|King of Saudi Arabia|
|ملك المملكة العربية السعودية|
|Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud|
since 23 January 2015
|Style||Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (formal) |
His Majesty (diplomatic relations)
|Heir apparent||Mohammed bin Salman|
|First monarch||King Abdulaziz|
|Formation||23 September 1932|
|Saudi Arabia portal|
The king of Saudi Arabia is the monarchial head of state and ruler of Saudi Arabia who holds absolute power. He is the head of the Saudi Arabian royal family, the House of Saud. The king is called the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" (خادم الحرمين الشريفين), a title that signifies Saudi Arabia's jurisdiction over the mosques of Masjid al Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina. The title has been used many times through the history of Islam. The first Saudi monarch to use the title was King Faisal, however, King Khalid did not use the title after him. In 1986, King Fahd replaced "His Majesty" with the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and it has been ever since used by both King Abdullah and King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Ibn Saud King Abdul-Aziz (known in the West as Ibn Saud) regained his patrimony, which is known as today's Saudi Arabia in 1902. Restoring his family as emirs of Emirate of Riyadh, he then established Sultanate of Nejd as his headquarters in 1922. Following the establishment of Riyadh as the capital of his state, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud then captured Hejaz in 1925.
Ibn Saud proclaimed his dominions as the Sultanate of Nejd in 1921, shortly before completing the unification of the region. He was proclaimed king/malik of Hejaz in 1926, and raised Nejd to a kingdom as well in 1927. For the next five years, Ibn Saud administered the two parts of his realm, the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd as separate units. On 23 September 1932, he formally united his territories into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Further information: Succession to the Saudi Arabian throne
The kings since Ibn Saud's death have all been his sons, and all likely immediate successors to the reigning King Salman will be from among his progeny. This makes the Saudi monarchy quite distinct from Western monarchies, which usually feature large, clearly defined royal families and orders of succession, and use the absolute primogeniture system of succession. Muhammad bin Nayef was the first grandson of Ibn Saud to be in the line of succession before being deposed from the position of Crown Prince by a royal decree in 2017.
The king of Saudi Arabia is also considered the head of the House of Saud and 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.
See also: Flag of Saudi Arabia
The script on the flag is written in the Thuluth script. It is the shahada or Islamic declaration of faith:
|Name||Lifespan||Reign start||Reign end||Notes||Family||Image|
|Abdul Aziz||15 January 1875 –|
9 November 1953 (aged 78)
|23 September 1932 (aged 57)||9 November 1953|
(death by natural causes)
|Reign established by conquest |
Son of Imam Abdul Rahman and Sara bint Ahmed Al Sudairi
|Saud||12 January 1902 –|
23 February 1969 (aged 67)
|9 November 1953 (aged 51)||2 November 1964|
|Son of King Abdulaziz and Wadha bint Muhammad Al Orair||Saud|
|Faisal||14 April 1906 –|
25 March 1975 (aged 68)
|2 November 1964 (aged 58)||25 March 1975|
|Son of King Abdulaziz and Tarfa bint Abdullah Al Sheikh||Saud|
|Khalid||13 February 1913 –|
13 June 1982 (aged 69)
|25 March 1975 (aged 62)||13 June 1982 (death by natural causes)||Son of King Abdulaziz and Al Jawhara bint Musaed bin Jiluwi Al Saud||Saud|
|Fahd||1921/23 – 1 August 2005 (aged 82–84)||13 June 1982 (aged 59–61)||1 August 2005 (death by natural causes)||Son of King Abdulaziz and Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi||Saud|
|Abdullah||1 August 1924 –|
23 January 2015 (aged 90)
|1 August 2005 (aged 81)||23 January 2015 (death by natural causes)||Son of King Abdulaziz and Fahda bint Asi Al Shuraim||Saud|
|Salman||31 December 1935||23 January 2015 (aged 79)||Incumbent||Son of King Abdulaziz and Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi||Saud|
Criticism of the King, religious leaders, or government is not allowed and can generally mean jail time for the critics. It can also result in death.