The Saudi Arabian state was first established in the central region of the Arabian Peninsula in the early 18th Century. Modern Saudi was founded by King Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud in 1932.
The lifestyle of the early Arabs was deeply influenced by the desert, which fostered a strong sense of independence and adaptability to a challenging enviroment. Some Arabs turned to agriculture forming settlements around a well or in an oasis, while others became nomads, traveling with their flocks across the desert in search of water and grazing land.
In the early 18th Century, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahab, the son of a religious judge, called on Muslims to return to the original form of Islam. Initially persecuted, he later found protection in the town of Diriyah, which was ruled by Muhammad Bin Saud, a member of the Al-Saud family. The partner ship eventually led to the foundation of Saudi Arabia.
By the early 1800's, the Al-Saud family ruled much of the Arabian Peninsula. This alarmed the Ottoman Empire, which sent armies to contain the influences of the Al-Saud family. The Ottoman's captured Diriyah, ending the first phase of the Al-Saud reign in 1818.
By 1824, the Al-Saud family regained political control of central Arabia and once again ruled the region from their new capital of Riyadh. A period of unrest and tribal warfare began in 1865 and resulted in the Al-Rashid family, with Ottoman support, extending its power over the Saudi state. The Al-Saud's, under the leadership of Abdul Rahman, were forced into exile in 1891. They lived on the empty borders until settling in Kuwait.
Twenty-one year old Abdul Aziz Bin Adbul Rahman Al-Saud left Kuwait in 1901, determined to recapture all of the territory once held by his forefathers. In 1902, in a darring battle, he recaptured Riyadh. This event marks the beginning of the formation of the modern state of Saudi Arabia. After establishing Riyadh as his headquarters, Abdul Aziz proceeded over the following decades to unite the different regions into one nation.
On September 23, 1932, the country was named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as an Islamic state, with Arabic designated as the official language, and the Holy Qur'an as its constitution.