Sharif of Mecca

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The local, hereditary rulers of Mecca from about 965 to 1916.

Although the sharifs never enjoyed complete independence from distant powers, their remoteness from the imperial capitals of Cairo and Constantinople (now Istanbul) helped them maintain effective rule in Mecca, as did their claimed descent from the prophet Muhammad. The last sharif, Husayn ibn Ali (18521931), tried to establish an independent Arabian kingdom, leading the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the Turks in the Hijaz, but he was overthrown by the Saudis in 1925. Founder of the modern Arab Hashimite dynasty, Husayn died in Amman, the capital of his son Abdullah, then ruler of Transjordan (now Jordan). His third son, Faisal I, founded the royal line of Iraq.

see also abdullah i ibn hussein; arab revolt (1916); faisal i ibn hussein; hashimite house (house of hashim); husayn ibn ali.


De Gaury, Gerald. Rulers of Mecca. London: Harrap, 1951.

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