Hussein bin Ali, King of Hejaz

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Hussein bin Ali
ٱلْحُسَيْن بِن عَلِي
King of the Arabs
Sharifian Caliph
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Hussein in 1917
King of Hejaz
Reign10 June 1916 – 3 October 1924
PredecessorOffice established
SuccessorAli bin Hussein
Sharif and Emir of Mecca
Reign1 November 1908 – 3 October 1924
PredecessorAbdallah bin Muhammad
SuccessorAli bin Hussein
Caliph (disputed)
Reign3 March 1924 – 19 December 1925/4 June 1931
PredecessorAbdulmejid II
SuccessorOffice abolished
Born1 May 1854
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died (aged 77)
Amman, Transjordan
  • Sharifa Abdiyah bint Abdullah
  • Madiha
  • Sharifa Khadija bint Abdullah
  • Adila Khanum
HouseBanu Qatadah
DynastyHashemite dynasty
FatherAli bin Muhammad
MotherBezm-i Cihan, a Circassian
ReligionSunni Islam[1]
Military career
AllegianceKingdom of Hejaz
Service/branchSharifian Army

Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi (Arabic: ٱلْحُسَيْن بِن عَلِي ٱلْهَاشِمِي, romanizedal-Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī; 1 May 1854 – 4 June 1931) was an Arab leader from the Banu Qatadah branch of the Banu Hashim clan who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after proclaiming the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire,[2] King of the Hejaz, even if he refused this title,[3] from 1916 to 1924. He proclaimed himself Caliph[4][5][6] after the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924 and stayed in power until 1925 when Hejaz was invaded by the Saudis.[7] He is usually considered as the father of modern pan-Arabism.[8][9]

In 1908, in the aftermath of the Young Turk Revolution, Hussein was appointed Sharif of Mecca by the Ottoman 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.[10] In the aftermath of World War I, Hussein refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, in protest of 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 attacked by Ibn Saud.

In March 1924, when the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, Hussein proclaimed himself "Caliph of all Muslims". His sons Faisal and Abdullah were made rulers of Iraq and Transjordan respectively in 1921. In October 1924, facing defeat by Ibn Saud, he abdicated and was succeeded as king by his eldest son Ali. After the Kingdom of Hejaz was invaded by the Al Saud-Wahhabi armies of the Ikhwan, on 23 December 1925 King Hussein bin Ali surrendered to the Saudis, bringing the Kingdom of Hejaz, the Sharifate of Mecca and the Sharifian Caliphate to an end.[a][11] His Caliphate was opposed by the British Empire,[12] the Zionists[13] and the Wahhabis alike.[14] However, he received support from a large part of the Muslim population of that time[15][16][17][18] and from Mehmed VI.[19]

Hussein went into exile to Cyprus, where the British kept him prisoner until his health deteriorated so much that they allowed him to go back to Amman, next to his son Abdallah I of Jordan.[20] He died in Amman in 1931 and was buried as a Caliph in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.[21]

Early life[edit]

Hussein bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Abd al-Mu'in bin Awn was born in the Ottoman capital of Constantinople in 1853 or 1854 as the eldest son of Sharif Ali bin 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.[22]

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 1203, and were the last of four dynasties of sharifs that altogether had ruled Mecca since the 10th century.

In 1827 Sharif Muhammad bin 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.[22] 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 Constantinople 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.[22][23][24]

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.[22]

Carriage of Hussein bin Ali (probably in Hejaz) - 1890

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.[25]

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 Constantinople 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.

As Emir[edit]

Following the removal of his predecessor in October and the sudden death of his successor shortly thereafter, Hussein was appointed grand sharif by official decree of the sultan Abdülhamid on 24 November 1908.[26]


Theologically and juridically, Hussein bin Ali is difficult to classify. His main teacher was Ahmad Zayni Dahlan,

Hussein bin Ali (date unknown)

with whom he became a Hafiz.[27][28] He had a Shafi'i and Hanafi education,[29][30] but also allied with the Malikis and opposed both the Hanbalis and Wahhabis,[14] at a time when adherence to a madhhab was more fluid.[30] Thus, one can find elements of all three schools of fiqh in his thought.[31]

For example, he advocated for the return of the Caliphate to a Quraysh, a Shafi'i idea,[32] whereas he chose to be elected at that position, which was more of an Hanafite idea and was not necessary for Shafi'ism.[33]

Pan-Arabism and Relationship with the Ottomans[edit]

The flag of the Arab Revolt was the flag of Hussein bin Ali. The flag consists of three horizontal stripes (black, white, and green) and a red triangle on the hoist side. Each color has a symbolic meaning : black represents the Abbasid dynasty or the Rashidun caliphs, white represents the Umayyad dynasty, and green represents Islam (or possibly, but it's not certain, the Fatimid dynasty). The red triangle represents the Hashemite dynasty, to which Hussein bin Ali belonged. The flag became a symbol of Arab nationalism and unity and is still used today in various forms in the flags of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Palestine, Somaliland, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and Libya.

Although there is no formal evidence suggesting that Hussein bin Ali was inclined towards Arab nationalism before 1916, the rise of Turkish nationalism towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, culminating in the Young Turks Revolution of 1908, strongly displeased the Hashemites and Bedouins.[34] Additionally, the increasing centralization of the Ottoman Empire, the progressive prohibition of Arabic in teaching, Turkification policies, and the settlement of Turkish colonists in Arab areas worried and frightened Arabs throughout the empire.[35]

In 1908, the Hejaz Railway was completed, allowing the Turks to strengthen their control over the Hejaz and provide a rapid response capability to reinforce their garrisons in Mecca and Medina. It was built under constant threat of Arab raids, such as those from the Harb tribe, which demonstrated their hostility towards the project.[36][37] Furthermore, in April 1915, the Ottoman government began a policy of extermination of the minorities in the Ottoman Empire through various genocides. This frightened the Arabs,[38][39][9][40] who were the largest minority in the Empire, and was openly criticized by Hussein bin Ali.[41][42]

These oppositions with the Turks became so violent that they overshadowed those that existed in Arab society and Bedouin society; and many rival tribes to the Hashemites rallied behind their leadership.[43]

An independentist and anti-colonial Arab movement developed, mainly in Ottoman Syria, where Arab intellectuals and newspapers called for the restoration of the caliphate in the hands of a Quraysh, and especially for the acquisition of Arab independence from the Ottoman Empire.[44][45]

All of these points led to a violent rupture between Arab elites and the Ottoman political class,[46] and are reflected in Hussein's later proclamation of independence, where he presented his struggle as a religious and anti-colonial one.[35][47][48]

Twenty days after the start of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, Hussein bin Ali's son, Faisal, met with the leaders of the revolutionary organization Al-Fatat in Damascus. They assured him of their support in case of revolt and recognized Hussein as the representative of the Arab nation.[5][49][50][51]

When Hussein took up the pan-Arab claims in 1916, after his proclamation of independence, he became the leading figure behind whom the pan-Arabs rallied, and is therefore frequently regarded as the father of pan-Arabism.[8][52][53][54]

During World War I, Hussein initially remained allied with the Ottomans but began secret negotiations with the British on the advice of his son, Abdullah, who had served in the Ottoman parliament up to 1914 and was convinced that it was necessary to separate from the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman administration.[55]

Relationship with the British[edit]

Following deliberations at Ta'if between Hussein and his sons in June 1915, during which Faisal counselled caution, Ali argued against rebellion and Abdullah advocated action[56] and encouraged his father to enter into correspondence with Sir Henry McMahon; over the period 14 July 1915 to 10 March 1916, a total of ten letters, five from each side, were exchanged between Sir Henry McMahon and Sherif Hussein. McMahon was in contact with British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey throughout, and Grey was to authorise and be ultimately responsible for the correspondence.

The British Secretary of State for War, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, appealed to him for assistance in the conflict on the side of the Triple Entente. Starting in 1915, as indicated by an exchange of letters with Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in the Sultanate of Egypt, Hussein seized the opportunity and demanded recognition of an Arab nation that included the Hejaz and other adjacent territories as well as approval for the proclamation of an Arab Caliphate of Islam.[55] High Commissioner McMahon accepted and assured him that his assistance would be rewarded by an Arab empire encompassing the entire span between Egypt and Persia, with the exception of British possessions and interests in Kuwait, Aden, and the Syrian coast. However, at that time, the British scarcely thought about the promises made; their primary concern was winning the war and dismantling the Ottoman Empire.[57][58] The fate of the Arab populations and the division of territory were left for a future date.[57]

Hussein with dignitaries

King of Hejaz[edit]

The US State Department quotes an aide-mémoire dated 24 October 1917 given by the Arab Bureau to the American Diplomatic Agency in Cairo confirming that "...Britain, France and Russia agreed to recognize the Sherif as lawful independent ruler of the Hejaz and to use the title of "King of the Hejaz" when addressing him, and a note to this effect was handed to him on December 10, 1916".[59]

Hussein in Amman, Transjordan, before he left for Aqaba

When Hussein declared himself King of the Hejaz, he also declared himself King of the Arab lands (malik bilad-al-Arab).[58] This only aggravated his conflict with Abdulaziz ibn Saud, which was already present because of their differences in religious beliefs and with whom he had fought before the First World War, siding with fellow anti-Saudis, the Ottomans in 1910.


Hussein initiated a series of reforms, including measures to avoid offending Muslims from French or British colonies who undertook the Hajj. He also addressed the issue of stray dogs, attempted to ensure the security of the Hajj routes, and sought to combat the prevalent slave markets in the Hejaz region.[60]

Arab Revolt[edit]

Drawing by Khalil Gibran, 1916

On 30 October 1916, Emir Abdullah called a meeting of majlis where he read a letter in which "Husayn ibn Ali was recognized as sovereign of the Arab nation. Then all those present arose and proclaimed him Malik al-Arab, King of the Arabs."[61]

Armenian Genocide[edit]

In April 1918, as part of his conquest of the Syrian territories in which the Armenian genocide took place, he issued a decree to protect Armenians from persecution and allow them to settle in peace, in which he ordered :[62][63]

"What is requested of you is to protect and to take good care of everyone from the Jacobite Armenian community living in your territories and frontiers and among your tribes; to help them in all of their affairs and defend them as you would defend yourselves, your properties and children, and provide everything they might need whether they are settled or moving from place to place, because they are the Protected People of the Muslims (Ahl Dimmat al-Muslimin) – about whom the Prophet Muhammad (may God grant him His blessings and peace) said: "Whosoever takes from them even a rope, I will be his adversary on the day of Judgment." This is among the most important things we require of you to do and expect you to accomplish, in view of your noble character and determination."

The funeral of Hussein in Jerusalem, 1931.

The Armenian National Institute considers it to be the oldest declaration by a head of state to recognize the Armenian genocide.[64] Alongside this, he gave citizenship to his Armenian subjects.[65]

Following World War I[edit]

In the aftermath of the war, the Arabs found themselves freed from centuries of Ottoman rule. Hussein's son Faisal was made King of Syria, but this kingdom proved short-lived, as the Middle East came under mandate rule of France and the United Kingdom. The British Government subsequently made Faisal and his brother Abdullah kings of Iraq and Transjordan, respectively.

Deterioration in British relationship[edit]

In January and February 1918, Hussein received the Hogarth Message and Bassett Letter in response to his requests for an explanation of the Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot Agreement respectively.[66] Having received a British subsidy totalling £6.5m between 1916 and April 1919, in May 1919, the subsidy was reduced to £100K monthly (from £200K), dropped to £75K from October, £50K in November, £25K in December until February 1920 after which no more payments were made.

The British weren't disposed to fullfill their promises to Hussein, as Colonel Wilson stated in secret correspondance :[3]

"At one time, our Arabic copies of Sir H. MacMahon's letters to the Grand Sherif could not be found; if they are still unavailable it may be somewhat awkward when King Hussein produces the originals. (...) Failing a satisfactory solution King Hussein will have some grounds for considering that Great Britain has broken her pledged word."[3]

In 1919, King Hussein refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. In August 1920, five days after the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres, Curzon asked Cairo to procure Hussein's signature to both treaties and agreed to make a payment of £30,000 conditional on signature. Hussein declined and in 1921, stated that he could not be expected to "affix his name to a document assigning Palestine to the Zionists and Syria to foreigners."[12]

However, even after an assurance by McMahon, Hussein did not receive the lands promised by their British allies. McMahon claimed that the proposed lands to be taken in by the new Arab State were not purely Arab. In actuality, McMahon refused to hand over the new lands as the areas in question had already been claimed by the new British ally, France.[67][68]


According to some accounts, after the Caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 3 March 1924, Hussein declared himself Caliph at his son Abdullah's winter camp in Shunah, Transjordan.[69] Other accounts, such as a Reuters dispatch, instead set the date as March 7, 1924, and describe Hussein bin Ali being elected as a caliph by Muslims from "Mesopotamia, Transjordan, and Hejaz."[70] Finally, a third version places the date on Friday, March 14, 1924, when Hussein is evidently enthroned as caliph in Baghdad during the Friday prayer.[70]

The claim to the title was recognized by a large part of the Hejazi and Levantine Muslim population.[15] He also received the support of Mehmed VI, on March 18, 1924 one of the last Ottoman Caliphs and the last Ottoman Sultan, according to The Times and Vatan, that reported that:[19]

"According to a deespatch to The Times from Jerusalem, Vehideddin, who is in the Italian city of San Remo, has sent a telegram to King Hussein and announced that he recognizes Hussein as Caliph."[19]

The French viewed this proclamation as "the worst possible solution," in the words of Hubert Lyautey, who also defended that the Ottoman Caliphate was better for French interests than the Sharifian Caliphate.[71] They believed that having a new influential caliph could risk reviving pan-Islamism, causing instability in French Muslim colonies in the event of a conflict, and potentially giving the Red Sea to the British.[71] As a result, the French did not support it at all, preferring to wait and see how events unfolded. Meanwhile, they had the Sultan of Morocco ready to assume the caliph title if necessary, offering the French a caliph who was more aligned with their interests, albeit less significant.[71]

In an effort to legitimize his proclamation and establish legal foundations for his caliphate, he convened a Consultative Council consisting of thirty-one representatives from the Muslim world, elected by the ulama and the inhabitants of the Haramayn.[72] This Council met twelve times before being adjourned indefinitely in the face of the advance of Saudi forces.[72]

His Caliphate only lasted for a few months, though,[73] because he was invaded and defeated quickly by Abdulaziz ibn Saud.[74][75]


Although the British had supported Hussein from the start of the Arab Revolt and the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, they chose not to help him to repel the Saudi conquest of Hejaz and even supported them militarily, giving weapons to Ibn Saud,[74] which eventually took Mecca, Medina, and Jeddah. The British offered several times to assist him and to stop supporting the Saudis, in exchange for his recognition of the Balfour Declaration, which he refused each time.[76] According to the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, the British not only supported Ibn Saud against Hussein bin Ali but they also supported him subsequently against the Ikhwan.[77] After his abdication, another of his sons, Ali, briefly assumed the throne of the Hejaz, but then he too had to flee from the encroachment of the Saudi forces. Another of Hussein's sons, Faisal, was briefly King of Syria and later King of Iraq, while Abdullah was Emir of Transjordan. While he was in exile, he still used the title of caliph[78] until his death.[79]


Hussein bin Ali posing with his retinue and his horses during his exile in Cyprus

King Hussein was then forced to flee to Amman, Transjordan, where his son Abdullah was Emir. During this period, King Hussein is described as having taken over control that his son wielded, and therefore was sent to live in Aqaba (which was recently transferred from Hijazi to Transjordanian sovereignty by the British).[80] Britain – responding to Ibn Saud's plea that the Sharif be expelled from Aqaba[81] – exiled him from Aqaba to British-controlled Cyprus.[82]

He lived in Nicosia from 1925,[83] with his sons coming to visit him at some times, even if his relationships with them were strained, except for Zayd. who came to visit him the most. According to the British governor of Cyprus, Ronald Storrs, when he went to see Hussein, he found his son Zeid reading him the commentary of al-Bukhari on the Quran.[83] He rarely left his home, lived an austere lifestyle, and read the Quran, religious books, he also read Arabic newspapers in the mornings.[83] However, he still went to see horse-races and had brought Arabic horses in his exile that he treated "like his own family".[83] Hussein also did some interviews with the press during his exile.[83] He received some visitors, such as Sheikh Fuad al-Khatib, Muhammad Jamil Bayham, who wanted to write his biography, or the Jordanian poet Mustafa Wahbi Tal, among others.[83] Hussein was ruined, but the local Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot population considered him to be a very wealthy man and therefore tried to win his favors.[83] Meanwhile, he was entangled in legal matters regarding property income in Egypt, among other things.[83]

He tried to be friendly towards the various ethnic communities on the island but was particularly close to the Armenians of the island, seeing them as victims, like himself, of the Young Turks.[83] Hussein didn't have any documented connection with the Turkish Cypriot community, although it is possible that such a connection exists, and there is no mention of him having visited a Turkish mosque in Nicosia.[83] He met with the Armenian Archbishop of Nicosia in 1926 and received a warm welcome,[83] after that, he donated drums and instruments to the Armenian community of the island, including the Armenian Philarmonic Melkonian School.[84][85]

Chief mourners at funeral of Hussein. His sons King Ali and Emir Abdullah among crowd
Funeral of Hussein, Jerusalem, the casket

He began to fall ill as early as 1928, but his favorite wife, Adila Khanum, passed away in 1929, which exacerbated his illness. She was buried at Hala Sultan Tekke, the largest Muslim shrine on the island.[83] His two sons, Ali and Abdallah, attended the funeral and started making preparations and requesting the British for his repatriation, believing that he didn't have much time left to live and that they needed to be by his side.[83]

Return and death[edit]

Funeral of Hussein, Jerusalem

As his health continued to deteriorate and as he was paralyzed by a stroke at age 79 in 1930,[80][86] the British became increasingly inclined to send him back to the Middle East. They feared that his death would not only stir resentment among Arabs towards the United Kingdom but also potentially strain their relationships with the Hashemite rulers, all of whom were allies in the Middle East.[83] The Saudis expressed their displeasure with rumors of Hussein's repatriation, especially after Hussein expressed his wish to be buried in Mecca, an event the Saudis feared would lead to "pro-Hashemite gatherings."[83] Eventually, the British decided to repatriate him to Amman, with Baghdad as another option they had considered.[83] Upon his arrival, he was greeted by a large crowd that cheered him and followed him to the Raghadan Palace.[83]

After a procession where 30,000 people took part,[87] he was buried in Jerusalem: inside the Arghūniyya, a building on the Haram esh-Sharif or "Temple Mount", in a walled enclosure decorated with white marble and carpets.[88][89] His son Faisal, with whom the relationship was the worse at that point, didn't attend his funerals, claiming he had "government business" to attend to.[83]

On the window above his tomb is written the following inscription: "هذا قبر أمير المؤمنين الحسين بن علي" which means "Here is the tomb of the Commander of the Faithful, Hussein bin Ali".[21][87][90]

Marriage and children[edit]

The sons of Sharif Hussein, King of Hejaz: King Ali of Hejaz and King Feisal I of Iraq and King Abdullah I of Transjordan

Hussein, who had four wives, fathered five sons and three daughters with three of his wives:

  • Sharifa Abidiya bint Abdullah (died Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, 1888, buried there), eldest daughter of his paternal uncle, Amir Abdullah Kamil Pasha, Grand Sharif of Mecca;
  • Madiha, a Circassian;
  • Sharifa Khadija bint Abdullah (1866 – Amman, Transjordan, 4 July 1921), second daughter of Amir Abdullah Kamil Pasha, Grand Sharif of Mecca;
  • Adila Khanum (Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, 1879 – Larnaca, Cyprus, 12 July 1929, buried there at the Hala Sultan, Umm Haram, Tekke), daughter of Salah Bey and granddaughter of Mustafa Rashid Pasha, sometime Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire;

With his first wife Abidiya bint Abdullah, he had:

With his second wife Madiha, he had:

With his third wife Adila, he had:



Hussein bin Ali mosque in Aqaba

Several poets wrote about him, including Ahmed Shawqi, nicknamed the Prince of Poets,[91] who wrote a poem about his funerals[92] and Mustafa Wahbi Tal, one of the most prominents Jordanian poets,[93][94][95] who wrote a poem about him.[96]


Several mosques bear his name to the present day, such as the Hussein bin Ali mosque in Aqaba[97] or the Hussein bin Ali mosque in Ma'an.[98] In 2020, a documentary was made about him and his life by Al-Araby,[99] which was seen more than five million times on Youtube as of May 2023.[100]

His role in the support of Armenian refugees, especially during the Armenian genocide, led him to be cited in 2014 and 2020 by Armenian Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Armen Sarkissian as an example of tolerance and friendship between peoples.[101][102][103][104]



