Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
King Abdul-Azeez Aal Saud stands as my favourite leader for the last millenium.
Commencing from 1901 when aged 19 he at the helm of two scores of young men recaptured Riyadh, the Monarch reclaimed all of his ancestral kingdom.
To establish their loyalty to one leader, improve security and facilitate governance, the Monarch promoted the residency of the bedouin in towns.
An Amir was appointed to administer each town and city.
Within his territory, regionally and internationally, the Monarch remained a diplomat.
Contrary to perceptions in some Muslim circles, the Monarch did not participate in either of the World Wars.
The Monarch was much too tactful to absorb his kingdom into a deleterious war.
When others were ensnared by the acquisitiveness of an alliance to either mendacious side in the World Wars, the Monarch proved too much of an intellectual.
Almost a century later, his son AbdAllah, as regent and Crown Prince during the ill-health of King Fahd, declined the use of Saudi Arabia’s airspace for the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Monarch did enter into agreements with foreign bodies for the benefit of his nation and Muslims.
One of such accords placed his kingdom as a British protectorate, in the years of World War I, on the stipulation he would fight against the Uthmaani Empire backed-Rashid family.
The Monarch did take on the Rashidis, but only after the war, and conquered their territory.
The British government, later, sponsored the rebellion of disgruntled elements within Saudi Arabia.
As the rebels during confrontation always fled into Iraq, a British colony, the Monarch issued an ultimatum to the British:
Prevent their retreat into Iraq or I will pursue them into Iraq.
British fighter planes were then stationed along the border to hinder the movement of rebels into Iraq.
The rebellion was quelled, though its leader escaped into Iraq.
The Iraqi King initially reasoned on the ground of granting a Muslim asylum.
However, the Monarch demanded the repatriation of the rebel leader to which Iraq acceded.
The rebel leader received a pardon and lived the rest of his life in his hometown.
A contract with Americans led to the exploration and discovery of oil.
With oil, came vast financial responsibility which the Monarch accomplished diligently.
First, he convinced the Ulema technological reforms were not anti-Islam.
The Monarch embarked on developmental programs for the benefit of the people of his kingdom.
The education system was expanded.
Some Saudi Arabian citizens were sent abroad to acquire certain expertise needed in the kingdom.
An extensive railway linking Jeddah, Riyadh and the Persian Gulf was constructed.
The Monarch rendered the personal plane, a twin-engine DC-3 (Dakota) HZ-AAX donated to him by President Franklin D Roosevelt as the first commercial aircraft of Saudi Arabian Airlines in 1945.
Besides his prowess amidst fellow testosterone-exuders, the Monarch was proficient in the love department.
My kind of man: powerful to fend off uninvited attention and persuasive to cuddle.
The Monarch was tender with his family. He would pull a charming smile just at the right moment.
The Monarch was a gentleman to his wives and children.
With his first marriage at the age of 15, he had several wives, with the maximum of four at a time.
Even on divorce, the Monarch would generously enrich each departing former wife.
Despite his busy schedule as a leader, he considered his family life of prime importance.
His children considered him a father and a friend.
He was respectful to his father and commanded the respect of his children.
He ensured his children were educated well in various fields in Islam.
A leader through delegation, the Monarch appointed his young sons Saud and Faisal governors of Najd and Hijaz, respectively.
Other sons were equally trained to be responsible Muslims.
The Monarch made Khalid, then 14, his Ambassador to the bedouin within his kingdom.
The outcome of this deep education is the loyalty of his sons to Islam when socialism engulfed much of the Middle East.
To his father, the Monarch was so humble he would stand at the door to a chamber in his own palace until his father permitted his entrance.
A king knows he is king.
Two female relations held a prominent influence on the Monarch.
The Monarch had a close relationship with Nurah, his sister to whom Princess Nurah bint Abdur-Rahman University, a university for women, was later dedicated.
His paternal aunt, Al-Jauharah bint Faisal was instrumental to his interest to reestablish the Third Saudi Kingdom.
After his triumph, he relied on her as a special advisor on history of kings and tribal affiliations.
Significantly, he encouraged the education of women with these diamond words: