Toson and Ibrahim Pasha... Incidents and Lessons

The one who chronicled the events of the battles of Muhammad Ali Pasha and his return to Egypt mentions that he returned victorious over the Wahhabi armies. This was how he dealt with the call and the state.

After incidents of treachery and breach of the covenant, Toson’s forces moved towards Al-Khobraa and Al-Rass, and he made them a military base for his forces in 1814 AD. What worried the pashas was the continuity of loyalty to Imam Abdullah bin Saud. After he left Al-Diriyah with his soldiers and set up a camp in the land of Al-Mithnab in Al-Qassim, violent confrontations took place that lasted for two months, and Toson resorted to asking for peace.

His delegate was Yahya Effendi, on whom the imam stipulated the evacuation of Toson’s armies from Najd, and the freedom to perform the pilgrimage. This was because the rulers of the land of the Two Holy Mosques, led by the pashas, prevented the pilgrimage of those coming from Najd and those who support them. The request for peace was a deception, as their soldiers suffered from weakness and disintegration. After that, Toson returned to Egypt, and news reached Imam Abdullah bin Saud that this peace treaty had hidden treachery. This is because he sent men to Muhammad Ali Pasha, and when they arrived, they found him had changed and treated them harshly.

A campaign led by Ibrahim Pasha was prepared after they took their time in 1816 AD. He reached Hanakia and confronted the imam with his soldiers. The cannons that the Pasha brought (according to the description of the Saudi historian Ibn Bishr) were enormous. They 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. The siege of Al-Rass town was prolonged, and the firing was intense until it was occupied. The imam returned to Unayzah, and then to Diriyah to defend it.

Ibrahim Pasha’s army prevailed from Al-Qassim to Al-Washm, Sudair and Al-Mahmal. He found strong resistance from the people of Durmaa in the northwest of Riyadh, like what he found from the people of Al-Rass. Ibn Bishr mentioned that people counted in one night between Maghrib and Isha more than five thousand projectiles. The entry of the hostile forces constituted a fierce attack and they killed the population in a massacre that reached those who were in their homes and outside.

The goal was to reach Diriyah, and it was previously reached after the elimination of Durmaa and those in it, through Wadi Hanifa.

Despite the rapid events and the bringing of weapons such as heavy artillery (as previously mentioned), Imam Abdullah bin Saud was preparing the equipment and organizing the ranks of his army, and assigned each group of its people to defend a district.

A war began between the two sides in 1817, and the bombs of the Pasha’s army were falling like rain on the population. The enemy’s army struck the fiercest ugly examples recorded in history, as clashes took place in all directions, including Ghubaira, Al-Maghaisi, Al-Hareeq, Al-Samha, Bab Samhan and Bab Al Dhahra.

The battles continued despite the siege imposed on Diriyah. Despite the strength and aggression of the Pasha’s army, the valor of the Saudis weakened the occupation soldiers. This was documented by a number of historians.

Among the events mentioned was the fire that afflicted the ammunition depots of the Pasha’s army, which caused loud explosions, destroying many of their soldiers, horses and belongings, and it was noticed that the Pasha’s soldiers fled. This was an event that stunned Ibrahim Pasha, and he sent a request for supplies and ammunition. Supplies continued from Egypt, Basra, and Al-Zubair. The war was violent and the attacks were reciprocal. The killing of people and the mutilation of their bodies was the military characteristic of the Pashas.