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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Role of Sayyid Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi in the Sudanese National Movement 1908-1956
Author:Ibrahim, Hassan A.
Periodical:Northeast African Studies
Geographic terms:Sudan
Great Britain
History and Exploration
About person:Sayyid 'Abd al-Rahman al- Mahdi (1885-1959)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/northeast_african_studies/v003/3.1.ibrahim.pdf
Abstract:Mahdism was the principal weapon that the Sudanese people used against Ottoman domination and European imperialism in the 19th century. In the 20th century, particularly since 1914, its militant ideology, that refused to have anything to do with the infidels, i.e. all non-Mahdists, and insisted on a 'jihad', a holy war, had undergone a significant change. Mahdism now accepted cooperation with the British, who ruled Sudan from 1899 to 1956. This departure from militancy to moderation was masterminded by the new leader of the Mahdists, or rather the neo-Mahdists, Abd al-Rahman, the eldest son of the Mahdi. He felt that the interests of the Sudanese nation and the Mahdist sect required cooperation. This paper, which is based on documents in the National Records Office in Khartoum and the Public Records Office in London, studies Abd al-Rahman's manipulation of the British administration and his communications with Mahdist leaders in northern Nigeria (1908-1926), and his involvement in agricultural enterprises in the Blue and White Niles and the exploitation of his religious prestige and economic power to draw support for his brand of nationalism (1927-1940). The popularity of neo-Mahdism and Abd al-Rahman's leadership was seriously challenged in the 1940s and 1950s. The neo-Mahdists lost their influence to pro-Egyptian radicals, while after 1944 Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi tried to dissociate himself from the British. Notes, ref.