Politics & News

Faisal Al Saud: Born a King

 

 

King Faisal spent his whole life in the service of Islam and Arabism, and these were always in focus as his first and last interests. He was the third king of Saudi Arabia; his life was one of many events that indicated his unusual character. It is safe to say that compassion and justice were the foundations of his rule.

 

Even though years have passed since the king’s death, his achievements and works are still present in our time. This indicates that his name and legacy will continue to be honored by history.

 

The Origins & Biography of King Faisal:

 

– King Faisal was born in Riyadh on 14 April 1906

– Full name: Faisal bin Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud

– He is the third son of King Abdulaziz Al Saud

– He was born on the day of his father’s victory in the battle of Rawdat al-Hana, one of the major battles for building the Saudi state

– His mother was Princess Tarfa bint Abdullah bin Abdul Latif Al Sheik. She passed away six months after his birth, so his maternal grandparents took care of him

– His maternal grandmother was Haya Bint Abdul Rahman Al Moqbel

– His maternal grandfather, Sheikh Abdullah bin Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, led him to receive an excellent religious education, and by 9, he had memorized the Qur’an. He also excelled at horsemanship and weapons from a young age

 

 

Personal life:

– King Faisal married Effat bint Muhammad bin Saud Al-Thunayan Al Saud

– He had seven marriages

– He had many brothers and sisters

– His children: Muhammad, Lualua, Turki, Abdullah, Khalid, Saud, Haifa, Latifa, and Sarah

 

King Abdulaziz counted on his son Faisal very early, sending the then 13-year-old young prince to Britain and France at the end of the First World War. Once in Britain, Lord Curzon presented him with sweets, thinking he was dealing with a child. Mistaken, the Lord was surprised by the prince’s anger, who left for France. After the embarrassing encounter, the Englishman apologized to the prince.

 

In 1923, when the situation in Asir became tense, Prince Faisal led the Saudi forces to control the situation. He was still very young when he besieged the Hail rebellion for three months, and shortly after, in 1925, he also participated in Hijaz. He led an army to stop Yemeni tribes’ rebellion and wanted to storm Sanaa, but his father refused.

 

Finally, in 1926 King Abdulaziz appointed him Deputy General of His Majesty the King. He was Chairman of the Shura Council in 1927, and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1932 (in addition to his position as President of the Shura Council).

 

One of his boldest decisions during his Foreign Affairs term was cutting ties with the United States of America. This was in response to the United Nations resolution on Palestine’s partition. He also headed the Kingdom’s delegation to the London Conference (the Round Table Conference) on the Palestinian issue in 1939 and represented Saudi Arabia at the United Nations founding meetings.

 

The Saudi-Yemeni Dispute and its Role in Ending the Crisis:

 

A tense situation developed between the Saudi and Yemeni sides around 1924.

 

When the war between the two sides began, Prince Faisal took the lead to find a solution. This ended up with Saudi Arabia controlling Asir, Najran, and Jizan. Afterward, the Idrisi Emirate ended, the Taif Agreement was signed, and the Saudi army retreated from Hajjah and Hodeidah.

 

King Faisal assumes power:

 

– With Prince Saud’s appointment as Prime Minister in October 1953, Prince Faisal was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

– In November 1953, King Saud bin Abdul Aziz (half-brother of King Faisal) assumed power after their father’s death

– Prince Faisal was appointed Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs

– In 1957, a severe financial crisis occurred in the Kingdom, forcing the authorities to borrow money from Western countries and Aramco

– Prince Faisal became Minister of Finance and Interior in 1959

– In 1962, he was appointed Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

– King Saud felt ill and traveled abroad for treatment

 

 

Because of King Saud’s health conditions, Prince Muhammad, the king’s oldest son, gathered scholars and princes to discuss the situation. They unanimously agreed to keep King Saud in his position and authorize Prince Faisal to run domestic and international affairs. This was whether the king was in the country or abroad. Finally, Prince Faisal was proclaimed king of Saudi Arabia on 2 November 1964.

 

King Faisal’s domestic achievements:

 

– Corrective economic measures to revive the Saudi economy

– Reformulation of a beneficial profit-sharing agreement with Aramco

– Refuse to grant concessions to petroleum investments, except to national institutions

– Development of groundwater search and saltwater desalination, as done by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation.

– Building of dams for irrigation and flood control, as happened in Abha and Riyadh, and the construction of the Jizan Valley Dam

– Development of a drainage and irrigation network, as in Al-Ahsa.

– Date cultivation and recycling are vital to the Kingdom’s economy.

– Establishment and development of road networks linking the Kingdom with Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait.

– A civil aviation training institute in Jeddah and jet aircraft supply.

– Expansion of the Jeddah Port and establishment of two ports in Yanbu and Jizan.

– Creation of the Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh in 1975 and bringing in the most qualified doctors from abroad to train Saudi doctors.

– Creation of the first Higher Education Authority and education infrastructure improvement

– Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Riyadh in 1974

– King Faisal is also aligned with women’s rights, including female education

– The Agricultural Credit Bank

– The oil refinery project in Riyadh and the Jeddah refinery expansion

– The General Corporation for Petroleum and Minerals (Petromin).

– King Faisal worked on judiciary independence and established a Supreme Judicial Council, the Ministry of Justice, and a Supreme Council for Ifta

– Efforts to permanently abolish slavery in the Kingdom

– Creation of a department for youth welfare and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs

 

In Islam’s service:

 

– Establishment of a roving Saudi embassy to visit African countries and call to Islam – echoed that the Gabon President declared himself Muslim and changed his name from Joseph to Omar

– Establishment of the Muslim World League

– He announced from Mecca in 1964 the call for Islamic solidarity with the blessing of the Saudi Fatwa Commission

– The first Islamic summit conference was held following the Al-Aqsa Mosque fire in 1969 in Rabat.

– The first conference of Islamic foreign ministers was in Jeddah in 1970. From there on, the Organization of the Islamic Conference was established.

 

Foreign policy during King Faisal’s reign:

 

– Being an Arab faithful to Islam and Arabism, he made Israel’s non-recognition one of his principles. One of his speeches in 1963 for the United Nations included that what has dispelled peace in the Arab region is the Palestinian issue and Israel.

– King Faisal supported Egypt intensely after the 1967 war. For that, Egypt never forgot King Faisal’s position during the October 1973 war.

– He cut off oil supplies to the US and the West, and to all who supported Israel. One of his famous sayings: “We lived, and our ancestors lived on dates and milk, and we will return to them”. Another one was his speech to the President of the US Tab Line Company: “Any drop of oil that belongs to Israel will make me cut off the oil for you”.

– His Foreign Policy also restored relations with the United Kingdom.

 

 

King Faisal’s assassination:

 

King Faisal’s assassination shocked all. The Islamic and Arab world lost one of its most significant and strongest pillars.

 

The king was shot three times while receiving the Kuwaiti Oil Minister in his office at the Royal Court. One hit him in the face, the other in the head, and the third was a stray. His nephew, Faisal bin Musaed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, committed the brutal act.

 

 

 

 

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