Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca
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Sharif Hussein in December 1916
|King of the Arab Countries|
|Reign||October 1916 – 3 October 1924|
|Reign||November 1908 – 3 October 1924|
|Died|| (aged 76–77)|
|Father||Ali Pasha bin Muhammad|
|Mother||Salha bint Gharam al-Shahar|
Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi (
A member of the Awn clan of the
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
He belonged to the Dhawu Awn clan of the Abadilah, a branch of the
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
Hussein was raised at home unlike other young sharifs, who were customarily sent outside of the city to grow up among the nomadic
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.
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.
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.