[Dr. Mohammed Al-Massari] Despite the fact that now there are documents proving that Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz Ibn Mohammed Ibn Saud Ibn Muqrin Ibn Morkhan, who is the third Imam, if we consider Mohammed Ibn Saud as the first, he would then be the third Imam. That man was in contact with the British, and the British communicated with him and complained to him-
[Host] Again, at what time was that?
[Dr. Al-Massari] This situation— there are documents available on the internet and the dates can be looked up, but it’s around 1780-90, that was when they were communicating with the British, and the latter complained to him about the Qawasim— these Qawasim were Wahhabi jihadis, jihadis, but they were attacking the British vessels at sea. So, Saud Ibn Mohammed stopped them— Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz, he stopped them— Saud the First, or Saud the Elder, as he’s called. He stopped them from engaging in these activities, but even arrested one of the Qawasim and detained him at his place in Riyadh. So, from early on they had established contacts with the British. Some say that they held the British back from the islamic world. That’s not true. In fact, they were collaborating with the British since the first state, and this fact was not previously known until the emergence of documents recently showing that.
[Host] Good. We’ll get to the relationship with the British later, and the relationship with the Qawasim, who were eliminated in 1820, or around 1817. But, if you will, let’s get back— there are important moments, when was the establishment of the first Saudi State declared?
[Dr. Al-Massari] I believe when Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab pledged allegiance to Mohammed Ibn Saud, which was in 1160 Hijri, 1740-50. This is found in Ibn Ghannam’s chronicles.
[Host] At that moment, the Saudi started to rise.
[Dr. Al-Massari] It was confined to Al-Dir’iyyah for decades, but as a state and an entity, there was a pledge of allegiance to an individual, an Imam leading a missionary movement.
[Host] But my question is, what was the significance of Wahhabism at that point in time, and was it really the one that gave support to the Saudi state and was its lifeblood? It is right to say that Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab was the one that established the first Saudi state?
[Dr. Al-Massari] Most definitely. The Al-Sauds were of little significance. They were a small family of no significant status. Like I mentioned, many question their lineage, but we won’t delve into that because this is not very important. But, it was not among the tribes— it was in the middle of Nadj, and in the middle of Najd, there are fearsome tribes and there are tribal Sheiks that would shake the earth— like the Dawasir, Qahtan, Sibay’, ‘Utaybah, even Mutayr reach down to— of course, Mutayr are in Qaseem [unintelligible] in the north.
Whereas the tribe that the Al-Sauds claim to come from, which is the tribe of ‘Anizah, which is an umbrella name that encompasses all the tribes of Rabi’ah of the earlier times, so that even tribes like Wa’il, Taghlib, etc are included within it. And incidentally, some of the Taghlibites have merged with the Dawasir. This tribe’s greatest sphere of power and influence is in the north of Najd and in the Levant. It didn’t have any influence in the middle of Najd. So, that man had no tribal credentials that would make him eligible to be more than the emir of a small village due to his wealth and the fact that people gathered around him. Nothing more or less. So, the inception of a state in this manner, based on a pledge and an ideological mission, it was just-
[Host] Its main ideologue and the main executive was Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab.
[Dr. Al-Massari] There is no doubt. Absolutely.
[Host] Okay. After the break, we will continue-
[Dr. Al-Massari] This is why Mohammed Ibn Saud was a mere stooge, in actuality.
[Host] After the break, if you will allow me, we will continue this interesting discussion about the inception of Wahhabism.