- List of kings of Saudi Arabia
The King of Saudi Arabia is
Saudi Arabia's head of stateand absolute monarch. He serves as the head of the Saudi Monarchy and House of Saud.
Within Saudi Arabia the king is known by the title of The
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques(خادم الحرمين الشريفين), which refers to Saudi Arabia's jurisdiction over the mosques of Masjid al Haramin Meccaand Masjid al-Nabawiin Medina.
King Abdul Aziz began conquering today's Saudi Arabia in 1902, by restoring his family as emirs of
Riyadh. He then proceeded to conquer first the Nejd(1922) and then the Hejaz(1925). He progressed from Sultan of Nejd, to King of Hejaz and Nejd, and finally to King of Saudi Arabia (1932).
The other kings have all been sons of his, and all likely immediate successors to the reigning King Abdullah are his sons as well. Sons of
Ibn Saudare considered to have primary claim on the Kingship of Saudi Arabia. This makes the Saudi Monarchy quite distinct from Western monarchies, which usually feature large, clearly defined royal familiesand orders of succession.
The King of Saudi Arabia is also considered the Head of the
House of Saudand Prime Minister. The Crown Prince, is also the "Deputy Prime Minister." The kings after Faisal have named a "second Deputy Prime Minister" as the subsequent heir after the Crown Prince. The current Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is Abdullah's half-brother, Prince Sultan, and it is intended that a family assembly choose heirs from their or the next generation at some time in the future, however at the current time, Abdullah has named no "second Deputy."
Saudi Arabia is ruled by Islamic law and purports to be an Islamic state; but many Muslims see a monarchy as being a non-Islamic system of government. This attitude stems in part from traditional
Sunnidoctrine, which prefers selecting rulers based on who is most qualified, even though the caliphatebecame a hereditary system after the time of the first four Sunni Caliphs (the Rashidun). The ruling family itself is often perceived as irreligious due to rumours of decadent behaviour. This is part of a deeper underlying tension in Saudi Arabia between the strive for modernization and conservation of culture and values.
Line of succession to the Saudi Arabian Throne
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