The Saudi states do not exist. What other countries could rise in the Arabian Peninsula?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Nathan Bernacki, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    In this timeline, Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is either never born, never becomes a theologian or becomes a theologian, but never meets Ibn Saud as a result of being executed before he does so. Either way, the ideological basis for the Saudi state is removed, erasing Saudi Arabia from existence.

    Now, aside from the Jabal Shammar which was controlled by the Rashidi dynasty, what other countries could've risen in Saudi Arabia's place in the Arabian Peninsula (specifically in the area where Saudi Arabia exists today)?

    A addendum to this question is were there any other notable clerics (Islamic/non-Islamic), revolutionaries or other notable people who could've formed their own ideologies or religious sects that could've replaced Wahhabism?
     
  2. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    There could be Hashemite Kingdom or then Arabia led by another dynasty which perhaps wasn't exist in OTL. One intresting possibility is independent Shia nation in east coast of Arabia or being ruled totally by Kuwait.
     
  3. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    You've piqued my interest. How could this happen?
     
  4. JacobFenrir Well-Known Member

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    The Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, has a large Shia majority today which has been a constant pain in the neck for the House of Saud since the beginning. Just so happens most of the oil extraction and refining infrastructure is located there. It's possible that without a clear strongman in the region post WW1, that the British might have entrusted that territory to the native Shia population, perhaps having it administered from Bahrain....
     
  5. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    The Ottomans remain in much firmer control of the Hejaz, Asir, and Yemen, and will likely be in a position to influence who rules what lands in eastern and central Arabia. Assuming their control is still broken somehow (a more energetic Khedivate?):
    • Some Yemeni state or another, most likely the Zaidi Imamate, will expand into Asir and Najran in southwest not-Saudi Arabia.
    • This book mentions a 1906 plan by the British to assign much of the territory between Riyadh and Ha'il to the Al-Sabah family of Kuwait, but downplays its feasibility. Still, one wonders if circumstances may be different in a no-Saudi world. What we think of as the Gulf States may have an interest in filling the void in central Arabia.
    • Other players may include the al-Thani family of Qatar, who lived in Najd until the 1740s, and the feuding dynasties of the Qasim region.
    The European powers that contest the region with the Ottomans will no doubt have their turn to reshuffle the map, but with many more Arabian actors to deal with and none with the means and motive to dominate the whole thing as the Saudis did, the result may be some manner of loose European-backed federation or supporting three or so statelets against the others.

    But you know what would be really fun? Having a Shi'a reformist cleric ally with an ambitious tribal leader in al-Hasa... and creating Baha'i Arabia.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  6. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    From what little I know about the Baha'i faith, this sounds intriguing. What kind of impact would a state run according to the Baha'i faith have on the Middle East?
     
  7. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    To be honest, I'm not sure either. The trajectory that Baha'i took in OTL is heavily influenced by its rejection in Iran and its need to appeal to foreigners in order to survive. If accepted in Eastern Arabia, it will probably remain closer to its Shi'a roots while remaining just distant enough to he accused of heresy by, say, the Iranians. But having an emphatically oddball-Shi'a and expansionist state in Arabia, and in such proximity to Karbala and Najaf, could be quite interesting. On territory alone, a state that (assuming maximum success) controlled everything from Riyadh in the south to Bahrain to Dhahran, Basra, and maybe Kufa in the north would be an oil superpower and sit squat in the middle of the region's most important routes. As for internal politics, and methods of administration, that all depends on who is actually involved in founding the state, what their beliefs evolve into (proto-Bahai? actual Bahai? Nizari Ismaili?), and how much influence is exerted from below by Eastern Arabia's society.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  8. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how much of a oddball is the Baha'i faith when compared to traditional Shia Islam?
     
  9. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik Kicked

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    ME map.png
     
  10. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik Kicked

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    I'm not an expert on the Bahai, but their beliefs sound somewhat Sufistic to me. On the other hand, as I understand it they have a prophet called Bahaiullah who is said to be inspired by God, which contradicts mainstream Islam because it's pretty categorical that Muhammad is the last of the prophets.

    Some scholars consider that Bahai faith is a separate religion, even though it grew out of Shia Islam, in the same way that Christianity grew out of Judaism but is considered a separate faith.
     
  11. Seandineen Member

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    Just to play wildcard blue sky thinking, what if the nation we know as Saudi Arabia, becomes a bulwark of Zoroastrianism?
     
  12. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    You would need POD before Islam that you would get Zoroastrian Arabia and even then it would be difficult. And with such POD world would be totally unrecognsible. After fall of Sassanids Zoroastrianism wasn't going much anywhere.
     
  13. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    Hejaz: remains Hashemite.
    Asir and Jizan : either independent or part of Yemen.
    Najd: owned by Shammar or Hail
    Gulf Coast: Al Hasa Emirate or Qatar
     
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  14. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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  15. Albert.Nik Transhumanist,Aspiring Metaphysicist Banned

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    Hijaz could see Hashemite kingdom and be a part of Jordan under King Abdullah and Queen Rania Al Abdullah. That includes Mecca,Medina,Jeddah and the upcoming NEOM. Najran and surrounding unpopulated/sparsely populated areas upto the Persian Gulf could be colonized and settled by a Western Power,in most probability,British(E,W,S and I could live there) who could then use it as a strategic Country/Colony of the Anglosphere which could share Oil resources and have an alliance with the usually West Friendly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Hijaz. UAE could be as it is but maybe smaller and Oman wouldn't be much different as these were quite populated. The cities that are on the Persian gulf could either be absorbed into the British country or mostly become a separate country on its own. Solar and industrial settlements could be built in the previously unpopulated land where immigrants from the Colonial home in Europe(mostly UK) could settle.
     
  16. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik Kicked

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    I made it myself, using Microsoft Paint :)
     
  17. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

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    What do the colours represent?
     
  18. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik Kicked

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    Red = Turkey
    Orange = Egypt
    Dark red = Iran
    Green = Abbasid Caliphate
    Pink = Oman
    Yellow = Yemen

    Great thing about this map is that it unifies a number of the smaller states into bigger countries that will be better able to defend themselves. It also gets rid of Saudi and restores the link between the Hijaz and Egypt, which existed in Ottoman times. Egypt has its 'classic' boundaries that existed for much of history, and Turkey does too. The Abbasid Caliphate unifies Mesopotamia for the first time in centuries, ensuring a productive economy built around control of the Tigris and Euphrates which will support development of agriculture and the basis of a good economy, as well as direct access to the Persian gulf for trade.

    Note - I've called the green faction the Abbasid Caliphate, as that's the area's historical identity; if one were to be more realistic about modern countries, it would probably have to be a secular Republic as the territory contains both Shia and Sunni populations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  19. stevej713 Well-Known Member

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    Yemeni control of the interior doesn't sound very likely to last. The highlands and the fertile coastal areas have always been cut off from the desert, which is why Yemen has always struggled (and continues to struggle) with keeping the regions united.

    Honestly, if we're looking at a 19th century PoD where the House of Saud doesn't rise for one reason or another and the world continues down the path to WWI and beyond, I can easily see Hejaz becoming an independent country, and the oil producing regions could possibly get snatched up by Iraq. This would cause quite a conflict as you now have a wealthy and powerful Shi'ite majority country sharing the peninsula with Sunni Hejaz.
     
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  20. herkles Well-Known Member

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    The UAE expands to the rest of the Arabian Peninsula maybe?
     
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