30. The History of Muslim World

When Prophet Mohammad (saws) died in 632 AD, there was disagreement between the Mohajireen, the Meccan followers and the Ansar, the Medinans followers with regard to name the successor to the Prophet.“ The Ansar said: ‘Let there be an Amir from among us and an Amir from among you.’ Then Umar came to them and said: ‘Do you not know that the Messenger of Allah (saw) commanded Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer ?  Who among you could accept to put himself ahead of Abu Bakr ?’ They said: ‘We seek refuge with Allah from putting ourselves ahead of Abu Bakr.”
 In the end Abu Bakr (ra), was named the khalifa or "Successor" of Mohammad (saws). A new political formation emerged : the caliphate. Abu Bakr (ra) remained caliph from 632 AD to 634 AD. His first major accomplishment was to deal with the problem of the Bedouins (Arabs dwelling in desert or arab ke baddu). Although some had converted under the Prophet but after his death they rejected Islam and refused to obey Abu Bakr (ra). In 633, the caliph defeated the Bedouin revolt, known as the Ridda. He then thought that there is a need to expand beyond Arabia in order to secure Islam. He set his sights on the two neighboring empires, the Sassanid to the east in Persia and Iraq, and the Byzantine (Roman) to the west in Europe, Syria, Egypt. He declared a jihad against the Byzantine Christians, but died before he was able to carry it out.

Abu Bakr (ra) desired 'Umar bin khattab (ra) to be his successor. Umar (ra) remained caliph from 634 AD to 644 AD and was one of the most powerful caliphs. He continued the war of conquests begun by Abu Bakr, he began a campaign against the Byzantines. The Arab forces defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Yarmuk. The Arabs took Damascus and Emessa. In 638 Jerusalem surrendered to Omar's forces. Ceasaria and Aleppo were soon taken as well. Omar goes on to win a series of battles. Arab forces under the command of Umar bin Aas attacked Egypt. In 642, under terms arranged by Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt surrendered. The Battle of Nehawand in central Persia completed his conquest of the Persian Empire in 643. Islamic military campaigns had brought all of Mesopotamia and most of Syria and Palestine under the control of Umar (ra). 'Umar (ra), was one of the great political geniuses of history, who built an efficient system of taxation and brought the military directly under the financial control of the state. It was 'Umar, who fixed many of the Islamic traditions and practices and his most lasting tradition was establishing the Muslim calendar. The beginning of the calendar was at the year in which Mohammad (saws) emigrated to Medina.
 
One day when the caliph was leading prayers in the mosque, Pirouz Nahavandi walked over to him and stabbed him six times. `Umar died two days later, and was buried alongside Prophet Mohammad (saws) and Abu Bakr (ra).Nearing his death, 'Umar (ra) appointed a committee of six men to decide on the next caliph.
 The committee chose Usman bin Affan (ra) as the next caliph who was an Umayyad. Usman was a supremely practical and intelligent military and political leader who reigned for twelve years as caliph from 644 AD to 656 AD. Despite internal troubles, Usman (ra) continued the wars and conquered Libya in North Africa and fully conquered the eastern portions of the Persian Empire. In 656 AD riot broke out in Medina he called for military help. When the news of military reinforcements began to circulate among the rioters, they broke into Usman's house and killed him while he was reading the Qur'an. Usman's greatest and most lasting achievement was the formal rescension of the Qur'an (Collection of all the surah and verses of the holy Quran to prerpare a single copy, then from that single copy many copies were prepared by the Caliph and sent to all those countries which had come under the banner of Islam)
 
 In 656 AD Usman ibn Affan (ra) was confined in his own house, surrounded by rebels, who were angry with Usman's caliphate. The rebels refused to provide Usman with food or water, and kept him imprisoned and then he was eventually murdered.

Ali ibn Talib (ra.)(Son in law of the Prophet) was offered the caliphate by a large number of Muslims of Medina after Usman's death. He is reported to have refused the caliphate at first but later he, upon their insistence, accepted. Ali ibn Talib (ra) became the fourth caliph in 656 AD, having capital at Kufa.

These events displeased Aisha (ra) and a large number of most significant sahaba (companions) of Mohammad (saws). They believed that Ali was a wrong choice to occupy this position before finding Usman's murderer. They challenged Ali's caliphate under the claim that Ali had been unsuccessful in finding Uthman's murderer, claiming Qisas for Usman.

