Part 1
ßÊÇÈ The Wahabi Opposition Movements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Twentieth Century
CHAPTER I: The Formation of the Najd Brothers and their Role in the Establishment of the Monarchy of

في الإثنين ٠٨ - أغسطس - ٢٠٢٢ ١٢:٠٠ صباحاً

CHAPTER I: The Formation of the Najd Brothers and their Role in the Establishment of the Monarchy of Abdul-Aziz

 

Firstly: the formation of the Wahabi Najd Brothers and the establishment of the Bedouin colonies:

 

A historical overview: the aim ofAbdul-Aziz in turning the desert-Arabs and Bedouins into the Najd Brothers group:

 

 The historians who experienced this era and process assert that the main aim of Abdul-Aziz in turning the desert-Arabs and Bedouins into the Najd Brothers group was to enable him to win them over to his side and to earn their continuous unrelenting allegiance and fealty to him. The only way by which he could manage to achieve this was to turn them away from their nature of fluctuation between loyalty and betrayal to any ruler, as they saw fit for their interests, into a loyal brethren to him whose interests are directly linked with him in a religious bond that associates this life with the Hereafter. The earlier Saudi family members suffered a lot before from being betrayed by desert-Arabs and Bedouins, especially during the Egyptian armies, led by the son of M. Ali Pacha, crushing and wiping out the very first Saudi kingdom. At the time, the Bedouins reneged on their words and allegiance because of money, as they soon enough betrayed their defeated Saudi ruler and attacked his armies to rob the soldiers, without the slightest pangs of remorse or feelings of disgrace (1).  Thus, in order that Abdul-Aziz would control gain over the Bedouin youth, they had to imbibe the Wahabi call so that they would swear allegiance to him forever and to fight fiercely on his side in hope of winning Paradise. Such Wahabi mottoes held a strong influence over such youths, and Wahabi notions stress the fact that being reluctant to engage into fighting is considered blasphemy and disbelief, a demeanor to be punished by being killed and eternally tormented in Hell in the Hereafter, as per the Wahabi creed. Hence, the Bedouins had to settle into colonies to enable Abdul-Aziz to inculcate them Wahabism to turn them into its soldiers, loyal to him.

 

Was Abdul-Aziz the very first one to think of such devilish plans?

 Dickson, the British ruler of Kuwait and contemporary to the Najd Brothers crisis, asserted that the real founder of the Najd Brothers was Abdul-Kareem Al-Maghraby, who came from Iraq into Najd in 1914 after he was disappointed by the immorality and decadence of the Iraqi Shiites; he established in Najd the very first group in Al-Artaweiyya (2). This view is refuted by the researcher John Habeeb (3), as well as by Jalal Kishk in his book titled ''The Saudis and the Islamic Solution'', as he writes that Ibn Abdul-Wahab began to execute the idea, but historians never paid heed to that respect, and then Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud came later on to revive the idea and to give it its organization and goals (4). Yet, the history of the Najd region during the Middle-Ages has witnessed similar attempts of forming groups of religious fighters; for instance, the Qarmatians in their beginning phase during the Abbasid Era established the so-called ''immigration colonies'' in 277 A.H.in Mahimazad, a village near the Iraqi city Al-Kufa, and fortified it after christening it as the ''immigration colonies". Another example is the Qarmatian leader Abou Saeed Al-Janaby, who gathered young boys to bring them up on the basis of his call and creed and the blind obedience to him and to train to fight fiercely, and he later on formed an army that managed to conquer Al-Ahsa region in Arabia as well as the islands of Bahrain, until this leader was killed in 301 A.H. (5).

 

The meaning of ''immigration'': immigration in relation to the Najd Brothers:

It is historically known that the weak early believers immigrated from Mecca to Yathreb to flee religious persecution, and they had been commanded for a long time not to fight back despite the incessant attacks by the Qorayish tribe on them after chasing them out of their homeland and possessions. Later on, the divine permission in the Quran of self-defense fighting was revealed in the Quran to cur such attacks. We understand this from the following verses: "Permission is given to those who are fought against, and God is Able to give them victory. Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, "Our Lord is God." Were it not that God repels people by means of others: monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques-where the name of God is mentioned much-would have been demolished. God supports whoever supports Him. God is Strong and Mighty." (22:39-40). In Yathreb, Quranic verses revealed at the time come with legislation of self-defense fighting, confining fighting to cases and purposes of self-defense only: "And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors." (2:190).

 In contrast, the notions of immigration for the aggressors like the Najd Brothers consists of forming camps/villages of armed fighters for training established by Abdul-Aziz, calling them ''immigration colonies'' to urge others to join him by invoking history of early believers. Abdul-Aziz used to mobilize the youths of Bedouins (desert Arabs) into camps or colonies in which they lived together and where they had been trained and taught Wahabism to become later on what is called the Najd Brothers. Their training included aggressive fighting and how to raid and attack others aiming at murdering and robbing them as well as enslaving their women. The clergymen and sheikhs of Wahabism used to preach daily in such colonies to urge the fighting youths that their acts constituted ''real'' Islam as adopted and applied by Prophet Muhammad. This was a falsehood, of course. Based on this lie, such colonies/camps or villages came to be known as immigration colonies to invoke Muhammad's immigration to Yathreb. Historically, the early believers with Muhammad had to forsake their homeland, houses, possessions, money, and families in Mecca because of being religiously persecuted. In contrast, the propaganda of Abdul-Aziz directed at the Bedouins consisted of urging them to sell all their possessions, cattle, and tents to follow Al-Saud. This means that the desert Arabs could sell their possessions at leisure at any convenient price to later on join Abdul-Aziz in the ''immigration'' camps, and it is noteworthy that Ibn Abdul-Wahab considered this Wahabi sort of immigration as an obligatory item or condition to fulfill one's faith in Wahabism, as he writes in his letter titled ''Six Stances Copied from the Sunna of Muhammad''. The term ''immigration'' within Wahabism came to be known as shunning and deserting other non-Wahabis as ''infidels'', for the purposes of deserting falsehoods of worldly life to embrace ''real'' Islam. The next step was to fight all non-Wahabis everywhere, who were mostly peaceful ones who never began to fight anyone at all. This contradicts the Quran of course: "As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, God does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. God loves the equitable. But God prohibits you from befriending those who fought against you over your religion, and expelled you from your homes, and aided in your expulsion. Whoever takes them for friends-these are the wrongdoers." (60:8-9). Early believers during the lifetime of Muhammad needed, in their new homeland in the Yathreb city-state, to stand side by side as brethren in faith to cooperate in self-defense fighting and to defend Yathreb against incessant attacks by the Meccan Qorayish tribesmen who went on with their aggression after expelling them out of Mecca. In contrast, Abdul-Aziz took the overt notion of immigration; urging his fighters to become Brothers of the sword and to call each other Brothers in faith while other non-Wahabis were declared as infidels and non-Muslims. Hence the name the Najd Brothers came into being later on. Thus, they cooperated to attack the peaceful non-aggressive innocent Arabs; unlike Muhammad and the early believers who cooperated to defend themselves and their city against marauding, raiding attackers. Abdul-Aziz called his groups of murderers the Najd Brothers and used this Quranic verse as a motto on his banners: "And hold fast to the rope of God, altogether, and do not become divided. And remember God's blessings upon you; how you were enemies, and He reconciled your hearts, and by His grace you became brethren…" (3:103). The term ''Brothers'' has become part of literature of all movements of religious revolts and revolutions in the contemporary history of the Middle East as well as terrorist organizations attributing themselves forcibly to Islam, such as the terrorist MB group member originating in Egypt and later on branching in all the Arab world countries.

 

When did the movements of forming camps and colonies begin?

 The very first colony or camp of Wahabi ''immigration'' was established in the name of Al-Artaweiyya in 1330 A.H. (1911 A.D.), and its inhabitants were a mix of the youths from the tribes of Harb and Mateer, and the second one was called Al-Ghatghat, whose inhabitants came from the tribe of Otaybah, whereas the third one was named Dakhna, with its youths coming from the tribe of Harb, and finally, the fourth colony was christened Al-Ajfar, whose youth came mostly from the tribe of Shamar (6). A controversy emerged concerning about the target of establishing such colonies due to the secrecy of the matter at the beginning; some claimed that the aim of such colonies was to train Bedouins to be peasants who were to be experts in agriculture so as to make them avoid raiding, stealing, and robbing typical of nomads' life in Arabia at the time, and to begin to acquire new habits of living. The author Jalal Kishk vehemently refutes this agricultural purpose in his writings (7). Apparently, the Brothers living in such colonies never learned anything about agriculture and values of peasants. The reason: those inhabitants of such camps and colonies grew fiercer and more violent than ever, fighting and murdering with no bounds, without taking care if their victims were fighters or peaceful civilians, killing mercilessly children, women, and elderly men, thinking their heinous deeds as acts of worship, faith, devoutness, and jihad. Of course, this was far from the ethics of ordinary secular soldiers in any armies, let alone values and ethics of peasants. Hence, the rumor of teaching agriculture to Bedouins was linked to another easily refuted humor which was less spread: accusing the inhabitants of such colonies of being communists related to the Bolshevist Revolution. Such rumors and questions kept appearing in writings of those who witnessed the establishment of such camps, and Habeeb Ali has refuted such rumors and accusations in his writings (8).

 

The two phases of establishing such colonies:

 The fluctuating and wavering justification and discussion of the phenomenon of establishing such Wahabi colonies are linked to the two phases of forming such colonies/camps; a secretive phase and a public one. Within the secretive phase, Abdul-Aziz took a great deal of care to hide such activity from the author Amin Al-Rihany so as not to blow the whistle to GB that numerous colonies of Wahabi jihadists are being formed, so that no one would knew the real reason for such camps. Despite the fact that Abdul-Aziz maintained his communication with GB, he feared that the British might not like the notion at all; his fears were revealed five years after the success of the colonies and their aims in 1917 A.D. (1336 A.H.) (9).

