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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Establishment of Neo-Mahdism in the Western Sudan, 1920-1936
Author:Al-Karsani, Awad Al-Sid
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic terms:Sudan
Great Britain
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:The messianic revolt of Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi, which overthrew Turco-Egyptian rule in Sudan in 1885, was not only a major chapter in Sudanese history, but one of the great uprisings of Muslims in modern times. As a result the British remained suspicious of the possible recrudescence of Mahdism after their re-conquest of Sudan in 1898. The remaining Mahdists were carefully monitored, and the Mahdi's son, Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, lived under supervision. However, in the First World War he was encouraged to emerge from obscurity and rally his father's old supporters as a counter to the call of the Ottoman Sultan for a 'jihad' against the British. He set about organizing a revival of Mahdism, but not one which would attempt a revolt against the British, rather it would be a peaceful movement whose influence would be such that the authorities would have to collaborate with it. Abd al-Rahman's movement has been dubbed neo-Mahdist, for it built on the beliefs of the old Mahdists though now directed toward very different goals. Notes, ref.