Aisha (ra) was returning to Medina from Mecca after Hajj, but turned back when she heard the news of Usman's assassination and the accession of Ali to the caliphate. Aisha's two brothers-in-law Talha (ra) and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam (ra). Aisha got Talha's and Zubayr's support, she also managed to enlist the support of the powerful Banu Umayyah, to whom Usman had belonged. The ex-governors of Usman, who had been displaced by Ali, also joined her. Yala, the ex-governor of Yemen, had carried off to Mecca a large sum of treasure when he was displaced. He gave over to Aisha sixty thousand dinars, along with six hundred camels; one of which was a very large and well-bred, valued at 200 gold pieces. It was named Al-Askar and was especially presented for Aisha's personal transportation.

Having completed her preparations for the battle, Aisha unsuccessfully tried to convince one of the previous wives of Mohammad (saws), Umm Salma, to side with her. Umm Salma instead tried, and almost succeeded in convincing Aisha to abandon her plan; but Zubayr's son Abd Allah Ibn al-Zubayr persuaded her to proceed. Aisha had also tried to persuade another of Mohammad's (saws) wife, Hafsa bint Umar, to follow her; but Hafsa's brother Ibn Umar stopped her from doing so.

Aisha then decided to march from Mecca on her camel along with 1,000 men. On her right was Talha, and on her left Zubayr. The other widows of Mohammad (saws) residing in Mecca accompanied her a little way and then returned. On their way many more joined them, and their numbers swelled to 3,000.

On getting the news of Ayesha's intentions, Ali (ra) gave orders that the column of 900 men should march and reach Najd. Messengers were sent to Kufa, Egypt, and elsewhere, demanding reinforcements; and for these the Caliph waited before he went forward.

Then came the saddest moment in the history of the Muslim world. A civil war, which had shattered the Islamic world for ever. It was the most unfortunate one that the Muslims fought against Muslims. It was the Battle, the Battle of Camel or Battle of Jamal, which was a battle that took place at Basra in Iraq in 656 AD between forces allied to Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra), and forces allied to Aisha (ra) who wanted justice on the assassination of the previous caliph Usmaan (ra).

Meanwhile the supporters of Ayesha invaded Basra, the Governor of Basra Usman Ibn Hanif was made prisoner and Talha became disabled and died in Basra. Ali's forces also arrived and he perceived that the camel of Ayesha was the rallying-point of the enemy. He sent one of his captains to disable it. With a loud cry the animal fell to the ground. The struggle ceased and the insurgents retired into the city. Ayesha had escaped without a wound.

The carnage was very great. The field was covered with 10,000 bodies, all of the believers, in equal proportion on either side. Zubair had also lost his life and Ali cursed the man who took his life. The Muslims might well mourn the memory both of Talha and Zubair, remembering how on the field of Uhud Talha had saved the life of Mohammad (saws) and how often Zubair had carried confusion into the ranks of the idolaters of Mecca.

In the end Ali approached Aisha and asked her about her well being. He gave her utmost respect and sent her back to Medina.and asked his men to look after her and give her full respect as wife of the Prophet.

 

In July 660, Mu'awiya bin Abu Sufyan declared himself caliph in Jerusalem. He had on his side Egypt and Syrian forces. Then Ali (ra) was assasinated in 661 AD and Mu'awiya was finally successful in claiming control of the Islamic Empire. The civil war came to an end, and the Umayyad Dynasty began.The Umayyads were descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph, Usman Ibn Affan.


The Umayyad Dynasty

Mu'awiya assumed this position for the first 20 years of the Dynasty's rule with capital at Damascus. Under the Umayyads, the Islamic Empire spread to North Africa, Spain and central Asia. After Muawiya Yazid ibn Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan became the second Caliph of the Umayyad dynasty and ruled for 3 years from 680 AD until his sudden death in 683 AD. During his reign the Battle of Karbala occured at Kufa, a town which is now in Iraq. This town had been Caliph Ali's (ra) capital, and there were still many people in Kufa claiming they are still supporters of Ali (ra). Husain ibn Ali (ra) received many letters from the Kufans expressing their support, in case he claims the caliphate. They were also trying to restore Kufa's power against Damascus the Umayyad capital. Despite getting warning from Abd - Allah ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Zubair, Hazrat Husain (ra) along with his family departed towards Kufa.This was the place where Battle of Karbala was fought and many members of his family were killed at the Battle. The death (Shahadat) of Hazrat Husain (ra) was occured on 10th of Moharram 680 AD. This day is also known as day of Ashura.
After the sudden death of Yazid ibn Mu'awiya, his son Mu'awiya II took over as the next caliph. 

After Muawiya, the character of the Caliphate changed and dynastic rule was established. The corruption of the Omayyads reached its height and they built lavish palaces, surrounded themselves with servants and maids, accumulated enormous estates, treated the public treasury as their privy purse and lived like princes and kings.

 Omar bin Abdul Aziz became the Emir by a coincidence.  When Emir Sulaiman (714-717) lay on his deathbed, he dictated in his will that Omar bin Abdul Aziz, a distant cousin, was to succeed him.

