He delved into the depths of the history of Saudi Arabia, researched its events and in his career wrote many books related to the history and heritage of the Saudi state. He also researched a number of manuscripts and documents from the Arab heritage and from the heritage of the princes and scholars of the Najd region and the Saudi state.
Saudi researcher and historian “Rashid bin Muhammad Al-Asaker”, who graduated from the high school in the science department, and sat down with the scholars and received advice from them, led by Hamad Al-Jasser, Ibrahim bin Othman, Abdullah bin Khamis, Dr. Abdullah Al-Shibl, and others interested in the history of Saudi Arabia.
The story of the struggle and journey of Ataa written by “Al-Asaker” to join the history department at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, he continued his education and obtained a master’s degree and the thesis was about Manfouha and his history, when he joined King Saud University and obtained a doctorate from the Department of History and the dissertation dealt with the scientific life in the city of Riyadh.
“Al-Arabiya.net” has a wide view with “Rashid Al-Asaker” to talk to him about his life and his joy he has written over the past decades, to reveal facts and events that were absent from interested parties and close to him.
Why did you choose your major and study for a PhD in this field?
The trend towards high school was towards military aviation, as I encouraged some of my colleagues to go there, and they have indeed turned to it and still do. I also worked on writing a book on warplanes and their types, in addition to my participation in a few foreign competitions, but it was the poor eyesight that prevented me from entering the field of military aviation, but at the same time I have loved reading since my childhood, especially the historical field. Then I was encouraged in this direction at the time by the Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, as well as our Sheikh Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Othman – may God have mercy be – until I became a lover of history, especially the history of Saudi Arabia is my favorite.
Interest in the history of Saudi Arabia
When did your interest in the history of Saudi Arabia and Najd begin?
Before high school I wrote down what I heard or something I read in the personal diary that accompanied me from an early age, and since 1990AD / 1411AH I started reading the first phases of the history of Saudi Arabia, specifically the history of Najd. The book (The Title of Glory in the History of Najd) by the historian Othman bin Bishr Al-Mutuqi in 1290 AH. At the same time I had a book by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khamis, may God have mercy on him, called (The Al-Yamamah Dictionary) and it is located in two volumes, where I summarized it for the sites mentioned around Riyadh and Diriyah and in the Najd region, so I benefited from Historical events and linked them to the sites in which they took place, and this is what later encouraged me to research and question about the history of Najd in those historical eras .
What is the most important decision that Dr. Rashid took in his life?
Perhaps the most important thing is to continue with historical research and to present it to other fields, despite the temptations a person may experience in his life.
Establishment of the Saudi state
Tell us about the establishment of the Saudi state?
The establishment of the first Saudi state and its establishment since 1139 AH / 1727 AD is considered the most important historical event that cast a shadow over the Arabian Peninsula, after the assassination of Rashid caliph Othman bin Affan, may God be content with him. The Arabian Peninsula was not known for achieving security except among this Saudi family, its leaders and with the participation of its loyal sons.
– What goal are you pursuing through your interest in Saudi history?
I think the purpose of any researcher, especially in historical research in general, is to touch on the historical truth, to seek it, to attain it and to reveal it.
– What about women in the Arabian Peninsula? And how important is that?
Women are men’s partners in human existence, but in the Arabian Peninsula they have contributed to effective education, and the importance of this, in my opinion, lies in the fact that they bore double burdens, after the establishment of the first Saudi state, and their burdens were the loss of a spouse, father or breadwinner during the state-building process. With her patience and effort she has to take care of her family and in the first place for them, and so generations of light names have emerged in our civilized journey of the Saudi state in its various stages, and they are still today .
– For the Saudi community at the moment, how do you see the importance of raising awareness of the history of the Arabian Peninsula?
History is a set of events and accumulations of years from which man draws a lesson. The current generation of Saudi society realizes that parents suffered in their life, economic and safety life until they overcame problems in the light of their unification. under one leadership and thus the awareness of children and generations up to this important stage will greatly contribute to the transmission of experiences, events and lessons to generations New determination and determination to build the future and preserve their country and their security by all means.
What are your recommendations for the relevant authorities to work on raising the awareness of the current generation about the history of the Saudi state?
