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Chapter Summary

Khalīfa 'Abdallāhi spoke to an assembly of his officers at the feast of īd al-Aā declaring that his one idea for the present was peace, and that unless he was attacked from outside he would preserve this attitude. This speech, which was given after the Mahdist defeat at ?ūshkī, signaled a turning point in the Mahdiyya. The Mahdiyya can be characterized by three phases: the first phase began with Muḥammad Aḥmad b. The second phase began with the death of the Mahdī and the accession of Khalīfa ?Abdallāhi and consisted of the transformation of the Mahdiyya from a militant struggle into a state organization. The third and last phase involved the Khalīfa's intensified efforts to consolidate his power within the Mahdist state and to confront internal and external challenges to this power.

Keywords: Khalīfa 'Abdallāhi; Mahdiyya; Muḥammad Aḥmad



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