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz who was born in  682  and died in February, 720  was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 717 to 720. He was a great-grandson of the companion of Prophet Mohammad (saws), Umar bin Al-Khattab. Among Muslims he is considered one of the greatest men and leaders in history, he is commonly regarded as the fifth Caliph Al-Rashidun.

He set out to reform the entire political, social and cultural systems. After taking over as caliph, he addressed the people, “O people! The responsibilities of the Caliphate have been thrust upon me without your consent. If you choose to select someone else as the Caliph, I will immediately step aside and will support your decision”. Such talk was a breath of fresh air to the public. They unanimously elected him.

Reforms

Omar bin Abdul Aziz discarded his lavish life style and adopted an extremely simple, he then discarded the princely life–servants, slaves, maids, horses, palaces, golden robes and landed estates and returned them to the public treasury.  Omar bin Abdul Aziz was a scholar of the first rank and surrounded himself with great scholars like Muhammed bin Kaab and Maimun bin Mehran. He offered stipends to teachers and encouraged education. His reforms included strict abolition of drinking, forbidding public nudity, elimination of mixed bathrooms for men and women and fair dispensation of Zakat. He undertook extensive public works in Persia, Khorasan and North Africa, including the construction of canals, roads, rest houses for travelers and medical dispensaries.

His other reforms include 

§                    State officials were excluded from entering into any business.

§                    Unpaid labor was made illegal.

§                    Pasture lands and game reserves, which were reserved for the family of the dignitaries, were evenly distributed among the poor for the purpose of cultivation.

§                    He urged to all of the officials to listen the complaints of the people and during any occasion, he used to announce that, if any subject had seen any officer mistreating others should report him to the leader and he will be given a reward ranging from 100 - 300 dirhams.

He was also the first Emir to attempt a serious reconciliation of political and religious differences among Muslims.

It is for these reasons that historians refer to Omar bin Abdul Aziz as Omar II and classify him as the fifth of the rightly guided Caliphs, after Abu Bakr (r), Omar (r), Uthman (r) and Ali (r). But greed does not surrender its turf to faith without a battle. The reforms of Omar II were too much for irritating Omayyads and the rich merchants. Omar II was poisoned and he died in the year 720. He was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death.

Then there was a revolution in 750 AD, and fighting started between Umayyad and Abbasi's.

The Abbasi's Dynasty

Abbasis seized power in 758 AD, when they defeated the Umayyads in battle, and flourished for two centuries. This dynasty was from 758 AD to 1258 AD. The Abbasis claim their descent from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, one of the youngest uncles of the Prophet Mohammad (saws), and they regarded themselves as the rightful heirs of the Prophet. 

The Abassis had depended heavily on the support of Persians. Caliph Mansur, moved the capital from Damascus to the new city of Baghdad and welcomed non-Arab Muslims to their court. The Abassis embraced Sunni Islam and did not support for Shi'a beliefs. That led to numerous conflicts, followed by widespread bloodshed and the flight of many Shi'a to the Maghreb, where the survivors established the Idrisi kingdom. Shortly thereafter Berber Kharjites set up an independent state in North Africa in 801.

At the same time the Abassis faced other challenges. The Byzantine Empire was fighting Abassis rule in Syria and Anatolia. Former supporters of the Abassis had broken away to create a separate kingdom around Khorosan in northern Persia. Faced with these challenges from within, the Abassis decided to create an army loyal only to their caliphate, drawn mostly from Turkish slaves, known as Mamluks. This force prevented the further distintegration of the empire.

 
Learning under the Abassis Dynasty

The reigns of Harun al-Rashid (786 - 809) and his successors encouraged the great intellectual achievement. They had set up BAITUL HIKMAH  or the house of wisdom, laying the foundation of natural and rational science. They welcomed  number of old thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule, many of them non-Muslims or free thinking Muslims, played a role in transmitting Greek, Hindu, and other pre-Islamic knowledge to the Christian. They have made Aristotle to be known in Christian Europe. It was through them that the rich patrimony of the Greeks reached the leading lights of modern rationalism ROGER BACON, father of modern scientific research, was a disciple of the Arabs. In addition the period saw the recovery of much of the Alexandrian mathematical, geometric and astronomical knowledge, and these mathematical methods were later enhanced and developed by other Islamic scholars, notably by Al-Biruni, and Abu Nasr Mansur, who are thought to have first derived the Cosine rule (law in trignometry) and applied it to spherical geometry. Three speculative thinkers, the Persians al-Kindi, al-Farabi, and Avicenna, combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam.


