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Glances into the Life of Late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz

King Faisal was a man who 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 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; his life one with many events that indicated the unusual man he was. 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, indicating that the name and memory once built will continue to be honoured by history.

The origins and 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 HayaBint Abdul Rahman Al Moqbel

– His maternal grandfather, Sheikh Abdullah bin Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, led him to a good religious education, and by the age of 9, he had already memorized the Qur’an. He also excelled in 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[n1] 

King Abdulaziz began to count on his son Faisal very early, sending the then 13-years old young prince to Britain and France at the end of the First World War. Once in Britain, the British Lord Curzon presented him with sweets, thinking that he was dealing with a child. Mistaken, the lord was surprised by the prince’s anger, who decided to leave for France. After the embarrasing encounter, the Englishman submitted an official apology 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 was also taking part in Hijaz. He led an army to stop the 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, followed by 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 boldest decisions he took during his Foreign Affairs’ term was cutting ties with the United States of America in response to the United Nations resolution on the partition of Palestine. He also headed the Kingdom’s delegation in the London Conference (the Round Table Conference) on the Palestinian issue in 1939 and represented Saudi Arabia at the founding meetings of the United Nations.

The Saudi-Yemeni dispute and its role in ending the crisis:

A tense situation had started between Saudi and Yemeni sides around 1924.

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

King Faisal assuming power:

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

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

– 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 had begun to feel ill and was frequently travelling abroad for treatment

Because of King Saud’s health conditions, Prince Muhammad, the oldest son after the king, 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, whether the king was in the country or abroad. Finally, Prince Faisal was proclamed king of Saudi Arabia on 2 November 1964.

The domestic achievements of King Faisal:

– 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 desalination of saltwater, as the creation of 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 the drainage and irrigation network, as in Al-Ahsa

– Cultivation of dates and their recycling as an important part of the Kingdom’s economy

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

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

– Expansion of the Jeddah Port and establishment of new 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 also aligned with women’s rights, including interest in female education

– The Agricultural Credit Bank

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

– The General Corporation for Petroleum and Minerals (Petromin)

– King Faisal worked on the independence of the judiciary 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 the service of Islam:

– Establishment of a roving Saudi embassy to visit African countries and call to Islam – it echoed that the President of Gabon 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 fire of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969 in Rabat

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

Foreign policy during the reign of King Faisal:

– Being an Arab faithful to Islam and Arabism, he made the non-recognition of Israel one of his firms 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 the emergence of Israel

– King Faisal supported Egypt intensely after the 1967 war. For that, Egypt never forgot King Faisal’s positioning 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 saying: “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 goes to Israel will make me cut off the oil for you”

– His Foreign Policy also served to restore relations with the United Kingdom.

The assassination of King Faisal:

The assassination of King Faisal was a shock to all. The Islamic and Arab world lost one of its most important and strongest pillars.

The king was shot with three bullets while receiving the Kuwaiti Oil Minister in his office at the Royal Court, one of which hit him in the face, the other in the head, and the third were stray. His nephew, Faisal bin Musaed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, carried out the brutal act.[n2] 


 [n1]Please check this information. He had 9 children with Effat bint Muhammad bin Saud Al-Thunayan Al Saud but there are only 8 here. Plus, he had others with other wives, even though some died.

 [n2]I feel the text ended abruptly. It needs a conclusion and more explanation. Why did his nephew do this and a final short paragraph about what happened after.

King Faisal was a man who 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 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; his life one with many events that indicated the unusual man he was. 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, indicating that the name and memory once built will continue to be honoured by history.

The origins and 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 HayaBint Abdul Rahman Al Moqbel

– His maternal grandfather, Sheikh Abdullah bin Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, led him to a good religious education, and by the age of 9, he had already memorized the Qur’an. He also excelled in 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[n1] 

King Abdulaziz began to count on his son Faisal very early, sending the then 13-years old young prince to Britain and France at the end of the First World War. Once in Britain, the British Lord Curzon presented him with sweets, thinking that he was dealing with a child. Mistaken, the lord was surprised by the prince’s anger, who decided to leave for France. After the embarrasing encounter, the Englishman submitted an official apology 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 was also taking part in Hijaz. He led an army to stop the 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, followed by 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 boldest decisions he took during his Foreign Affairs’ term was cutting ties with the United States of America in response to the United Nations resolution on the partition of Palestine. He also headed the Kingdom’s delegation in the London Conference (the Round Table Conference) on the Palestinian issue in 1939 and represented Saudi Arabia at the founding meetings of the United Nations.

The Saudi-Yemeni dispute and its role in ending the crisis:

A tense situation had started between Saudi and Yemeni sides around 1924.

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

King Faisal assuming power:

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

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

– 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 had begun to feel ill and was frequently travelling abroad for treatment

Because of King Saud’s health conditions, Prince Muhammad, the oldest son after the king, 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, whether the king was in the country or abroad. Finally, Prince Faisal was proclamed king of Saudi Arabia on 2 November 1964.

The domestic achievements of King Faisal:

– 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 desalination of saltwater, as the creation of 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 the drainage and irrigation network, as in Al-Ahsa

– Cultivation of dates and their recycling as an important part of the Kingdom’s economy

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

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

– Expansion of the Jeddah Port and establishment of new 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 also aligned with women’s rights, including interest in female education

– The Agricultural Credit Bank

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

– The General Corporation for Petroleum and Minerals (Petromin)

– King Faisal worked on the independence of the judiciary 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 the service of Islam:

– Establishment of a roving Saudi embassy to visit African countries and call to Islam – it echoed that the President of Gabon 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 fire of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969 in Rabat

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

Foreign policy during the reign of King Faisal:

– Being an Arab faithful to Islam and Arabism, he made the non-recognition of Israel one of his firms 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 the emergence of Israel

– King Faisal supported Egypt intensely after the 1967 war. For that, Egypt never forgot King Faisal’s positioning 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 saying: “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 goes to Israel will make me cut off the oil for you”

– His Foreign Policy also served to restore relations with the United Kingdom.

The assassination of King Faisal:

The assassination of King Faisal was a shock to all. The Islamic and Arab world lost one of its most important and strongest pillars.

The king was shot with three bullets while receiving the Kuwaiti Oil Minister in his office at the Royal Court, one of which hit him in the face, the other in the head, and the third were stray. His nephew, Faisal bin Musaed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, carried out the brutal act.


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