Emirate of Jabal Shammar

The Emirate of Jabal Shammar (Arabic: إِمَارَة جَبَل شَمَّر‎), also known as the "Emirate of Haʾil" (إِمَارَة حَائِل)[1] or the "Emirate of The House of Rashīd" (إِمَارَة آل رَشِيْد), was a state in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula, including at Nejd, existing from the mid-nineteenth century to 1921.[2] Jabal Shammar in English is translated as the "Mountain of the Shammar". Jabal Shammar's capital was Ha'il.[2] It was led by a monarchy of the House of Rashīd. It included parts of modern day Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan.

Emirate of Jabal Shammar

إِمَارَة جَبَل شَمَّر
Flag of Nejd
Flag of Jabal Shammar
Location of Nejd
Common languagesArabic
Sunni Islam
• 1836–1848
Abdullah I bin Rashīd first
• 1921
Muhammad II bin Talāl last
• bin Rashīd coup
2 November 1921
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Muhammad bin Ali al-Jaafar al-Shammari
Emirate of Nejd
Emirate of Nejd and Hasa
Sultanate of Nejd
Kingdom of Hejaz


Abdull-aziz muteb Al Rasheed
A photograph of Abdul Aziz bin Mutʿib, nicknamed "Al-Janāzah", the sixth Amir of Jabal Shammar

The Emirate of Jabal Shammar was established in 1836 and spent most of its existence in a feud with the House of Saud over control of Nejd. The Rashīdis, rulers of Jabal Shammar, had succeeded in ousting the Saudis from Riyadh in 1891 following the Battle of Mulayda. This resulted in the abolition of the Second Saudi State, the Emirate of Nejd, and incorporation of its territory into Jabal Shammar. As the Saudis were out of the picture, exiled in Kuwait, the House of Rashīd sought friendly ties with the Ottoman Empire to its north. This alliance became less and less profitable during the course of the 19th century as the Ottomans lost influence and legitimacy.

In 1902, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud succeeded in recapturing Riyadh for the House of Saud, and began a campaign to reconquer the region - a campaign which turned out to be highly successful for the Saudis. After several clashes, the Rashīdis and Saudis engaged into a full scale war over the region of Qassim, which resulted in a painful defeat for the Rashīdis and the death of the Rashīdi emir Abdul Aziz ibn Mitaab al-Rashīd.

Following the death of the Emir, Jabal Shammar gradually went into decline, being further pressed with the demise of its patron in World War I. Ibn Saud, allied with the British Empire as a counterweight to the Ottomans' support for Jabal Shammar, emerged far stronger from the First World War. The Emirate of Jabal Shammar was finally terminated with the Saudi campaign of late 1921. The Emirate surrendered to the Saudis on November 2, 1921, and was subsequently incorporated into the Sultanate of Nejd.


Saud alrasheed
A photograph of Saʿūd bin Ḥammūd, the ninth Amir
Abdullah meteb alrasheed
An early photograph of ʿAbdullah II bin Mutʿib II bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz bin Mutʿib I bin ʿAbdullah I bin Rashīd, the eleventh Amir
  1. ʿAbdullah (I) bin Rashīd (Arabic: عبدالله بن رشيد‎‎; 1836–48). Abdullah bin Rashid came to power after leading a revolt (together with his brother prince ʿUbayd Al Rashīd) against the ruler of Ha'il, Muhammad bin Ali, who was a fellow member of the Jaafar al-Shammari lineage. As a leader, Abdullah was praised for bringing peace and stability both to Ha'il and to the surrounding region. Abdullah demanded from his brother prince ʿUbayd an ahd (covenant), according to which succession to the office of amir would remain in Abdullah's line.
  2. Ṭalāl bin ʿAbdullah (طلال بن عبدالله‎; 1848–68). The son of Abdullah, Talal is remembered for his relative liberalism and interest in building projects. During his rule, the Barzan Palace in Ha'il was completed. He established regular trade connections with Iraq and expanded the Rashīdi sphere of influence:

    "The inhabitants of Kaseem, weary of Wahhabee tyranny, turned their eyes towards Telal, who had already given a generous and inviolable asylum to the numerous political exiles of that district. Secret negotiations took place, and at a favourable moment the entire uplands of that province—after a fashion not indeed peculiar to Arabia—annexed themselves to the kingdom of Shommer by universal and unanimous suffrage." (William Gifford Palgrave, 1865: 129.)

    Talal was considered relatively tolerant towards foreigners, including traders in Ha'il:

    "Many of these traders belonged to the Shia sect, hated by some Sunni, doubly hated by the Wahabees. But Telal [sic] affected not to perceive their religious discrepansies, and silenced all murmurs by marks of special favour towards these very dissenters, and also by the advantages which their presence was not long in procuring for the town". (William Gifford Palgrave 1865: 130.)