The End of the Caliphate

Halaku Khan attacked Baghdad on (February 10, 1258), causing great loss of life. Al-Musta'sim, the last reigning Abbasid caliphate in Baghdad was then executed on February 20, 1258.  
 

The Ottoman Empire  (Sultanat-e-Osmania)   (1258 AD-1922 AD)

 

The Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman I (Uthmān), hence the name Ottoman Empire (sultanat-e-Osmania). The Empire reached its peak under Sulaiman the Magnificent in the 16th century when it spread from the Persian Gulf in the east to Hungary in the northwest; and from Egypt in the south to the Caucasus (mountain range bordering Russian Federation) in the north.

Empire lasting  622 years, covering at its peak from 1683 to 1699 an area including today's Hungary, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, southern Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia Iraq, Kuwait, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, eastern and western Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, eastern Yemen, Egypt, northern Libya, Tunisia, and northern Algeria.

The Begining

In the late 13th century one of the state was Sogut, the founder was Ertogrul, the father of Osman I. When Ertogrul died in 1281, Osman became the leader of the tribe. In 1299 the Byzantine city Bilecik fell to Osman I. It was the first of many large cities and villages fell into the hands of the Turks during the 1300 AD and 1324 AD. Osman also conquered some of the nearby Turkish emirates and tribes.

After the death of Osman I, the son Orhan I, established the capital in Bursa. During Orhan's reign the empire was organized as a state with new currency, government and a modernized army.

Orhan died in 1360 and his son Murad I became the successor. In the early 1360s the ottoman armies marched into Thrace through Gallipoli and captured Adrianople (Edirne) and Philippopolis (Plovdiv) and forcing the Byzantines (Roman) to pay tribute. During the early 1370s Murad launched his forces deeper into Europe. At the Battle of Maritsa Murad's army defeated 70,000 men strong army of Serbian king named as Vukasin, who was killed. After this victory, Murad was quick to advance further into Bulgaria and captured three important cities.

In 1383 Murad declared himself sultan of the Ottoman Empire, thereafter he began a new campaign in Europe. The Ottomans won a great victory over the Serbs in the Battle of Kosovo but the sultan himself was killed by the assassin Milos Obilic.

Bayazid I, succeeded to the sultanship upon the assassination of his father Murad, and ordered all Serbian captives killed; Bayazid became known as the lightning bolt, for his temperament.He conquered most of Bulgaria and northern Greece in 1389-1395. Bayazid then turned his attention to the east, conquering the Turkish emirate of Karaman in 1397.

Around 1400 men army of Timur Lang entered the Middle East and won the Battle of Ankara in July, 1402 AD. Bayazid was captured and died in captivity in 1403.

In 1413 AD, Mehmed I stood as victor and moved his capital from Bursa to Adrianople (Edirne), reinforced control over Bulgaria and Serbia, drove the Mongols from Anatolia.

When Mehmed I died in 1421 AD, one of his sons, Murad II, became sultan. He fought many wars and was involved in large number of conflicts. In 1430 a large Ottoman fleet attacked Salonika by surprise. The Venetians signed a peace treaty in 1432. The treaty gave the Ottomans the city of Salonika and the surrounding land. The war between Serbia and Hungaria and the Ottoman Empire had come to a standstill in 1441. On November 11, 1444, Murad defeated the Polish-Hungarian army of Janos Hunyadi at the Battle of Varna. He died in the winter 1450-1451 in Edirne.

 After the death of Murad II, his son Mehmed II became sultan. He began the Siege of Constantinople (Istanbul) the capital of  Byzentine Empire (Roman Empire, In Islamic world it was known as Sultanate Room) on April 6 in 1453 AD, which lasted for almost three months. On May 29 the city was finally captured. Mehmud then rebuilt the city as his new capital, turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque. In 1460 AD he entered Athens. Mehmed II died in 1481 AD.

Bayazid II took over the reign after his father's death.He attacked Venice in 1499 AD and gained the last Venetian strongholds. He was abdicated and was later executed. His son Salim I was made Sultan. After his death Suleiman I became the sultan. Between 1510 to 1683 Salim II, Mehmed III, Ahmad I, Mustafa I, Osman II, Murad IV, Ibrahim I and Mehmed IV were the sultan. This was the griwth period of the Ottoman Empire.

The entire Arabian peninsula became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1517. The Ottoman dynasty protected and encouraged the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.

Between 1684 to 1788, Suleiman II, Ahmad II, Mustafa II, Ahmad III, Mahmud I, Osman III, Mustafa III and Abdul Hamid I were the sultan.

