Taking back his homeland and the beginning of the 3rd era
Leaving most of his men on the outskirts, on January 2nd 1902, Abdul-Aziz and a small group slipped into the city under cover of darkness. Surprising the Rashidi governor Ajlan on his morning stroll outside the main gate of the Musmak fortress, the commando group attacked him and his guards with rifles and spears. One of Abdul-Aziz’s men Ibn Jalawi threw his spear and its tip broke off in the gate itself and can still be seen today. Ajlan and his men scrambled back to the fort but, despite being seriously outnumbered, the Saudi force broke through, Ajlan was killed and the garrison surrendered. He who held the Musmak Fort, held Riyadh, so Abdul-Aziz was now in charge. This day, 15th Shawal 1319 in the Hejira calendar, is considered the first day of the 3rd Saudi era and the birth of what was to become Saudi Arabia.