Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Saud (1850–1928)
Abdul Rahman was born in 1850.
He was the fourth and youngest son of Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah.
He had three elder brothers: Abdullah
Of them Saud was his full brother and their mother was from the Ajman tribe
One of his sisters was Al Jawhara (died around 1930) who also exiled with the family in Kuwait.
Royal civil war
After their father died in 1865, a struggle for power arose between Abdul Rahman's brothers Saud and Abdullah.
Abdul Rahman and his brother Muhammad tended to align themselves with Saud. In 1871, after Saud had taken the capital Riyadh. Abdul Rahman was sent to Baghdad
to negotiate with the Ottoman Empire
for help. Unsuccessful after two years, he tried to take Al Hasa
in the east where Abdullah was now based, but without success, and eventually returned to Riyadh. After Saud's death in 1875, Abdul Rahman was recognized as successor, but within a year Riyadh was taken by Abdullah
and he was forced to abdicate.
In 1887 the sons of Saud bin Faisal, who kept up desultory hostilities against their uncles, managed to capture Abdullah. The Emir of Jabal Shammar
, Muḥammad Al Rashid
, was able to secure Abdullah's release in exchange for Abdul Rahman. Abdullah was taken to Ha'il and a Rashidi emir appointed him to govern Riyadh. Abdul Rahman was able to rise in revolt in 1887 and take and defend Riyadh, but his attempts to expand control ended in disaster. When he became the undisputed leader of the House of Saud in 1889, he attacked and regained Riyadh.
However, the Saudi forces were defeated by the forces of Muḥammad Al Rashid in the Battle of Mulayda
, and Abdul Rahman and his family were forced to flee.
In 1891 the family fled to the desert of the Rub al-Khali
to the southeast among the Al Murrah
Abdul Rahman recognised that they could not live there depending on the support from the tribes.
Then, he and his family found refuge first with the Al Khalifa
family in Bahrain
and finally with the Al Sabah
family in Kuwait
They were given permission by the Ottoman State
to settle in Kuwait.
While in Kuwait, Abdul Rahman tried to make Wahhabist Islam widespread and recreate the Saudi Dynasty. Mubarak Al Sabah
, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family and future ruler of Kuwait from 1896, developed a rapport with one of Abdul Rahman's sons, Abdulaziz, who frequently visited Mubarak's majlis.
However, Abdul Rahman did not visit the majlis and did not endorse Abdulaziz's closeness with Mubarak due to the latter's interest in fine silk clothes, smoking, and women.
After defeat at the battle of Sarif in February 1900, Abdul Rahman gave up all ambitions to recover his patrimony.
In the battle he was actively supported by Mubarak Al Sabah.
In December 1901 Abdul Rahman met with the Russian officials when the Russian Varyag cruiser
Following the capture of Riyadh in January 1902 by his son Abdulaziz, in May Abdul Rahman sent a message to Lieutenant Colonel
C. A. Kemball who was the British political resident in the Persian Gulf
asking the British Government
to make a treaty with his son, but his proposal was not taken into consideration by the British due to their tendency to remain neutral in central Arabian affairs as well as due to their uncertainty about Abdulaziz's potential to consolidate his power in the region.
Abdul Rahman left Kuwait on 11 May and came to Riyadh.
There he was welcomed by Abdulaziz and a group of ulema.
Abdulaziz asked the group to declare their loyalty to his father, but Abdul Rahman did not accept the offer stating that they should take an oath of loyalty to Abdulaziz.
Then Abdul Rahman presented Abdulaziz a sword that had belonged to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
Abdul Rahman actively attempted to secure the British protection which was not productive.
At the beginning of 1905 he wanted to visit Kuwait to meet with Captain S.G. Knox, the first British political representative there,
but it was not permitted by the British.
Abdul Rahman was styled Imam
and considered the spiritual leader of the country, while Abdulaziz held secular and military authority. Abdulaziz succeeded Abdul Rahman as Imam in 1928 when the latter died.
The latter acted as the ceremonial leader of the newly built state.
However, during the formation years he was also acting ruler when Abdulaziz was out of Riyadh and helped him to organize the forces.
In 1905 he represented Abdulaziz in the negotiations with the Ottomans following the capture of Qasim.
Another significant meeting headed by Abdul Rahman was an assembly of Najdi tribal and religious leaders in Riyadh on 4 July 1924.
Personal life and death
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Last edited on 10 June 2021, at 05:08
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