 

The two main colonies/camps of the Najd Brothers:

Al-Artaweiyya: this was the very first colony, built around a group of water wells on the route between Kuwait and Al-Qassim region. Its establishment began with skirmishes in the village of Al-Hurma between the Bedouins under Abdul-Aziz and the residents of this village because of the extremism and bigotry of Wahabis who came recently to reside there. Wahabis were forced to leave the village and to establish their colony in Al-Artaweiyya area in eastern Al-Sedeir region, where tribes and caravans used to get some rest and be supplied with water, and that region was under the control of the Mateer tribe. The very first group of 50 Wahabis to inhabit Al-Artaweiyya was from the tribe of Harb, the group as known as Al-'Eirimat, who built some new water wells and some houses for themselves, headed by their leader Saad Ibn Met'eib, and soon enough, they were joined by others. Abdul-Aziz used to visit them frequently, spending the night in preaching them and giving them pieces of advice. The leader and emir of Al-Artaweiyya was Feisal Al-Daweesh, who was appointed by Abdul-Aziz when he fought fiercely and bravely and won victory at Al-Ahsa region. The inhabitants of Al-Artaweiyya colony reached the number of 10.000 men, but Al-Artaweiyya was razed to the ground when Abdul-Aziz decided to put an end to the Najd Brothers movement in 1930. Its inhabitants were mostly from the tribes of Mateer and Harb (10). The Wahabi preachers under Abdul-Aziz used to roam all tribes of Arabia, calling youths of every tribe to join Al-Artaweiyya colony to be recruited as Brothers, urging and enticing them to leave their tribes and folks as infidels who deserved to be conquered and smitten. Many tribes realized the danger and the threat posed by such a call; they faced the Wahabi preachers and sometimes prevented them from entering the houses and tents of the tribes. That was why Abdul-Aziz urged those preachers to use the sword when necessary, as they were properly trained to fight. When some men of the Harb tribe tried to fight those preachers, Abdul-Aziz fought them fiercely with his armies, and the Harb tribe had to acquiesce and to submit to the new reality and new order that was being formed (11). Their giving up was a pattern often repeated by other tribes, leading the notion of immigration colonies to succeed eventually, especially after the establishment of Al-Ghatghat colony.

 

Al-Ghatghat: this was the second Wahabi colony formed directly after the first one, in 1912 A.D., and it contained inhabitants (i.e. Brothers) coming from the Otaybah tribe. It was populated at first by about 100 men, mostly from the Otaybah tribe and ten men from the Qahtan tribe, led successively by the following leaders: Deigheilab Ibn Kamhan, Fayeith Al-Habrah, Muqham Ibn Ramizan, and Hussein Ibn Jusham. After the passage of 8 months, they were joined by Majeed Ibn Khuthayla and Alloush Ibn Hameed. A year later, the colony was led by Sultan Ibn Bajad, and its inhabitants grew to be about 12 thousand men. Al-Ghatghat colony was located within 100 miles from Riyadh, and it was destroyed in 1929 and re-established in 1956 (12). Soon enough, more than 200 immigration colonies were established within 15 years, mostly in the region of Najd, and some of them in other regions like Hejaz, near Qatar, near the borders of the Empty Quarter Desert, and near the borders with Syria and Jordan. Hence, Abdul-Aziz had formed for himself a network of colonies/camps to control and mobilize deluded youths and to preach Wahabism among them (13).

How the immigration colonies were administrated?

 The choice of the location of each colony was carefully planned; it had to be relatively away from routes of trade caravans, to help those Bedouins forget their deep-rooted habit of raiding and attacking such caravans; they were trained to attack instead the other cities and regions to conquer them and to force them to swear allegiance to Abdul-Aziz and join his project under his rule as a king. Another item that was taken into consideration was the existence of water wells with plenty of water. The last item to be heeded with utmost care at this phase was guarding the secrecy of the project of establishing such colonies. Abdul-Aziz had set a system by which a colony was to be built; the very first building to be erected was mosque and a yard surrounding it, and then houses with a square amidst them. In that square, the banner would be raised to indicate the mobilization of the Najd Brothers to begin their aggression on others in the name of jihad. Inside each colony, Abdul-Aziz had set a water-distribution system, names-registration system, and arms-distribution system. Each colony was headed by its emir (i.e., prince or ruler) and its judge; the emir was responsible for the execution of sentences uttered by the judge within the consultation council, endorsed by Abdul-Aziz first. The judge was responsible for applying the Wahabi sharia. The emir was in direct contact with Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, participating in choosing members of the consultation council and taking fealty of the house of Al-Saud from imams and clergymen, whereas the judge was linked directly to the high judge who controlled all judges in all colonies. Both the judge and the emir of each colony were responsible before Abdul-Aziz directly. Within each colony, there was a treasurer of the Treasury who used to collects zakat and alms money, with about tens persons to distribute post letters and to maintain security and peace in the colony. The religious authority was centered on the descendant of sheikh Ibn Abdul Wahab as per a hierarchal system led by a panel of Wahabi scholars, whose decisions were obligatory and forced upon all emirs to execute. Such Wahabi scholars used to train the religious police members who consisted of local scholars among the imams of the Bedouins living in the colonies, and their mission was checking that everyone is performing prayers regularly, forcibly doing good deeds and avoiding bad ones. There was one religious police officer for each group of 50 Najd Brothers fighters, and each officer had a disciple who was being trained to take his place temporarily anytime until he was trained enough to be a full-fledged religious police officer (14).

 

Gifts of money:

 Despite rumors of teaching the Bedouins agriculture in the colonies, the fact that Abdul-Aziz gave them regular gifts of money indicates that there was no economical or agricultural activities whatsoever in the colonies; hence, the rumor of their being taught agriculture was a façade or a cover-up for their being trained as fighters and Wahabi soldiers, who would fight to death based on their creed notions. The Najd Brothers used to receive money gifts that were of four types, within intricate systems of their distributions among the worthy persons who deserved them (15). The life of the Najd Brothers inside the immigration colonies/camps was very serious and strict in nature, comprising performance of prayers and other acts of worship for long hours and attentive listening to religious sermons preached to inculcate Wahabism and to train them spiritually and militarily, to drive the idea home that their fighting is a sacred holy mission to convert others in Arabia (i.e., infidels) into what they deemed as the only ''true'' Islam: Wahabism. Fighting outside the colonies was the only activity that urged them to bear with the tedium of living inside the colonies within certain restrictions, as they were looking forward either to martyrdom or to gain more loot after conquering other regions, thus obeying God's commands as per teachings if their Wahabi sheikhs and scholars.

            

Footnotes:

1- Muhammad Al-Assad, ''The Way to Islam'', page 216, Beirut, translated by Afeef Al-Baalbaky.

Hafiz Wahba, ''Wahabism in Arabia'', the Royal Magazine for Middle Asian Societies, 1924/10/16, page 465.

Amin Al-Rihany, ''Najd and its Annexes'', Beirut, 3rd edition, 1964, page 26.

Salah Eddine Al-Mukhtar, ''History of the KSA'', Beirut, 143/2.

2-Dickson, ''Forty Years in Kuwait'', London, 1970, pages 149:150.

3- John Habeeb, ''The Saudi Brothers in Two Decades'', translated by Dr. Sabry Hassan, pages 55:60, edition of Riyadh, 1998.

4- Jalal Kishk, ''The Saudis and the Islamic Solution'', pages 694-695 and 556, 574, 4th edition, Cairo, 1984.

5- Sheehab Eddine Al-Nuweiry (677:733 A.H.) ''Nihayet Al-Ereb'', 228/25, 236, 243, Cairo, 1984.

6- Lughat Al-Arab newspaper, May-June 1913, 1331 A.H.

Kishk, ditto, page 557.

Habeeb, ditto, page 93.

Al-Mukhtar, ditto, 145/2.

7- Kishk, ditto, pages 560, 6969, and 701.

8- Habeeb, ditto, pages 64:68.

9- Kishk, ditto, pages 55, 701.

 Habeeb, ditto, pages 53:58.

10- Habeeb, ditto, pages 96:105.

Philip Hitti, ''History of Najd'', page 305, Beirut, 1946.

Lughat Al-Arab Magazine, Vol. 483, 11th May, 1913, 8th year.

Hamza, ''Heart of Arabia'' page 379, edition of Mecca, 1933.

Herwitz, ''Middle East Politics'', London, 1969, page 245.

Armstrong, ''Lord of Arabia'', Beirut, 1954, pages 85.

11- Al-Rihany, "History of Najd", page 262, Beirut, 1928.

12- Habeeb, ditto, pages 105:108.

13- Habeeb, ditto, pages 108:111.

14- Habeeb, ditto, pages 113:115.

Al-Mukhtar, ditto, 144/2.

15- Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 291, sixth year, 1930/7/4.

 

 

Secondly: the Najd Brothers as a military force: 

 

  Abdul-Aziz exaggerated rightly in the military formation and organization of the Najd Brothers, as regarding the conditions of political powers at the time in Arabia. In fact, Abdul-Aziz followed closely the example of the Middle-Ages feudal system, as in the Mameluke Era in Egypt. Mameluke leaders used to distribute agricultural lands among other Mameluke knights to mobilize and train soldiers and fighters within a hierarchal system, and Abdul-Aziz revived this system in Arabia, with the exception of the fact that idea of agriculture was a cover-up or a façade as we have written above. Another difference was that Abdul-Aziz prepared the Najd Brothers in terms of creed, manipulating their belligerent nature to convert them into the violent creed of Wahabism to redirect and re-channel their love for loot, enslavement, and raids into a religious and political cause of uniting Arabia into one rule to convert others forcibly to Wahabism, as a form of jihad bringing riches in this life and Paradise in the Hereafter. Let us give an overview of the features of the military aspect of the Najd Brothers.   

 

Mobilization:

  The mosque of every colony/camp was the center of mobilization, as per the application of the creed of Wahabi jihad that links attacking and conquering others to religion, symbolized in the mosque and the daily five prayers performed inside it. Every colony had its mosque with a list of male performers of prayers, checking who came in and who did not perform prayers inside it, to check the fidelity of the new Najd Brothers five times a day. Such lists of all colonies were used to mobilize the Brothers to fight in their aggressive Wahabi jihad by raiding other areas, making each soldier responsible for his own outfits, food, beverages, arms, and horse until he would reach the assembly point in that colony or the other. Males would be allowed to join the Najd Brothers at the age of 15. When the orders of Wahabi jihad fighting came, a banner would be hoisted within the yard of the mosque, near the square of the colony, where soldiers would gather with their victuals, arms, and horses, with no one allowed to be absent unless he would be ill. Even women, wives of the soldiers in the colony, would trace the absent ones with no reason of ailment and would either punish or kill them (16).

