Ibn Saud

Ibn Saud (Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud) (Ĭ´bən säōōd´), c.1880–1953, founder of Saudi Arabia and its first king. His family, with its regular seat at Riyadh in the Nejd, were the traditional leaders of the ultraorthodox Wahhabi movement in Islam. During Ibn Saud's youth the Saud family was in exile in Kuwait. In 1902 he and a small party of relatives and servants recaptured Riyadh. By 1912 he had completed the conquest of the Nejd and organized a well-trained army. During World War I the British made slight efforts to cultivate Ibn Saud's friendship but favored his rival, Husayn ibn Ali of the Hejaz. In 1924–25, Ibn Saud defeated Husayn and proclaimed himself king of Hejaz and Nejd. After consolidating his power over most of the Arabian peninsula, he changed (1932) the name of his kingdom to Saudi Arabia. He forced many of the nomad tribes to adopt a settled way of life and to abandon their private wars and vendettas. He is credited with suppressing the robbery and extortion that formerly harassed pilgrims to Mecca and Medina. In 1936 and 1939 he granted oil concessions to American companies. The oil deposits of Arabia proved to be among the richest in the world, and Ibn Saud used some of the income derived from them on national improvements. The greater part of his oil revenues, however, was spent on the royal family. During World War II, Ibn Saud remained neutral but favored the Allies. He took only a minor part in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. He was succeeded by Prince Saud, his eldest son.

See H. S. J. Philby, Arabian Jubilee (1953) and D. A. Howarth, The Desert King (1967).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Wells of Ibn Sa'ud
D. van der Meulen.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1957
Saudi Arabia
H. St. John Philby.
Ernest Benn, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Abdul-Aziz Ibn Sa'ud"
Inside Pan-Arabia
M. J. Steiner.
Packard, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Ibn Saud's Heroic Ascent"
Arabia Reborn
George Kheirallah.
University of New Mexico Press, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Nine "Enter: Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud"
Governments and Politics of the Middle East in the Twentieth Century
H. B. Sharabi.
D. Van Nostrand, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Wahhabism and the Rise of the House of Sa'ud" begins on p. 225
The Arab Bureau: British Policy in the Middle East, 1916-1920
Bruce Westrate.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "A Stake in Disorder: In Pursuit of Arabian Balance"
The Great Powers in the Middle East, 1919-1939
Uriel Dann.
Holmes & Meier, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Britain and the Northern Frontier of the Saudi State, 1922-1925"
Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor: American Economic Development Policy toward the Arab East, 1942-1949
Nathan Godfried.
Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Ibn Saud begins on p. 157
Discourses of Denial: Silencing the Palestinians, Delegitimizing Their Claims
Shinko, Rosemary E.
Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 58, No. 1, Fall 2004
The Foreign Office and Anglo-Italian Involvement in the Red Sea and Arabia, 1925-28
Tripodi, Christian W. E.
Canadian Journal of History, Vol. 42, No. 2, Autumn 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The US-Saudi Relationship and the Iraq War: The Dialectics of a Dependent Alliance
Dris-Ait-Hamadouche, Louisa; Zoubir, Yahia H.
Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2007
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