Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa

Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa KCIE CSI (1848–9 December 1932) was the ruler of Bahrain from 1869[1] until his death. His title was Hakim of Bahrain. He is one of the longest reigning monarchs of the region, a reign lasting 63 years. He was forced by the British political advisor to abdicate in 1923, although this "abdication" was never recognised by Bahrainis who considered his successor Hamad only as a viceruler until Isa's death in 1932.[2]

Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa
Hakim of Bahrain
Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa (1848 – 1932).png
A photograph of Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa
Reign1869 – 9 December 1932
PredecessorMuhammad ibn Abdulla Al Khalifa
SuccessorHamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Born1848
Riffa Fort, Bahrain
Died9 December 1932 (aged 84)
Muharraq, Bahrain
Burial
Al-Rifa'a Cemetery
HouseHouse of Khalifa
FatherAli bin Khalifa Al Khalifa
MotherTajba bint Ahmad Al Khalifa
ReligionSunni Islam
Isa bin Ali House, residence of the former ruler in Muharraq

BiographyEdit

Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa was born in 1848 in Riffa Fort, Bahrain, the fourth-born son of Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa al Khalifa with Tajba bint Ahmad Al Khalifa,[3] daughter of Shaikh Ahmad bin Salman al-Khalifa.[4]

Muhammad ibn Khalifa Al Khalifa deposed his brother Ali in February 1868 and for the third time made himself sheikh of Bahrain, and continued to establish a British protectorate in the area, an operation that officially ended in 1861. The conflicts between the two brothers continued until Muhammad was killed in 1869 by his rival.

After the death of his uncle Muhammad in 1869, Isa was proclaimed ruler on 1 December 1869. Isa reigned with his brother Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al Khalifa. Isa lost Al-Zabarrah and all remaining possessions in Qatar in 1871, when the al-Thani seized the whole of the peninsular with Turkish help and then ceased paying the tribute in the following year. On 22 December 1880, Isa concluded a protectorate treaty with the United Kingdom to abstain from making any treaties or engagements with any other foreign power or state without British consent. Isa became sole ruler on the death of his brother in October 1888, when his title was altered from Chief to Ruler of Bahrain (Hakim). The protectorate treaty was confirmed and extended on 13 March 1892, in which Isa also reiterating his desire to retain for himself the right to manage Bahrain's internal affairs. Under these treaties, the United Kingdom managed all of Bahrain's foreign policy and in this way Isa was not authorized to conclude treaties independently with other powers. Isa's British-backed regime successfully fought off a coup attempt and subsequent Ottoman-backed Qatari invasion of the Bahrain islands in 1895.

Isa was forced by the British political advisor to abdicate in 1923, although this "abdication" was never recognised by Bahrainis who considered his successor Hamad only as a viceruler until Isa's death in 1932.[2] From 1926, at an old age, Isa was joined by a British consultant, Charles Belgrave, who helped him implement administrative reforms aimed at promoting social progress as laws for the regulation of pearl fishing, traditionally one of the main parts of the local economy.

Shaikh Isa died while praying the dawn prayers in his room in Muharraq on 9 December 1932 after a reign of 63 years, and is buried at Al-Muharaq cemetery. His was the longest reign in Bahrain’s history, as well as one of the most long-lived rulers in the world. He was officially succeeded by his second-born son Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, his eldest son of eight having died in 1893.

FamilyEdit

Isa had four wives:[4]

  • (first) Shaikha Haya bint Muhammad al-Khalifa, daughter of Shaikh Muhammad bin Salman bin Ahmad al-Khalifa, the divorced wife of his younger brother, Shaikh Ahmad bin ‘Ali al-Khalifa al-Haj.
  • (second) Shaikha Maryam bint Hamad al-Benali (fl 1951), daughter of Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Ali al-Benali.
  • (third) Shaikha Munira bint ‘Abdu’l Razak al-Khalifa.
  • (fourth) Shaikha Aisha bint Muhammad al-Khalifa (died at Muharraq, 26 December 1943), daughter of Shaikh Muhammad bin Khalifa al-Khalifa, Ruler of Bahrain, by his seventh wife, Aisha al-Jalhama.

Isa had five sons:[4]

  • Shaikh Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa al-Haj (1873-1893), born at Manama, son of Haya. Died while returning from the Haj, near Riyadh, Arabia.
  • Shaikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (1872–1942), Ruler of Bahrain, son of Haya.
  • Shaikh Rashid bin Isa al-Khalifa (1877-1902), born at Manama in 1877, son of Haya. Died from consumption.
  • Shaikh Muhammad bin Isa al-Khalifa al-Haj (1878-??), born at Manama, son of Maryam.
  • Shaikh ‘Abdu’llah bin Isa al-Khalifa (1883-??), born at Muharraq, son of Aisha.

and four daughters:

  • Shaikha Noora bint Isa al-Khalifa. Married Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalid al-Khalifa (1873-1933), eldest son of Shaikh Khalid bin ‘Ali al-Khalifa.
  • Shaikha …bint Isa al-Khalifa. Married (first) Shaikh ‘Ali bin Ahmad al-Khalifa, son of Shaikh Ahmad bin ‘Ali al-Khalifa, and (second) September 1917, Shaikh Salman bin Khalid al-Khalifa, a cousin.
  • Shaikha Moza bint Isa al-Khalifa, wife of Shaikh Ali bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.
  • Shaikha Munira bint Isa al-Khalifa, daughter of Munira. Married Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmad al-Khalifa (1875-??), son of her paternal uncle, Shaikh Ahmad bin ‘Ali al-Khalifa al-Haj.

TitlesEdit

  • 1848–1869: Sheikh Isa ibn Ali Al-Khalifa
  • 1869–1909: Sheikh Isa ibn Ali Al-Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain
  • 1909–1914: His Excellency Sheikh Isa ibn Ali Al-Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain
  • 1914–1919: His Excellency Sheikh Isa ibn Ali Al-Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain, CSI
  • 1919–1930: His Excellency Sheikh Sir Isa ibn Ali Al-Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain, KCIE, CSI
  • 1930–1932: His Highness Sheikh Sir Isa ibn Ali Al-Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain, KCIE, CSI

HonoursEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ David Lea (2001). A Political Chronology of the Middle East. London: Europa Publications. p. 19. Retrieved 31 August 2013. – via Questia (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Rosemary Said Zahlan, The Making of the Modern Gulf States, Reading 1998 [2nd ed.], p. 98
  3. ^ Family tree, Salman bin Ahmad Al Khalifa de Bahrain
  4. ^ a b c "Royal Ark".

External linksEdit

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Muhammad ibn Abdulla Al Khalifa
Hakim of Bahrain
1869–1923
Succeeded by
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa