Foreword

T HE death of 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Sa'ud on November 9th, 1953, closed a brilliant chapter in the history of the Arabs: second in importance, perhaps, only to the Meccan episode of the early seventh century, from which Islam emerged as a vital and permanent factor in human evolution. Like the Prophet Muhammad, 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Sa'ud was also a man of destiny. To the one it had fallen to reorient the spiritual outlook not only of his own countrymen but of vast populations beyond the borders of Arabia. The other, using the same spiritual weapons to establish peace and order in the midst of anarchy, was destined to guide his people out of the wilderness into a land flowing with milk and honey, where the ancient virtue and culture of the desert came inevitably into contact with, and under the influence of, the more materialistic standards of the Philistines. The old king himself was never enamoured of the new ways; but the burden of his years, his physical infirmities and his past labours progressively weakened his powers of resistance to a flood of innovations, which has so rapidly swept away all the landmarks of an ancient civilisation. Whatever the future may have in store for the kingdom of his creation -- and there is no reason to despair of the capacity of the Arabs to settle down to a steady stroke of progress and prosperity, -- 'Abdul-' Aziz will stand out in history as the last, and probably the greatest, of a long line of Arab leaders, whose fame rests on their own personal achievements in the austere and romantic setting of the desert. He was certainly the last of the great Wahhabis, whose achievements are chronicled in this volume. The spiritual and material climate of Arabia has changed out of all recognition, and the change cannot but be permanent.

This work was designed for publication in the lifetime of the great king to whose memory it is dedicated, and whose title to fame is now universally acknowledged by a world once sceptical of his claim and capacity to rule the Arabs. His death

-xi-

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Saudi Arabia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Barony of Dar'iya 8
  • Chapter 2 - Muhammad ibn Sa'ud 33
  • Chapter 3 - 'Abdul-'Aziz I ibn Sa'ud 60
  • Chapter 4 - Sa'ud II ibn Sa'ud 101
  • Chapter 5 - 'Abdullah I ibn Sa'ud 128
  • Chapter 6 - Turki ibn Sa'ud 147
  • Chapter 7 - Faisal ibn Sa'ud 169
  • Chapter 8 - 'Abdullah II and Sa'ud III abna Sa'ud 218
  • Chapter 9 - 'Abdul-'Aziz II ibn Sa'ud 237
  • Chapter 10 - Expansion and Consolidation 265
  • Chapter 11 - Arabia Felix 292
  • Index 361
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