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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Khalifa and the routinization of charismatic authority
Author:Searcy, KimISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:Sudan
Islamic history
About person:Abdellahi al-Taishi
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/23046819
Abstract:In 1885 AD, the Mahdiyya defeated the Turco-Egyptian forces that had been occupying the Nilotic Sudan. The authority and legitimacy of the movement revolved around its leader, Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi, whose authority was built upon a charismatic foundation. Upon succeeding the Mahdi, the original charismatic leader, his successor, the Khalifa Abdallahi al-Taishi, used similar symbolic, rhetorical and political strategies to establish his legitimacy. However, in the absence of the original charismatic leader, ceremony came to play an ever increasingly greater role in affirming the Khalifa's authority. As the Mahdi assumed a position analogous to that of the Prophet Muhammad, the Khalifa assumed one analogous to the first of the Orthodox Caliphs, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. This paper treats the ceremonial idiom within the context of the Khalifa's rule, his use of insignias of authority, and the creation of a 'mythic concordance', between not solely the Khalifa and Abu Bakr al-Siddiq but the Mahdi as well. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]