Chapter 3
'Abdul-'Aziz I ibn Sa'ud

THE new Imam of Dar'iya was no stranger to administrative and military responsibility, when the full burden of government fell upon him on the death of his father. He had made his début as a soldier in two expeditions against Dahham ibn Dawwas of Riyadh under the supreme command of his father-in-law the Amir of 'Ayaina, ' Uthman ibn Hamad ibn Mu'ammar, in 1748: the year of the birth of his eldest son, and eventual successor, Sa'ud. His brother, ' Abdullah ibn Muhammad, had already, in 1746, led a force to the relief of Manfuha, which had been attacked and was being hard pressed by Dahham, who withdrew after being twice wounded himself and having his mare killed under him; this being the first encounter between Dar'iya and Riyadh since the inception of the Wahhabi régime in the previous year, and the beginning of a long-drawnout war between the rival city-States, which was by no means at an end when 'Abdul-'Aziz ascended the throne of Dar'iya in 1765. Incidentally, as already noted, there had arisen some coolness between him and his father-in-law during a third expedition in 1748 against the town of Tharmida, the attack on which was called off, in spite of ' Abdul-'Aziz's protests, in circumstances suggesting collusion or lukewarmness in the cause which ' Uthman had adopted of his own free will two years before. The suspicions thus aroused had come to a head in 1850, when ' Uthman was assassinated in the mosque of 'Ayaina after the Friday prayers by his own trusted lieutenants.

Ever since those days ' Abdul-'Aziz had been constantly engaged in military activities in one direction or another, though most frequently against the ruler of Riyadh; and it was not long before the ageing Muhammad left the leadership of the Wahhabi army entirely to him. More than once Dahham, hard pressed by the Wahhabi attacks, had sued for peace; and more than once he had infringed the conditions of the truces obtained by nominal acceptance of the Wahhabi régime. And it was appropriate enough that he should now have chosen the year of

-60-

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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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