Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i

Muhammad Najib Ar-Ruba'i (Arabic: محمد نجيب الربيعي‎) (also spelled Al-Rubai) (1904–1965) was the first President of Iraq (Chairman of Sovereignty Council) from July 14, 1958 to February 8, 1963.[1]

Muhammad Najib Ar-Ruba'i
1st President of Iraq
In office
July 14, 1958 – February 8, 1963
Prime MinisterAbd al-Karim Qasim
Preceded byFaisal II (as the King of Iraq)
Succeeded byAbdul Salam Arif
Personal details
Born(1904-07-14)14 July 1904
Baghdad, Baghdad Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died1965 (aged 60–61)
Baghdad, Iraq
Political partyIndependent
OccupationPresident of Iraq (1958–63)
Military service
Allegiance Iraq
Branch/serviceFlag of Iraq (1963–1991).svg Army
RankIraqArmyRankInsignia-3.png Lieutenant General
Muhammad Najib in 1942

Together with Abdul Karim Qassim,[2] he was one of the leaders of the coup that toppled King Faisal II in 1958. On October 7, 1959 there was an unsuccessful assassination attempt on him by twenty-two-year-old Saddam Hussein.

While Qassim became prime minister and held most of the power, Rubai was elected head of state with the title of Chairman of the Sovereignty Council. The Sovereignty Council had a representative from each of the communal/ethnic groups. Rubai represented the Sunni community.[citation needed]

In 1963, Qassim was deposed by another coup led by Abd as-Salam Arif. Ar-Rubai had to retire from politics.

Ar-Ruba'i died in 1965.


  1. ^ Cahoon, Ben (2000). "Iraq - Chronology" (web). Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  2. ^ "Iraq PROFILE" (web). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
Preceded by
Faisal II (as King of Iraq)
President of Iraq
July 14, 1958 – February 8, 1963
Succeeded by
Abd as-Salam Arif