Since the beginning of the 19th century they have been bigoted Wahhabis, though previously regarded by their neighbours as very lax Mahommedans; during Mehemet Ali's occupation of Nejd their constant raids on the Egyptian communications compelled him to send several punitive expeditions into the district, which, however, met with little success.
But Turkey was herself fully occupied by affairs in Europe, and to Mehemet Ali, then pasha of Egypt, was deputed the task of bringing the Wahhabis into subjection.
In the meantime Sheik Mubarak had found useful allies in the Muntafik Arabs from the lower Euphrates, and the Wahhabis of Riad; the latter under the amir Ibn Saud marched against Ibn Rashid, who at the instigation of the Porte had again threatened Kuwet (Koweit), compelled him to retire to his own territory and took possession of the towns of Bureda and Aneza.
The Porte now made another effort to assist its protégé two columns were despatched from Medina and Basra respectively, to relieve Hail, and drive out the Wahhabis.
Arrangements were accordingly made with the Wahhabis, and on the 10th of April Ahmad Feizi Pasha left aina, ostensibly with the object of protecting the pilgrim road, and joined the Medina column by the end of the month.