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The religio-political movement known as Ansar ("companions") was named after the supporters of the Sudanese Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad ibn `Abdallah (d. 1885), who were disbanded in 1898 following their defeat by the Anglo-Egyptian army. Their surviving commanders were imprisoned, and the children of the Mahdi and of Khalifah `Abdallahi were kept under surveillance. The Mahdi's ratib (prayerbook) and other Mahdist writings were banned. In 1908 `Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, the Mahdi's posthumous son, s ...more

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