    In the 1860s, internal disputes in the House of Saud allowed a Rashīd/Ottoman alliance to oust them. The Rashīd occupied the Saudi capital of Riyadh in 1865 and forced the leaders of the House of Saud into exile. Talal later died in a shooting incident which has been termed "mysterious". Charles Doughty, in his book Travels in Arabia Deserta, writes that Talal committed suicide. Talal left seven sons, but the oldest, Bandar, was only 18 or 20 when his father died.
  3. Mutʿib (I) bin ʿAbdullah (متعب بن عبدالله‎; 1868–69). A younger brother of Talal, he was supported by senior members of the Rashīd family and the sheikhs of the Shammar sections. After only a year, he was shot and killed in the Barzan Palace by his nephew and next amir, Bandar. Doughty's version of the events is that Bandar and Badr, the second-oldest son, cast a silver bullet to kill their uncle because they knew he wore an amulet that protected him against lead.
  4. Bandar bin Ṭalāl (بندر بن طلال‎; 1869). Ruled for only a short time before he was killed by his uncle, Muhammed, the brother of Mutʿib. Bandar reportedly married his uncle's widow and had a son by her.
  5. Muḥammad (I) bin ʿAbdullah (محمد بن عبدالله‎; 1869–97). A confrontation outside Ha'il with his nephew, the young Amir Bandar, ended with Muhammed killing Bandar. Muhammed then continued his journey to Ha'il and announced himself as the new amir. In order to prevent the possibility of revenge, Muhammed gave orders for the execution of all of Bandar's brothers (the sons of Talal), Bandar's cousins (the children of Talal's sister), and their slaves and servants. Only one of Talal's sons, Naif, survived. In spite of the inauspicious beginning, his rule turned out to be the longest in the history of the Rashīdi dynasty. His rule became "a period of stability, expansion and prosperity" (ref.: p. 61, Al Rashīd). His expansion reached al-Jawf and Palmyra to the north and Tayma and Khaybar to the west. In 1891, after a rebellion, ʿAbd al-Rahman bin Faysal bin Turki Al Saud left Riyadh. The Saudi family, including the ten-year-old Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, went into exile in Kuwait.
  6. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz bin Mutʿib (عبدالعزيز بن متعب‎; 1897–1906). A son of Mutʿib, the third amir, he was adopted by his uncle Muhammad, the fifth amir, and brought up to be his heir. After Muhammad died of natural causes, Abd al-ʿAziz succeeded him unopposed. However Rashīd rule was insecure as their Ottoman allies were unpopular and weakening. In 1904, the young Ibn Saud, the future founder of Saudi Arabia, returned from exile with a small force and retook Riyadh. Abd al-ʿAziz died in the battle of Rawdat Muhanna with Ibn Saud in 1906.
  7. Mutʿib (II) bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (متعب بن عبدالعزيز‎; 1906–07). Succeeded his father as amir. However, he was not able to win support of the whole family and, within a year, he was killed by Sultan bin Hammud.
  8. Sultān bin Ḥammūd (سلطان بن حمود‎; 1907–08). A grandson of Ubayd (the brother of the first amir), he was criticized because he ignored the ahd (covenant) between his grandfather and the first amir. He was unsuccessful in fighting Ibn Saud, and was killed by his own brothers.
  9. Saʿūd (I) bin Ḥammūd (سعود بن حمود‎; 1908–10). Another grandson of Ubayd. Saʿud was killed by the maternal relatives of Saʿud bin ʿAbd al-ʿAziz, the tenth amir.
  10. Saʿūd (II) bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (سعود بن عبدالعزيز‎; 1910–20). A boy of 10 when he was made amir, his maternal relatives of the Al Sabhan family ruled as regents on his behalf until he came of age, based on the constitution of Emara. In 1920, he was assassinated by his cousin, Abdullah bin Talal (a brother of the 12th amir). Two of his widows remarried: Norah bint Hammud Al Sabhan became Ibn Saud's eighth wife and Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim of the Abde section of the Shammar tribe became Ibn Saud's ninth wife and the mother of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
  11. ʿAbdullah (II) bin Mutʿib (عبدالله بن متعب‎; 1920–21; died 1947). A son of the 7th amir, he surrendered to Ibn Saud in 1921, after having come to the throne the year before, at the age of thirteen.
  12. Muḥammad (II) bin Ṭalāl (محمد بن طلال‎; 1921; died 1954). A grandson of Naif, the only surviving son of Talal, the 2nd Amir. Muhammad bin Talal's wife Nura bint Sibban married King Abdulaziz after he was imprisoned by him.[3] Surrendered to Ibn Saud. One of the daughters of Muhammad bin Talal, Watfa, married Prince Musa'id bin Abdul Aziz, the fifteenth son of Ibn Saud. Prince Musa'id and Watfa became the parents of Prince Faisal bin Musa'id, the assassin of King Faisal.[3]