 

Types of Wahabi Jihad:

  Wahabi jihad comprises three types: daily jihad, double jihad, and thrice jihad. The daily one is simply to be on the defensive and never letting off one's guard, being always ready to fight at a moment's notice. The double jihad is to fight fiercely when needed anytime on any mission. the thrice jihad is to generally mobilize all the Najd Brothers in all colonies at one location in critical cases. The first and second types of jihad was called for only by Abdul-Aziz himself personally whenever the occasion for them arose, whereas the third type of Wahabi jihad was decided only by Wahabi scholars and clergymen when requested by Abdul-Aziz in a written form of request (17). This means that all military authority was at the hands of Abdul-Aziz; he was the one to decide when, where, and how any war was waged and who are the targeted tribes, in which cities and regions, etc. let us bear in mind that the view or endorsement of the Wahabi clergymen and scholars was the same: to obey the orders of the ruler, i.e., Abdul-Aziz, within the time-honored Sunnite Wahabi traditions and concepts that make such blind obedience akin to the obedience of Prophet Muhammad and God. We remind readers that this contradicts the Quran of course; we find in the Quran that obedience, not the blind type, for experts in a certain field as pertaining to the welfare of society within the concept of Quranic Shura (consultation), which is akin to direct democracy in the terms of our modern age. Such Quranic democracy turned into tyranny once Muhammad died, and ''experts'' was a term used falsely to designate rulers in general who owned lands and its inhabitants, and the Sunnite jurisprudence makes any conquering ruler/tyrant/sultan as the one to be obeyed blindly. Hence, such Middle-Ages culture accumulated until it was revived by the Sunnite Wahabism, as applied by Abdul-Aziz in the 20th century.

 

Methods of fighting:

  The Wahabi fighters had four methods of fighting:

1- Morning fights when to attack the enemies by dawn while they were asleep.

2- Pre-noon fights when raids would involve fierce fighting.

3- Afternoon fights which would last between the afternoon and sunset.

4- Night fights were the most difficult type of fighting, and survival rates were low as one could not differentiate friends and foes in the dark, unless soldiers are led by clever, shrewd leaders. It is noteworthy that the Najd Brothers used to prefer this fourth type of fighting to terrorize their foes and to sap their energy and ammunition (18). Remarkably, the raids of the Najd Brothers would never take place during winters and springs; they would begin only during summers and autumns, and this was due to geographical and weather factors. During winters and springs rain would fall, allowing for grazing of cattle, filling of water wells, and growing few crops, whereas during summers and autumns, no grazing areas would be found and wells would be empty of water (19). Thus, many conquering battles occurred during summers and autumns; for instance, conquering Al-Ahsa region in June 1918, Al-Kharama region in 1919, Al-Jahra in October 1920, Aseer in May 1921, Ha'il un August 1921, reconquering Aseer in June 1922, and attacking the eastern area of Jordan in July 1922 and the fortress of Boseih in November 1927. Thus, the raids of the Najd Brothers were directly linked to their old habits of Bedouins raiding other tribes in times of dryness and arid nature of deserts. The only added item here was a religious aspect to justify such aggression as a form of Wahabi jihad.

 

Arms of the Najd Brothers:

  Their arms were simple indeed: 1) camels trained for battles divided into three types: Al-Omaniyya, Al-Omaniyya Al-Batiniyaa, and Al-Haraaer, 2) horses trained for battles divided into five types in their turn: Al-Kuhayl, Hadiyya, Al-Hamdaniyya, Al-Aqlaweiyya, and Al-Rahma, 3) swords, and famous types among them were called Al-Saud swords and Al-Mushtary swords, as well as various types got from spoils of battles, and finally 4) guns, rifles, and machine guns (20).

 

Number of fighters:

  There was no exact count or statistics that mention the number of Wahabi fighters among the Najd Brothers; some estimates tell us that they were somewhere between 25 thousand to 76 thousand fighters in some narratives. Abdul-Aziz is reported to have declared that he fully controlled 400 thousand fighters all over Arabia who obey his commands blindly and promptly and imitate him in stances of grief and joy, and he called them as ''Monotheism Soldiers'', who obey ''God's orders'' (21). Of course, such a declaration is exaggerated, but it indicates how Abdul-Aziz viewed the blind obedience of desert-Arabs and Bedouins after their conversion to Wahabism by Abdul-Aziz, linking their entire lives to his verbal commands of fighting all non-Wahabis.

 

Military tactics:

  The army of the Najd Brothers was based on a system of fighting units which were able to acquire self-sufficiency on all levels in their readiness to fight anytime anywhere. They were specially trained to sap the energies of the foes using the tactics of guerilla war fighting, used for the very first time in the Arab world by the Najd Brothers. Nonetheless, the army of the Najd Brothers was not a regular army as was the case with the Ottomans and other Arab countries at the time. Moreover, their military tactics included the creed of the ardent desire to be martyred; many of the Najd Brothers fought fiercely and recklessly, heeding no risks or dangers, in order to get killed presumably to enter Paradise after death. They were known for their ardent desire to annihilate all persons deemed as foes; they would kill even the elderly peaceful men, females of all age-groups, and children (22). Such unprecedented brutality was a direct outcome of the Wahabi notions that declare all those who reject Wahabism as infidels and apostates who deny Islam, and thus, their blood can be shed with impunity, and such heinous murders were assumed to be rewarded in Paradise in the Hereafter, regardless if the victims include elderly peaceful men, females of all age-groups, and children.

      

Espionage:

  The main feature that ensured the success of the Najd Brothers in their military endeavors was their network of spies who spied on their enemies for a sufficient duration, before raiding and attacking them, by planting a fifth column inside the location of the foes. A good example of this was how Abdul-Aziz applied this strategy successfully to win to his forces Khaled Ibn Louaï, leading him to betray his tribe. Of course, such traits were chief among ideological movements that spread and propagate their tenets and principles to win over more followers before military conquest of enemies. During battles, the Najd Brothers used to receive full support and aid from such spies who infiltrated the bastions and fortresses of the enemies, and in many cases, such spies would flee the enemies' camps to pass invaluable information and secrets to the Najd Brothers shortly before they attack (23).

 

Hierarchical order of the Saudi leaderships:

  Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud was the supreme leader of all, and his followers viewed him as the supreme guide and absolute ruler. Next to him was Feisal Al-Daweesh, Sultan Ibn Bajad, Muhsin Al-Faram, with Didaan Ibn Heithlein, with the two latter names as the leaders who played major roles within the tribesmen of Al-Ajman. At certain times, those leaders would act independently, as when Ibn Bajad fought in Ta'if region and Al-Daweesh in Iraq (24).

 

The role of women in fighting along with the Najd Brothers:

  Besides punishing and/or murdering those reluctant to fight without proper acceptable excuses, some Wahabi women actually participated in fighting in battlefields, and some other women used to play on tambours during battle to incite their husbands' enthusiasm to fight (25).

           

The renowned military prowess of the Najd Brothers:

  Some British periodicals and records of the time describe the Najd Brothers as invincible, and they likened them to the tanks of Rommel and to Sturmabteilung of the German forces, spreading terror all over Arabia and its neighboring countries (26).

 

Establishing security and stability:

  The Wahabi military organization had yet another target to achieve eventually; i.e., to establish security and stability in conquered areas by preventing looting and other activities that Bedouins used to enjoy ensuing a victory, especially attacking other caravans coming to Arabia from far and near countries, either for trade or for performing pilgrimage to Mecca. Establishing security and stability has been indeed a priority for the Saudi regime, especially thanks to the firmness of applying the punishment for theft, by cutting the culprit's hand off. Gradually, Bedouins had to forget their habits and history of looting and raiding of their forefathers. John Philby mentions that the Najd Brothers were fanatics and bigots, who never cared for the pleasures of life and never feared death, and after spreading terror all over Arabia, they willingly re-established peace among troubled regions, and John Philby calls this Wahabi Peace (27). Hafiz Wahba writes a comparison of how the Bedouins used to take pride in raids and looting in the past and how they converted to Wahabism, and being among the Najd Brothers, instead of attacking and looting, they would protect and secure routes, travellers, caravans, and impose peace (28). The renowned literary Lebanese figure Shakib Arslan had once written how hos cloak flew away from him in the wind on his way from Ta'if and Mecca, and how it remained in the route without passers-by snatching it, until the emir of Ta'if ordered his men to find it and send it back to its owner (29). Hence, the Bedouins made profits to make up for the loss of their traditional looting and raiding  of tribes or caravans, by adopting Wahabi jihad, once they converted to Wahabism to join the Najd Brothers, as unprecedented loot of such jihad urged them never to desire returning to their old habits and ways.

      

Footnotes:

16- Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 287, sixth year, 1930/6/6.

17- Al-Rihany, "History of Najd", page 164.

18- Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 292, sixth year, 1930/7/11.

19- Abou Al-Ela, Mahmoud Taha, "Geography of Arabia", pages 97-98, Cairo, 1930.

Dickson, op. cit. page 345.

20- Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 303, sixth year, 1930/9/16.

21- Al-Rihany, ditto, page 414.

Habeeb, ditto, pages: 132:137 and 252.

22- Habeeb, ditto, pages: 123:125.

Kishk, ditto, page 577.

23- Habeeb, ditto, pages: 117 and 128

24- Habeeb, ditto, pages: 128-129.

25- Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 289, sixth year, 1930/22.

Dickson, op. cit., page 315.

26- Habeeb, ditto, pages: 32 and 57.

27- John Philby, ''Arabia 1926:1927, Three Years of Wahabi Rule'', Modern Magazine, Volume No. 1937, January-June 1929, page 715.

