A Brief History of the Al Saud

The Al Saud family that today rules the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a member of the Anizah, a Northern Arabian or Adnani, tribal confederation historically located in the Najd, or Central Arabian Peninsula. The family derives its name from its18th Century ancestor, Muhammad bin Saud, who joined forces with an austere Islamic reformer, Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, in a military religious alliance for control over Central Arabia.

After two centuries of inter-tribal struggle for control over the region, The Al Saud consolidated its rule over modern Saudi Arabia in 1932. This consolidation came under the leadership of Abd al-Aziz bin Abd al-Rahman bin Faysal Al Saud, the great, great, great, great grandson of the family's 18th century chieftan. To solidify his rule, Abd al-Aziz brought together members from branches of the Al Saud family who had descended from the family's 18th century founder, Muhammad bin Saud, and his brothers.

For more on the history of the Al Saud, check out our recommended reading list.

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