian tribes by skillful diplomacy and lavish gifts, he advanced into central Arabia to occupy the towns of Unaizah and Buraidah. He was then joined by most of the principal tribes and marched to the Saudi capital Diriyah. However, their march to Diriyah was plagued by Wahhabi attacks when they arrived in Diriyah in April 1818. It took until September for the Wahhabis to surrender, in part due to Ibrahim's poorly trained army. Diriyah was destroyed in June 1819 and Egyptian garrisons were posted in the principal towns.
It was not until September 1818 that the Wahhabi state ended with the surrendering of its leaders and the head of the Wahhabi state, Abdullah bin Saud, who was sent to Istanbul to be executed.
Most of the political leaders were treated well but the Ottomans were far harsher with the religious leaders that inspired the Wahhabi movement, executing Sulayman ibn Abd Allah and other religious notables, as they were thought to be uncompromising in their beliefs and therefore a much bigger threat than political leaders. The execution also reflects the Ottoman resentment of the Wahhabist views.
This war had formed the basic hatred against the Wahhabi ideology among the Ottomans, and it continued to influence even modern Turkey when Turkish Islamic preachers consider Wahhabism to be non-Islam; virtually Turkish population is anti-Wahhabism. For the Saudis, who would form the nation a century later, the Saudis considered it as the first struggle for independence from the oppressive Ottoman Empire, and the current state of relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey is still influenced by this hostile past, whereas systematic campaign by the Saudis to rewrite the Ottoman past was denounced in Turkey.
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was a religious leader and theologian from Najd in central Arabia who founded the movement now called Wahhabism. Born to a family of jurists, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab's early education consisted of learning a fairly standard curriculum of orthodox jurisprudence according to the Hanbali school of law, which was the school of law most prevalent in his area of birth. Despite his initial rudimentary training in classical Sunni Muslim tradition, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab gradually became opposed to many of the most popular Sunni practices such as the visitation to and the veneration of the tombs of saints, which he felt amounted to heretical religious innovation or even idolatry. Despite his teachings being rejected and opposed by many of the most notable Sunni Muslim scholars of the period, including his own father and brother, Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab charted a religio-political pact with Muhammad bin Saud to help him to establish the Emirate of Diriyah, the first Saudi state, and began a dynastic alliance and power-sharing arrangement between their families which continues to the present day in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Al ash-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's leading religious family, are the descendants of Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, and have historically led the ulama in the Saudi state, dominating the state's clerical institutions.
The history of Saudi Arabia in its current form as a state began with its foundation in 1744, although the animal history of the region extends as far as 20,000 years ago. The region has had a global impact twice in world history. In the 7th century it became the cradle of Islam and the capital of the Islamic Rashidun Caliphate. From the mid-20th century the discovery of vast oil deposits propelled it into a key economic and geo-political role.
Wahhabism is an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. It has been variously described as "ultraconservative", "far-right" "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 or 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 ibn Abd al-Wahhab's views.
Najd or Nejd is a geographical central region of Saudi Arabia that accounts for about a third of the population of the country. Najd consists of the modern administrative regions of Riyadh, Al-Qassim, and Ha'il.
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces when he was merely a teenager. In the final year of his life, he succeeded his still living father as ruler of Egypt and Sudan, due to the latter's ill health. His rule also extended over the other dominions that his father had brought under Egyptian rule, namely Syria, Hejaz, Morea, Thasos, and Crete. Ibrahim pre-deceased his father, dying 10 November 1848, only four months after acceding to the throne. Upon his father's death the following year, the Egyptian throne passed to Ibrahim's nephew, Abbas.
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. 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.
Abdullah I bin Saud Al Saud ruled the First Saudi State from 1814 to 1818. He was the last ruler of the First Saudi State and was executed in Istanbul under the Ottoman Empire. Although the Ottomans maintained several garrisons in the Najd thereafter, they were unable to prevent the rise of the Emirate of Nejd led by Turki bin Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Saud.
Diriyah, formerly romanized as Dereyeh and Dariyya, is a town in Saudi Arabia located on the north-western outskirts of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of the Emirate of Diriyah under the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818. Today, the town is the seat of the Diriyah Governorate, which also includes the villages of Uyayna, Jubayla, and Al-Ammariyyah, among others, and is part of Ar Riyad Province.
