Abdulaziz bin Muhammad bin Saud was born in 1720 and was the eldest son of Muhammad bin Saud, the founder of the Emirate of Diriyah and the first ruler of the House of Saud12. Abdulaziz was educated by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, becoming a Wahhabi scholar. Even before his father’s death, he was announced as the next ruler of the state at the request of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, and from 1750, he served as the chief military commander of the Emirate due to his father’s old age. In 1763, Abdulaziz led a military campaign attacking regions under the rule of the Bani Khalid Emirate, marking the first military attack of the Emirate outside the Nejd region. He also led attacks against tribes who did not join the religious movement of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, and in a later attack against the Ajman tribe, his forces suffered defeat, losing nearly a thousand men3.
Abdulaziz’s reign began in 1765 following his father’s death. His Bay’ah (Pledge of Allegiance) ceremony was supervised by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. Unlike his father, who held the title of Emir, Abdulaziz was given the titles of both Emir and Imam, reflecting his religious education and deeply religious personality. During his reign, Abdulaziz captured Riyadh in 1773, after a prolonged conflict initiated by his father against the ruler of Riyadh, Dahham bin Dawwas, in 1747. The capture of Riyadh increased the Emirate’s revenues significantly, allowing Abdulaziz to gain control over the state’s budget. Abdulaziz’s military expansions continued throughout his reign, capturing regions like Qatif in 1794 and Hasa in 1795, and attacking areas near the Euphrates in southern Iraq as early as 1790. His forces also captured Hejaz, namely Taif and Khurma, in 1802, although these campaigns were marked by significant violence and plunder3.
Abdulaziz’s reign was characterized by military campaigns that expanded the territory of the Emirate of Diriyah and solidified the alliance between the House of Saud and the religious leader Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. This period laid the groundwork for the further expansion and consolidation of power by the House of Saud in the Arabian Peninsula.