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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The religious background of the Mahdi and his movement
Author:Kapteijns, L.E.M.ISNI
Periodical:African Perspectives
Geographic term:Sudan
Abstract:In June 1881 a Sudanese religious leader declared himself to be the Expected Mahdi, a divine leader chosen by God at the End of Time 'to fill the earth with justice and equity, even as it had been filled with oppression and wrong'. He not only claimed divine sanction to create a new theocracy but also presented himself as an eschatological figure, as the Mahdi, who would re-enact in the end-time the life of the original Community of Islam. In this essay the author concentrates on the religious background and motivation of Muhammad Ahmad 'Abdallah, the Mahdi of the Sudan, and on the religious environment in which his movement arose. Sections: Introduction - The social, economic and political background of the Mahdiyya - The general revival of Islam - The Mahdiyya in relation to the Fulani jihads of West Africa - The Mahdiyya in its Sudanese context (The traditional Sudanese religious leader; Sufism; The Mahdi according to the traditions; Muhammad Ahmad's legitimation of his Mahdiship; Muhammad Ahmad's re-enactment of the life of the Prophet; The millenarian aspect; Was the Mahdiyya an alternative tariqa?; How did the Mahdi define his enemies?) - Conclusion. Notes; bibl.