72 Facts About Ibn Saud


Ibn Saud had ruled parts of the kingdom since 1902, having previously been Emir, Sultan, and King of Nejd, and King of Hejaz.


Ibn Saud was the son of Abdul Rahman bin Faisal, Emir of Nejd, and Sara bint Ahmed Al Sudairi.


Ibn Saud reconquered Riyadh in 1902, starting three decades of conquests that made him the ruler of nearly all of central and north Arabia.


Ibn Saud consolidated his control over the Nejd in 1922, then conquered the Hejaz in 1925.


Ibn Saud extended his dominions into what later became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.


Ibn Saud fathered many children, including 45 sons, and all of the subsequent kings of Saudi Arabia as of 2023.


The Al Ibn Saud family had been a power in central Arabia for the previous 130 years.


Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman, known as Ibn Saud, was born on 15 January 1875 in Riyadh.


Ibn Saud was the fourth child and third son of Abdul Rahman bin Faisal, one of the last rulers of the Emirate of Nejd, the Second Saudi State, a tribal sheikhdom centered on Riyadh.


Ibn Saud's mother was Sara bint Ahmed of the Sudairi family.


Ibn Saud's full-siblings were Faisal, Noura, Bazza, Haya and Saad.


Ibn Saud had a number of half-siblings from his father's other marriages, including Muhammad, Abdullah, Ahmed, and Musaid, who all had roles in the Saudi government.


Ibn Saud was taught Quran by Abdullah Al Kharji in Riyadh.


Ibn Saud developed a rapport with the Kuwaiti ruler Mubarak Al Sabah and frequently visited his majlis.


However, Ibn Saud did not cancel the raid and managed to reach Riyadh.


Ibn Saud began to live in the palace of his grandfather, Faisal bin Turki, in Riyadh when he settled in the city.


Ibn Saud was a charismatic leader and kept his men supplied with arms.


On 15 June 1904, Ibn Saud's forces suffered a major defeat at the hands of the combined Ottoman and Rashidi forces.


Ibn Saud's forces regrouped and began to wage guerrilla warfare against the Ottomans.


However, in February 1905 Ibn Saud was named qaimmaqam of southern Nejd by the Ottomans.


Ibn Saud completed his conquest of the Nejd and the eastern coast of Arabia in 1912.


Ibn Saud then founded the Ikhwan, a military-religious brotherhood, which was to assist in his later conquests, with the approval of local Salafi ulema.


In May 1914, Ibn Saud made a secret agreement with the Ottomans as a result of his unproductive attempts to get protection from the British.


In exchange, Ibn Saud pledged to again make war against Ibn Rashid, who was an ally of the Ottomans.


The Treaty of Darin remained in effect until superseded by the Jeddah conference of 1927 and the Dammam conference of 1952, during both of which Ibn Saud extended his boundaries past the Anglo-Ottoman Blue Line.


Ibn Saud launched his campaign against the Al Rashidi in 1920; by 1922 they had been all but destroyed.


The defeat of the Al Rashidi doubled the size of Saudi territory because, after the war of Ha'il, Ibn Saud sent his army to occupy Al Jouf and the army led by Eqab bin Mohaya, the head of the Talhah tribe.


Ibn Saud met Percy Cox, British High Commissioner in Iraq, to draw boundaries and the treaty saw Britain recognize many of Ibn Saud's territorial gains.


In exchange, Ibn Saud agreed to recognize British territories in the area, particularly along the Persian Gulf coast and in Iraq.


In 1925, Ibn Saud's forces captured the holy city of Mecca from Sharif Hussein, ending 700 years of Hashemite rule.


Ibn Saud raised Nejd to a kingdom as well on 29 January 1927.


The few portions of central Arabia that had not been overrun by the Saudi-Ikhwan forces had treaties with London, and Ibn Saud was sober enough to see the folly of provoking the British by pushing into these areas.


On 23 September 1932, Ibn Saud formally united his realm into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with himself as its king.


Ibn Saud transferred his court to Murabba Palace from the Masmak Fort in 1938 and the palace remained his residence and the seat of government until his death in 1953.


