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Muhammad Ahmad
Ruler of Sudan
Muhammad Ahmad.jpg
Artistic representation of Muhammad Ahmad
Reign 1881–1885
Successor Abdallahi ibn Muhammad 'Khalifa'
Born (1844-08-12)12 August 1844
Labab Island, Turkish Sudan
Died 22 June 1885(1885-06-22) (aged 40)
Khartoum, Mahdist Sudan
Burial Omdurman, Sudan
Full name
Muhammad Ahmad Ibn 'Abd Allah

Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah (Arabic: محمد أحمد ابن عبد الله ; 12 August 1844 – 22 June 1885) was a Nubian Sufi religious leader of the Samaniyya order in Sudan who, as a youth, studied Sunni Islam. On 29 June 1881, he announced that he was the Mahdi. He led a successful war against Ottoman-Egyptian military rule in Sudan and achieved a remarkable victory over the British, in the Siege of Khartoum. He created a vast Islamic state extending from the Red Sea to Central Africa, and founded a movement that remained influential in Sudan a century later.

From his announcement of the Mahdiyya in June 1881 until 1898, the Mahdi's growing number of supporters, the Ansars, established many of its theological and political doctrines. After Muhammad Ahmad's unexpected death on 22 June 1885, his chief deputy, Abdallahi ibn Muhammad took over the administration of the nascent Mahdist state.

Following Ahmad's death, Abdallahi ruled as Khalifa. But his autocratic rule, as well as directly applied British military force, destroyed the Mahdi state following the Anglo-Egyptian conquest of Sudan in 1899. Despite that, the Mahdi remains a respected figure in the history of Sudan. In the late 20th century, one of his direct descendants, Sadiq al-Mahdi, twice served as prime minister of Sudan (1966–67 and 1986–89). He pursued democratizing policies.

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