What is important to us is determination. If determination and sincerity are achieved, the goal will be achieved and it will appear interactively in society, whether it takes a long time or a short time, but it is convenient that we represent wise leadership. by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has high hopes of advancing the historical process towards the positive aspects in our present and future era.
If we want to go back and talk about the first Saudi state, can you tell us what the life situation was like?
With the emergence of the unification process that Imam Muhammad bin Saud has been seeking since its founding in 1139 AH / 1727 AD, a new phase of construction has emerged. clothing and construction, until the Saudi capital – Diriyah – became one of the richest and most prominent towns in the Arabian Peninsula, not only from a political point of view, but also from an urban, scientific and social point of view.
– Are there practices that have been applied at the level of rulers in the first Saudi state and society and have continued until now, what are they?
Customs are part of the harmonious society in which they are commonly agreed upon, albeit part of its formation due to its Islamic and religious identity, but in the first Saudi state an important factor emerged, which was the consideration of the interests of society and not the personal interest.Which remains relevant to the royal family to this day.
– Who is the most prominent scientist who has gone through the Najd region and had a huge impact on the local level?
Perhaps the most prominent and famous of them is Sheikh Ahmed bin Atwa Al-Hanbali, who died in 948 AH and turned to seek knowledge from the Levant and returned to Najd and studied in Al-Uyaynah, Diriyah and others . Egypt, and he accepted the scientific leadership of the Hanbalis, and he has books that preceded others, such as his book Al-Tawhid and his book Najat Al-Khalaf in the Faith of the Predecessors.
– What is the truth about the spread of polytheism before the invocation of Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab began?
This matter was greatly exaggerated. Rather, it has become one of the myths when it comes to talking about it. Hussain bin Ghannam and those who came after him contributed to the spread of this and wrote his book in which some incidents were recorded and mentioned (The Kindergarten of ideas and understanding for the investigator of the Imam’s condition and the summary of the conquests of the people of Islam), so that his book was pure praise. Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, being the one who ordered him to write it, even exaggerated it, even portraying that the whole Arabian Peninsula worshiped tombs, trees and stones, and it was a lie and slander, and at the same time, he overlooked the lack of security and the efforts of Imam Muhammad bin Saud to reunite and secure. the land, and ignored the martyrdom of the sons of Imam Muhammad, who is (Faisal and Saud). Imam Muhammad ibn Saud rather described that he was in the pre-Islamic era before Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab came to him, and Ibn Ghannam showed the language of the ignorant in general, but as something of one or two individuals occurred, it should not be generalized to everyone, because the abnormal has no prevailing.
Establishment of the first Saudi state
– What is the real motive for the establishment of the first Saudi state?
The real motive for the establishment of the first Saudi state is primarily a political and security motive, not a religious one, as portrayed by Ibn Ghannam and those who took it from him. Since the advent of Islam, society has had the laws and pillars applied of Islam, so there is no lack of religion, but there is a lack of security.
The origin of the establishment of the state is political and security, and its causes and sparks go back to the fact that in the year 1146 AH / 1733 AD, the Emir of Riyadh Daham bin Dawas was Al Shaalan, who was a proxy emir in it, as he was driven out by his cousins in Manfouha after the murder of his brother, Prince Abdullah, and Daham took refuge in Riyadh and was his sister (Haya). She is married to the family of Al Zara’a, and they are of Bani Hanifa. When Prince Ibn Zara ‘was assassinated, the throne of Riyadh was left, so Daham exploited him because his sister was the prince’s wife, so he took over the emirate, so that the people of Riyadh rose up against him in the Palace of Judgment and besieged him. Prince Muhammad bin Saud sent an army to Riyadh under the command of his brother Mashari, and was able to establish the rule of Daham bin Dawas. Prince Mashari stayed in Riyadh for several months as a result.
Years later, Daham bin Dawas tried to take revenge on his cousins in Al-Manfuha for expelling him from it, and his attempt to control the reins of government there. From his actions, Daham did not accept, but Manfouha attacked Prince Muhammad bin Saud intervened and brought an army to the aid of his allies. The war fire broke out for almost 28 years between Diriyah and Riyadh. My book, which was originally a scientific treatise on Manfouha in the era of the first Saudi state.
All these events and facts did not take place, for example that in Riyadh there is a tomb or an idol that Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab was called to remove, or that there is polytheism being practiced.