(eponymous ancestor)
Abd al-Muttalib
Abu TalibAbdallah
(Islamic prophet)
(fourth caliph)
(fifth caliph)
Hasan Al-Mu'thanna
Musa Al-Djawn
Abd Al-Karim
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Abu Numayy I
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Barakat I
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Barakat II
(Sharif of Mecca)
Abu Numayy II
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
(Sharif of Mecca)
Auon, Ra'i Al-Hadala
Abdul Mu'een
(Sharif of Mecca)
Monarch Hussein
(Sharif of Mecca King of Hejaz)
Monarch Ali
(King of Hejaz)
Monarch Abdullah I
(King of Jordan)
Monarch Faisal I
(King of Syria King of Iraq)
(pretender to Iraq)
'Abd Al-Ilah
(Regent of Iraq)
Monarch Talal
(King of Jordan)
Monarch Ghazi
(King of Iraq)
(pretender to Iraq)
Monarch Hussein
(King of Jordan)
Monarch Faisal II
(King of Iraq)
Monarch Abdullah II
(King of Jordan)
(Crown Prince of Jordan)

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The legitimacy of his Caliphate is disputed; however, the date of end can be assigned to his loss of the Harayman, in 1925 or to his death, in 1931. Both interpretations can be found in sources.


  1. ^ "IRAQ – Resurgence In The Shiite World – Part 8 – Jordan & The Hashemite Factors". APS Diplomat Redrawing the Islamic Map. 2005. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  2. ^ Roshwald, Aviel (2013). "Part II. The Emergence of Nationalism: Politics and Power – Nationalism in the Middle East, 1876–1945". In Breuilly, John (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 220–241. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199209194.013.0011. ISBN 9780191750304.
  3. ^ a b c Representation Of Hedjaz At The Peace Conference: Hussein Bin Ali's Correspondence With Colonel Wilson; Status Of Arabic Countries; King's Rejection Of 'Hedjaz' Title. Paris Peace Conference 1919: Representation Of Hedjaz, Feb. 24, 1919, Manuscript Number FO 608/97-0068 The National Archives (Kew, United Kingdom)
  4. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996). The new Islamic dynasties : a chronological and genealogical manual. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-0684-X. OCLC 35692500.
  5. ^ a b Teitelbaum, Joshua (1998). "Sharif Husayn ibn Ali and the Hashemite Vision of the Post-Ottoman Order: From Chieftaincy to Suzerainty". Middle Eastern Studies. 34 (1): 103–122. doi:10.1080/00263209808701212. ISSN 0026-3206. JSTOR 4283920.
  6. ^ Kramer, Martin (1986). Islam assembled the advent of the Muslim Congresses. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 1-59740-468-3. OCLC 1113069713.
  7. ^ "Hussein et la famille Hachémite". Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  8. ^ a b Globalisation of nationalism : the motive-force behind twenty-first century politics. Liah Greenfeld. Colchester, United Kingdom. 2016. ISBN 978-1-78552-214-7. OCLC 957243120. Politically, Pan-Arabism was first endorsed by Sharif Hussein bin Ali (1908–1917), the Sharif of Mecca, who wanted to gain independence from the Ottoman Empire.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ a b Zeine, Zeine N. (1973). The emergence of Arab nationalism; with a background study of Arab-Turkish relations in the Near East. Caravan Books. ISBN 0-88206-000-7. OCLC 590512. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Source Records of the Great War Sharif Hussein's Proclamation of Independence from Turkey, 27th June 1916". Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin. 13 August 2013. Archived from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  11. ^ Peters, Francis E. (2017) [1994]. Mecca: A Literary History of the Muslim Holy Land. Princeton Legacy Library. Princeton, New Jersey and Woodstock, Oxfordshire: Princeton University Press. p. 397. ISBN 978-1400887361. OCLC 468351969.
  12. ^ a b Mousa, Suleiman (1978). "A Matter of Principle: King Hussein of the Hijaz and the Arabs of Palestine". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 9 (2): 184–185. doi:10.1017/S0020743800000052. S2CID 163677445.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Longrigg, Steven Helmsley; Ochsenwald, William (2021). "Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam (3rd ed.). Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.

External links[edit]

al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Mu‘īn ibn ‘Awn
Born: 1854 Died: 4 June 1931
Regnal titles
New creation
King of the Arab Lands
October 1916 – 3 October 1924
Recognized by the Allies only as King of Hejaz
Succeeded byas King of Hejaz
Preceded by
as Ottoman emir
Sharif and Emir of Mecca
June 1916 – 3 October 1924
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Sharif and Emir of Mecca
November 1908 – June 1916
Succeeded by
as independent emir
Succeeded by
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Caliph of the Muslims
11 March 1924 – 3 October 1924
Reason for succession failure:
Not widely recognized outside Middle-East
Haramayn invaded