Chapter 7
Faisal ibn Sa'ud

T HE short reign of Turki had been of the utmost importance in restoring something of the shattered fortunes of the Wahhabi State and the prestige of the House of Sa'ud. He had at least repaired the foundations on which both State and dynasty had risen during the half-century preceding the disaster of Dar'iya to the dimensions of an empire such as Arabia had not known since pre-Islamic times: and on which they could, and indeed would, rise again to take their place in a modern world far beyond the wildest dreams of Turki and his contemporaries. There would be ups and downs in the process of restoration and development; but it is fair to say that, had it not been for Turki's patient and persistent efforts to repair the ruin he had inherited, the Sa'udi Arabia of his great-grandson would never have had a chance of realisation. If ever there was a 'man of destiny ', it was he: born in the purple, it is true, but with no expectation, nor indeed ambition, to rule; but summoned by the dire need of his country to assume its leadership when others, whom he had been very willing to recognise and serve, had failed in their self-sought missions.

He must have been well advanced in years when he was assassinated, though there would seem to be no record of the date of his birth, which can therefore only be estimated on a basis of probabilities. It is on record that he played a worthy part, like many other members of the Sa'ud family, in the defence of Dar'iya against Ibrahim Pasha, and that one of his sons, Fahd, was killed in action, while another, Faisal, who was to succeed him on the throne, also took part in the same operations. Three of his brothers -- Zaid, Muhammad and Sa'ud-- also fought in defence of the capital: the last two being killed in action. It is however a fact that there is no specific mention of Turki in connection with the activities of ' Abdul-'Aziz I and Sa'ud I, though he was presumably included among the sons of his father, ' Abdullah ibn Muhammad, who is mentioned as being in constant attendance at the court of Sa'ud 'with his

-169-

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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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