Hussa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi

Hassa Al Sudairi
Spouse King Abdulaziz
Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman
Issue Prince Abdullah
King Fahd
Prince Sultan
Princess Luluwah
Prince Abdul Rahman
Prince Nayef
Prince Turki
Prince Salman
Prince Ahmed
Princess Latifa
Princess Al Jawhara
Princess Jawaher
Full name
Hassa bint Ahmed bin Mohammad Al Sudairi
House House of Saud (by marriage)
Father Ahmed bin Muhammad Al Sudairi
Born 1900
Died 1969 (aged 68–69)
Religion Islam

Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi (1900 – 1969) was one of the favorite wives of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.[1][2]


Hassa bint Ahmed was a member of the influential Sudairi family from Najd.[3] The family are part of the noble Dawasir tribe.[4] The mother of King Abdulaziz, Sarah Al Sudairi,[5] was also a member of the Sudairi family.[6]

Hassa's father, Ahmed bin Muhammed Al Sudairi (1869-1936), was a powerful chief of the Sudairi tribe[7] and one of the early supporters of King Abdulaziz during the latter's attempts to conquer Saudi Arabia.[8][9] Following the formation of the state, her father served as governor in Washm, Sudair, Qassim and Aflaj provinces.[10] Her brothers were also appointed by King Abdulaziz as governors. Turki bin Ahmed was the governor of Asir Province; Abdulaziz bin Ahmed was the governor of the former provinces of Quraiyat al Milh and Wadi Sirhan; Khalid bin Ahmed was the governor of Tabuk Province; Muhammad bin Ahmed was the governor of Northern Province; Abdul Rahman bin Ahmad was the governor of Jauf and Musa'id bin Ahmed was the governor of Jizan Province.[10] Khalid bin Ahmed also served as the governor of Najran Province and also, as the minister of agriculture.[11]

Early years and marriage

Hassa bint Ahmed was born in 1900. King Abdulaziz married her twice.[12] She was his 8th wife. Their first marriage was in 1913 when she was thirteen years. In 1920, they remarried.[13] In the period between their first and second marriages, Hassa bint Ahmad married King Abdulaziz’s half brother of the same age, Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman.[13] Hassa had a son from this marriage, Abdullah bin Mohammad.[14]

It is assumed that Ibn Saud remained in love with Hassa bint Ahmed, and therefore, forced his half-brother to divorce her so that he could remarry her.[15] Hassa bint Ahmed and King Abdulaziz remained married until the latter's death in 1953.[13]


Hassa bint Ahmed and King Abdulaziz had eleven children, seven of whom are sons.[1][16] No other spouse of King Abdulaziz produced more sons than Hassa Al Sudairi.[17] Hassa bint Ahmed became the most valued spouse of King Abdulaziz due to being mother of seven sons.[18] Because in Arab culture, the most prominent wife is one who gives birth the largest number of sons. Therefore, Hassa had the advantage of being a "Mother of Boys."[18]

Their sons are known as the Sudairi Seven (Arabic: عائلةالسديري‎).[19] They were also called the "magnificent seven."[18] Hassa and King Abdulaziz's children are as follows:

Two of her daughters married to Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman's sons, younger brother of King Abdulaziz.[20] Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz is Khalid bin Abdullah's spouse and Jawaher bint Abdulaziz is Mohammad bin Abdullah's wife.[20] Luluwah bint Abdulaziz is the mother of Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki.[21]

Personal characteristics

In addition to being the mother of seven sons, Hassa bint Ahmed had personal characteristics that made her the most valued spouse of King Abdulaziz. Firstly, she was very beautiful and had charm and a strong personality.[18] She was also influential,[22] and attempted to instill a sense of group feeling among her sons.[4] She raised all of her children in a political atmosphere and urged them to hang together.[23] In addition, she had effects on some decisions of King Abdulaziz.[24] For instance, she urged him to make Prince Fahd a member of his advisory board, and Prince Fahd became a member of the board.[24]