Historically, the Emirate produced alfalfa.[4]

See also


  1. ^ The Geographical Journal. Royal Geographical Society. 1911. p. 269.
  2. ^ a b J. A. Hammerton. Peoples Of All Nations: Their Life Today And Story Of Their Past (in 14 Volumes). Concept Publishing Company, 2007. Pp. 193.
  3. ^ a b Al Rasheed, M. (1991). Politics in an Arabian Oasis. The Rashidis of Saudi Arabia. New York: I. B. Tauirs & Co. Ltd.
  4. ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 86.

Further reading

Abdullah bin Rashid

Abdullah bin Rashid (Arabic: عبد الله بن علي الرشيد‎) founded the Emirate of Jabal Shammar, a state which he ruled from 1836 to 1848. Under his leadership, the Rashidi dynasty contended with the Second Saudi State in Najd and the Ottoman Empire in Iraq. His empire fell to the Saudis in 1921.

Battle of Dilam

Battle of Dilam was a major battle of the Unification War between Rashidi and Saudi rebels. It occurred on 27 January 1903, in the town of Dilam south of Riyadh, the capital of the present day Saudi Arabia.

A year after the Battle of Riyadh, Ibn Saud attempted to draw Rashidis away from Riyadh with a campaign of misinformation. When his plan succeeded, Saud deployed 1,000 fighters in Riyadh before leaving the city with another 3,500 to capture Dilam. The Rashidis followed Ibn Saud to Dilam in order to finish him off and regain control the town. During the battle, the Rashidis suffered 250 casualties and lost control of southern Nejd.

Battle of Jabal Shammar (1929)

The Battle of Jabal Shammar, or Battle of Umm Radh'ma (Arabic: مَعْرَكَة أُمّ رَضْمَة‎, translit. Maʿrakat Umm Raḍmah) took place on August 1929, between a raiding rebellious Ikhwan party and the ally tribes of Ibn Saud. It was the second large scale engagement of the Ikhwan Revolt in Arabia. The rebel Ikhwan tribesmen were defeated by the loyal pro-Saudi forces.

Battle of Jarrab

The Battle of Jarrab was a territorial battle between the Al Sa'ud and their traditional enemies the Al Rashid in January 1915. It was a proxy battle of World War I between the British-supported

Sa'udis and the Ottoman-supported Rashidis.

The main significance of the battle was the death of Ibn Sa'ud's British Military Advisor, Captain William Shakespear. This diminished the relationship between Ibn Sa'ud and the British, changing the course of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

Battle of Rawdat Muhanna

Battle of Rawdat Muhanna (Arabic: معركة روضة مهنا‎ or Arabic: معركة روضة ابن مهنا‎) was a major battle of the Saudi–Rashidi War, during the unification of Saudi Arabia, fought between Rashidi and Saudi rebels. It occurred on 12 April 1906, in Muhanna's Gardens in Qassim region. After Ibn Saud victory in Battle of Shinanah, Ibn Rashid planned to construct a new alliance with Qassimi leaders, Ibn Saud sent his troops with command of Ibrahim Ibn Aqeel to destroy this alliance before it grew, Ibn Aqeel troops successfully killed Abdulaziz bin Mitab in the battle along with hundreds of his Qassimi and Ottoman allies. The victory of Ibn Saud in Rawdat Muhanna ended the Ottoman presence in Nejd and Qassim by the end of October 1906.

Conquest of Ha'il

Conquest of Ha'il also referred as the Second Saudi–Rashidi War, was engaged by the Saudi forces, which received British military assistance and its ally Ikhwan tribesmen upon the Emirate of Jabal Shammar, under the last Rashidi ruler. On November 2, 1921, the last Al Rashid dynasty rulers surrendered Jebel Shammar to the Saudi forces.


An emirate is a political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Arabic or Islamic monarch-styled emir. The term may also refer to a kingdom.

Emirate of Nejd

The Emirate of Nejd was the second Saudi state, existing between 1824 and 1891 in Nejd, the regions of Riyadh and Ha'il of what is now Saudi Arabia. Saudi rule was restored to central and eastern Arabia after the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State, having previously been brought down by the Ottoman Empire's Egypt Eyalet in the Ottoman–Wahhabi War (1811–1818).

