First Saudi State
Found in: History of Saudi Arabia
The First Saudi State was established in the year 1744 (1157 A.H.) when Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab settled in Diriyah and Prince Muhammad ibn Saud (of Diriyah) agreed to support and espouse Wahhab's cause, with a view of cleansing the Islamic faith from what they considered to be distortions of Islamic practice (see Wahhabism). The House of Saud and its allies rose to become the dominant state in Arabia, first subduing Nejd, then extending their influence over the eastern coast from Kuwait down to the borders of Oman. The Saudis also brought the highlands of 'Asir under their suzerainty, and their Wahhabi forces conducted raids on the frontiers of Iraq and Syria, culminating in the sacking of the Shi'a holy city of Karbala in 1801.
In 1802 Saudi forces brought the region of Hejaz under their control, capturing the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina. This was a massive blow to the prestige of the Ottoman Empire, which had exercised sovereignty over the holy cities since 1517, and the lethargic Ottomans were finally moved to action. The task of destroying the Wahhabis was given by the Ottomans to their powerful viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha. Muhammad Ali sent his troops to the Hejaz by sea and recaptured it. His son, Ibrahim Pasha, then led Ottoman forces into the heart of Nejd, capturing town after town, and allowing his troops to pillage recalcitrant villages mercilessly in events that are remembered in Nejd to this day. Finally, Ibrahim reached the Saudi capital at Diriyah and placed it under siege for several months until it surrendered in the winter of 1818. Ibrahim then shipped off many members of the clans of Al Saud and Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab to Egypt and the Ottoman capital, Istanbul, and ordered the systematic destruction of Diriyah, whose ruins have remained virtually untouched ever since. The last Saudi Imam, Abdullah bin Saud was later executed in the Ottoman capital, and his severed head was thrown into the waters of the Bosphorus. Thus, what later became known as the First Saudi State came to an end, but both the Wahhabi movement and the Al Saud clan lived on to found a Second Saudi State that lasted until 1891, and later a third state, Saudi Arabia, which continues to the present day.
Rulers of the first Saudi state
Imam Muhammad ibn Saud 1726–1744 (Prince of Diriyah) ,1744–1765 (Imam of Saudi State)
Imam Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud 1765–1803
Imam Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Saud (Saud Al Kabeer) 1803–1814
Imam Abdullah bin Saud 1814–1818
William Facey, ''Dir'Iyyah and the first Saudi State'', 1997, ISBN 0905743 806
Second Saudi State