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Title: An historical study of Isma'il b. 'Abd al-Qadir, "Kitab Sa'adat al-Mustahdi bi-Sirat al-Imam al-Mahdi"
Author: Shaked, Haim
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1969
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Isma'il b. 'Abd al-Qadir (d. I897), a member of a'holy family' of Kordofan, had studied at al-Azhar and later served as mufti in El Obeid, In late 1882 he joined the Mahdi. His subsequent career cannot be fully reconstructed. On 2 Rabi I 1306/6 November 1888, he completed his Sira of the Mahdi, On 6 Shawwal 1306/5 June 1889, he completed another work, dealing with the wars between the Khalifa and the Abyssinians. In 1893, at the Khalifa's order, Isma'il's writings were destroyed and he was banished to al-Rajjaf, where he died in the beginning of 1897. The unique extant manuscript copy of Isma'il's Sira, which forms the basis of the thesis, is a biography of the Mahdi by one of his adherents, which also contains elements of a chronicle. Its history, sources and contents are discussed in the introduction to the thesis. The main historical value of the Sira lies in its presentation of the Turco-Egyptian, the Mahdi and the Khalifa, In addition, it contains many details on ideological, military and other affairs of the Mahdia, and provides an insight into the outlook and frame of mind of an educated Mahdist. The second, and longer part of the thesis is a very full summary, at times approaching a translation, of the text of the Sira. All historically relevant details, including all names of persons, tribes and places, have been retained and, in many cases, annotated. Also, the pagination of the original Arabic manuscript has been indicated. The appendixes include source materials for Isma'il's life (one of them still in manuscript) and a list of proclamations and letters transcribed in the Sira.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral