Meaning of 'ABD ALLAH in English


born 1846, Sudan died Nov. 24, 1899, Kordofan in full 'abd Allah Ibn Muhammad At-ta'i'ishi, also called 'abdullahi political and religious leader who succeeded Muhammad Ahmad (al-Mahdi) as head of a religious movement and state within the Sudan. 'Abd Allah followed his family's vocation for religion. In about 1880 he became a disciple of Muhammad Ahmad, who announced that he had a divine mission, became known as al-Mahdi, and appointed 'Abd Allah a caliph (khalifah). When al-Mahdi died in 1885, 'Abd Allah became leader of the Mahdist movement. His first concern was to establish his authority on a firm basis. Al-Mahdi had clearly designated him as successor, but the Ashraf, a portion of al-Mahdi's supporters, tried to reverse this decision. By promptly securing control of the vital administrative positions in the movement and obtaining the support of the most religiously sincere group of al-Mahdi's followers, 'Abd Allah neutralized this opposition. 'Abd Allah could not claim the same religious inspiration as had al-Mahdi, but, by announcing that he received divine instruction through al-Mahdi, he tried to assume as much of the aura as was possible. 'Abd Allah believed he could best control the disparate elements that supported him by maintaining the expansionist momentum begun by al-Mahdi. He launched attacks against the Ethiopians and began an invasion of Egypt. But 'Abd Allah had greatly overestimated the support his forces would receive from the Egyptian peasantry and underestimated the potency of the Anglo-Egyptian military forces, and in 1889 his troops suffered a crushing defeat in Egypt. A feared Anglo-Egyptian advance up the Nile did not materialize. Instead 'Abd Allah suffered famine and military defeats in the eastern Sudan. The most serious challenge to his authority came from a revolt of the Ashraf in November 1891, but he kept this from reaching extensive proportions and reduced his opponents to political impotence. During the next four years, 'Abd Allah ruled securely and was able to consolidate his authority. The famine and the expense of large-scale military campaigns came to an end. 'Abd Allah modified his administrative policies, making them more acceptable to the people. Taxation became less burdensome. 'Abd Allah created a new military corps, the mulazimiyah, of whose loyalty he felt confident. But in 1896 Anglo-Egyptian forces began their reconquest of the Sudan. Although 'Abd Allah resisted for almost two years, he could not prevail against British machine guns. In September 1898 he was forced to flee his capital, Omdurman, but he remained at large with a considerable army. Many Egyptians and Sudanese resented the Condominium Agreement of January 1899, by which the Sudan became almost a British protectorate, and 'Abd Allah hoped to rally support. But on Nov. 24, 1899, a British force engaged the Mahdist remnants, and 'Abd Allah died in the fighting.

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