English: The Ikhwan ( Arabic for brothers) was an Islamic religious militia which formed the main military force of the Arabian ruler Ibn Saud and played a key role in establishing him as ruler of most of the Arabian Peninsula, in his new state of Saudi Arabia. The Ikhwan were made up of Bedouin tribes. According to Wilfred Thesiger, this militant religious brotherhood declared that they were dedicated to the purification and the unification of Islam. This movement had aimed at breaking up the tribes and settling the Bedu around the wells and oases. They felt that the nomadic life was incompatible with strict conformity with Islam. Ibn Saud had risen to power on this movement. Later the Ikhwan rebelled when they accused Ibn Saud of religious laxity when he forbade them to raid into neighbouring states. After the conquest of the Hejaz in 1924 brought all of the current Saudi state under Ibn Saud's control, the monarch found himself in conflict with elements of the Ikhwan. He crushed their power at the Battle of Sabilla in 1930, following which the militia was reorganised into the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
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