Abdullah bin Saud

Abdullah bin Saud (Arabic: عبد الله بن سعود) (died 1818) ruled the First Saudi State from 1814 to 1818. He was the last ruler of the First Saudi State and was executed in Istanbul under the Ottoman Empire. Although the Ottomans maintained several garrisons in the Najd thereafter, they were unable to prevent the rise of the Emirate of Nejd (the Second Saudi State) led by Turki bin Abdallah bin Muhammad bin Saud.

Abdullah bin Saud Al Saud
Abdullah bin Saud bin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud
Noble familyHouse of Saud
  • Saad
  • Saud
  • Muhammad
FatherSaud bin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud

Fall of the First Saudi State

He succeeded his father  Saud. Saud had initiated a war with the Ottoman Empire with the capture of Mecca and Medina. Because of his father's conquest, Abdullah immediately had to face an invasion of his domains by an Ottoman-Egyptian army under the command of Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Muhammad Ali. The Ottoman forces began their campaign by quickly recapturing Mecca and Medina. Heavily outnumbered and under-equipped, the Saudi forces retreated to their stronghold of Najd.

Rather than engage the invaders in open battle, Abdullah decided to attempt to weather the invasion by fortifying his forces in the Najd towns. As a result, Ibrahim took the villages of Najd one by one, sacking any town that resisted. Ibrahim finally reached the Saudi capital at Diriyah. After a siege that lasted several months, Abdullah finally surrendered in the winter of 1818, marking the end of the Saudi state. Ibrahim systematically razed Diriyah to the ground and sent many members of the Al Saud clan into captivity in Egypt and Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire. Abdullah himself was promptly executed in Constantinople at the order of the Ottoman Sultan.

Reasons for his execution

In 1801, the tomb of Hazrat Husayn was destroyed by the army of Abdullah bin Saud, causing anger among the Shiite Muslims.[1] Additionally, there were stories spread upon some people that many people in Islam's holiest cities of Makkah and Madina were killed by his army in the same year. As a result, the Ottoman authorities found themselves in a situation that they had to punish the Saudis for their crimes. The guardian of Islam's religious places was the Turkish-Ottoman Caliph in Constantinople, Mahmud II. Mahmud II ordered that an Egyptian force be sent to the Arabian Peninsula to defeat Abdullah bin Saud and his allies. In 1818, an Egyptian army led by Ibrahim Pasha (Mohammad Ali's son) completely destroyed Abdullah's forces and took their capital, Diriyah in Najd. Abdullah bin Saud was captured along with two of his Wahhabi supporters. They were then sent to prison in Constantinople. Abdullah and his two followers were publicly beheaded for their crimes against holy cities and mosques.[1][2] Prior to his execution, bin Saud, a Wahhabi who forbade to listen music, was forced to listen to the lute.[3]


Preceded by
Saud bin Abdul Aziz bin Muhammad al Saud
Imam of First Saudi State
Title next held by
Turki ibn Abdallah
Next known title holder:
Imam of Second Saudi State
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