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 Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab helped to seal the pact between their families which has lasted through the centuries to the present day.
Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia. The connection between Islam and Saudi Arabia is uniquely strong. The kingdom, which sometimes is called the "home of Islam", is the location of the cities of Mecca and Medina, where Muhammad, the messenger of the Islamic faith, lived and died, and attracts millions of Muslim Hajj pilgrims annually, and thousands of clerics and students who come from across the Muslim world to study. The official title of the King of Saudi Arabia is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques"—the two being Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina—which are considered the holiest in Islam.
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 Unification of the Saudi-ruled Arabia was a military and political campaign in 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. Unification started in 1902 and continued till 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.
Memoirs of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy to the Middle East or Confessions of a British Spy is a document purporting to be the account by an 18th-century British agent, Hempher, of his instrumental role in founding the conservative Islamic reform movement of Wahhabism, as part of a conspiracy to corrupt Islam. It first appeared in 1888, in Turkish, in the five-volume Mir'at al-Haramayn of Ayyub Sabri Pasha. It has been described as "apocryphal", and "an Anglophobic variation on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". It has been widely translated and disseminated, is available on the internet, and still enjoys some currency among some individuals in the Middle East and beyond. In 2002, an Iraqi military intelligence officer, in a "top secret document", made many of the same assertions regarding Wahhabism as are found in the book.
The destruction of sites associated with early Islam is an ongoing phenomenon that has occurred mainly in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, particularly around the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The demolition has focused on mosques, burial sites, homes and historical locations associated with the Islamic prophet Muhammad and many of the founding personalities of early Islamic history. In Saudi Arabia, many of the demolitions have officially been part of the continued expansion of the Masjid al-Haram at Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina and their auxiliary service facilities in order to accommodate the ever-increasing number of Muslims performing the pilgrimage (hajj).
The Vilayet of the Hejaz refers to the Hejaz region of Arabia when it was administered as a first-level province (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century, it reportedly had an area of 96,500 square miles (250,000 km2). The Hejaz included all land from the southern border of the Vilayet of Syria, south of the city of Ma‛an, to the northern border of the Vilayet of Yemen, north of the city of Al Lith.
The Al ash-Sheikh, also transliterated in a number of other ways, including Al ash-Shaykh, Al ash-Shaikh, Al al-Shaykh, or Al-Shaykh, is Saudi Arabia's leading religious family. They are the descendants of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the 18th-century founder of the Wahhabi sect of Islam which is today dominant in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, the family is second in prestige only to the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud, with whom they formed a power-sharing arrangement nearly 300 years ago. The arrangement, which persists to this day, is based on the Al Saud maintaining the Al ash-Sheikh's authority in religious matters and the Al ash-Sheikh supporting the Al Saud's political authority.
Al-Khaldi is the last name given to members of the tribe of Bani Khalid. The family descends from Khalid ibn al-Walid senior companion of the Prophet Muhammad, and esteemed General who was crucial in the Islamic Conquest of Persia and Syria. After Khalid died in Homs, Syria his descendants scattered throughout the Islamic World, stretching from Spain to India. Nowadays they are highly concentrated in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, as well as the Gaza Strip, and Irbid, Jordan.
The Ottoman era in the history of Arabia lasted from 1517 to 1918. Ottoman degree of control over these lands varied over the four centuries with the fluctuating strength or weakness of the Empire's central authority.
Muhammad I ibn Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin Al-Maridi, 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 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.
Al-Baqi cemetery, the oldest and one of the two most important Islamic graveyards located in Medina, in current-day Saudi Arabia, was demolished in 1806 and, following reconstruction in the mid-19th century, was destroyed again in 1925 or 1926. An alliance of the House of Saud, and the followers of the Mainstream Sunni Islam known as the Emirate of Diriyah, carried out the first demolition. The Sultanate of Nejd, also ruled by the House of Saud and followers of Sunni Islam, carried out the second. In both cases, the actors were motivated by the authentic interpretation of Islam, which prohibits the building of monuments on graves.