Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education has made a series of modifications to its history textbooks altering the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and its former rule over parts of the Arabian Peninsula. While the former curriculum taught the topic referencing the Ottoman Caliphate, the new curriculum will now cover the Empire’s “occupation”, crimes and subsequent collapse to pupils in the lower years of high school. (MiddleEastMonitor)
Do the sons deny their father, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud!!
Some speculate whether or not Al Saud family are defectors of the Caliphate (Uthmani Khilafah). Some of the maps produced (and available online) carefully exclude the section of Nejd and indicate authority of Ottoman Caliphate on the boundaries of the peninsula and excluding Nejd. Such debates bring about some sort of legitimacy to the rule of Al Saud in the sense that a territory hitherto not governed under the Caliphate was brought under the governance of Al Saud. This is far from the truth!
In brief, the presence of Al Saud in the Arabian Peninsula first came about in the mid-18th century which is the time of Muhammad ibn Saud and Muhammad ibn Al Wahab when they rebelled against the Ottoman rule and brought a small area in Nejd under their control. In the early 19th century, the Ottoman Caliphate fully removed their presence. In early 20th century, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud returned from exile from Kuwait, fought and defeated the Ottoman authority under Ibn Rashid and lay claim to Nejd. The aftermath of these events came about as the founding of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Newspaper cutout of news of Ibn Saud fighting against the Ottoman governor Ibn Rashid
In the aftermath of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud’s fight and victory against Ottoman Governor (Wali) Ibn Rashid in 1901, Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to the Ottoman Sultan (Khaleefah) seeking his approval and endorsement as the Wali of Nejd. This telegram dated 25 Jan 1905 was sent through the then Wali of Mecca. The telegram signed as Abdur Rahman Saud es Saudoun speaks of his willingness to be the Wali of Nejd, claims the ‘atrocities’ of his predecessor Ibn Rashid, confirms his willingness to be scrutinized by the Sultan’s commission of these claims. The translation of the telegram found in the book “Al Saud: Diplomacy and Statecraft 1902 – 1953”, is mentioned below, the link to which is provided here: http://archiveeditions.co.uk/titledetails.asp?tid=58
“My humble petition, to be laid, by the intermediary of the Council of Ministers before the throne of His Imperial Majesty, our gracious Sovereign, Commander of the Faithful, Caliph of the Prophet of the Lord of the Worlds:
I am one of the faithful servants of the Shadow of God, whose family, from father to son, has lavished its blood and treasure in the glorious service of the Caliphate. I have no thought or aspiration save mending the approbation of my Sovereign. It is for me a most sacred obligation to contribute to the Imperial taxes at their due and proper season, and to serve and assist the divinely aided troops of the Shadow of God….”
The manner in which Abdul Aziz ibn Saud addresses the then Khaleefah captures the relationship of ruling very clearly. One hundred years later, an ill-advised move by the Saudi Education department at the command of the Saudi Royals is plain stupidity. Either the Sons of Abdul Aziz today are denying their father or calling him a liar. It is our hope that the Muslims see beyond.
Written by Riadh Ibn Ibrahim