D. Van Der Meullen's impressions of Ibn Saud (1)
D. Van Der Meullen's impressions of Ibn Saud (1)
"What struck me when I met Ibn Saud and his followers in Jeddah was the conspicuous spiritual force behind them. Not lust for power but obedience to divine command seemed to be their driving force. Where did this come from? …. His strong convictions as a believer impressed me more than his qualifications as a worldly ruler, or as a man who loved power. It is rare to find in such a man a rock foundation of faith as the guiding principle in life. It is rare too that he shows it to the outside world and openly confesses it to be the background of all his political activity."

"Even when seated Ibn Saud was much taller than either of us and he looked down upon us. His smile made his face radiate kindness. It was the mobility of his features which were outstanding in Ibn Saud. In repose his face was grim and forbidding but when he smiled it was completely transformed and he became extraordinarily attractive."

"Ibn Saud impressed on us that whatever he was and whatever he did could be reduced to what he believed….. He seemed a quite different person from that of the fantastic tales that had come to us in Jeddah from Nejd. His creed was that of [a devout Muslim] who looked beyond the frontiers of his desert land, who had now come into contact with international Islam and who understood that he could only rule the Holy Land of Islam as the trustee of the world-embracing community of Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]. He thought himself competent to do this and he felt the urge to formulate his task for himself and for others because by doing so his ideas became crystallized.