Mahdi, the

Mahdi, the

 

(Muhammad Ahmad ibn Said Abdullah). Born Aug. 12, 1844, on Labab Island; died June 22, 1885, near Khartoum. Leader of the liberation movement of the peoples of the eastern Sudan, which began in 1881. A member of the Dongala tribe; the son of a carpenter.

Muhammad Ahmad received a traditional religious education in Berber and Khartoum. He joined the dervish order of Samaniyah and, as its sheikh, settled on the island of Abba in 1870. After breaking with the order’s leaders, he proclaimed himself “the Mahdi” and in August 1881 headed a liberation struggle against the Turco-Egyptian authorities and the British colonialists. The Mahdi was the founder of the Sudanese Mahdist state.

References in classic literature ?
It was a year since he had seen the Emirs stretched close and still round the reddened sheepskin where lay El Mahdi, the Prophet of God.
Mahdi, the leader of the National Umma Party, is a former prime minister who was ousted from government by current President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 1989.
State security prosecutors "banned the publication and the media's dealing with the criminal case" of Mahdi, the official SUNA news agency said.
The tensions surround Imam Mahdi, the 12th imam in a direct bloodline from the Prophet Muhammad, who the Shi'ite faithful believe will one day emerge from 1,000 years in hiding to save mankind and bring justice to the world.
Before Bin Laden or Hussein there was the Mahdi, the 'Expected One' who raised the Arabs in a revolt against infidels in 19th century Sudan--and THE FIRST JIHAD: THE BATTLE FOR KHARTOUM AND THE DAWN OF MILITANT ISLAM is key to understanding not only the Mahdi, but his ongoing importance to events happening today.