Biography of Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud III (1881-1953)

Founder and first King of Saudi Arabia born in Riyadh in 1881 and died in Taif on November 9, 1953. His full name was Abd al - Aziz Ibn Saud. The determination of their predecessors, made his own family that he/she sent in the Saudi state of Neyed, extend the Wahabi Islamic creed. It was a Muslim Puritan whose life was marked by the word of Allah. He/She was the founder of the State of Saudi Arabia and started the exploitation of oil in the country. It established a Kingdom whose oil made him become one of the most influential Arab leaders, and his country in a rich nation and of great strategic importance worldwide.

He was the son of the Rahman Abd who it had proposed to extend the Islamic Wahhabi creed, and advocated an Islam purified, free popular corruptions and Western influences. The Wahhabi believed that the way life of Muslims should dominate the State and indolence in the cult wing could not be tolerated in any way. His father ruled Neyed Saudi state that had its main Center in Riyadh. His State fell to the attack of the Rashidi dynasty of the tribe of Shammar, which had its Center in Hail, Northwest of Riad, and which had the support of the Ottoman Empire. This forced Ibn Saud and his family leave for exile. They settled in Kuwait City in 1891, when Ibn Saud only was ten years old. Despite being in exile, he/she was educated in a real environment. He/She soon joined the surroundings of Royal Customs and the ruler of Kuwait, where he/she learned to ride a horse, to fight.

She got married for the first time when he/she was 15, but returned after the death of his first wife, married three years later. His new wife gave him, shortly thereafter, his first child. As it was the custom among his lineage, after the birth of the eldest son married numerous times. Educated under the premises of Ibn Saud, soon showed their intention to recover the old prestige and power of the missing Saudi state. He/She yearned to spread Islamic beliefs and renew the power of his family. While he/she was in exile reorganized militarily to the Bedouin. He/She tried to gain the support of Wahhabi extremists, which formed a militant organization known as the Ikhwan. Through this fanatical Guild appealed to his followers to fight and massacring its Arab rivals. In this way he/she put the nomadic tribes under its political influence. In 1900 he/she failed in his first attempt to restore the prestige of his family, and he/she failed to conquer Riad, then the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Neyed.durante this action was ready to lose their lives. In front of two hundred of his men again attacked in 1902 Riad, which managed to snatch the Turks to the cries of "Al Saud" and "Dios is great". Shortly after he/she was proclaimed city magnet. Its bold military actions in 1904 allowed him to take over the entire Kingdom of Neyed. In 1906, he/she rejected the Turkish troops who had come to support the Rashidi. In 1910, Ibn Saud had managed to extend its power to the region of Asin. Then adopted a series of measures policies and military in order to build a new Saudi State, which settled on a pantribal basis and under the auspices of the sacred law of islam, which was opposed to the traditional patriarchal law of the region. He/She tried to create a deep religious zeal and a cult towards him among his subjects. He/She started a radical policy of settlement and settled the militaristic tribes of the Wahhabi in agricultural colonies. In this way you could have them more controlled. They were however unable to cultivate the land and most of them joined the army of Ibn Saud.

Not to mention their religious principles put into practice a pragmatic policy. Aware of the strategic importance of Arabia for the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire, he/she tried to win the favor of the British. The Turks supported their eternal rivals the Rashidi. The British Government, which supported the Hashemite Sheikh, Ibn Saud saw a new front against the Ottoman power. In its continuous campaigns Ibn Saud avoided attacking the allied tribes of United Kingdom, which soon turned into this last nation ally. In order to consolidate his power, shortly after the conquest of Riyadh undertook a policy of matrimonial alliances with neighboring tribes. He/She survived the attack promoted by two of his nephews, who tried to poison him.

In 1912, after having conquered all Neyed region, was recognised sultan of this territory. Continued with its expansion policy, and in 1913 his troops captured al - Hasa, so it managed to snatch the Turks from the Persian Gulf region. This made it even more win the favor of the British, who considered the Persian Gulf a vital point on the maritime route to the India. Thus Ibn Saud ended the first stage of their campaigns, known as the Bedouin period. It was at this time when he/she started his clashes with the khedive of Mecca, the Hashemite Hayaz Hussein. In 1915, shortly after having exploded the first world war, which initially had declared neutral, signed a treaty with the United Kingdom, in which this country is committed to help Ibn Saud in the event of any foreign aggression and acknowledged the Saudi State as an independent entity which granted the status of protectorate. Return Ibn Saud undertook was not attacking the allies of the British in the area.

This new situation allowed him to attack Ibn Rashid, whose presence in the area was not well seen by United Kingdom. In June 1916 he/she protested before the British by the attitude of Hussein, who has had self-proclaimed King of the Arabs. The end of the first world war was the alteration of the political landscape of Arabia, where disappeared the Ottoman Empire as a determining factor. In 1920 Ibn Saud discovered a plot to assassinate him promoted by the Hashemite family and Sheikh of Kuwait. As response intensified their campaigns, conquered towns near Kuwait and attacked the possessions of the dynasty of the Rashid. In 1922 it brought an end to the power of this last dynasty. Not again seek territorial expansion until 1924, when it advanced with their fanatical Wahhabi on Mecca. He/She did it once the sons of Hussein declare Kings in Transjordan and Iraq, and is surrounded by members of a rival dynasty. That same year he/she defeated Hayaz Hussein, the former protected from the British, who shortly before the Muslim Caliph had proclaimed itself.

The actions of Ibn Saud led Hussein to abdicate in his eldest son, emir Ali, and that it refugiase in Iraq. In 1925 included the region of Asir between possessions. The following year his men put siege to the cities of Mecca and Jidda, which conquered shortly afterwards. With these victories, he/she put under its control all of Central Arabia and its goal of reviving the old Saudi State limits. After his victory in 1926 was proclaimed King of the Hayaz. The members of the brotherhood Ikhwan, which formed the core of his army, considered all the not Wahhabi unfaithful, so despite warnings from their sovereign continued their attacks against neighbouring countries. So he/she was forced to fight them and on March 29, 1929 defeated them at the battle of Sibilla. He/She consolidated his power by marrying their sons and brothers with the main families of the area.

Once fulfilled its objectives tried to modernize the State, so it organized a system of civil servants and developed a system of roads and telegraph lines. He/She tried to reduce the commercial importance of Kuwait with the development of the cities of Jubail and Qatif. In the early 1930's he/she had to face two rebellions of tribes opposed to his policies, one in the Hayaz region and another in the Asir. Controlled once the internal situation declared war on Yemen, but British pressures forced him to withdraw his troops. Later, it changed its expansionist policy and tried to establish diplomatic relations with neighbouring States signed treaties of friendship with Iraq and Jordan. On September 16, 1932 proclaimed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was officially crowned King as Abd al - Aziz. Since then behaved as an absolutist ruler. All decisions were made directly by the King or by those appointed by it for a particular function.

Since then it changed its policy of panislamismo by pan-Arabism. It adopted the media and technical advances of Western civilization without abandoning traditional customs. Shortly afterwards United Kingdom recognised his Kingdom. The firm in 1933 of a contract for 66 years with the Standard Oil for the exploitation of the important oilfields in the region of al - Hasa, allowed the start of the economic development of Saudi Arabia, due to the huge revenues that it brought with it. The money allowed him to provide modern and abundant war materiel to its army and modernize its incipient industry. He/She said neutral at the beginning of the second world war, although a trade treaty signed with Italy in 1932, made him maintain good trade relations with the axis powers until 1942. He/She got that his country benefited from 1943 of the U.S. law's loan and lease.

In 1945 he/she left for the first time in his country since he/she returned in 1902. He/She did so to meet on board a cruise ship anchored in the Red Sea, with Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, who were returning from Yalta. As a result of this interview in March 1945, it declared war on Germany. The second world war ended with the importance of the United Kingdom in the region, so that Ibn Saud strengthened relations with the United States within the framework of the cold war. Towards the end of the 1940s the American oil companies operating in the country joined together to organize the Arabian American oil company (ARAMCO). This organization ended in 1950 a pipeline spanning Saudi Arabia and Syria, to bring the oil to the Mediterranean. Oil managed to enrich the saudi population. The arrival of the money brought a new problem, the conflict between the modern practices and the traditional proclaimed by Islam, which were supported by the own Ibn Saud. In spite of this he/she introduced modern technology in their country. It was diagnosed at the beginning of 1953 a serious illness, from which he/she died on November 9, 1953. He/She was succeeded by his eldest son, Saud bin Abdul Aziz, but soon this was opposed by another of the sons of Ibn Saud, Faisal bin Abd al - Aziz.


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WILLIAMS, k., Ibn Saud: the Puritan King of Arabia. London, 1935.