The Hejaz (/hiːˈdʒæz/; Arabic: ٱلْـحِـجَـاز, romanized: al-Ḥijāz, lit. 'the Barrier') is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia. The region is so called as it separates the land of the Najd in the east from the land of Tihamah in the west. It is also known as the "Western Province". It is bordered on the west by the Red Sea, on the north by Jordan, on the east by the Najd, and on the south by 'Asir Region. Its largest city is Jeddah, but it is probably better known for the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. As the site of the two holiest sites in Islam, the Hejaz has significance in the Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape.
The Hejaz is the most populated region in Saudi Arabia; 35% of all Saudis live there. Hejazi Arabic is the most widely spoken dialect in the region. Saudi Hejazis are of ethnically diverse origins.
The Hejaz is the most cosmopolitan region in the Arabian Peninsula. People of Hejaz have the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia. Their place of origin alienates them from the Saudi state, which invokes different narratives of the history of the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, Hejazis experienced tensions with people of Najd.
Above: Islam's holiest shrine, Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām (The Sacred Mosque), which surrounds the Ka'bah (middle), in Mecca, land of Muhammad's birth and ancestry, and an annual point of pilgrimage for millions of Muslims, 2010 Below: Map of the Hejaz showing the cities of Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Tabuk and Yanbu, amongst others that are outside the region. The Saudi Arabian region is outlined in red, and the 1923 Kingdom is in green.
|Saudi regions||Al-Bahah, Mecca, Medina and Tabuk|
The Hejaz includes both the Mahd adh-Dhahab ("Cradle of the Gold") ( ) and a water source, now dried out, that used to flow 600 miles (970 km) north east to the Persian Gulf via the Wadi Al-Rummah and Wadi Al-Batin system. Archaeological research led by of Boston University and the University of Qassim indicates that the river system was active in 8000 BCE and 2500–3000 BCE.
Saudi Arabia's first World Heritage Site that was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is that of Al-Hijr. The name "Al-Ḥijr" ("The Land of Stones" or "The Rocky Place") occurs in the Quran, and the site is known for having structures carved into rocks, similar to Petra. Construction of the structures is credited to the people of Thamud. The location is also called "Madā’in Ṣāliḥ" ("Cities of Saleh"), as it is speculated to be the city in which the Islamic Nabī (Prophet) Salih was sent to the people of Thamud. After the disappearance of Thamud from Mada'in Saleh, it came under the influence of other people, such as the Nabataeans, whose capital was Petra. Later, it would lie in a route used by Muslim Pilgrims going to Mecca.
According to Arab and Islamic sources, the civilization of Mecca started after Ibrāhīm (Abraham) brought his son Ismā‘īl (Ishmael) and wife Hājar (Hagar) here, for the latter two to stay. Some people from the Yemeni tribe of Jurhum settled with them, and Isma'il reportedly married two women, one after divorcing another, at least one of them from this tribe, and helped his father to construct or re-construct the Ka‘bah ('Cube'), which would have social, religious, political and historical implications for the site and region.
For example, in Arab or Islamic belief, the tribe of Quraysh would descend from Isma'il ibn Ibrahim, be based in the vicinity of the Ka'bah, and include Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf. From the Period of Jāhiliyyah ('Ignorance') to the days of Muhammad, the often-warring Arab tribes would cease their hostilities during the time of Pilgrimage, and go on pilgrimage to Mecca, as inspired by Ibrahim. It was during such an occasion that Muhammad met some Medinans who would allow him to migrate to Medina, to escape persecution by his opponents in Mecca.
As the land of Mecca and Medina, the Hijaz was where Muhammad was born, and where he founded a Monotheistic Ummah (Community) of followers, bore patience with his foes or struggled against them, migrated from one place to another, preached or implemented his beliefs, lived and died. Given that he had both followers and enemies here, a number of battles or expeditions were carried out in this area, like those of al-Aḥzāb ("the Confederates"), Badr and Ḥunayn. They involved both Meccan companions, such as Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib, Ubaydah ibn al-Harith and Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, and Medinan companions. The Hijaz fell under Muhammad's influence as he emerged victorious over his opponents, and was thus a part of his empire.
Due to the presence of the two holy cities in the Hijaz, the region was ruled by numerous empires. The Hijaz was at the center of the Rashidun Caliphate, in particular whilst its capital was Medina from 632 to 656 ACE. The region was then under the control of regional powers such as Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, throughout much of its later history.
In 1916, Sharif Hussein ibn Ali proclaimed himself King of an independent Hejaz, as a result of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence. The ensuing Arab Revolt overthrew the Ottoman Empire. In 1924, however, Ibn Ali's authority was replaced by that of Ibn Saud of the Najd.
At first, Ibn Saud ruled the two as separate units, though they became known as the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd. Later they were formally combined as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The region is located along the Red Sea Rift. It is also known for its darker, more volcanic sand. Depending on the previous definition, the Hejaz includes the high mountains of Sarawat, which topographically separate the Najd from Tehamah. Bdellium plants are also abundant in the Hijaz.
As a component of Saudi Vision 2030, a 28,000 square kilometer tourism destination is under development on the Red Sea coast between the towns of Umluj ( ) and Al-Wajh ( ), in the northern section of the Hejazi coast. The project will involve "the development of 22 of the 90+ islands" that lie along the coast to create a "fully integrated luxury mixed-use destination." and will be "governed by laws on par with international standards".
People of Hejaz, who feel particularly connected to the holy places of Mecca and Medina, have probably the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia.
The people of Hejaz have never fully accommodated to Saudi rule and their Wahhabi religion. They continue to be Sunni of Maliki rite with a Shia minority in the cities of Medina, Mecca and Jeddah. Many consider themselves more cosmopolitan because Hejaz was for centuries a part of the great empires of Islam from the Umayyads to the Ottomans.
The Hijaz is the largest, most populated, and most culturally and religiously diverse region of Saudi Arabia, in large part because it was the traditional host area of all the pilgrims to Mecca, many of whom settled and intermarried there.
Al-Hejaz Club is a Saudi Arabian football team in Baljurashi City playing at the Saudi Second Division.Ali of Hejaz
Ali bin Hussein, GBE (Arabic: علي بن الحسين بن علي الهاشمي, ‘Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī al-Hāshimī; 1879–1935) was King of Hejaz and Grand Sharif of Mecca from October 1924 until he was deposed by Ibn Saud in December 1925. He was the eldest son of Hussein bin Ali, the first modern King of Hejaz, and a scion of the Hashemite family. With the passing of the kingship from his father he also became the heir to the title of Caliph, but he did not adopt the khalifal office and style.Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt (Arabic: الثورة العربية, al-Thawra al-‘Arabiyya; Turkish: Arap İsyanı) or Great Arab Revolt (Arabic: الثورة العربية الكبرى, al-Thawra al-‘Arabiyya al-Kubrā) was a military uprising of Arab forces against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. On the basis of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, an agreement between the British government and Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the revolt was officially initiated at Mecca on June 10, 1916. The aim of the revolt was the creation a single unified and independent Arab state stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen, which the British had promised to recognize.
The Sharifian Army led by Hussein and the Hashemites, with the military backing from the British Empire and the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force, successfully battled and repelled the Ottoman military presence from much of the Hejaz and Transjordan. The rebellion eventually took Damascus and set up a short-lived monarchy led by Faisal, a son of Hussein.
The Middle East was later partitioned by the Britain and France into mandate territories, and the British were accused of reneging on their promise to support a unified independent Arab state.Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian peninsula, simplified Arabia (; Arabic: شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة shibhu l-jazīrati l-ʿarabiyyah, 'Arabian island' or جَزِيرَةُ الْعَرَب jazīratu l-ʿarab, 'Island of the Arabs'), is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia.It is the largest peninsula in the world, at 3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 sq mi). The peninsula consists of the countries Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The peninsula formed as a result of the rifting of the Red Sea between 56 and 23 million years ago, and is bordered by the Red Sea to the west and southwest, the Persian Gulf to the northeast, the Levant to the north and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. The peninsula plays a critical geopolitical role in the Arab world due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.
Before the modern era, it was divided into four distinct regions: Hejaz (Tihamah), Najd (Al-Yamama), Southern Arabia (Hadhramaut) and Eastern Arabia. Hejaz and Najd make up most of Saudi Arabia. Southern Arabia consists of Yemen and some parts of Saudi Arabia (Najran, Jizan, Asir) and Oman (Dhofar). Eastern Arabia consists of the entire coastal strip of the Persian Gulf.Flag of the Arab Revolt
The Flag of the Arab Revolt also known as the Flag of Hejaz was a flag used by the Arab nationalists during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.Habesh Eyalet
Habesh Eyalet (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت حبش, Eyālet-i Ḥabeş) was an Ottoman eyalet. It was also known as the Eyalet of Jeddah and Habesh, as Jeddah was its chief town, and Habesh and Hejaz. It extended on the areas of coastal Hejaz and Northeast Africa that border the Red Sea basin. On the Northeast Africa littoral, the eyalet comprised Massawa, Hirgigo, Suakin and their hinterlands.
Like Ottoman control in North Africa, Yemen, Bahrain, and Lahsa, the Ottomans had no "effective, long term control" outside of the ports where there was a direct Ottoman presence and garrison.Hashemites
The Hashemites (Arabic: الهاشميون, Al-Hāshimīyūn; also House of Hashim) are the ruling royal family of Jordan. The House was also the royal family of Syria (1920), Hejaz (1916–1925) and Iraq (1921–1958). The family belongs to the Dhawu Awn, one of the branches of the Hasanid Sharifs of Mecca – also referred to as Hashemites – who ruled Mecca continuously from the 10th century until its conquest by the House of Saud in 1924. Their eponymous ancestor is traditionally considered to be Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, great-grandfather of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
The current dynasty was founded by Sharif Hussein ibn Ali, who was appointed as Sharif and Emir of Mecca by Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1908, then in 1916 was proclaimed King of the Arab Lands (but only recognized as King of the Hejaz) after initiating the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. His sons Abdullah and Faisal assumed the thrones of Jordan and Iraq in 1921.Hejaz Railway Station
Hejaz Railway Station (Arabic: محطة الحجاز) is a former main railway station in central Damascus, Syria close to the Marjeh Square.
It was part of the Hejaz Railway, and there were many railway stations of the railway.
This includes 'Hejaz railway stations' at: al-Taibe, Amman, Anese, Bosra, D'ara, Derra, Djizeh, el-Akhthar, el-Ula, Haifa, Jisra, Kadem, Khamees, Makarin, Ma'an, Marfaq, Meda'in Saleh, Muazzem, Tabuk, Wadi Kelt, Wadi Rum, Zarqaa and Zat ul Hajj.It was designed by the Spanish architect Fernando de Aranda.Hejaz Vilayet
The Vilayet of the Hejaz (Arabic: ولاية الحجاز Wilayat al-Ḥijāz; Ottoman Turkish: ولايت حجاز Vilâyet-i Hijaz) refers to the Hejaz region of Arabia when it was administered as a first-level province (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century, it reportedly had an area of 96,500 square miles (250,000 km2). The Hejaz included all land from the southern border of the Vilayet of Syria, south of the city of Ma‛an, to the northern border of the Vilayet of Yemen, north of the city of Al Lith.Despite its lack of natural resources, the region had great political importance as the cradle of Islam and was a source of legitimacy for the Ottomans' rule. Subsidies provided by the state and zakat were the main source of income for the population of the two holy cities, but trade generated by the hajj was also an important source of revenue.The Ottoman regular force in Hejaz was constituted as a fırka (division), attached to the Seventh Army in Yemen. Outside of cities and towns, Ottoman authority was weak. Only Medina and Jeddah had permanent garrisons.Hejaz railway
The Hejaz (or Hedjaz or Hijaz) railway (Turkish: Hicaz Demiryolu) was a narrow-gauge railway (1,050 mm / 3 ft 5 11⁄32 in track gauge) that ran from Damascus to Medina, through the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, with a branch line to Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea. It was a part of the Ottoman railway network and the original goal was to extend the line from the Haydarpaşa Terminal in Kadikoy beyond Damascus to the holy city of Mecca. However, construction was interrupted due to the outbreak of World War I, and it reached no further than Medina, 400 kilometres (250 mi) short of Mecca. The completed Damascus to Medina section was 1,300 kilometres (810 mi).
The main purpose of the railway was to establish a connection between Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, and Hejaz in Arabia, the site of the holiest shrines of Islam and the holy city of Mecca, the destination of the Hajj annual pilgrimage. Another important reason was to improve the economic and political integration of the distant Arabian provinces into the Ottoman state, and to facilitate the transportation of military forces.Hejazi turban
The Hejazi turban (Arabic: عِمَامَة, romanized: ʿEmāmah) is a type of the turban headdress native to the region of Hejaz in modern-day western Saudi Arabia.
It is but one version of Arabian turbans that have been worn in the Arabian Peninsula from the pre-Islamic era to the present day.
