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Title:Charismatic authority and the creation of a new order: the case of the Mahdiyyat movement in south-western Nigeria
Author:Clarke, Peter B.ISNI
Book title:Charisma and brotherhood in African Islam
Editors:Coulon, C.
Cruise O'Brien, D.B.
Year:1988
Pages:157-182
Language:English
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:Clarendon Press
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subject:Muslim brotherhoods
Abstract:The Mahdiyyat movement was formally launched in Ijebu-Ode, the capital of Ijebuland in southwestern Nigeria, on 20 December 1941 by Muhammad Jumat Imam (1896-1960), who proclaimed himself the Mahdi-Messiah, the expected Mahdi (divinely guided one) of the Muslims and the promised Messiah of the Christians. The millennialism propagated by the Mahdiyyat movement, in a society torn asunder by political strife and experiencing severe economic hardship, functioned largely as an ideology for change, by focusing attention on what were perceived to be unprecedented changes occurring in 'these last days' (the Second World War being an unmistakable sign of the end of time) and by promising a profound moral transformation which would make all things new. This chapter examines the emergence of this movement, paying attention to Muhammad Jumat Imam's life up to 1941 as well as to the social context in which he launched his movement. It also analyses the official and popular responses to the Mahdiyyat movement, which varied enormously. Notes, ref.
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