Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

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In office  1924–1965
Father  King Abdulaziz

Name  Muhammad Abdulaziz
House  House of Saud
Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Successor  Abdul Muhsin bin Abdulaziz
Monarch  King Abdulaziz King Saud King Faisal
Born  4 March 1910 (1910-03-04)
Burial  25 November 1988 Al Oud cemetery, Riyad
Issue  Prince Fahd Prince Abdulrahman Prince Bandar Prince Badr Prince Sa'd Prince Abdullah Prince Abdulaziz
Died  November 26, 1988, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Children  Faisal bin Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Siblings  Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Salman of Saudi Arabia
Parents  Ibn Saud, Al Jawhara bint Musaed Al Jiluwi
Similar People  Ibn Saud, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Salman of Saudi Arabia, Saud of Saudi Arabia, Faisal of Saudi Arabia

Muhammad bin Abdulaziz (1910 – 25 November 1988) (Arabic: محمد بن عبد العزيز ال سعود‎‎) was a member of the House of Saud.


Briefly Crown Prince from 1964 to 1965, he was among the wealthiest and most powerful members of the Saudi royal family. His advice was sought and deferred to in all matters by his brothers. Until his death in 1988, he was a close and powerful confidant and senior adviser to his younger brothers, King Khalid and King Fahd.

Early life

Prince Muhammad was born in 1910 and is the fourth son of King Abdulaziz. However, his birth date is also given as 1909, and William A. Eddy reports that he is the third son of King Abdulaziz.

His mother, Al Jawhara bint Musaed Al Jiluwi, was from the important Al Jiluwis, a clan whose members intermarried with the members of Al Saud family. King Khalid was his full brother, his full sister, Al Anoud, married the sons of Saad bin Abdul Rahman. She first married Saud bin Saad. After Saud died, she married Fahd bin Saad.

Royal duties

Prince Muhammad and Prince Faisal were given the responsibility for the Ikhwan in mid-1920s. Prince Muhammad participated in fights during the formation years of the Kingdom with his older brothers and cousins. In 1934, King Abdulaziz ordered his forces to attack Yemen's forward defences. Then, Faisal bin Sa'd, the son of the Saudi king's brother Saad, advanced to Baqem and the son of his other brother Mohammed, Khaled bin Muhammed, advanced to Najran and Saada. King's son Prince Faisal assumed command of the forces on the coast of Tihama and Mohammed bin Abdulaziz had advanced from Najd at the head of a reserve force to support his brother Saud.

Prince Muhammad together with then Crown Prince Saud represented King Abdulaziz at the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in London in 1937. Prince Muhammad and Prince Mansour accompanied King Abdulaziz in the latter's meeting with the then US president Franklin D. Roosevelt on 14 February 1945. They together with their uncle Prince Abdullah also attended the meeting between King Abdulaziz and British premier Winston Churchill in Egypt in February 1945. Prince Muhammed also accompanied King Saud during his visit to the US in January 1962.

Prince Muhammad was head of royal family council. The council expressed its allegiance to Crown Prince Fahd after the death of King Khalid on 13 June 1982.

Renunciation of the succession

Muhammad bin Abdulaziz was Crown Prince during the first few months (November 1964 – March 1965) of the reign of his elder half-brother King Faisal. He then voluntarily stepped aside from the succession to allow his younger and only full brother, Prince Khalid, to become heir apparent to the Saudi throne. Due to this event, he was called king maker. He is said to have stepped aside in order to comply with a general family agreement. That agreement had been negotiated during the period of internal crisis which saw the abdication, in late 1964, of the profligate King Saud, in favour of another half-brother, King Faisal. Prince Muhammad's renunciation, therefore, helped to defuse that crisis and facilitated the takeover of power by King Faisal.

Muhammad bin Abdulaziz is reputed to have been a powerful personality. However, his rigidity weakened his ability to gain the support necessary to have political power in the kingdom. The king of Saudi Arabia is elected by an informal collegium consisting of the sons and senior grandsons of the kingdom's founder, Ibn Saud, and while age and seniority of birth are important considerations, it is also necessary to accommodate and engage amicably with various family and social factions in order to gain power.

He was a key prince in the coalition against King Saud. His nickname, Abu Sharayn or "the father of two evils" (bad temper and drinking), reflects the reasons for not being selected as the king by his brothers.

It is also argued that Prince Muhammad, the oldest surviving son of Ibn Saud after Faisal, either declined the role of crown prince or was passed over because of his close association with King Saud during the latter's reign.


Prince Muhammed's granddaughter, Misha'al bint Fahd, was convicted of adultery in Saudi Arabia; she and her lover were sentenced to death on the explicit instructions of her grandfather, a senior member of the royal family, for the alleged dishonour she brought on her clan and defying a royal order calling for her to marry a man selected by the family, and were subject to public execution. Western media criticized the event as a violation of women's rights. A British TV channel presented a dramatized documentary, Death of a Princess, which was based on this incident. The broadcast hurt Saudi–UK relations significantly.


Prince Muhammad led the conservative members of the royal family. They did not support the fast modernization of the society witnessed at the end of the 1970s and thought that modernization and the presence of too many foreign workers in the country would lead to the erosion of traditional Muslim values.

Death & Legacy

Prince Muhammad died and was buried in Riyadh on 25 November 1988, at approximately 78 years of age.

Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport is named after him.


Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Wikipedia