Today in North African history: Muhammad Ahmad declares himself the Mahdi (1881)

Long before Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself Caliph in 2014, which I guess didn’t work out the way he’d intended it, a Sudanese Sufi named Muhammad Ahmad (d. 1885) had similar, though really even more spectacular, delusions of grandeur and proclaimed himself the Mahdi. A brief explanation may be in order.

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