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Sheikh Abu Abdullah Sabah I bin Jaber Al Sabah (Sabah I; c. 1652-1762 (or 1758 or 1764) (Arabic: أبو عبد الله صباح الأول‎) was the first Ruler of Kuwait's ruling al-Sabah dynasty. The official Kuwaiti history states that he was unanimously chosen for the position of sheikh.[1]. [2].

Reign of Sabah bin Jaber

In the beginning of the 18th century, an Arabic tribe known as "Bani Utbah" settled in the region that is now Kuwait. Sabah bin Jabir was a member of this tribe after establishing himself and other families under the unbrella of the Bani Utbah (hence al-Sabah dynasty of Kuwait as it became known later). The great grand father of the Al-Sabah family was Sabah bin Jaber, migrated from his homeland, with the great grand father of the Al-Khalifa known as Khalifa bin Mohamed, looking for fertile lands to settle on. They headed towards the southern borders of Iraq (under control of the Ottoman Empire during that time). There they first went to Um Qasr, a small Iraqi city in the north. According to a tradition preserved by the Al-Sabah family, the reason why the ancestors of their section and those of the Al-Khalifa section came to Kuwait was that they had been expelled by the turks from Umm Qasr upon Khor Zubair, an earlier seat from which they had been accustomed to prey as brigands upon the caravans of Basra and as pirates upon the shipping of the Shatt Al Arab [3]. Upon reaching Kuwait, they entered under the umbrella of the Utub, to which the Al Bin Ali tribe belongs, which was inhabiting Kuwait before their arrivals by many years.

The newly settled family quickly sent its leader, Sheikh Sabah bin Jaber, to the Ottoman governor of Iraq in order to declare his allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan, who was also the Caliph of all Muslims. He did this in order to gain a legitimate status. Thus Kuwait became a virtually independent city with Sabah bin Jaber as its first ruler, in spite of it nominally being under Ottoman control. Upon his death in 1764, aged over 100 years,.[4]. Sabah I was succeeded by his youngest son, Abdullah bin Sabah.

See also


  1. ^ Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman, and Central Arabia, Geographical, Volume 1, Historical Part 1, John Gordon Lorimer,1905, p1000
  2. ^ The Royal Ark,[1]
  3. ^ Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman, and Central Arabia, Geographical, Volume 1, Historical Part 1, John Gordon Lorimer,1905, p1000
  4. ^
Sabah I bin Jaber
Born: late 17th century Died: 1762
Regnal titles
New title
Creation of Kuwait
Sheikh of Kuwait
1752 – 1764
Succeeded by
Abdullah I Al-Sabah


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