Bandar bin Sultan describes his grandmother, Hassa, as a combination of Margaret Thatcher and Mother Teresa.[25] He further states that she was a very religious yet strongwilled woman.[25]

Her familial relations

Hassa bint Ahmed is said to have organized daily dinner gatherings at her home for her sons and their families.[26] She supported the idea of unity among her sons through these dinner gatherings.[4] Her daughters are said to have continued her tradition of weekly dinner gatherings.[15] She is reported to have been a demanding person in that she wanted to be visited daily by her sons when they were in Riyadh.[27] She was also known for emphasizing discipline and a driving work ethic in her sons.[28]

Hassa bint Ahmed raised Bandar bin Sultan, her grandson and a son of the late Sultan bin Abdulaziz. When Prince Bandar was eleven, he and his mother went to live with her in the palace after the death of King Abdulaziz.[25]

Further relations with Al Saud family

Hassa bint Ahmed's younger sisters married King Abdulaziz's sons. Muhdi bint Ahmed married Prince Nasser and is Turki bin Nasser's mother.[29] Another sister, Sultana bint Ahmed, was King Faisal's first wife and Abdullah Al Faisal's mother.[8]


Hassa bint Ahmed died in 1969 at the age of 69.[26]


  1. ^ a b Hedwig Backman, Karen (16 June 2012). "Born of Hassa bint Ahmad Al Sudairi". Daily Kos. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Mackey, Sandra (6 August 2005). "Next step critical as Saudi princes jostle for position". SMH. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Al Alawi, Irfan (24 October 2011). "Saudi Arabia – The Shadow of Prince Nayef". Center for Islamic Pluralism. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Herb, Michael (1999). All in the family. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 102.  
  5. ^ "King Abdulaziz' Noble Character". Islam House. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Abir, Mordechai (April 1987). "The Consolidation of the Ruling Class and the New Elites in Saudi Arabia". Middle Eastern Studies 23 (2): 150–171.  
  7. ^ Mahmoud, Aly (14 June 1982). "Saudis switch power smoothly". The Miami News (Nicosia). AP. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Kechichian, Joseph A. (2001). Succession in Saudi Arabia. New York: Palgrave. 
  9. ^ Henderson, Simon (1994). "After King Fahd" (Policy Paper). Washington Institute. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Sultana bint Ahmed bin Muhammad Al Sudairi". Datarabia. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Saudi women traveling solo can now stay in hotels". Newswit. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Allen, Robin (1 August 2005). "Obituary: King Fahd - A forceful but flawed ruler". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c Mark Weston (28 July 2008). Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the Present. John Wiley & Sons. p. 169.  
  14. ^ Al Mulhim, Abdulateef (24 April 2013). "Prince Fahd bin Abdullah: An admiral and a desert lover". Arab News. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Stenslie, Stig (2011). "Power Behind the Veil: Princesses of House of Saud". Journal of Arabian Studies: Arabia, the Gulf, and the Red Sea 1 (1): 69–79.  
  16. ^ Winberg Chai (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193.  
  17. ^ "Saudi Succession Crisis". The National Security Council. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d Taheri, Amir (2012). "Saudi Arabia: Change Begins within the Family". The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy 34 (3): 138–143.  
  19. ^ "Who's who: Senior Saudis". BBC. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Sabri, Sharaf (2001). The House of Saud in commerce: A study of royal entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia.. New Delhi: I.S. Publications.  
  21. ^ "About the Bin Laden family". PBS. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Prince Salman Named Saudi ‘Crown Prince’". Arab Times (Riyadh). 18 June 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "The Political Leadership - King Fahd". APS Review Gas Market Trends. 29 November 1999. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (2 August 2005). "King Fahd, 82, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  25. ^ a b c Walsh, Elsa (24 March 2003). "The prince". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  26. ^ a b "King Fahd". The Telegraph. 2 August 2005. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  27. ^ Reich, Bernard (1990). Political leaders of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A bibliographical dictionary. Greenwood Press. 
  28. ^ Knickmeyer, Ellen (16 June 2012). "Saudi Arabia's Enforcer of Internal Security". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud". Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
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