Ibn Saud had to first eliminate the right of his own father in order to rule, and then distance and contain the ambitions of his five brothers, particularly his brother Muhammad, who had fought with him during the battles and conquests that gave birth to the state.


Petroleum was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938 by SoCal, after Ibn Saud granted a concession in 1933.


Ibn Saud's newly found oil wealth brought a great deal of power and influence that he would use to advantage in the Hejaz.


Ibn Saud forced many nomadic tribes to settle down and abandon "petty wars" and vendettas.


Ibn Saud began widespread enforcement of the new kingdom's ideology, based on the teachings of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab.


Ibn Saud was able to gain loyalty from tribes near Saudi Arabia, such as those in Jordan.


Ibn Saud supported Rashed and his followers in rebellion against Hussein.


Ibn Saud noticed the old woman having trouble bringing the money back to her home, so he had his aid service deliver the money and accompany her back to her home.


Ibn Saud was on a picnic outside of Riyadh when he came across an elderly man dressed in rags.


Ibn Saud, saddened by the man's condition, removed his cloak and gave it to him.


Ibn Saud offered the elderly man a stipend to help him with his everyday costs.


Ibn Saud gave them "royal kits" of bread and "waayid," which were monetary gifts given to them on an annual basis.


Ibn Saud positioned Saudi Arabia as neutral in World War II, but was generally considered to favor the Allies.


However, in 1938, when an attack on a main British pipeline in the Kingdom of Iraq was found to be connected to the German Ambassador, Fritz Grobba, Ibn Saud provided Grobba with refuge.


Ibn Saud participated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, but Saudi Arabia's contribution was generally considered token.


Ibn Saud's advisors regarded this as an old man's folly.


Ibn Saud was known to have a strong, charming, and charismatic personality that earned him respect among his people and foreign diplomats.


Ibn Saud was the father of almost one hundred children, including 45 sons.


Mohammed Leopold Weiss reported in 1929 that one of Ibn Saud's spouses had poisoned the King in 1924, causing him to have poor sight in one eye.


One of the significant publications about Ibn Saud in the Western media was a comprehensive article by Noel Busch published in Life magazine in May 1943 which introduced him as a legendary monarch.


Ibn Saud had a kennel for salukis, a dog breed originated in the Middle East.


Ibn Saud gave two of his salukis, a male and a mate, to British Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson who brought them to Washington DC, USA.


Ibn Saud was said to be very close to his paternal aunt, Jawhara bint Faisal.


Ibn Saud was instrumental in making him decide to return to Nejd from Kuwait and regain the territories of his family.


Ibn Saud was well educated in Islam, in Arab custom and in tribal and clan relationships.


Ibn Saud remained among the King's most trusted and influential advisors all her life.


Ibn Saud asked her about the experiences of past rulers and the historical allegiance and the roles of tribes and individuals.


Ibn Saud was very close to his sister Noura, who was one year older.


Ibn Saud survived the attack unhurt, and three assassins were arrested.


Ibn Saud appointed his second son, Prince Saud, heir to the Saudi throne in 1933.


Ibn Saud had many quarrels with his brother Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman as to who should be appointed heir.


Since Faisal was a child, Ibn Saud recognised him as the most capable of his sons and often tasked him with responsibilities in war and diplomacy.


Ibn Saud experienced heart disease in his final years and, was half blind and racked by arthritis.


Ibn Saud died in his sleep of a heart attack in Shubra Palace in Ta'if on 9 November 1953 at the age of 78, and Prince Faisal was at his side.


Ibn Saud's body was brought to Riyadh where he was buried in Al Oud cemetery next to his sister Noura.


On 23 November 1916, British diplomat Sir Percy Cox arranged the Three Leaders Conference in Kuwait where Ibn Saud was awarded the Star of India and the Order of the British Empire.


Ibn Saud was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire on 1 January 1920.


Ibn Saud was awarded the British Order of the Bath in 1935, the American Legion of Merit in 1947, and the Spanish Order of Military Merit in 1952.