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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎16v] (32/434)

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The record is made up of 1 file (214 folios). It was created in 31 Aug 1933-20 Mar 1939. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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3. The King preached from his usual text, the need for unity in Islam, but
ic seems to ha\ e restrained almost entirely the tendency which he has sometimes
shown in the past to give offence by his utterances regarding people who do not
share his "views. I understand that the published version of his speech represents
the original pretty accurately, although the actual language used in certain
passages may have been more emphatic. I have heard only one definite suggestion
of any important omission. According to my Persian colleagues the King gave
as one of tlie reasons why he could not aspire to the Caliphate the fact that so
man} Muslim countries are under alien denomination. He is said to have included
m the number Egypt as being under the thumb of Great Britain. If he really
said this, it cannot have been pleasing to all his Egyptian hearers, though it might
gratify some of them. &
4. I am sending copies of this despatch and enclosure to His Excellency
the Viceroy of India (Foreign and Political Department), to His Majesty’s Am
bassador at Baghdad, and to His Majesty’s High Commissioners for Egypt and
Enclosure in No. 1.
Summary of the Speech delivered by His Majesty King Abdul Aziz-ibn-Saud at the
Banquet given on March 31,1933, at the Royal Palace at Mecca.
(As published in Umm-al-Qura, April 6, 1933.)
people, His Majesty said, enjoy one great blessing from God
in the teachings of the Prophet, which have descended on them like the fertilisiim
ram on the earth, and have been the means by which they have spread their
influence over vast territories. All Moslems were indebted to that great Teacher
for the good that they had ; and if they would but adhere to the commands of
God, as given m the Koran and the sacred writings, they would be successful
and degraded Ut ^ ^ theSe commands tlie y woul <i become separated
• + And * S is ’ Ki ?. g . wen * on ’ is what is happening now ; and he drew a
picture of the sad condition of the Moslem world in general and the Arab people
m particular at the present time. Some people imagine, he said, that the only
remedy for this state is for Moslems to adopt European civilization ; but this
was not true, for the teachings of the Koran guarantee prosperity, unity and
happiness to those who follow them, because they make no differentiation between
King and commoner, save in respect of piety alone.
Nor were foreigners alone to blame for all the calamities which had overtaken
Islam for amongst Moslems themselves they found some who were misonided
and who were willing to aid them to work against Islam.
“I am the Herald of Islam ”, the King concluded. He was an Arab Moslem
who served Islam and who worked for the spread of Islam and for Moslem unity •
and he was prepared to sacrifice himself and his family in the defence of Islam!
He did not aim to be a chief on earth ; of greatest importance to him was to make
God s word supreme, and m pursuit of this he cared for no difficulties Many had
opposed him since he first put forward this aim, but had been vanquished.
t , , ^ l iat dld ^ want hlm ? His actions were clear ; he followed the Way
It had been said that he claimed to be Khalif over all Islam. He made no such
claim. A Khalif must enforce the commands of the Islamic religion over the
whole world of Islam, and this was possible in the time of the Khilafat; but
was there a man who could so do at the present time ? It was clearly impossible
and ail he himself desired was unity and co-operation among Moslems.
Behind him were more than 400,000 warriors ; if he wept they wept • if he
rejoiced they rejoiced ; and if he commanded they obeyed his commands. ’ These
were the Troops of Unity, the brethren of all who obeyed God, ready to fight for
God and expecting nothing from it except to satisfy God ; and this was the force
(t0 ?°j drm Religious Law and Islam throughout the territories over
which he ruled.
MC364FD—25—19 -8-33—G IPS

About this item


The file contains the Foreign Office confidential prints of the Arabia Series for the years 1933 to 1938. It includes correspondence, memoranda, and extracts from newspapers. The correspondence is principally between the British Legation in Jedda and the Foreign Office. Other correspondents include British diplomatic, political, and military offices, foreign diplomats, heads of state, tribal leaders, corporations, and individuals in the Middle East region.

Each annual series is composed of several numbered serials that are often connected to a particular subject. The file covers many subjects related to the affairs of Saudi Arabia.

Included in the file are the following:

  • a memorandum on Arab Unity produced by the Foreign Office dated 12 June 1933 (author unknown), folios 11-13;
  • a memorandum on petroleum in Arabia produced by the Petroleum Department dated 5 August 1933 (author unknown), folios 23-26;
  • a record of interviews with Ibn Sa‘ūd, King of Saudi Arabia, conducted by Reader Bullard and George William Rendel between 20 and 22 March 1937;
  • a memorandum on Yemen by Captain B W Seager, the Frontier Officer, dated 20 July 1937;
  • several records of proceedings of ships on patrol in the Red Sea, including that of HMS Penzance , Hastings , Colombo , Bideford , and Londonderry .

Folios 213-15 are internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 file (214 folios)

The file is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the back cover with 217; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 2-215; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎16v] (32/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 February 2020]

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