Portal:Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabia Portal – بوابة المملكة العربية السعودية

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Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia. It spans the vast majority of the Arabian Peninsula, with a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi). Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, and the second-largest country in the Arab world. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south; it is separated from Egypt and Israel in the north-west by the Gulf of Aqaba. Saudi Arabia is the only country with a coastline along both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland, steppe and mountains. Its capital and largest city is Riyadh, with Mecca and Medina serving as important cultural and religious centers.

The territory that now constitutes Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations. The prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world. The world's second-largest religion, Islam, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of Arabia and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory (from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to modern-day Pakistan in the East) in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun (632–661), Umayyad (661–750), Abbasid (750–1517) and Fatimid (909–1171) caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia, Africa and Europe.

The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of mainly four distinct historical regions: Hejaz, Najd and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa) and Southern Arabia ('Asir). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by King Abdulaziz (known as Ibn Saud in the West). He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines. The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread largely financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam. The state's official language is Arabic. (Full article...)

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Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Al-Balad (Arabic: البلد‎) is the historical area of Jeddah, the second largest city of Saudi Arabia. Balad can literally be translated as "The Town." Balad is the historic center of the City of Jeddah.

Al-Balad was founded in the 7th century and historically served as the centre of Jeddah. Al-Balad's defensive walls were torn down in the 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Jeddah began to become wealthier due to the oil boom, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad, as it reminded them of less prosperous times. Al-Balad had insufficient parking space for large cars. Its stores did not sell expensive designer clothing. Poor immigrants moved in place of the Saudi population. The municipality of Jeddah began historical preservation efforts in the 1970s. In 1991 the Municipality of Jeddah founded the Jeddah Historical Preservation Society to preserve the historical architecture and culture of Al-Balad. In 2002, US$4 million were earmarked for the preservation society. In 2009, Al-Balad was nominated by Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities to be added to UNESCO's World Heritage list, and it was accepted in 2014. (Full article...)
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Inscription proclaiming Muhammad as the messenger of God
"Muhammad the Messenger of God"
inscribed on the gates of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina

Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Arabic: مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَبْد ٱللَّٰه‎, romanizedMuḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh Classical Arabic pronunciation: [muˈħammad]; c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of the world religion of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to preach and confirm the monotheistic teachings of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is believed to be the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Muhammad was born approximately 570 CE (Year of the Elephant) in Mecca. He was the son of Abdullah ibn Abd al-Muttalib and Amina bint Wahb. His father was the son of Quraysh tribal leader Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, and Abdullah died a few months before Muhammad's birth. His mother Amina died when he was six, leaving Muhammad an orphan. He was raised under the care of his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, and paternal uncle, Abu Talib. In later years, he would periodically seclude himself in a mountain cave named Hira for several nights of prayer. When he was 40, Muhammad reported being visited by Gabriel in the cave and receiving his first revelation from God. In 613, Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "submission" (islām) to God is the right way of life (dīn), and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam. (Full article...)

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Sources

  1. ^ Sawe, Benjamin (2017-04-25), Tallest Mountains In Saudi Arabia, Worldatlas.com, retrieved 2019-01-14

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