Saudi Kingdom in Arabia

The Ottomans, in the 16th century, added to their Empire the Hejaz and Asir regions along the Red Sea and the Al Hasa region on the Persian Gulf coast, these being the most populous parts of what was to become Saudi Arabia. The degree of control over these lands varied over the next four centuries with the fluctuating strength or weakness of the Empire's central authority. In the Hejaz, the Sharifs of Mecca were largely left in control of their territory (although there would often be an Ottoman governor in Mecca). The emergence of the Saudi Dynesty began in central Arabia in 1744. In that year, Mohammad ibn Saud, the tribal ruler of the town of Al-Dirriyah near Riyadh, joined forces with the religious leader Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahab.

Muhammad ibn Saud also known as Ibn Saud, was the emir of Al-Dirriyah and is considered the founder of the first Saudi Dynesty, he was the chief (emir) of an agricultural settlement near modern-day Riyadh. He was the ruler of Al-Dar'iyah.  As a  devout Muslim, he practiced the concept of shura (consultation) embodied in Islamic teachings and met regularly with notable citizens and religious scholars to discuss issues of importance to his people, in the running of his state in Najd, where he joined forces with Imam Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, the eminent religious leader.

Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab was a great man, an outstanding reformer and a devoted preacher, was born in 1114 AH / 1703 AD in Oyana; and died in 1206 AH / 1792 AD). He was educated by his father in his homeland Oyayna, a village located in Najd, northwest to the city of Riyadh. His father, Shaikh Abdul Wahhab Ibn Sulaiman, was the Judge of Oyayna.

Having attained puberty, the Shaikh traveled to Makkah and then to Medina to learn from learned personalities there. Then he went to Iraq (Basrah) to seek after knowledge. It was in Iraq that he started his mission. There he called the people to Tawheed and the Sunnah of the Prophet . He announced that it was the duty of every Muslim to follow his or her religion (Islam) strictly in accordance with the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Then he moved to Oyayna, which was then governed by Prince Uthman Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muammar, who welcomed the Shaikh with hospitality and promised him all support and help in calling people to Islam.

In Najd at that time Polytheism had spread widely; people worshiped domes, trees, rocks, caves or any persons who claimed to be Awliya (saints). When the Shaikh saw that polytheism was dominating the people and  no one showed any disapproval of it or no one was ready to call people back to Allah, he decided to labor singly and patiently in the field. He knew that nothing could be achieved without Jihad, patience and suffering.

The Shaikh continued calling people to the Path of Allah and guided them to piety, righteousness and love in the cause of Allah. Gradually, the Shaikh became famous in and around Oyayna. People came to Oyayna to meet him from neighboring areas and villages. He also wrote to many scholars requesting their support and reminding them of their task of helping Allah's Religion and fighting against polytheism. Many scholars from Najd, Makkah and al-Medina accepted his request, while some disagreed with him, reproached his mission, condemned him and kept him away.

But the Shaikh carried on patiently and went on teaching and preaching. Gradually, he exerted himself on practically removing polytheism when he noticed that his call to Islam had no affect on some. One day, the Shaikh said to the governor, 'Let us demolish the dome at the grave of Zaid Ibn al-Khatab t (Zaid Ibn al-Khatab was the brother of Umar Ibn al-Khattab and a martyr,  he was buried and later on people built a dome on his grave).
The Prince agreed and mobilized an army of six hundred soldiers and marched towards the grave, headed by the Shaikh. As soon as they approached the dome, the people came forward to defend it but when they saw the Prince with his army, they changed their decision. Then the Shaikh took the action of demolishing and removing the dome. Allah removed it by his hands and Al-hamdulillah, none of its traces remains now. Similarly, there were other domes, caves, trees, etc. that were also destroyed and removed. The Shaikh, thus, continued his mission by words and action, for which he became very famous. Also, one day a woman came to him and confessed that she had committed adultery. After realizing that she was sane, married and had confessed without external compulsion, he gave the order according to the Sunnah that she should be stoned to death as a punishment, as he had now become the Judge of Oyayna.

Meanwhile, the Prince of al-Ahsa wrote to Prince Uthman threatening him and demanding him to kill the Shaikh. The Prince approached the Shaikh saying, " We never wish to kill you, but we are afraid of the prince  "O Shaikh! We cannot fight him nor can we stand his oppression." So, the Shaikh had to leave Oyayna for Dareyya on foot because Uthman did not even provide him any means of transportation.
The news of Shaikh's arrival in Dareyya reached Muhammad Ibn Suad. It is said that his wife first informed him of the Shaikh. She was a kind and pious lady and she addressed her husband saying, 'Here is a great fortune sent to you by Allah. A man who is calling the people to Islam, calling to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet . What a good fortune! Rush to him and support him. Never resist him or stop him from that.' Muhammad Ibn Suad accepted her advice and went to the Shaikh and made a contract with the Shaikh that he should not leave the country.

The Shaikh now settled in Dareyya. People started to come to him for learning from everyplace - from Oyayna, Iraq, Manfooha, Riyadh and other neighboring places. The Shaikh arranged lectures on various topics; and continued his mission and activities of preaching in Dareyya. He wrote to the scholars and rulers establishing his arguments and warning them against polytheism and innovation. His mission continued and spread all over the Islamic world and also other countries. He became quite famous because of his teaching, and his writings received wide popularity among the people.

 Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab sought the protection of Muhammad bin Saud, in Al-Dar'iyah, the home of the House of Saud. Muhammad ibn Saud granted this and the two decided to work together to implement Ibn Abdel Wahhab's ideas of purifying Islam from innovations  in the practice of Islam by bringing the religion back to its purest form. They formed an alliance in 1744 which was formalized by the wedding of Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab's daughter to Abdul Aziz, son and successor of Ibn Saud..

Using the ideology of Ibn Al-Wahhab, Ibn Saud was helped to establish the House of Saud, later became  the First Saudi State. The way he set up his government has served as model for rulers of the House of Saud until the present day. The government was based on Islamic principles and made use of shura. He ruled until his death in 1765.

Muhammad bin Saud and Imam Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab found they had interests in common desire to see all the Arabs of the Peninsula brought back to Islam in its simplest and purest form. In 1744, they therefore took an oath that they would work together to achieve this end. Muhammad bin Saud's son, Abdul Aziz, married the daughter of Imam Muhammad. Thus, with an oath and a marriage, the two leaders sealed a pact between their families which has lasted through the centuries to the present day. Imam Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab died in 1792.

The founder of the modern state of Saudi Arabia, Abd al Aziz ibn Abd ar Rahman Al Saud (1876-1953), was a grandson of the last effective nineteenth-century Saudi ruler, Faisal ibn Turki (1810- 66).

Abd al Aziz restored the family from virtual political extinction by reintroducing the crusading zeal of pure Islam. By 1924, when the Ikhwan, a select force of beduin religious fighters created by Abd al Aziz, conquered the Hijaz, almost all the territory of the present-day Saudi state was under Abd al Aziz's authority. In 1932 he proclaimed this territory the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and himself its king.

In 1932, the two kingdoms of the Hejaz and Najd were united as the 'Kingdom of Saudi Arabia'. Boundaries with Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait were established by a series of treaties negotiated in the 1920s, with two "neutral zones" created, one with Iraq and the other with Kuwait. The country's southern boundary with Yemen was partially defined by the 1934 Treaty of Taif, which ended a brief border war between the two states.  

Abdul Aziz's military and political successes were not mirrored economically until vast reserves of oil were discovered in 1938 in the Al-Hasa region along the Persian Gulf coast. Development began in 1941 and by 1949 production was in full swing.

Abd al Aziz ruled until his death in 1953. Although he had named his eldest son, Saud ibn Abd al Aziz Al Saud (1902-69), crown prince, he had not instituted an mechanism for orderly succession. Because Abd al Aziz was survived by more than thirty sons, the lack of a process for passing on the mantle of kingship constituted a source of potential political instability for the country. Problems emerged soon after King Saud began his reign. Like his father, Saud had more than thirty sons, and he was ambitious to place them in positions of power and influence. The new king's numerous brothers, who believed their nephews were too young and inexperienced to head ministries and major government departments, deeply resented their exclusion from power. The political and personal tensions among the Al Saud, combined with the extravagance and poor judgment of Saud, climaxed in a 1964 family coup.

A number of brothers joined together to depose Saud and install as king the next eldest brother, Faisal ibn Abd al Aziz Al Saud (1904-75). The transfer of power was endorsed by Saudi Arabia's ulama, or religious authorities.

King Faisal strengthened the powers of the monarchy during his eleven-year reign. Although he had acted as prime minister during most of Saud's rule, he issued a royal decree stipulating that the king would serve both as head of state and as head of government. Faisal also increased central control over the provinces by making local officials responsible to the king, creating a Ministry of Justice to regulate the autonomous religious courts, and establishing a national development plan to coordinate construction projects and social services throughout the country.

During the 1973 Arab-Isreli war, Saudi Arabia participated in the Arab Oil Boycott of the United States and Netherland. A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia had joined other member countries in moderate oil price increases beginning in 1971. After the 1973 war, the price of oil rose substantially, dramatically increasing Saudi Arabia's wealth and political influence.

The Saudi economy and infrastructure was developed with help from abroad, particularly from the United States, creating strong links between the two dissimilar countries, and considerable and problematic American presence in the Kingdom. The Saudi petroleum industry under the company of ARAMCO was built by American petroleum companies, U.S. construction companies such as Bechtel built much of the country's infrastruture, Trans World Airlines, built the Saudi passenger air service; the Ford Foundation modernized Saudi government; the U.S Army Corps of Engineers built the country's television and broadcast facilities and oversaw the development of its defense industry. The Saudi government took a 25% share in Aramco in 1973, increased it to 60% in 1974.

Faisal's rule ended abruptly in 1975 when he was assassinated by one of his nephews. A meeting of senior Al Saud princes, the sons and surviving brothers of Abd al Aziz, acclaimed Crown Prince Khalid the new king. He ruled the kingdom from 1975 to 1982. During his regime, the Saudi government went for nationalization of ARAMCO in 1980.

Crown prince Fahd ascended to the throne in 1982 after Khalid suffered a fatal heart attack. In consultation with his brothers, Fahd named Abd Allah (born 1923) crown prince and Sultan (born 1927) third in line of succession. He ruled the kingdom from 1982 to 2005

In 2005, King Fahd died and his half-brother, Abdullah ascended to the throne. He subsequently introduced a new program of moderate reform. The country’s continued reliance on oil revenue was of particular concern, and among the economic reforms he introduced were limited deregulation, foreign investment, and privatization. In February 2009, Abdullah introduced a series of governmental changes to the judiciary, armed forces, and various ministries to modernize these institutions. Notable among his decisions were the replacement of senior individuals within the judiciary and the Mutaween (religious police) with more moderate candidates and the appointment of the country’s first female deputy minister. 

 Decline of Ottomans

The late 18th century saw the Ottoman Empire fall behind the west militarily. Wars and territories were lost to Austria and Russia. Salim III came to the throne in 1789 AD then an ambitious effort of military reform was launched. All the efforts at reform were geared towards securing the Ottoman Empire. Western military advisors were imported but their abilities to bring a change were limited. Then a request was made to France for the help and the French Govt. decided to send an young officer named as Napoleon Bonaparte but somehow he did not reach.

The most important change was the creation of a new infantry unit. The nizam-e-jadid was set up using European uniforms, weapons, and training. In 1806 AD the Janissaries, with support of the ulema and the provincial governors revolted against the Sultan and his new force and replaced him with Mustafa IV.

The Ottoman Empire and Egypt invaded Arabia and this war was known as the Egyptian–Wahhabi War. This war was fought in 1811–1818 between Egypt and the army of the First Saudi State. After a sequence of successful battles the Egyptian forces conquered Nejd in January 1815. In 1815 itself the Saudi successor, Abdullah I, negotiated a peace, and the Egyptians withdrew from Nejd. The following year, however, Ibrahim Pasha, one of Muhammad Ali's sons, took command of the Egyptian forces and after six months of desperate fighting, Abdullah surrendered on September 9, 1818, and was sent to Constantinople, where he was executed. Thereafter, the Saudi-Wahhabi political-religious experiment came to an end, but the faith lived on in the towns of eastern Arabia. 

In 1808 ADMahmud II of ottoman empire, who replaced Mustafa IV and restarted the reform efforts. For these reforms British, Persian and French advisors were imported. Most importantly a series of schools teaching,  everything from maths to medicine were set up to train the new officers. Mehmud adopted other western ideas and the government was overhauled and redesigned on European models. European clothing styles were also imported and the Sultan and the elites abandoned the fez (red conical cap) and turban. The first Turkish newspaper, an official government publication, was also published during this time. This period of reform continue after the death of Mehmud in 1839. In 1849 a massive new program of reforms known as the Tanzimat was launched.


Russian Expansionism

 

In 1853 Russia destroyed the entire Ottoman fleet at Sinop. The industrial revolution had swept through western Europe, the Ottoman Empire was still relying mainly on old technologies. The vast empire had no railroads, and few telegraph lines. It took days before the major naval defeat at Sinope was learned in the capital. The poor communications made it very difficult for Constantinople to control its provinces. Thus the provinces became almost autonomous. In the 19th century the Ottoman Empire was at the mercy of the Russians until outside forces intervened. There was a Crimean war which was fought in the middle of 19th century between Russia on one side and Turkey, British and France on the other - Russia was defeated and independence of Turkey was guarenteed.

The western powers had invested a great deal of resources in the Crimean war and to reform and rebuild the economy. This period known as the Tanzimat saw great changes. During the period after the Crimean war a national bank was created, the tax system was revised and strengthened, the law was altered to emulate the Napoleonic Code, a public education system based on that of the French was created, the Orient Express railroad was constructed, as well other railroads were built that travelled along the coast of Anatolia and into the Balkans. Other changes began to occur as Europeans for the first time saw the trading opportunity with Turkey. The amount of money entering the nation through trade was soon dramatically increased. As well the government received money from a uniform tax system with little corruption. The Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz was the head at that time, used much of this money on furnishing and creating great palaces.

