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The House of Saud is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. The family has thousands of members. It is composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud and his brothers, though the ruling faction of the family is primarily led by the descendants of Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud. The family advocates Salafi Islam and unification of Arabia. The most influential member of the family is the King of Saudi Arabia. The line of succession to the Saudi Arabian throne is not father–son but brother–brother among the children of King Abdulaziz. The family is estimated to be composed of 15,000 members, but the majority of the power and wealth is possessed by a group of only about 2,000. The House of Saud has gone through three phases: the First Saudi State, the Second Saudi State, and the modern nation of Saudi Arabia. The First Saudi State marked the expansion of Wahhabi Islam. The Second Saudi State was marked with continuous infighting. Modern Saudi Arabia wields considerable influence in the Middle East. The family has had conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, the Sharif of Mecca, the Al Rashid family of Ha'il, and numerous Islamist groups both inside and outside Saudi Arabia. (via Freebase)