28- Hafiz Wahba, "The Twentieth Century Arabia'', page 295, third edition, Cairo, 1956.

29- Shakib Arslan, '''Funny Stories from History'', 1350 A.H., Cairo, page 122.

 

 

 

Thirdly: the Wahabi Najd Brothers and the establishment of the monarchy (later on known as the KSA) of Abdul-Aziz:

 

Introduction:

  Almost all of the current known borders of the KSA now were drawn and marked by the Najd Brothers' swords, during both stages of 1) conquering regions of Arabia and 2) delineating borders with neighboring countries like Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait. We tackle here the stage of conquering regions of Arabia. The Najd Brothers emerged as a military force in the scene or arena in the battle of Jirab, in 1914, and their emergence led to a radical change in the power balance in the region, as they had defeated Al-Sharif Hussein, ruler of Hejaz region and later on ruler of Jordan, despite his having a modern regular troops and armies. The Wahabi Najd Brothers defeated as well the armies of Al-Rasheed family, which consisted of tribesmen of the Shamar tribe, and eventually, the Najd Brothers emerged supreme and victorious as they excelled in military tactics and movements, guerilla wars, desert battles, as well as their Wahabi upbringing and teachings that drove them to be eager to die to win victory in this life and Paradise in the Hereafter, as per the Wahabi creed. In the following lines, we trace briefly the role of the Najd Brothers in establishing the third current KSA:

 

Conquering Al-Ahsa region (the eastern oil-rich region of the KSA):

  Abdul-Aziz found himself in the Najd region surrounded by enemies from all directions; he had to move his Najd Brothers outside to protect himself and to test their burgeoning power and strength. He had to begin by conquering Al-Ahsa region, the weakest point beside Najd, which has a strategic location beside the Persian Gulf as well. Al-Ahsa region was an important one in terms of economy even before the discovery of its oil-rich areas; it had rainy grazing areas and trade ports. Al-Saud family captured Al-Ahsa region before, but the Ottoman Empire regained it soon enough. When Abdul-Aziz was looking forward to recapturing it, the Ottomans were licking their wounds as they were defeated in the Balkan War in 1913, and they were hated by the Najd tribes and by Europeans in general. Hence, Abdul-Aziz seized this opportunity to recapture Al-Ahsa easily, under the pretext that its population was mostly Shiites, deemed by the Wahabis as ''infidels''. Abdul-Aziz and his troops moved toward Al-Ahsa in March, 1913, and the city of Al-Hufuf fell easily using only a troop of 600 Wahabi fighters on May 8th, and the Turkish garrison had to retreat from Al-Ahsa, and tried later on to recapture it by military means and later on by diplomatic channels and negotiations, in vain. Once he captured Al-Ahsa, Abdul-Aziz was intensely feared by alarmed tribesmen all over Arabia, and revenues and wealth of the nascent monarchy increased. Thus, the Najd Brothers passed the very first military test outside Najd. Abdul-Aziz chose Abdullah Ibn Jalawy, his paternal uncle's son, as the new governor of Al-Ahsa and a deputy for Abdul-Aziz there, and Abdul-Aziz directly contacted the British within the Persian Gulf, where their influence was great, as the Gulf was their passage to India, the jewel of the British crown at the time. The pact between GB and Abdul-Aziz began officially with the treaty of Al-Akeer in 1915, as the British acknowledged his sovereignty over Najd and Al-Ahsa, and granted him a large sum of money in return for his solemn oath not to attack its regions in the Persian Gulf (30).

 

The first stage of fighting against Al-Rasheed family in 1915:

  Abdul-Aziz seized the opportunity of the enmity existing between Al-Rasheed family, rulers of Hael region, and the British, and between that family and the Al-Sharif family, rulers of Hejaz, to readily conquer Hael. Abdul-Aziz felt that the economic needs pressed him to conquer Hael. However, his Najd Brothers urged him to begin with conquering Hejaz first, especially that its ruler, Al-Sharif Hussein, was a chief ally to the British. This might have destroyed the treaty of Abdul-Aziz with GB; Abdul-Aziz had to reject their ardent desire of conquering Hejaz at the time and to direct their zeal to fight toward capturing Hael. Simultaneously, Abdul-Aziz had to make the British promise him never to allow Al-Sharif Hussein to stab him in the back by attacking Najd while he was busy fighting Al-Rasheed family in the battle of Jirab in 1915. Abdul-Aziz was about to win victory, but the tribesmen of Al-Ajman turned against him suddenly and attacked his troops instead of helping them fight the troops of Al-Rasheed family. Thus, the battle ended with no decisive victory for any of the warring parties. Abdul-Aziz decided to punish Al-Ajman tribesmen, once he made a treaty with the ruler of Kuwait never to attack militarily the Najd Brothers and never to aid the tribesmen of Al-Ajman. In November 1915, the Najd Brothers were led by Abdul-Aziz to fight them near Al-Ahsa, and after fierce battles that lasted for several days, the tribesmen of Al-Ajman fled to Kuwait, as its ruler was on their side even during battles (31).

 

Turba and Al-Kharama 1919:

  Abdul-Aziz had inherited the deep-seated historical enmity and hatred existing between Al-Saud and Al-Sharif families, since Al-Saud captured Hejaz during the establishment of the very first Saudi state. Later on, Al-Sharif family recaptured Hejaz as its rightful rulers, but in fact, Hejaz was controlled by Egypt while the Ottomans held nominal control only over the region, after Muhammad Ali Pacha, ruler of Egypt at the time, destroyed the very first KSA in 1818 and razed to the ground its capital, Dariyya. Such historical enmity was augmented by the foolish policies adopted by Al-Sharif Hussein, ruler of Hejaz, as once he entered Mecca in 1909, he promptly began to send troops to raid Najd to spite Abdul-Aziz. Such conflict intensified the hot dispute over the control over the two cities of Turba and Al-Kharama, leading soon enough to the military attack longed for by the Najd Brothers. The cities of Turba and Al-Kharama have a strategic location and economic affluence, and their ruler, who was Al-Sharif family member, Khaled Ibn Al-Mansour Ibn Louaï, joined the Wahabi call, becoming a leader under Abdul-Aziz. This increased grudges between Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud and Al-Sharif Hussein. As both cities are located in the borders between Najd and Hejaz, dwellers of both cities fluctuated between loyalties to Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud and Al-Sharif Hussein. Disputes ensued between their respective families. Al-Sharif Hussein proclaimed himself as the king of all Arabs in 1916, and Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud hated him more for such insult. Both families began military operations against each other in the summer of 1918, as the Najd Brothers crushed the troops led by Hammoud Ibn Yazeed, who was Al-Sharif family member, during the battle of Hawqaan in May, 1918. Soon enough, the Najd Brothers, led by Khaled Ibn Louaï who rebelled against his family, crushed the troops led by Hammoud Ibn Yazeed for the second time during the battle of Jabbar in June, 1918. The troops of Al-Sharif family were defeated once more when they were led by Shakir Ibn Zeid at Al-Hinnow Wells in September, 1918. Such repeated and successive defeats led eventually to a decisive battle between the armies of the two families in the city of Turba. The emir Abdullah Ibn Al-Hussein led the armies of Al-Sharif family, and this man later on was given, by GB, the land of Jordan to rule as king. He was the son of Al-Sharif Hussein, while Khaled Ibn Louaï the rebel led the armies of the Najd Brothers. Night fights were started by the Najd Brothers in May, 1919, as they rushed into the military camps of Al-Sharif, killing, destroying, and looting. Al-Sharif family armies were crushed again, and all their men were killed except few ones who fled the camp along with Abdullah Ibn Al-Hussein, and thus, finally, Turba and Al-Kharama fell into the hands of Abdul-Aziz, who was urged relentlessly by the Najd Brothers to conquer Hejaz very soon as Al-Sharif armies were crushed. Yet, Abdul-Aziz could not conquer Hejaz at the time and he had to ignore this rather rare opportunity of easy invasion because of his treaty with the British, advising his Najd Brothers to withdraw so that they would not lose ground. Abdul-Aziz waited eagerly to meet with his allies, the British, to convince them of allowing him to conquer Hejaz later on. Such stance of Abdul-Aziz led some of his Najd Brothers to express their discontent, which marked the early beginnings of their forming an opposition movement against him later on. Fear of the Najd Brothers was spread all over Arabia, as news of such land-sliding victory came along with news of utter brutality of the Najd Brothers who savagely killed all captured men (i.e., POWs) to wipe out all traces of the enemies' troops (32).

 

The conquest of Hael:

  After capturing the two cities of Turba and Al-Kharama, conquering Hael seemed to have to be done soon inevitably, to prepare later on for the imminent conquest of Hejaz, after reaching an agreement with the British. Another factor that led Abdul-Aziz to hasten with such a conquest was the fact that Al-Sharif Hussein allied himself with Al-Rasheed family, foes of Abdul-Aziz, to militarily face the danger of the Najd Brothers. Thus, they joined forces to try to defeat Abdul-Aziz who threatened their rule and even their very existence. Typical of him, Abdul-Aziz had planted his spies and agents soon enough in Hael, while spreading his Wahabi preachers all over the region. Most of the dwellers of Hael converted to Wahabism, turning themselves as a fifth column serving Abdul-Aziz. Such new converts were persecuted by the rulers of Hael, a fact that incited the Najd Brothers to capture Hael as soon as possible. Typically, Abdul-Aziz seized well-timed chances to make his conquest of Hael a great victory; Al-Rasheed family grew weaker as their powerful and shrewd leader, Met'eib Al-Rasheed, was killed. His successor and son, Abdul-Malik, was weak and inexperienced young man, and his being appointed suddenly the new leader caused a rift among the ruling family members. Seizing the chance of such rift, the leader of Al-Roula tribe in Syria conquered Al-Jouf region which was ruled by Al-Rasheed family. Simultaneously, the ruler of Kuwait, who was a foe to Abdul-Aziz, died. Al-Sharif Hussein was busy facing internal unrest and external hardships that drove him to ignore his allies the Al-Rasheed family. The British hated Al-Rasheed family because they allied themselves to the Ottomans during World War I, and they wanted to take revenge on this ruling family using Abdul-Aziz and his Najd Brothers; the latter's enthusiasm reached the top as they wanted ardently to avenge the persecuted Wahabis in Hael by conquering the region and killing its rulers. In the summer of 1921, the Wahabi armies of Al-Saud moved into three directions: 1) an army led by the emir M. Ibn Abdul-Rahman (brother of Abdul-Aziz) to conquer the north region of the tribe of Shamar and to stop supplied coming to the enemies from Syria, 2) an army led by Feisal Al-Daweesh, who was a Najd Brother and at the same time the leader of Mateer tribe, heading to the south, and 3) an army led by Abdul-Aziz himself that remained near and ready to join the first or second army or both when necessary. The army led by Al-Daweesh camped near Hael, and tried later on to infiltrate into the region. The shrewd emir of Hael pretended to be a new convert to Wahabism in order to deceive Al-Daweesh, who let off his guard along with his Wahabi fighters, until they were overtaken suddenly by the huge defending armies coming from Hael, causing disorganization within lines of the Wahabi armies. Al-Daweesh sought the immediate help of the troops gathered with Abdul-Aziz, who came swiftly to attack and siege Hael. Ibn Talal, the emir of Hael, requested the interference of GB, but his request had fallen into deaf ears. Ibn Talal had to surrender on 20th of November, 1921, especially as the Wahabi armies managed to infiltrate into Hael and their fighters poured into it, capturing it for their supreme leader, Abdul-Aziz, who ordered his Najd Brother never to loot Hael and never to kill its non-Wahabi population, in order to avoid further troubles. The shrewd and cunning Abdul-Aziz treated the people of Hael leniently, married the widow of their leader, and made the affluent ones in Hael among his retinue. Eventually, with Hael and the tribe of Shamar lands captured by Abdul-Aziz, he controlled the entire Najd region and its neighboring lands, making the balance of power tipped in his favor all over Arabia. His nascent kingdom reached the borders of the Hashemites in the north and the west of the Arabian Peninsula, accelerating the timing of the final confrontation between them and the Najd Brothers of Al-Saud. Capturing the tribe of Shamar lands abetted the appetite of the Najd Brothers to conquer Al-Jouf area as well as Sarhan Valley, which would open their route to Syria and Palestine one day, by sending both the Wahabi troops to raid the south of the Levant and the Wahabi sheikhs and preacher to spread and propagate Wahabism there. Thus, capturing Hael led to cutting off the route and all communication between Hejaz and Jordan (33).

 

Conquering Aseer:

  Having captured Shamar tribe lands, Abdul-Aziz bestowed on himself the formal title of ''The Sultan of Najd and its Neighboring Regions'', and he felt that it was high time to conquer the region of Aseer, located in the south of his nascent kingdom; he knew that he could not possibly conquer Kuwait, Hejaz, or the Eastern Jordan province, as GB adamantly refused any threat to such regions under its control. Aseer was filled with Wahabi converts since the establishing of the first KSA, and Abdul-Aziz had established near it a Wahabi immigration colonies named Al-Rahba, located in the north-eastern area of Najran, causing political troubles and unrest between Wahabis of the region of Aseer and the ruling family of Al-Aa'es that used to rule Najran, as they feared that Abdul-Aziz would soon capture Aseer and be a source of threat to them. Typical of them, the Wahabis of Aseer sought the aid of Abdul-Aziz against their enemies, and he seized the chance to capture Aseer to gain a lot from its resources and wealth. Abdul-Aziz prepared two successive armies to conquer Aseer: one army consisted of 2000 Wahabi fighters led by the son of his paternal uncle, Abdul-Aziz Ibn Musaaid, in May, 1921, and this army defeated the army of Al-Aa'es family in the city of Hijla, arresting the leader of the army, Hassan Ibn Al-Aa'es, and his paternal uncle's son, Muhammad Ibn Al-Aa'es, sending them both to Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud in Najd as captives. Abdul-Aziz appointed Muhammad Ibn Al-Aa'es as the ruler of the city of Abha, in Aseer, and he ignored Hassan Ibn Al-Aa'es, and the latter fled to the city of Heireimla, capturing it, and he declared war on Abdul-Aziz, who was busy conquering Hael. Thus, Muhammad Ibn Al-Aa'es recaptured Aseer from Abdul-Aziz, who had to send a second huge army to recapture Aseer after he secured Hael as his property. This second army was led by his son, the emir Feisal Ibn Abdul-Aziz, in June, 1921, who conquered the main cities of Aseer: Beisha, Khamees, Nasheet, and its capital Abha. The family members of Al-Aa'es had to flee to Heireimla. The Najd Brothers destroyed all fortifications of Abha so that its dwellers would not rebel against Al-Saud rule again. When Aseer fell to the Saudi family, Imam Yahiya, ruler of Yemen, fell into a fit of rage, and he seized the chance of seeing Abdul-Aziz busy with fighting Al-Sharif Hussein in Hejaz, by conquering the region of Tihamah. Thus, war broke out between Imam Yahiya and Abdul-Aziz in 1926. Periods of political unrest and turmoil went on in Aseer, while military conflicts remained between Yemen and Al-Saud family until Abdul-Aziz signed an agreement with Al-Idreessi to allow the Saudi control of Aseer. Yemen ruler Imam Yahiya never acknowledged such an agreement, and the Saudis had to fight Yemen until the treaty of Ta'if was signed between the two parties in 1934, which marked a start of good relations and rapprochement between both of them (34).

 

Conquering Hejaz:

  Once Abdul-Aziz secured his borders in the north and in the east, it was high time for him to capture Hejaz region, as his forefathers had done before in the very first Saudi kingdom crushed by Muhammad Ali Pacha, ruler of Egypt, in 1818. The foolishness of the policies adopted by Al-Sharif Hussein, ruler of Hejaz, and the shrewd ones applied by Abdul-Aziz drove GB to remain neutral at first, as the British felt weary of the foolish ways of Al-Sharif Hussein and his demands from them. Other factors emerged to hasten the final confrontation between Al-Sharif Hussein and Abdul-Aziz; as the former prevented the Najd Brothers from performing pilgrimage in Mecca, and he committed aggressions against some groups of the Najd Brothers in the middle of the year 1923. Some skirmishes and frictions occurred repeatedly between both parties, driving the Najd Brothers to urge Abdul-Aziz to conquer Hejaz as soon as possible. The military confrontation seemed inevitable between the Saudi overambitious sultan and Al-Sharif Hussein, as the latter insisted that Arabia could not include both figures as neighbors, as they vie for leadership all over Arabia. There was another stronger reason for the inevitable war: both men considered the other as ''infidel'' who followed another religion other than Islam. The Najd Brothers considered Al-Sharif Hussein as an infidel/polytheist as per the Wahabi creed, as he represented the Sufi and Shiite religions as well as submission to the Western powers, especially GB. Hence, such conflict means that one party would annihilate the other. Abdul-Aziz seized the chance of suitable conditions at the time to militarily face Al-Sharif Hussein, stripping him off the protection of the British and the sympathy of Muslims who came to perform pilgrimage and want Hejaz to remain under its ruler. Abdul-Aziz did his best to appease and to satisfy the British, whereas Al-Sharif Hussein was foolish enough to pest and annoy the British politicians to the extent that they let him down. In order to appease Al-Sharif Hussein, GB had to interfere to put an end to the conflict over the borders between the two ambitious and rival families by holding a conference in the city of Aqeer, on the Persian Gulf, to define the borders between Najd and Iraq in 1922, to assert an earlier Al-Muhamarah agreement that went unheeded by all parties, when a free zone was to be set between the two regions of Najd and Iraqi territories, while allowing tribes of both sided to cross borders freely as before. The fears of Al-Sharif Hussein were allayed for a while, as he felt wary of the threat posed by the Najd Brothers to the Hejaz railways controlled by him. Later on, however, the conference held in Kuwait by GB to discuss borders between Najd and the Hashemites in Jordan, Iraq, and Hejaz failed miserably, and it was postponed twice and ended in nothing when it was held eventually in 1924. Al-Sharif Hussein became a cumbersome burden to GB because of his bad policies and his adamant refusal to sign a peace treaty in 1919 earlier, but his folly was embodied in his declaring himself a caliph of all Muslims in 1924. Al-Sharif Hussein became adamant and stubborn as a mule within conferences held in Kuwait to settle matters. Meanwhile, Abdul-Aziz used his preachers, spies, and agents to increase the propaganda against Al-Sharif Hussein all over Arabia. Muslims of India supported Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud because they hated Al-Sharif Hussein who used to mistreat the Indian pilgrims at the time. Such conditions led to further support to Abdul-Aziz on the international level, and having gained more support from GB, he was keen to support and fortify his internal front; he held a conference in Riyadh, his capital, during Al-Adha feast in 1342 A.H (5-7-1924 A.D.), which was presided by Abdul-Rahman Al-Feisal Al-Saud, the father of Abdul-Aziz. This conference was attended by all leaders of all tribes of Najd and all Wahabi clergymen and scholars of high stature, who urged Abdul-Aziz to conquer Hejaz since five years had passed after the battle of Turba and Al-Kharama, and Wahabis were not permitted by Al-Sharif Hussein to perform pilgrimage so far. They insisted on conquering mecca by force if Al-Sharif Hussein prevented them from entering the holy city. The conference ended by issuing a statement addressed to the Islamic world denouncing and attacking Al-Sharif Hussein, exposing his role in monopolizing pilgrimage activities and Hejaz trade and how he exploited and manipulated pilgrims. The conference took a unanimous decision to fight Al-Sharif Hussein. Soon enough, the following year, Abdul-Aziz prepared three huge armies to fight Al-Sharif Hussein: two armies were sent to the direction of the borders at Iraq and Jordan to prevent any aid, provision, or reinforcement to ever reach Al-Sharif Hussein. The third, and biggest, army was led under ten banners in September 1924 to Hejaz by the military leaders Khaled Ibn Louaï, who betrayed his Al-Sharif family long ago and became a Wahabi, and Sultan Ibn Bajad. On the route to Hejaz, the army passed by Ta'if city, occupying the two stations/posts named Kallakh and Al-Oukhaydar. Strange enough, Al-Sharif Hussein never paid enough heed to the coming army or to measuring its strength, but his army engaged in battle with that of Abdul-Aziz at the walls of Ta'if city. The canons of the Hashemites managed to deter the Najd Brothers fighters to a great extent for a while, but battles went on for three days relentlessly, until the army of Al-Sharif Hussein had to retreat. The Wahabi army sieged Ta'if city, and it conquered it by Friday, the 7th of September 1924. As a result, the Massacre of Ta'if was perpetrated, and it has remained until now a stigma in the personal history of Abdul-Aziz, because of the unprecedented brutality of the savage Najd Brother in their mass-killings of most of the dwellers of Ta'if. Some newspapers abroad had published news of such a heinous massacre, to the consternation and fear of Abdul-Aziz, as he felt that GB might interfere. Abdul-Aziz ordered the immediate stop of such massacre, denouncing it and threatening to kill any of Najd Brothers who might kill the remainder of the dwellers of Ta'if. Reluctantly, the Wahabi Brothers had to obey their leader; however, because such order coming from Abdul-Aziz contradicted the Wahabi jihad tenets learnt by heart by all Wahabi youths in the immigration colonies who were tutored by Wahabi preachers of Abdul-Aziz, many of the Najd Brothers began to look down on him and verbally abusing him as his image was shaken inside their mindsets; how dare he threaten to kill them while they apply the Wahabi jihad learnt by heart previously?! Such contradiction marked the beginning of the first rift between the Najd Brothers and Abdul-Aziz, leading later on to their turning against him. When Ta'if, the very first city in Hejaz region, fell into the hands of Abdul-Aziz, the rest of Hejaz was a like a ripe fruit about to fall into the hands of the Saudis as well, soon enough. To enable his conquering the rest of Hejaz, especially Yathreb and Mecca, Abdul-Aziz had to prevent at any cost his Najd Brothers from perpetrating any massacres within civilians among inhabitants of the other Hejaz cities, so as to avoid media coverage done before in the case of the Massacre of Ta'if. News of the brutal savagery of the Wahabi massacring dwellers of Ta'if frightened the rest of Hejaz cities, leading them to surrender easily without fighting. Thus, Abdul-Aziz conquered Mecca without shooting a single bullet. Meanwhile, Al-Sharif Hussein stepped down and left the crown to his son and heir, Ali. Abdul-Aziz entered Mecca on 18-10-11924, wearing pilgrimage cloth, accompanied by some Wahabi scholars and some soldiers. By conquering Mecca peacefully without fighting, Abdul-Aziz rested assured that the international community would be silenced. In general, Europe and GB at the time remained neutral and indifferent vis-à-vis such events in Arabia. Abdul-Aziz captured Jeddah and Yathreb so easily by sending his troops there, as he felt sure that his stance was approved or condoned by the international community and the Islamic world. The troops heading toward Yathreb was led by the Najd Brothers leader Feisal Al-Daweesh, who later on became the leader of the Wahabi opposition movement against Abdul-Aziz. Al-Daweesh wanted eagerly to massacre dwellers of Yathreb and thus defying the order of Abdul-Aziz who urged them to be lenient with all peaceful inhabitants of all cities. When Abdul-Aziz head of the intentions of Al-Daweesh, he dismissed Al-Daweesh from his post as a military leader. Thus, Al-Daweesh left the place immediately and went to the immigration colonies/colony of Al-Artaweiyya, along with some of the Najd Brothers; hence, the very first sign of declared, actual opposition to Abdul-Aziz emerged. Abdul-Aziz appointed his eldest son, Muhammad, as the new leader of the troops. Dwellers of Yathreb surrendered easily with no fighting at all, especially that the emir M. Ibn Abdul-Aziz promised them never to allow any Najd Brother to enter their city. Troops of the emir M. Ibn Abdul-Aziz entered Yathreb on 5-12-1925. Yanbu was another city surrendered as well soon enough in the same manner. Jeddah was sieged at first, as Ali Ibn Al-Sharif Hussein resided there, but he had eventually to surrender when GB posed as a mediator to bring peace, and Ali Ibn Al-Sharif Hussein stipulated that no Najd Brothers were to enter the city so as to ensure the safety of the dwellers of Jeddah. Ali Ibn Al-Sharif Hussein had to step down and surrender all Hejaz to Abdul-Aziz, and he left Jeddah to join his brother, Feisal, the king of Iraq, on 3-1-1926. Thus, eventually, Abdul-Aziz became officially the king of Najd, Hejaz, and the neighboring areas on 8-1-1926 (35), and such territories came to be known later on as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.                     