Then on Friday, May 9, 1873 disaster struck. The Vienna stock market crashed and took with it the economy of Europe. The money and loans from abroad stopped pouring into Constantinople and the government entered a financial crisis. As a result the Sultan, Abd-ul-Aziz, was deposed. Murad V became the next sultan and then Abd-ul-Hamid II took over with the sword of power and remained sultan till 1908.

After the defeat in Crimean war Russia was waiting for the opportunity hence a new threat from Russia began in the final stages of the Empire's collapse, and a new Russo-Turkish war had begun. Despite fighting better than before the Ottoman armies were not equal to the Russian forces. This time there was no help from abroad, in truth many European nations supported the Russian war.. The Ottomans had fought well, but the Russian army, supported by rebels, had pushed the Ottoman army out of Bulgaria, Walachia, Romania, and much of East Rumelia.

In response to the Russian proximity the British, against the wishes of the Sultan, intervened in the war. The British may have saved the Ottoman empire once again, but it ended the rosy relations between the two powers. Looking at the prospect of a British entry into the war the Russians decided to settle the dispute.

The autocratic Sultans of the Ottoman Empire had remained unchanged in centuries, while the rest of the world slowly became more democratic and liberal. Ulema were playing a big role and whenever they issue a fatwa the sultan had to go. Thus a fatwa was issued and Abd-ul-Hamid II's long reign came to an end.

Italy declared war and also the Balkan League, consisting of Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria, mounted a joint attack on the Ottoman Empire, starting the First Balkan War. The Empire lost almost all of its European territory.

In saudi Arabia the Ottoman Empire for holding the territory intact completed the pilgrim railway in 1908, from Damascus to Medina. During World War I the railway was badly damaged by Arabs, under the leadership of T E Lawrence, against Turkish rule. Since 1918 the line has been abandoned and the Hejaz was ruled by Hussein Ibn-Ali.

In 1914 the United Kingdom annexed Cyprus, and together with France declared war on the empire. The aged and crippled empire came in the First World War. Close relations with Germany and the continued enmity towards Russia pushed the empire into joining the Central Powers. The empire at first held its own honourably and its armies did well in the Balkans, preventing any Russian advance, The army was commanded by the dynamic Mustafa Kamal. The Ottoman forces won a great victory against Allied forces at the Battle of Gallipoli.

But at the end of the war the Ottoman government collapsed completely and the empire was divided amongst the victorious powers. France and Britain got control of most of the Middle East while Italy and Greece were given much of Anatolia. At the same time an independent Armenian state was established in eastern Turkey, and an autonomous Kurdish area was also created.

The Turkish people refused to accept this arrangement, however, and under Mustafa Kamal the remnants of the Young Turk movement formed a government in Ankara and created an army. They defeated the Greeks and forced them out of Anatolia. The Italians had never managed to get a substantial presence in their holdings and in the weakened state could do little to try to recapture them after they were in Turkish hands. The British and French, exhausted by the war had no interest in intervening. The Turks also destroyed the states given to the Armenians and the Kurds and reabsorbed these areas into their domain. During this series of conflicts the Armenian Genocide and Hellenic Holocaust took place, and by 1923, at least 2.5 million Christian Armenians and Pontic Greeks had been massacred, with the rest fleeing for their lives to Greece and the then-USSR, or had been converted to Islam. 

Thus the new state of Turkey was proclaimed on January 20, 1921 and Mustafa Kamal became its first president. He was the greatest achiever among all the world leaders, because he modernized his nation”.

In Saudi Arabia a young Saudi prince, Abd al-Aziz demonstrated good judgement, leadership skills, and extraordinary courage as well as a deep personal and political commitment to Islam. In 1924-1925 he conqured the crucial cities of Mecca and Medina. The new united state, officially designated as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

In Turkey in 1934 the constituents of Mustafa Kamal gave him the name as "Ataturk", which means, “Father of the Turks.” He was the first president of the Republic of Turkey, and without his reforms and leadership, Turkey would not be what it is today. His endeavor was to modernize Turkish life; he wanted to give his nation happiness, better life standards and equality. In his view, modernization of the nation and the state could become real by replacing Arab alphabet with Latin alphabet, giving women the right to vote and participate in the congress, and abolishing the Ottoman Empire’s sovereignty with a secular government.

Turkey is the first Muslim-dominant nation that became a republic; there are also small Christian and Jewish minorities living in the country. On 10th of November 1938 at 09:05am father of modern Turkey died at the age of 57, after ruling his country for 19 years.

 

 

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