Many Arab Historians claim that the Pre- and Post-Islamic Arabs of the Hejaz region such as the Quraish, Ansar, Qahtanites, Kindites, Nabateans, Qedarites, Adnanites, Himyarites, Lakhmids, Ghassanids, Arabian Jews and others used to wear the turban, as opposed to the Keffiyeh which is popular today in the Arabian peninsula.History of Saudi Arabia
The history of Saudi Arabia in its current form as a state began with its foundation in 1744, although the human history of the region extends as far as 20,000 years ago. The region has had a global impact twice in world history:
In the 7th century it became the cradle of Islam and the capital of the Islamic Rashidun Caliphate.
From the mid-20th century the discovery of vast oil deposits propelled it into a key economic and geo-political role.At other times, the region existed in relative obscurity and isolation, although from the 7th century the cities of Mecca and Medina had the highest spiritual significance for the Muslim world, with Mecca becoming the destination for the Hajj pilgrimage, an obligation, at least once in a believer's lifetime, if at all possible.For much of the region's history a patchwork of tribal rulers controlled most of the area. The Al Saud (the Saudi royal family) emerged as minor tribal rulers in Najd in central Arabia. Over the following 150 years, the extent of the Al Saud territory fluctuated. However, between 1902 and 1927, the Al Saud leader, Abdulaziz, carried out a series of wars of conquest which resulted in his establishing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1930.
From 1930 until his death in 1953, Abdulaziz ruled Saudi Arabia as an absolute monarchy. Thereafter six of his sons in succession have reigned over the kingdom:
Saud, the immediate successor of Abdulaziz, faced opposition from most in the royal family and was eventually deposed.
Faisal replaced Saud in 1964. Until his murder by a nephew in 1975, Faisal presided over a period of growth and modernization fueled by oil wealth. Saudi Arabia's role in the 1973 oil crisis and, the subsequent rise in the price of oil, dramatically increased the country's political significance and wealth.
Khalid, Faisal's successor, reigned during the first major signs of dissent: Islamist extremists temporarily seized control of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979.
Fahd became king in 1982. During his reign Saudi Arabia became the largest oil producer in the world. However, internal tensions increased when the country allied itself with the United States, and others, in the Gulf War of 1991. In the early 2000s, the Islamist opposition to the regime carried out a series of terrorist attacks.
Abdullah succeeded Fahd in 2005. He instituted a number of mild reforms to modernize many of the country's institutions and, to some extent, increased political participation.
Salman became king in 2015.Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi (Arabic: الحسين بن علي الهاشمي, al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī al-Hāshimī; 1853/1854 – 4 June 1931) was a Hashemite Arab leader who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after proclaiming the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, King of the Hejaz from 1916 to 1924. At the end of his reign he also briefly laid claim to the office of Caliph. He was said to be a 37th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family.
A member of the Awn clan of the Qatadid emirs of Mecca, he was perceived to have rebellious inclinations and in 1893 was summoned to Constantinople where he was kept on the Council of State. In 1908, in the aftermath of the Young Turk Revolution, he was appointed Emir of Mecca by Sultan Abdul Hamid II. In 1916, with the promise of British support for Arab independence, he proclaimed the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, accusing the Committee of Union and Progress of violating tenets of Islam and limiting the power of the sultan-caliph. Shortly after the outbreak of the revolt, Hussein declared himself 'King of the Arab Countries'. However, his pan-Arab aspirations were not accepted by the Allies, who recognised him only as King of the Hejaz.
After World War I Hussein refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, in protest at the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of British and French mandates in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. He later refused to sign the Anglo-Hashemite Treaty and thus deprived himself of British support when his kingdom was invaded by Ibn Saud. In March 1924, when the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, Hussein proclaimed himself Caliph of all Muslims. In October 1924, facing defeat by Ibn Saud, he abdicated and was succeeded as king by his eldest son Ali. His sons Faisal and Abdullah were made rulers of Iraq and Transjordan respectively in 1921.Kingdom of Hejaz
The Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz (Arabic: المملكة الحجازية الهاشمية, Al-Mamlakah al-Ḥijāzyah Al-Hāshimīyah) was a state in the Hejaz region in the Middle East, the western portion of the Arabian peninsula ruled by the Hashemite dynasty. It achieved national independence after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire by the British Empire, during World War I, when the Sharif of Mecca fought in alliance with the British Imperial forces to drive the Ottoman Army from the Arabian Peninsula during the Arab Revolt.
