Saud dynasty

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Genealogical table of the leaders of Āl Saud

The Saud Dynasty ( Arabic آل سعود Al Sa'ud , DMG Āl Saʿūd ) is an Arab dynasty on the Arabian Peninsula that has existed since around 1735. The Saud have been the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1932. Currently it come about 5000 to 7000 living prince , all generously government bankrolled be.


Empire of Saud 1880 (yellow)

The origins of the Saud dynasty can be traced back to the 15th century. In 1446 , Mani al-Muraidi, from the East Arabian oasis Katif, was enfeoffed with two villages in Najd and founded Diriyya northwest of Riyadh . Wadi Hanifa was controlled as early as 1500 and the Sauds ruled one of the most important principalities in Central Arabia . However, there were ongoing power struggles within the clan, which could only be resolved after 1735 under Muhammad ibn Saud.

Muhammad ibn Saud (r. 1735–1765) concluded an alliance with Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb , the founder of the Wahhabis, in Diriyya (now a suburb of Riyadh) in 1744 . Ibn Saud promised to enforce the Wahhabi interpretation of the Koran and Sunna as the only valid ones in his future kingdom, while ibn Abd al-Wahhab assured him to religiously legitimize the Saudi ruler's claim to power. Through this connection, which still exists today, between the spread of Islam , which is true for the Wahhabis and the power interests of the Saud family, the unification of the Najd began with the subjugation of the Bedouin tribes . Soon after the tribes were united, campaigns against the outskirts of the Arabian Peninsula began. But when Mecca and Medina were conquered in 1803 , the Ottoman Sultan , Mahmud II , commissioned Muhammad Ali Pasha to drive out the Wahhabis. This resulted in the Ottoman-Saudi War , in which the Saudis were crushed.

However, Turki Al Saud (1820–1834) began reorganizing the empire in Arabia. In the second half of the 19th century, however, the family feuds intensified, so that the Sauds were overthrown in 1884 by the tribe of the Shammar under Muhammad ibn Raschid (1869-1897) and driven into exile in Kuwait . In the years that followed, Ha'il in northern Arabia was the center of the Wahhabis.

In 1902 Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud (1880–1953) recaptured Riyadh and the Najd. After the United Kingdom recognized the Saudis (1915), he was able to complete the unification of the Bedouins in central Arabia after the First World War . The Shammar were subjugated in 1921, Hussein ibn Ali in the Hejaz was defeated in 1924 and Mecca and Medina were occupied.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

King Ibn Saud and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board the USS Quincy on February 14, 1945, when the President and King signed the Quincy Agreement, which on the one hand guaranteed the supply of oil to the USA by the Al Saud family, on the other Roosevelt gave Al Saud military support and thus the retention of power to the royal family.

On September 23, 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed. With the discovery of large oil deposits in 1938, the country began to develop rapidly.

Successor Saud ibn Abd al-Aziz (1953–1964) left the government largely to his brother Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz (1964–1975). In the 1960s, tensions arose between conservative Saudi Arabia and republican Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser . In the Yemeni civil war (1962–1967) they supported opposing sides: Saudi Arabia the royalists, Egypt the republicans.

In 1960 the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was founded with Iran , Iraq , Kuwait and Venezuela in order to ensure the stability of the oil price . When this organization raised the oil price in 1973, it led to the oil crisis and considerable economic problems in the western industrialized countries. After the assassination of Faisal, Chalid ibn Abd al-Aziz became king (1975–1982), but the government was led by Fahd ibn Abd al-Aziz (1982–2005). Under him, the oil and gas companies in Saudi Arabia were nationalized in 1977 .

During the Second Gulf War , during which American and other Western troops were stationed on Saudi territory, the Saud dynasty fell into a serious legitimacy crisis in the early 1990s. Many Islamic groups in Saudi Arabia and abroad that took part in the jihad in Afghanistan saw this as an occupation of Islamic soil by “troops of infidels” and protested against the Saudi rulers who allowed this occupation. In May 1993 the two Saudi intellectuals Muhammad al-Masʿarī and Saʿd al-Faqīh founded the "Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights" (Laǧnat ad-Difāʿ ʿan il-Ḥuqūq aš-Šarʿīya) and criticized the Saud house as "corrupt" in communiques and "un-Islamic".

List of rulers from the Saud dynasty



Significant living members of the dynasty


  • Jörg-Dieter Brandes: … with saber and Koran, Saudi Arabia or the rise of the Saud royal family and the Wahabites. Thorbecke, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-7995-0094-4 .
  • David Holden , Richard Johns: The Saud Dynasty. Desert warriors and world financiers. German by Brigitte Stein. Econ-Verlag, Düsseldorf u. a. 1981, ISBN 3-430-14767-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. Der Spiegel online on August 1, 2005, Saudi Arabia's ruling family: 42 men are in charge , accessed on August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung online on May 11, 2010, target of suspicion and hatred , accessed on August 25, 2014.
  3. Franz Alt : War for Oil or Peace through the Sun Riemann E-Books, 2010 ( online ).
  4. a b Die Welt online on April 19, 2011: Saudi Arabia supports 7,000 greedy princes , accessed on August 25, 2014
  5. See John Calvert: Islamism: a documentary and reference guide . Westport, Conn .: Greenwood Press, 2008. pp. 183f.