The Creation of Saudi Arabia: Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Creation of Saudi Arabia

Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927, 1st Edition

By Askar H. Al-Enazy


224 pages

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Overturning previous interpretations that see the territorial expansion of the Saudi state between 1915 and 1926 as the result of an aggressive Wahhabi ideology carried out by a politically ambitious Ibn Saud, this book explores the links between Saudi territorial expansion and British Imperial policy.

Depicting this expansion as the outcome of the implementation of Britain’s imperial policy to achieve specific regional military and political objectives in the Middle East, the author examines the Anglo-Saudi legal arrangement which fully integrated Saudi foreign policy into the framework of Britain’s imperial policy system in order to serve specific British military and political objectives in the Middle East concerning primarily, but not exclusively, the occupation of Palestine. The personality of Ibn Saud and his religious ideology of Wahhabism served as most effective policy instruments.The author shows how Ibn saud’s motivation was primarily defensive, preservationist and in agreement with the acquiescent nature of Wahhabism in which absolute obedience to the ruler constitutes its cardinal principle. In this context, he compares its inherently antagonistic attitude towards non-Wahhabi muslims with its fundamentally benevolent outlook towards non-Muslims, particularly western Christian powers.


"[This book] not only gives one an understanding of the political history of Arabia between 1914-1927 but also helps to shed some light on contemporary political events in the Middle East… This book is definately an authoritative work. It is deep, well researched and an exciting must read for those interested in this field." - Shahrul Hussain, Marksfield Institute for Higher Education, UK; The Muslim World Book Review, 32:1, 2011

"..this important and original reinterpretation of modern Saudi history. Professor Askar Al-Enazy argues that we can only understand the creation of the contemporary Saudi state in terms of its reliance on Arabia's big brother of the early twentieth century-Great Britain….a meticulous analysis of Britain's Middle East policy leading up to, during and after the First World War, and how this played out to the advantage of Abdul Aziz and the Al-Saud." - Robert Lacey, Journal of Islamic Studies 2012 23: 242-244.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Religious and Political Foundations of Ibn Saud’s Early Foreign Policy 2. Anglo-Saudi Relations on the Eve of World War I 3. The Anglo-Saudi Treaty of 1915: Ibn Saud’s Relations with Hussein and Ibn Rashid in the Context of British Objectives in Palestine, 1915-1917 4. Reactions of Hussein and Ibn Saud to Britain’s Post-War Objectives in Palestine 5. Saudi Annexation of the Rashidi Emirate and Britain’s "Special Position" in Palestine 6. Saudi Annexation of Hejaz. Summary and conclusions

About the Author

Askar H. al-Enazy is a lecturer and researcher in international relations and international law currently based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has previously published on the political and territorial issues between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

About the Series

History and Society in the Islamic World

Contemporary events in the Islamic world dominate the headlines and emphasise the crises of the Middle East and North Africa, yet the Islamic World is far larger and more varied than we realise. Current affairs there too mask the underlying trends and values that have, over time, created a fascinating and complex world. This new series is intended to reveal that other Islamic reality by looking at its history and society over the ages, as well as at the contemporary scene. It will also reach far further afield, bringing in Central Asia and the Far East as part of a cultural space sharing common values and beliefs but manifesting a vast diversity of experience and social order.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / General
HISTORY / Modern / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies