Abdul Rahman bin Faisal

Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Saud (1845–1928)[1] (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن فيصل آل سعود / ALA-LC: ‘Abd ar Raḥman bin Fayṣal) was the last ruler of the Emirate of Nejd, Second Saudi State. He was the youngest son of Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud and the father of Ibn Saud, who founded the modern Saudi Arabia.

Abdul Rahman of Nejd
عبد الرحمن بن فيصل
Emir of Nejd
Reign1875–1876 (first time)
1889–1891 (second time)
PredecessorSaud bin Faisal bin Turki
Abdallah ibn Faisal ibn Turki
SuccessorMuḥammad (I) bin ʿAbdullah Al Rashid
Died1928 (aged 8283)
Riyadh, Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd
Full name
Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin Al-Maridi Al-Adui
DynastyHouse of Saud
FatherFaisal bin Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud
ReligionSunni Islam (Wahhabi)

Royal Civil War

When Abdul Rahman's brothers — Saud and Abdullah — were struggling for power in 1865,[2] 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. 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 Rashidi amirs of Ha'il were able to secure Abdullah's release in exchange for Abdul-Rahman. Abdullah was taken to Ha'il and a Rashidi emir appointed to 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 Abdul Rahman became the undisputed leader of the House of Saud in 1889, he attacked and regained Riyadh.[2] However, the Saudi forces were defeated in the Battle of Mulayda, and Abdul Rahman and his family were forced to flee.[2]

Later years and death

The family fled to the desert of the Rub al-Khali to the southeast among the Al Murrah Bedouin, before finding refuge with the Al Khalifa family in Bahrain, and finally with the Al Sabah family in Kuwait.[2] While in Kuwait, Abdul Rahman tried to make Wahabist Islam widespread and recreate the Saudi Dynasty.[3]

After defeat at the battle of Sarif in 1900, he gave up all ambitions to recovery his patrimony.[1] In later years, as his son built what was to become Saudi Arabia, Abdul Rahman was styled Imam and considered the spiritual leader of the country, while Abdulaziz held secular and military authority. He died in Riyadh in 1928.


  1. Philby, H. St. John (1955). Saʻudi Arabia. London: Ernest Benn. p. 236. OCLC 781827671.
  2. "Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Saud (1)". King Abdulaziz Information Source. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. Czerniawski, Maxvell (2010). Blood in the Wells: The Troubled Past and Perilous Future of US-Saudi Relations (Senior Honors Thesis). Eastern Michigan University. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Saud bin Faisal bin Turki
Emir of Nejd
Succeeded by
Abdallah ibn Faisal ibn Turki
Preceded by
Abdallah ibn Faisal ibn Turki
Emir of Nejd
Succeeded by
The Rashids of Hail
Preceded by
Faisal bin Turki
Head of the House of Saud
Succeeded by
Abdul-Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud
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