Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Saudi Religious Elite (ULAMA) as Participant in The political System of The kingdom

  • Alexander Bligh (a1)

The Ulema are the power that holds the Sultan and his people together—the medium of control. But they seldom meddle in politics. This premise was expressed by Ameen Rihani, an Arab traveller, in 1928, before either Sultan 'Abd al-'Aziz became king or Najd and its dependencies became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Was Rihani correct in his conclusion? Is he right today? This article will endeavor to explore the term ulama in the Saudi context in the twentieth century. Later, an attempt will be made to discuss the participation of Saudi ulama in a number of key cases in the history of Saudi Arabia.

The house of Saud along with the house of Muhammad b. 'Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of the Unitarian movement, were parties to a unique coalition in the eighteenth century. The coalition embraced the Unitarian movement, or Wahhabiyah, founded in the mid-eighteenth century, and members of the Arab noble house of Saud of Najd.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 46 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 428 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.