The new kingdom had a brief life and then was conquered in 1925 by the neighbouring Sultanate of Nejd under a resurgent House of Saud, creating the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd.On 23 September 1932, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd joined the Saudi dominions of Al-Hasa and Qatif, as the unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd
The Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd (Arabic: مملكة الحجاز ونجد, Mamlakat al-Ḥijāz wa-Najd), initially the Kingdom of Hejaz and Sultanate of Nejd (مملكة الحجاز وسلطنة نجد, Mamlakat al-Ḥijāz wa-Salṭanat Najd), was a dual monarchy ruled by Ibn Saud following the victory of the Saudi Sultanate of Nejd over the Hashemite Kingdom of the Hejaz in 1925. It was the third iteration of the third Saudi state.
In 1932 the two kingdoms were unified as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Postage stamps and postal history of Saudi Arabia
This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Saudi Arabia, formerly known as the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd until 22 September 1932. The Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd had been separate countries until the mid-1920s.
Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab country of the Middle East. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq on the north and northeast, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, and Yemen on the south. The Persian Gulf lies to the northeast and the Red Sea to its west. It has an estimated population of 28 million, and its size is approximately 2,149,690 square kilometres (830,000 sq mi).Sharif of Mecca
The Sharif of Mecca (Arabic: شريف مكة, Sharīf Makkah) or Hejaz (Arabic: شريف الحجاز, Sharīf al-Ḥijāz) was the title of the leader of the Sharifate of Mecca, traditional steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the surrounding Hejaz. The term sharif is Arabic for "noble", and is used to describe the descendants of Prophet Muhammad's grandson al-Hassan ibn Ali.
The Sharif was charged with protecting the cities and their environs and ensuring the safety of pilgrims performing the Hajj. The title is sometimes spelled Sheriff or Sherif, with the latter variant used, for example, by T. E. Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
The office of the Sharifate of Mecca dates back to the late Abbasid era. Until 1200, the Sharifate was held by a member of the Hawashim clan, not to be confused with the larger clan of Banu Hashim from which all Sharifs claim descent. Descendants of the Banu Hashim continued to hold the position until the 20th century on behalf of various Muslim powers including the Ayyubids and the Mamluks. In 1517, the Sharif acknowledged the supremacy of the Ottoman Caliph, but maintained a great degree of local autonomy. During the Ottoman era, the Sharifate expanded its authority northwards to include Medina, and southwards to the frontiers of 'Asir, and regularly raided Nejd.
The Sharifate came to an end shortly after the reign of Hussein bin Ali, ruled from 1908, who rebelled against the Ottoman rule during the Arab Revolt of 1916. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and its subsequent dissolution in 1923, Hussein declared himself Caliph. The British granted control over the newly formed states of Iraq and Transjordan to his sons Faisal and Abdullah. In 1924, however, in the face of increasing attacks by Ibn Saud, Hussein abdicated his secular titles to his eldest son, Ali bin Hussein, who was to become the last Grand Sharif. At the end of 1925, Ibn Saud conquered the Hejaz and expelled the Hashemites. The House of Saud has ruled the holy cities and the Hajj since that time.Sharifate of Mecca
The Sharifate of Mecca Arabic: شرافة مكة Sharāfa Makka) or Emirate of Mecca was a state, non-sovereign for much of its existence, ruled by the Sharifs of Mecca. A sharif is a descendant of Hasan ibn Ali, Muhammad's grandson. In Western sources, the prince of Mecca was known as Grand Sherif, but Arabs have always used the appellation "Emir".The Sharifate existed from about 968 to 1925. From 1201, the descendants of the Sharifian patriarch Qutada ruled over Mecca, Medina and the Hejaz in unbroken succession until 1925.Unification of Saudi Arabia
The unification of Saudi Arabia was a military and political campaign, by which the various tribes, sheikhdoms, city-states, emirates, and kingdoms of most of the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by the House of Saud, or Al Saud, between 1902 and 1932, when the modern-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed under the leadership of Ibn Saud, creating what is sometimes referred to as the Third Saudi State, to differentiate it from the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State and the Emirate of Nejd, the Second Saudi State, also House of Saud states.
The Al-Saud had been in exile in the British protected emirate of Kuwait since 1893 following their second episode of removal from power and dissolution of their polity, this time by the Al Rashid emirate of Ha'il. In 1902, Ibn Saud recaptured Riyadh, the Al Saud dynasty's former capital. He went on to subdue the rest of Nejd, Al-Hasa, Jebel Shammar, Asir, and Hejaz (location of the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina) between 1913 and 1926. The resultant polity was named the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz from 1927 until it was further consolidated with Al-Hasa into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.
Middle Eastern megaliths