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.
A Study of Neo-Mahdīsm in the Sudan, 1899-1956
Identity Maintenance or Assimilation?
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.