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Abdullah bin Saud Al Saud
A Handmade image of Abdullah I
Abdullah bin Saud bin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud

Abdullah bin Saud (Arabic language: 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 by the Ottomans. Although the Ottomans maintained several garrisons in Najd thereafter, they were unable to prevent the rise of the Second Saudi State from another branch of the House of Saud under Turki bin Abdallah 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 Makkah and Madinah. 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 Makkah and Madinah. 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 Istanbul at the order of the Ottoman Sultan.

Reasons for his execution

In 1801, the tomb of Hussein bin Ali (Prophet Mohammad's grandson) in Karbala was destroyed by the army of Abdullah bin Saud, causing anger among the Shiite Muslims.[1] Additionally, many people in Islam's holiest cities of Makkah and Madinah were killed and Prophet Mohammad's Mosque was damaged 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 because the Ottomans were the then-official ruler of the Arabian Peninsula. The guardian of Islam's religious places was the Turkish-Ottoman Caliph in Constantinople, Mahmud II.[1] He 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]


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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