The second Saudi period was marked by less territorial expansion and less religious zeal, although the Saudi leaders continued to be called Imam and still employed Wahhabist religious scholars. Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad's reconquest of Riyadh from Egyptian forces in 1824 is generally regarded as the beginning of the Second Saudi State. Severe internal conflicts within the House of Saud eventually led to the dynasty's downfall at the Battle of Mulayda in 1891, between the forces loyal to the last Saudi imam, Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki, and the Rashidi dynasty of Ha'il.

Emirate of Nejd and Hasa

The Emirate of Nejd and Hasa was the first iteration of the third Saudi state from 1902 to 1921. It has also been referred to by historians as the Emirate of Riyadh. It was a monarchy led by the House of Saud. The state was formed after Saudi forces seized Riyadh from the control of the Emirate of Ha'il, led by the House of Rashid, during the Battle of Riyadh. It is a direct antecedent of the modern-day Saudi Arabia. Hasa was conquered in 1913.

Flag of Saudi Arabia

The flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arabic: علم المملكة العربية السعودية‎) is the flag used by the government of Saudi Arabia since March 15, 1973. It is a green flag featuring in white an Arabic inscription and a sword. The inscription is the Islamic creed, or shahada: "There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of God".

Leaders of the Central Powers of World War I

The leaders of the Central Powers of World War I were the political or military figures who commanded or supported the Central Powers during World War I.

List of infantry weapons of World War I

This is a list of infantry weapons of World War I (1914–1918).

List of state leaders in 1837

This is a list of heads of state, heads of governments, and other rulers in the year 1837.

Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen

The Mutawakkilite Kingdom (Arabic: المملكة المتوكلية‎ al-Mamlakah al-Mutawakkilīyah), also known as the Kingdom of Yemen or, retrospectively, as North Yemen, was a state that existed between 1918 and 1962 in the northern part of what is now Yemen. Its capital was Sana'a until 1948, then Taiz. From 1962 to 1970, it maintained control over portions of Yemen until finally defeated in the North Yemen Civil War. Yemen was admitted to the United Nations on 30 September 1947.


The tribe of Shammar (Arabic: شَمَّر‎) is a tribal Arab Qahtanite confederation, descended from the ancient tribe of Tayy. It is one of the largest and most influential Arab tribes. The historical and traditional seat of the tribe's leadership is in the city of Ha'il in what was the Emirate of Jabal Shammar in Saudi Arabia. In its "golden age", around 1850, the tribe ruled much of central and northern Arabia from Riyadh to the frontiers of Syria and the vast area known as Al Jazira in Northern Iraq.

One of the early famous figures from the tribe was the legendary Hatim Al-Ta'i (Hatim of Tayy; died 578), a Christian Arab renowned for generosity and hospitality who figured in the Arabian Nights. The early Islamic historical sources report that his son, Adiyy ibn Hatim, whom they sometimes refer to as the "king" of Tayy, converted to Islam before Muhammad's death. Another figure from Tayy during this period was Zayd al-Khayr, a prominent member of Tayy who is said to have led Tayy's delegation to Muhammad accepting Islam.

Shammar (disambiguation)

Shammar (Arabic: شَمَّر‎) may refer to:

Shammar, an Arab tribe

Shammar Mountains

The Shammar Mountains (Arabic: جِبَال شَمَّر‎, translit. Jibāl Shammar) is a mountain range in the northwestern Saudi Arabian province of Ha'il. It includes the Ajā (Arabic: أَجَا‎) and Salma subranges.

Solar eclipse of August 30, 1905

A total solar eclipse occurred on August 30, 1905. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide. Totality was visible from Canada, Newfoundland Colony (now belonging to Canada), Spain, French Algeria (now Algeria), French Tunisia (now Tunisia), Ottoman Tripolitania (now Libya) include the capital Tripoli, Egypt, Ottoman Empire (the parts now belonging to Saudi Arabia) include Mecca, Emirate of Jabal Shammar (now belonging to Saudi Arabia), Aden Protectorate (now belonging to Yemen), and Muscat and Oman (now Oman).

Scientists came from all over the world to Alcalà de Xivert in Spain to watch the eclipse on August 30, 1905.

Solar eclipse of November 11, 1901

An annular solar eclipse occurred on November 11, 1901. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring). An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide. Annularity was visible from the Italian island Sicily, the whole British Malta (now Malta), Ottoman Tripolitania (now Libya), Egypt, Ottoman Empire (parts now belonging to Cretan State in Greece, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia), Emirate of Jabal Shammar (now belonging to Saudi Arabia), Aden Protectorate (now belonging to Yemen), Muscat and Oman (now Oman), British Raj (the parts now belonging to India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Myanmar), British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Siam (name changed to Thailand later), French Indochina (the parts now belonging to Cambodia, southern tip of Laos and southern Vietnam, including Phnom Penh), Bombay Reef in the Paracel Islands, and Philippines.

Pre-Saudi states

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