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Muḥammad Aḥmad b. ʿAbd Allāh

Muḥammad Aḥmad b. ʿAbd Allāh (c.1834–85 (AH 1258–1302)). Al-Mahdī of the Sudan. After early religious experience, he believed himself called to cleanse the world from corruption and wanton behaviour. His first target was the Turkish Empire. He made his first public appearance as Mahdī in 1881, and resisted all attempts of the Sudanese and Egyptians to defeat him. The extension of his campaigns took him to Khartoum, where, in 1885, General Gordon was killed. He himself died not long after, and the incipient Mahdīya movement was ended by Kitchener in 1898 at the battle of Omdurman.

His Islam was austere in practice, and he substituted his own teaching for much of the accumulated tradition and commentary.

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