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Sayyid ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Mahdī

A Study of Neo-Mahdīsm in the Sudan, 1899-1956

Hassan Ibrahim

This is a pioneering scholarly study of the colourful career of Sayyid ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Mahdī and his brainchild Neo-Mahdism. It explains his calculative strife to deal with the British onslaught on his father’s Mahdiyya, and to gradually attain the essence of its political and religious mission. The discourse contests the long held presumption of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān’s subservience to Britain, and portray’s him as the architect of national independence, and the Sudan’s most towering celebrity in the 20th century. It highlights al-Sayyid’s mastery of manipulation that perplexed, occasionally paralysed, British and Egyptian policy makers, and explores his attempts to establish an inclusive religious and political system. The book is important to scholars of Africa, the Middle East and Islamic revivalism. It may trigger revisits to similar leaders whose images could have likewise been unfairly tarnished.
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Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim

Abstract

Shaykh Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb (1703–1791) and Shāh Walī Allāh (1703–1762) were, indeed, the two key Mujaddis in the entire eighteenth-century Muslim world. Many scholarly and amateurish works were produced in English, Arabic, Urdu and other languages on their substantial achievements, but I am not aware of any independent comparative study of their careers and thought. This paper is, however, just a preliminary attempt to construct such a comparison and contrast through studying some aspects of their colourful lives and intellectual legacies. The discourse contests, in particular, the neologism "Indian Wahhābism", which had been coined by some orientalists to designate the Indian Islamic reformist movement, because, to say the least, it implicitly, but without justification, condemned it as a carbon copy of Wahhābism, and its vanguard, Shāh Walī Allāh, as a replica of his contemporary Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb. The discourse suggests that the Shaykh and the Shāh founded and spearheaded distinct, but largely dissimilar, systems and schools of thought in the pre-modernist era that have had far-reaching impacts on subsequent Islamic reformist movements worldwide.

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The Hadhrami Diaspora in Southeast Asia

Identity Maintenance or Assimilation?

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Edited by Hassan Ibrahim and Abu Shouk

This volume originates from the proceedings of an international conference convened by the Department of History and Civilization, International Islamic University Malaysia, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, in Kuala Lumpur, from 26 to 28 August 2005. Twelve out of thirty-five papers presented at the conference have been reviewed, thoroughly revised and published in this volume. The introduction and the twelve chapters address the question of Hadhrami identity in Southeast Asia from various perspectives and investigate the patterns of Hadhrami interaction with diverse cultures, values and beliefs in the region. Special attention is paid to Hadhrami local and transnational politics, social stratification and integration, religio-social reform and journalism, as well as to economic dynamism and the cosmopolitan character of the Hadhrami societies in Southeast Asia.
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Ahmed Ibrahim Abushouk and Hassan Ahmed Ibrahim