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File:Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi.jpg
Muhammad Ahmad, who inspired the Ansar movement

The Ansar (Arabic: أنصار‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), or followers of the Mahdi, is a Sufi religious movement in the Sudan whose followers are disciples of Muhammad Ahmad (12 August 1844 – 22 June 1885), the self-proclaimed Mahdi.

Northern Sudan has long been inhabited by Arabic-speaking people who farm the Nile valley and follow a nomadic pastoral way of life elsewhere. Sudan came under Egyptian suzerainty when an Ottoman force conquered and occupied the region in 1820–21. Muhammed Ahmad, a Sudanese religious leader based on Aba Island, proclaimed himself Mahdi on 29 June 1881. His followers won a series of victories against the Egyptians culminating in the capture of Kartoum in January 1885.

Muhammed Ahmad died a few months later. His successor the Khalifa 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad maintained the independence of the Mahdist state until 1898, when an Anglo-Egyptian force regained control. The Mahdi's eldest surviving son Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi was the religious and political leader of the Ansar throughout most of the colonial era of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1898-1955) and for a few years after Sudan gained independence in January 1956. His descendants have led the movement since then.


Ansar (Sudan) sections
Intro  Mahdiyah  Beliefs  Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi (1885\u20131959)  Sadiq Al-Mahdi (1964\u2013Present)  See Also  References  

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