This is how historians described the foreign campaigns against the first Saudi state
The events were accelerating from the side of the forces of Muhammad Ali Pasha, who was tasked by the Ottoman Empire with eliminating the first Saudi state. The events were under his command and the leadership of his sons alternately according to the changing conditions and their keenness to control Hijaz, and then they headed towards the capital – Diriyah – to eliminate the state.
Toson’s march towards Qassim had a great impact on the Saudi exodus led by Imam Abdullah bin Saud from Diriyah, in 1230 AH / 1815 AD, to meet the enemy. The Saudi forces held out for nearly two months, until Toson was forced to ask for peace. He sent Yahya Effendi to Imam Abdullah, and this was on conditions announced by the Imam and agreed upon by Toson, including: The war must stop, Toson and his soldiers should leave Najd, the trade should return to its freedom, the pilgrimage must be performed again for the pilgrims who were prevented by the forces of Muhammad Ali Pasha. However, the historians mentioned that this was on the part of Toson to gain time only after their severe suffering from disintegration and weakness, and the Imam’s desire was to spare blood, despite the strong military morale of the army.
Al-Jabarti mentioned that Muhammad Ali Pasha did not receive those who arrived with the conditions of peace, one of them: from the people of Diriyah, and the second: its judge. Al-Jabarti praised the two sheikhs and said: “I met with them twice, and I was comforted with them, and they had a fluent tongue, knowledge, intuition, and knowledge of news and anecdotes. They have a great deal of humility, politeness, good manners in speech, jurisprudence in religion, and invoking the branches of jurisprudence, and the differences of schools in them. One of them is called Abdullah, and the other is Abdulaziz, who is the greatest in sense and meaning”.
Campaigns against Diriyah were prepared, including those led by Ibrahim Pasha, stepson of Muhammad Ali Pasha, in the following year. The peace and treaty had no effect because the Ottoman Sublime Porte had issued the orders. Al-Rihani mentions in “The Modern History of Najd” that this campaign was supported by foreign forces, and mechanisms, including huge cannons.
Imam Abdullah went out and did not hesitate to fight the aggressor forces, and he continued the clash until the Saudi forces reached the Al-Pasha camp. The use of cannons was as described by Ibn Bishr when he said: “Huge cannons would erupt twice inside them – that is, when the shell was fired – or its bullet would erupt in the middle of the wall after it was fixed in it”. Those projectiles made holes in the wall of Al-Rass town. However, the siege was prolonged because of the bravery of Imam’s soldiers and the people. The guns were attacking all day. This was their approach in taking control of the towns by killing defenseless residents in markets and roads and attacking homes. Historians described what happened as human massacres.
The imam returned to Diriyah after several battles and arranged his ranks in an orderly manner for defense, and the siege lasted for nearly six months. One of the most important events was the burning of enemy ammunition stores. Ibn Bishr states that the explosions were severe and decimated men, horses and luggage. The Pasha’s soldiers fled to the heights, and despite the force they hid behind, they were terrified.
The events ended with the Pasha’s request for reconciliation, and the scene of treachery was repeated. The cannons were bombing without hesitation. Imam Abdullah surrendered himself to the Turkish forces in order to spare the bloodshed, but they did not let the history write about human dealings, as after they traveled with him to Egypt, a group of Tatars, as described by some historians, took him to Istanbul. News reached in incidents of 1234 AH / 1818 AD that they had circumambulated the Imam around the town and killed him at Humayun’s Gate with his men who were with him in 1233 AH / 1817 AD. Ibrahim Pasha carried out historical atrocities in Najd, corruption spread because of his soldiers, and brutality was the title of their behavior. Muhammad Ali Pasha’s orders were not to leave Diriyah until after it was completely destroyed. The effects of those events are still visible, telling a part of the history of an era of treachery by tyrannical perpetrators.