   

Footnotes:

Firstly: about conquering Al-Ahsa (N.B.: references are mentioned as possible according to the sequence of historical events):

30- Qassim (Jamal Zachariah), ''The Stance of Kuwait vis-à-vis the Saudi Expansion in Al-Ahsa and Najd'', an article in the History Magazine, number 17, 1970, pages 109 and 310.

Lughat Al-Arab Magazine, Vol. 5, 3rd year, Nov. 1914, page 273, and volume 12, 2nd year, June 1913, page 576.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 7, part 1: ''How Saudis conquered Al-Ahsa'', 4/7/1913, pages 559:560.

Al-Ansari (M. Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Muhsin), ''Tuhfat Al-Mustafeed in the Ancient and Modern History'', editions of Riyadh, 1960, pages 208-209.

Khazaal (Hassan Khalaf), ''Political History of Kuwait'', Aliya editions, 1962, pages 194-197.

Wahba, ''Arabia in the 20th Century'', page 234.

Kelly (J. B.) ''Eastern Arabian Frontiers'', London, 1963, pages 123 and 125.

Burkharat (John Lewis), ''Travels in Arabia'', London, 1829, pages 403, 406, and 505.

Armstrong, op. cit., pages 77 and 123.

Sangar (Richard H.) ''Arabian Peninsula'', Washington, 1963, pages 29 and 30.

Bell (Gertrude), ''The Arab War'', London. 1940, page 29.

 

Secondly: about wars with Al-Rasheed family:

31- Lughat Al-Arab Magazine, Vol. 1, 3rd year, 3rd of July, 1913 and March 1914.

Al-Mukhtar, ''History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia'', pages 169:171.

Qassim (Jamal Zachariah), "The Arabian Gulf", 1945, pages 2, 52, and 54.

Khazaal (Hassan Khalaf), ditto, page 186.

Herwitz, ''Diplomacy in near and Middle East Record'', Volume 1, London, 1960, pages 17 and 18.

Armstrong, op. cit., page 94.

Lawrence (T. E.), ''Seven Pillars of Wisdom'', London, 1962, page 266.

About Turba an Al-Kharama:

32- Al-Attar (M. Abdul-Ghafur), ''The Hawk of Arabia'', Mecca editions, pages 183, 289, and 301.

Al-Zarkeley (Kheir Eddine), ''Arabia in the Reign of Abdul-Aziz'', Beirut, 1970, pages 312, 317, and 323.

''Memoirs of King Abdulla'', published by Amin Abou-El-Shaar, Oman, 1965, pages 145,146, and 148.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 8, part 25, article titled ''Special Reasons for Conquering Hejaz'', 27-11-1924.

Al-Ansari, ditto, page 40.

Philby, ''History of Najd'' translated by Omar Al-Didrawy, Beirut, 1952, pages 325 and 326.

Armstrong, op. cit., page 126.

Bullard, ''The British and the Middle East'', London, 1952, pages 75, 76, and 78.

Howarth, ''The Desert King'', London, 1964, page 109.

 

Thirdly: about conquering Hael:

33- Mikosh (Dakbort von), ''Abdul-Aziz'', translated by Amin Rueiha, Damascus, undated, page 162.

Al-Rihany, ''History of Najd'', pages: 279:282.

Hamza (Fouad), '''Heart of Arabia", pages 382 and 383.

John Habeeb, ditto, pages 183 and 184.

Armstrong, op. cit., pages 149:159

Philby, ''Arabian Jubilee'', Mecca, 1951, page 57.

Meullen, ''The Wells of Ibn Saud'', London, 1958, page 158.

Twitchell, ''Saudi Arabia'', London, 1958, page 158.

Warth, ''The Arabs and the West'', London, 1964, page 8.

Bullard, ditto, page 76.

 

Fourthly: conquering Aseer:

34- Al-Batatouni (M. Labeeb) ''A Journey to Hejaz'', Cairo, 1910, page 91.

Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 57, second year, 19-2-1926.

Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 352, 8th year, Oct. 1931.

Al-Munjid (Salah Eddine), ''Feisal Ibn Abdul-Aziz'', Beirut, 1972, page 22.

Al-Zahraa Magazine, volume 8, part 18, page 544, 15-2-1925.

Al-Shura Magazine, number 69, second year, 18-2-1926.

Al-Muqattam Magazine, number 11246, 38th year, 26-2-1926.

Abonti (Salvatore), ''The Kingdom of Imam Yahiya'', translated by Taha Fawzy, Cairo, 1947, page 91 and 94.

 

Fifthly: Conquering Hejaz:

35- John Habeeb, ditto, pages 188-189.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 8, part 25, article titled ''The Wahabis and Hejaz'', page 605, 27-11-1924

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 7, part 25, pages 256, 549, and 555, 28-10-1924.

Al-Qibla Magazine, number 453, 5th year, 26-7-1921.

Al-Ahram Newspaper, number 14500, article titled "Wars in Arabia", 15-10-1924.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 8, part 35, article titled ''The Wahabis and Hejaz'', page 605, 27-11-1924

Qassim, ditto, 1945, page 85

Al-Farhan (Rashid Abdullah), ''A Short History of Kuwait'', Cairo, 1960, page 134.

Wahba, ditto, page 215.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 8, part 25, page 625

Al-Muqattam Magazine, number 11029, 1925.

 Al-Zarkeley, ditto, page 329.

Al-Ahram Newspaper, number 14502, ''The Wahabis and Hejaz'', 7-10-1924.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 8, part 25, article titled ''The Wahabis and Hejaz'', page 615:618, Nov. 1924

Al-Rihany, ditto, pages 236 and 237.

