Region of central Saudi Arabia. Comprising a rocky plateau sloping eastward from the mountains of the Hejaz, it is sparsely settled, except for a few fertile oases. In the mid-18th century it became the centre of the Wahhabi, members of a puritanical Islamic movement that by 1803 had expanded into Mecca. Nejd has been under the rule of the Sa'ud dynasty almost continuously since 1824. It was united with the Hejaz and became the independent kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.