The Wahhabi movement in Nejd now began to assume serious proportions.
Burckhardt landed in Jidda in July 1814, when Mehemet Ali had already driven the Wahhabi invaders out of Hejaz, and was preparing for his farther advance against their stronghold in Nejd.
Burckhardt had hoped in 1815 that the advance of the Egyptian expedition would have given him the opportunity to see something of Nejd, but he had already left Arabia before the overthrow of the Wahhabi power by Ibrahim Pasha had opened Nejd to travellers from Hejaz, and though several European officers accompanied the expedition, none of them left any record of his experience.
The old reservoirs on this route attributed to Zubeda, wife of Harun al Rashid, were destroyed during the Wahhabi raids early in the 19th century, and have not been repaired.
- Modern Arabian history begins with that of the Wahhabi movement in the middle of the 18th century.
In 1798 a Turkish force was sent from Bagdad into El Hasa, but was compelled to retreat without accomplishing anything, and its discomfiture added much to the renown of the Wahhabi power.
On the 14th of October 1802 the amir Abdul Aziz, at the age of eighty-two years, was murdered by a Shia fanatic when at prayers in the mosque of Deraiya, and Salad, who had for many years led the Wahhabi armies, became the reigning amir.
The Wahhabi empire had now attained its zenith, a settled government was established able to enforce law and order in the desert and in the towns, and a spirit of Arabian nationality had grown up which bade fair to extend the Wahhabi dominion over all the Arab race.
It already, however, bore within it the germ of decay; the accumulation of treasure in the capital had led to a corruption of the simple manners of the earlier times; the exhaustion of the tribes through the heavy blood tax had roused discontent among them; the plundering of the holy places, the attacks on the pilgrim caravans under the escort of Turkish soldiers, and finally, in 1810, the desecration of the tomb of Mahomet and the removal of its costly treasures, raised a cry of dismay throughout the Mahommedan world, and made it clear even to the Turkish sultan that unless the Wahhabi power were crushed his claims to the caliphate were at an end.
In May 1814 Saud died, and his son,Abdallah, attempted to negotiate, but Mehemet Ali refused all overtures, and in January 1815 advanced into Nejd, defeated the Wahhabi army and occupied Ras, then the chief town in Kasim.
The Wahhabi leader was soon after sent to Constantinople, where, in spite of Mehemet Ali's intercession, he and the companions who had followed him in his captivity were condemned to death, and after being paraded through the city with ignominy for three days were finally beheaded.
In 1824 Turki, son of the unfortunate Abdallah, headed a rising which resulted in the re-establishment of the Wahhabi state with Riad as its new capital; and during the next ten years he consolidated his power, paying tribute to and under the nominal suzerainty of Egypt till his murder in 1834.
For a time it looked as if the supremacy of the Wahhabi empire was to be renewed; El Hasa, Harik, Kasim and Asir returned to their allegiance, but over Oman and Yemen Fesal never re-established his dominion, and the Bahrein sheiks with British support kept their independence.
G g g During the earlier years of his reign he was constantly at war with the Wahhabi empire, to which Oman became for a time tributary.
In 1870 Katr was under Wahhabi rule, but in the year 1871 Turkish assistance was requested to aid the settlement of a family quarrel between certain Wahhabi chiefs, and the Turks thus obtained a footing in Katr, which they have retained ever since.
In the reign of Abbas, who succeeded Mehemet Ali, the Egyptian troops were driven from Nejd, and the Wahhabi state recovered its independence.
He deposed and exiled the sharif of Mecca, and after the death of the Wahhabi leader Saud II.
The war was long and arduous, but in 1818 Ibrahim captured the WahhAbi;apital of Deriya.
The Wahhabi War, indeed, dragged on till 1818, when Ibrahim (q.v.), the pasha's son, who in 1816 had driven the remnant of the Mamelukes into Nubia, brought it to an end.
Further, there are elements of Islam, like the usages of the hajj (or pilgrimage to the sacred places at Mecca), the dryness of its official doctrine and the limitations of its real character as indicated in the Wahhabi revival, which so impair its apparent universalism that Kuenen found himself obliged to withdraw it from the highest rank of religions.