Al-Mukhtar, ditto, pages 289 and 290.

Nuamishan, ''Abdul-Aziz", translated by Abdul-Fattah Yaseen, Beirut, 1965, page 170.

Al-Muqattam Magazine, number 1077, 37th year, 19-8-1925

Al-Qibla Magazine, number 492, 3rd year, Ramadan 1343 A.H., and number 454, 5th year, 31-1-1925.

Al-Ahram Newspaper, number 14512, article titled ''The Wahabis and Hejaz'' in 29-10-1924, and number 14058, article titled ''Wahabis in Hejaz'' in 24-10-1924.

Al-Attar, ditto, pages 386 and 387.

Al-Rihany, ditto, page 332.

Al-Zarkeley, ditto, pages 330 and 331.

Shakib Arslan, ditto, page 140.

Al-Manar Magazine, Vol. 26, an article titled ''Hejaz and Arabs'', page 666.

Al-Ahram Newspaper, number 14501, 16-10-1924.

Al-Muqattam Magazine, number 1074, 37th year, 16-10-1925

Philby (John), ''History of Najd'', page 339.

Al-Khamees (Abdul-Rahman), ''Lions of Al-Saud'', Beirut, 1972, pages 157 and 158.

Umm Al-Qura, number 51, 2nd year, 18-12-1925.

Stitt (George), ''A Prince of Arabia'', London, 1957, pages 276:280.

Sanger, op. cit., page 32.

 

Fourthly: the Wahabi Najd Brothers and defining the borders of the Saudi kingdom:

Introduction:

1- Almost all of the KSA borders today have been defined earlier by the swords of the Najd Brothers, within the stage of conquering the neighboring regions and cities to the nascent third KSA and also within the stage of defining borders with neighboring countries like Kuwait, Jordan, and Iraq. We tackle in the following lines this state of defining borders with neighboring countries, after we have summarized above the stage of conquering the neighboring regions and cities.

 

2- Abdul-Aziz established his theocratic monarchy on the basis of Wahabi jihad that manipulated the name of Islam, and his kingdom was formed beside other counties established long ago by the Persian Gulf, within the Levant, and within Yemen and Iraq. The nascent Saudi kingdom of Abdul-Aziz began soon enough to face the problem of defining borders with such countries within complicated disputes on the regional and international levels, and such disputes had their impact on the relation between Abdul-Aziz and his Najd Brothers who helped him establish the KSA.

 

3- Abdul-Aziz and his Najd Brothers agreed on preaching, spreading, and propagating the Salafist, Wahabi call outside the borders of the nascent KSA, especially in the north, eastern-north and western-north; i.e., in Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, the whole of the Levant and Egypt. Yet, the means to do this in each country differed a great deal. Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud preferred the peaceful infiltration of Wahabi preachers in such countries, hoping that once Wahabism spread all over such areas, with the least possible cost, the regimes of these countries would be orbits revolving around Abdul-Aziz and his kingdom. The Najd Brothers, as usual, viewed things differently; they believed only in military invasions as the only means to do so, as such means was compatible with their belligerent nature hunting for more locations for looting and massacring. Thus, the Najd Brothers could never perceive 1) the changes in circumstances and conditions, and 2) the fact that GB fully controlled these countries and it would never allow any Bedouin raids, either within Wahabi jihad or not. Anyway, raids of the Bedouin Wahabi Najd Brothers against such countries would have led GB to interfere to stop the expansionist ambitions of Abdul-Aziz, if he would dream of such invasions. Thus, the fissure between Abdul-Aziz and the Najd Brothers grew deeper; he was the one to understand the political conditions around him locally, regionally, and on the international level, more than the Najd Brothers could ever have imagined themselves to have understood all. Abdul-Aziz had already at this point achieved the main ambition of his family: to regain the lands he thought that they belonged to his ancestors within the Al-Saud family, as he managed to emerge victorious above all types of fanaticisms ruling all over Arabia. Let us remember that Arabia had witnessed the rise and fall of several ruling dynasties and temporary states that collapsed. The Saudi family was distinguished from such ruling families only by using a religious call (i.e., Wahabism) to unify people around the Saudi family and to establish their monarchy on firm bases. Even the first and second KSA collapsed for different reasons. Abdul-Aziz managed to re-establish the KSA for the third time; he had not to take the risk to fight endlessly outside Arabia and to collide against a great colonial power like Great Britain (henceforth in this chapter: GB); otherwise, he would have lost everything he achieved so far. Thus, this ''Saudi-focused'' view of matters adopted by Abdul-Aziz made the Najd Brothers discern that he contradicted the Wahabi teachings taught to them by the Wahabi preachers for years. Abdul-Aziz was the one to appoint such clergymen for them in the immigration colonies/camps. Such Wahabi teachings stipulated that Wahabi jihad must go on all over the world to convert people by force into Wahabism. The Wahabi Sunnite view of the world has remained the same until now; dividing the world into two camps as per Sunnite Middle-Ages traditions and heritage books that passed on from the ancestors: the camp of believers and the camp of the infidels, with both engaging in endless wars until Doomsday. Of course, such erroneous view has been declared now recently by terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the international organization of the terrorist MB. Abdul-Aziz realized earlier that the 20th culture rejects such illogical view of things and that GB that controlled India and its Muslims would oppose to such expansionist ambitions of the Najd Brothers. Thus, Abdul-Aziz confined his efforts and military jihad within what was possible: Arabia and its deserts, without engaging into a hopeless struggle against colonial powers like GB and France. This was the background of the conflict that had occurred between the Najd Brothers and their master Abdul-Aziz, and this conflict was reflected on the topic of defining desert borderlines with the neighboring countries. Problems and troubles would have been bound to occur between the KSA and the neighboring countries, as the borders were drawn by the swords. Eventually, more troubles had arisen because of the different views: jihad of Abdul-Aziz was for the retrieval of the lands of his forefathers, whereas the Najd Brothers knew no bounds for endless jihad against all non-Wahabis all over the world. The dispute led finally to the inevitable confrontation between Abdul-Aziz and the Najd Brothers. We give more details below.

 

The KSA and Kuwait:

  The relations between Abdul-Aziz and the ruler of Kuwait at the time, king Mubarak Al-Sabah, were troubled once Al-Ahsa fell into the hands of the Wahabis, especially when Mubarak supported Al-Ajman tribesmen against Abdul-Aziz, and the latter insisted at first to conquer Kuwait seeking revenge. Yet, Mubarak died and was succeeded by king Jabir Al-Sabah in Nov. 1915, who kept good relations with Abdul-Aziz, but Jabir died in Feb. 1917, and he was succeeded by king Salem Al-Sabah that adopted policies that showed animosity and enmity toward Abdul-Aziz. Salem attacked an immigration colony on the borders with Kuwait, claiming it was located within his lands. Abdul-Aziz and Kuwait disputed over water wells in a village named Hamad, where another immigration colony of the Wahabi Brothers was situated. Another ruler of Kuwait, king Al-Sabah, led a military campaign to drive out all the Najd Brothers from what he deemed as Kuwaiti territories. As a result, Feisal Al-Daweesh led troops of the Najd Brothers to attack the Kuwaiti troops, killing them off in the village of Hamad. Abdul-Aziz had to interfere and to make amends with Kuwait and ordered Al-Daweesh to stop his aggression. Yet, the raids of the Najd Brothers went on, leading the Kuwait ruler to make a pact with the tribesmen of Shamar, to build a wall around the Kuwaiti capital, and to prepare another army to attack the Wahabis within the borders. Yet, his army returned home without fighting at all. Abdul-Aziz felt threatened and affronted by the Kuwaiti military action and had to send Al-Daweesh leading a huge army in Sept. 1920 near Kuwait at the village of Al-Subeiha, and 4000 soldiers joined this army as reinforcement. Salem Al-Sabah led the defensive Kuwaiti army himself. Both troops met in battlefield in Oct. 1920. Salem was defeated, and he had to flee to his Red Palace in the Kuwaiti capital. Al-Daweesh followed him and sieged the Red Palace. Negotiations between the Wahabis and the Kuwaitis went on and GB interfered to urge both parties to reach a settlement. Salem died in March, 1921, and he was succeeded by king Ahmed Al-Jabir, who went on with the negotiations. With GB as mediator, borders with defined between Kuwait and Najd in the conference held in Aqeer in Dec. 1922. When relations between Abdul-Aziz and the Najd Brothers got complicated and strained, the Wahabi Brothers seized the chance to spite and embarrass him by repeatedly raiding once more over Kuwait. Abdul-Aziz declared that such aggression was committed without his permission. The Wahabi Brothers raided over Kuwait in 1927, 1928, and 1929 during their rebellious fights against Abdul-Aziz, and he, aided by GB, had to militarily face them. Once the Najd Brothers were wiped out, Abdul-Aziz proclaimed a new era of respecting the borderlines endorsed by international treaties (36).

 

The KSA and Iraq:

  The southern of Iraq is a desert area which was the natural extent where raids of the Najd tribes used to occur, especially when such raids turned into Wahabi jihad later on. During the establishment of the very first KSA, which was destroyed in 1818, Wahabis destroyed all holy sites, mosques, and mausoleums of Shiite Iraqis. The third KSA repeated the same woes suffered by Iraqi people, especially when the enemies of the Wahabis, i.e., tribesmen of Shamar, immigrated to Iraq and the Wahabi conquest of Hael. Elements from the tribes of Shamar, Al-Muntafaq, and Al-Dufeir were gathered and agreed on deep-seated hatred toward the Saudis and the Najd Brothers, and Iraqis' old traditional disputes with Najd were revived. Thus, Iraqi forces and those of the tribes of immigrants to Iraq raided over Najd several times and the Wahabis raided the south of Iraq several times in their turn. Both parties leveled accusations against each other of being the aggressive party, especially as borders were not defined between Najd and Iraq. GB had to interfere with her might in favor of Iraq and its king Feisal Ibn Al-Sharif Hussein. British warplanes struck the troops of the Najd Brothers, and Abdul-Aziz protested in fury. After some negotiations, all parties concerned agreed to hold a conference in the city of Al-Mahjarah on 5th of May, 1922, to settle the dispute between Najd and Iraq about borders and securing the pilgrimage routes. Yet, the conference failed eventually, though it was agreed that the original location of the tribes of Al-Dufeir, Al-Muntafaq, and Al-Emarat within Iraqi soil, whereas Shamar tribesmen were to return to Najd peacefully. Defining borders had to be postponed until later on to be done by geographical experts. Negotiations and talks went on until borders were finally defined between Najd and Iraq, with the dwellers of Najd permitted to use water wells on the borders with Iraq and never to build fortresses there. Abdul-Aziz had to agree on never to raid on tribes of this area, and to define customs and taxes between both countries. The Iraqi side had to acknowledge the Saudi control over Hael and Al-Jouf. The British had to pay Abdul-Aziz 200 thousand pounds in return for retaining such protocols. Yet, the Najd Brothers at one point attacked the tribe of Al-Dufeir, and the British warplanes had to strike them. Abdul-Aziz apologized to the British because of the folly of Feisal Al-Daweesh and his Brothers. Abdul-Aziz was pressurized by the Najd Brothers who stirred troubles as the Iraq side was reluctant to execute the protocols agreed upon in the conference. Meanwhile, relations were growing worse between Abdul-Aziz and Al-Sharif Hussein who ruled Hejaz at the time, and that was why the Kuwait conference sessions failed, as the Hashemites and Al-Sharif Hussein were adamant in refusing to deal with and acknowledge the monarchy of Abdul-Aziz. Later on, Hejaz was conquered by Abdul-Aziz who drove out the Hashemites. The ruler of Iraq, king Feisal Ibn Al-Sharif Hussein, felt frightened of Abdul-Aziz as the latter might think of invading Iraq with his Najd Brothers, especially that Ali, the brother of Feisal and former ruler of Hejaz, fled to Iraq. Feisal had to build the fortress of Bassiyya to defend the southern area of Iraq against the Wahabi Brothers. Building such a fortress was against the Aqeer agreement signed in 1922, and Abdul-Aziz protested outspokenly. The Iraqi side tried to justify building the fortress, but the Wahabi Brothers considered it an affront and a defiant act against them and their freedom in movement, preaching, and grazing their animals. The Wahabi Brothers felt indignant as Abdul-Aziz became soft and protested peacefully against this fortress. Acting on his own, Feisal Al-Daweesh sent Nayef, the son of his paternal uncle, as a leader of troops of the Najd Brothers on 11-5-1927 to demolish this fortress, and the troops killed all people, workers and soldiers, inside it, except one man. Such massacre deepened the rift between Abdul-Aziz and the Wahabi Brothers. Dwellers of Najd were divided into two parties: one supporting the peaceful policies of Abdul-Aziz, and the other supported the view of the Najd Brothers in using force with all non-Wahabis. The Najd Brother declared their opposition to Abdul-Aziz and embarrassed him on several occasions to spite him, especially by raiding over southern of Iraq (37). The British at first tried to manipulate the Najd Brothers against Abdul-Aziz, but eventually, the British had to side with Abdul-Aziz as we will explain later on in a coming chapter

 

The KSA and Jordan:                                                

  The British has to appease and satisfy Al-Sharif Hussein by giving to his son, emir Abdullah, the rule of the Eastern Jordan province, after settlement agreements in 1919, and this territory included the whole of today's Jordan plus parts of Palestine, Aqaba area, Ma'an area, as well as other desert areas. This never appealed to Abdul-Aziz, as he coveted the desert areas of 100 Km annexed to Jordan by the British, who insisted to give that stretch of desert areas to Jordan to link the Hashemites reign in Jordan and Iraq and to link the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. When Abdul-Aziz controlled Hael, he controlled the family of Al-Shaalan, the leaders of the tribe of Al-Roula tribe who lived in the areas of Al-Jouf and Sarhan Valley, making the Wahabi Brothers near Palestine and Syria. After the death of Nouri Al-Shaalan, he was succeeded in the leadership by his son, Sultan. The deputy of Abdul-Aziz in Al-Jouf and Sarhan Valley drove out Sultan Ibn Nouri Al-Shaalan to make the two areas under the full control of Abdul-Aziz. Thus, the Najd Brothers controlled fully the two areas and advanced with their troops until Amman, capital of Jordan, in July 1922. The Wahabi troops committed massacres within the civilians of this area, leading to the Jordanian forces trying to defend people and to deter the Wahabis. The Jordanian troops were joined soon enough by some British troops, who killed all the Najd Brothers' troops there, except eight soldiers who were chased until Sarhan Valley. Abdul-Aziz punished these eight soldiers who survived as they tried to conquer and invade without his prior written permission. The Jordanian side wanted to fortify its defense lines, and consequently, it had to take over the village of Al-Malh in the two areas of Al-Jouf and Sarhan Valley, resulting in on-going raids of the Najd Brothers, especially their raids over the Hejaz railways between the two stations of Al-Zarqa and Al-Samra. Of course, Abdul-Aziz protested against the Jordanian side's taking over the village of Al-Malh, and the above-mentioned Kuwait conference was held, whose sessions failed miserably. Hence, Abdul-Aziz sent his troops that conquered areas of Kaff, Al-Omary, and Al-Mashta Palace. On 12-8-1924, his troops invaded the villages of Al-Laban, Al-Tunayb, Al-Qaystal, and Umm Al-Amad, until they reached the village of Thureib near the British garrison in Amman, and the British had to interfere using their warplanes and armored vehicles. The Wahabi Brothers' troops had to retreat as they were chased by warplanes. Such piece of news made the king Abdullah Ibn Al-Sharif Hussein happy, especially that most Wahabi fighters were killed and survivors were few. When the Najd Brothers' troops were massacred near the village of Thureib, it was asserted that the arms and weapons of the Wahabi Brothers were useless facing the British airplanes and armored vehicles. Abdul-Aziz felt more animosity and aversion toward the Najd Brothers, as they frequently disobeyed him and raided other places without his prior permission. An example of this was when they went beyond Kaff, their original target as per orders of Abdul-Aziz, and thus, they embarrassed Abdul-Aziz by their disobedience, recklessness, and defeat. Abdul-Aziz felt the urgent, immediate need to control them full as he used to do before. GB had to interfere to define the desert borders between the KSA and Jordan, within the Hedda treaty in 20-11-1925. Within such a treaty, Abdul-Aziz managed to conquer the village of Al-Malh and the two areas of Al-Jouf and Sarhan Valley to his kingdom. Such a treaty widened the gap between Abdul-Aziz and the Najd Brothers, as they resented the fact that Abdul-Aziz would maintain political relations with the ''infidels'' (i.e. the British), and thus, troubles over the borders went on for some time after signing the treaty. Another Hedda treaty was signed in 1927 between GB and Abdul-Aziz, with more precise planning of the borders, and Abdul-Aziz had to relinquish his desire to annex Amman and Al-Aqaba as the British insisted that they were two Jordanian regions (38).

Thus, we have traced so far, briefly, the formation of the Wahabi Najd Brothers and the historical role they had played in establishing the kingdom of Abdul-Aziz, and how such a role came to an end via rifts and a widened gap between Abdul-Aziz and the Najd Brothers. This topic will be further tackled in the coming chapter. 

                

 

Footnotes:

About relations with Kuwait:

36- Qassim, ditto, pages, 2, 54, 56, 67, 70, 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78.

Mahmoud (Hassan Suleiman), ''Kuwait Past and Present'', Cairo, undated, page 222.

Najat Abdul-Kadir, ''Political and Economic Development in Kuwait'', Cairo, 1973, pages 56, 61, 62, 66, 67, and 69.

Al-Rashid (Abdul-Aziz), "History of Kuwait", Beirut, undated, pages 208, 209, 239, 218, 219, 220, and 222.

Al-Farhan, ditto, pages 91 and 124.

 Al-Mukhtar, ditto, page 8.

Al-Rihany, ditto, pages 272:276.

Al-Zarkeley, ditto, page 239.

Al-Shamlan (Seif Marzouk), ''On the History of Kuwait'', Cairo, undated, page 207.

Al-Shura Magazine, number 169, 4th year, 16-2-1928

Lughat Al-Arab Magazine, Vol.10, 5th year, number 637, and 8th year, Vol. 1, Aug., 1912, page 74.

Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 169, 4th year, 9-3-1928.

Dickson, ''Kuwait and her Neighbor'', pages 257:259.

Kelly, op. cit., page 113.

 

About relations with Iraq:

37- Lughat Al-Arab Magazine, 2nd year, Vol. 1, Aug. 1912, page 74.

Al-Hosni (Abdul-Razik), ''History of Ministries in Iraq'', Baghdad, 1934, pages 30, 31, 32, and 140.

Al-Rossan (Mamdouh Arif), "Iraq and Arab Politics 1921:1941'', an  unpublished M.A. thesis, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, 1972, pages 147, 148, 153, and 156.

Documents in the Iraqi National Library and Archive, 15-5-1922, Baghdad.

Al-Alawy (Abdulla Hassan Ibn Feisal), ''Sidq Al-Khabar in Al-Khawarij of the 12th Century'', Latikia, 1927, page 246.

Al-Rihany, ditto, page 306.

Al-Hosni, ditto, pages 35, 38, and 57.

Al-Rossan, ditto, page 165

Documents in the Iraqi National Library and Archive, Baghdad, December, 28-10-1922, 30-11-1926, No. 619, No. 4 page 709, and No. 197, 1-11-1927.

Al-Zahraa Magazine, volume 4, part 1, pages 284 and 286.

Al-Rihany, ''Kings of Arabs'', 2/326, Beirut, 1967.

Umm Al-Qura Newspaper, number 167, 4th year, 24-2-1928.

''Memoirs of King Abdulla'', published by Amin Abou-El-Shaar, Oman, 1965, pages 166 and 167.

Nuamishan, ditto, pages 165 and 166.

Mikosh (Dakbort von), ditto, page 167.

Armstrong, ditto, pages 154 and 155.

Philby, ditto, page 73.

Bullard, ditto, pages 122:131.