Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca

Hussein
Sherif-Hussein.jpg
Sharif Hussein in December 1916
King of the Arab Countries
ReignOctober 1916 – 3 October 1924
PredecessorPosition created
SuccessorAli (as King of the Hejaz)
Sharif and Emir of Mecca
ReignNovember 1908 – 3 October 1924
PredecessorAbd al-Ilah Pasha
SuccessorAli
Born1853/1854
Constantinople (now Istanbul), Ottoman Empire
Died (aged 76–77)
Amman, Transjordan
Burial
Spouse
  • Abdiyah Khanum
  • Madiha Khanum
  • Khadija Khanum
  • Adila Khanum
Issue
House
FatherAli Pasha bin Muhammad
MotherSalha bint Gharam al-Shahar
ReligionSunni Islam[1]

Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi (Arabic: الحسين بن علي الهاشمي‎, al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī al-Hāshimī; 1853/1854 – 4 June 1931) was a Hashemite Arab leader who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after proclaiming the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, King of the Hejaz from 1916 to 1924. At the end of his reign he also briefly laid claim to the office of Caliph. He was said to be a 37th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad as he belongs to the Hashemite family.

A member of the Awn clan of the Qatadid emirs of Mecca, he was perceived to have rebellious inclinations and in 1893 was summoned to Constantinople where he was kept on the Council of State. In 1908, in the aftermath of the Young Turk Revolution, he was appointed Emir of Mecca by Sultan Abdul Hamid II. In 1916, with the promise of British support for Arab independence, he proclaimed the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, accusing the Committee of Union and Progress of violating tenets of Islam and limiting the power of the sultan-caliph. Shortly after the outbreak of the revolt, Hussein declared himself 'King of the Arab Countries'. However, his pan-Arab aspirations were not accepted by the Allies, who recognised him only as King of the Hejaz.

After World War I Hussein refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, in protest at the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of British and French mandates in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. He later refused to sign the Anglo-Hashemite Treaty and thus deprived himself of British support when his kingdom was invaded by Ibn Saud. In March 1924, when the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, Hussein proclaimed himself Caliph of all Muslims. In October 1924, facing defeat by Ibn Saud, he abdicated and was succeeded as king by his eldest son Ali. His sons Faisal and Abdullah were made rulers of Iraq and Transjordan respectively in 1921.

Early life

Hussein ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Abd al-Mu'in ibn Awn was born in Istanbul in 1853 or 1854 as the eldest son of Sharif Ali ibn Muhammad, who was the second son of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Mu'in, the former Emir of Mecca. As a sharif he was a descendant of Muhammad through his grandson Hasan ibn Ali and a member of the ancient Hashemite house. His mother Bezm-i Cihan, the wife of Ali, was a Circassian.[2][3]

He belonged to the Dhawu Awn clan of the Abadilah, a branch of the Banu Qatadah tribe. The Banu Qatadah had ruled the Emirate of Mecca since the assumption of their ancestor Qatadah ibn Idris in 1201, and were the last of four dynasties of sharifs that altogether had ruled Mecca since the 10th century.

In 1827 Sharif Muhammad ibn Abd al-Mu'in was appointed to the Emirate, becoming the first Emir from the Dhawu Awn and bringing an end to the centuries-long dominance of the Dhawu Zayd. He reigned until 1851, when he was replaced by Sharif Abd al-Muttalib ibn Ghalib of the Dhawu Zayd. After being deposed he was sent along with his family and sons to reside in the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. It was there that Hussein was born to Muhammad's son Ali in 1270 AH (1853/1854). Muhammad was reappointed to the Emirate in 1856, and Hussein, then aged two or three, accompanied his father and grandfather back to Mecca.[2] However, Muhammad died in 1858 and was succeeded by his eldest son Sharif Abd Allah Pasha. A few years later, in 1278 AH (1861/1862), Ali was recalled to Istanbul while Hussein remained in the Hejaz under the care of his uncle Abd Allah.

Hussein was raised at home unlike other young sharifs, who were customarily sent outside of the city to grow up among the nomadic Bedouin. Reportedly a studious youth, he mastered the principles of the Arabic language and was also educated in Islamic law and doctrine. Among his teachers was Shaykh Muhammad Mahmud at-Turkizi ash-Shinqiti, with whom he studied the seven Mu'allaqat. With Shaykh Ahmad Zayni Dahlan he studied the Qur'an, completing its memorization before he was 20 years old.[2][4][5]

During Abd Allah's reign, Hussein became familiar with the politics and intrigue surrounding the sharifian court. He also participated in numerous expeditions to Nejd and the eastern regions of the Hejaz to meet with the Arab tribes, over whom the Emir exerted a loose form of control. He learned the ways of the Bedouin, including the skills needed to withstand the harsh desert environment. In his travels he gained a deep knowledge of the desert flora and fauna, and developed a liking for humayni verse, a type of vernacular poetry (malhun) of the Bedouin. He also practiced horse-riding and hunting.[2]

In 1287 AH (1871/1872) Hussein traveled to Constantinople to visit his father, who had fallen ill. He returned to Mecca after his father's death later that year.[6]

In 1875, he married Abd Allah's daughter Abdiyah. In 1877 Abd Allah died, and Hussein and his cousin Ali ibn Abd Allah were conferred the rank of pasha.

Abd Allah was succeeded by his brother, Sharif Husayn Pasha. After Husayn was assassinated in 1880, the Sultan reinstated Abd al-Muttalib of the Dhawu Zayd as Emir. Displeased at the removal of the Dhawu Awn line from the Emirate, Hussein traveled to Istanbul with two cousins, Ali and Muhammad, and their uncle Abd al-Ilah. However they were ordered to return to Mecca by the Sultan, whose intelligence services suspected that the sharifs were conspiring with European powers, particularly the British, to return the Sharifate to their clan.

The Emirate returned to the Dhawu Awn in 1882 with the deposition of Abd al-Muttalib and the appointment of Sharif Awn ar-Rafiq Pasha, the next eldest of the remaining sons of Sharif Muhammad.

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: شریف حسین
беларуская: Хусейн бен Алі
فارسی: شریف حسین
Bahasa Indonesia: Syarif Husain
Bahasa Melayu: Syarif Husain
Nederlands: Hoessein bin Ali
norsk nynorsk: Hussein bin Ali
پنجابی: حسین بن علی