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Muhammad Ahmed
Birth: Aug. 12, 1844
Death: Jun. 22, 1885

Religious Leader, Sudanese Military Leader. He was a Muslim visionary who declared himself in 1881 "al-Mahdi" or "The Mahdi" who in Sunni Muslim tradition is the successor to the prophet Muhammad, founder of the Islamic faith, was is expected to appear to lead the Islamic community, and to restore justice. Inspired by Muhammad to "cleanse society of corruption and infidels", he raised an army and purged the northern Sudan of foreign influences. He led his committed believers in an uprising against Egyptian overlords and their British administrators. After Egypt came under British occupation in 1882, Britain ruled the Sudan as well, through Cairo. When Ahmed rose to power, two expeditions were mounted, one led by Colonel William Hicks and one by General Charles "Chinese" Gordon. Equipped with a total of 10,000 men, Hicks marched from Khartoum, Sudan, toward El Obeid through Bara, from the north. After experiencing navigational difficulties in the desert and later suffering from lack of food and especially water, Hicks and his troops were harassed, their communications cut, and they were surrounded and attacked by the Ahmed and his forces in November 1883 at Shaykan. When the assault started, Hicks's troops, organized in the British square formation, fell into confusion and commenced firing on each other. All but 250 men were killed, including Hicks and a number of British journalists. After Ahmed continued to capture more territory, an alarmed British government called on Gordon in January 1884 with a plan for Gordon to arrange for the evacuation of Egyptian officers and civilians from the Sudan. After arriving in Khartoum, Gordon decided to engage the Ahmed's forces. He conducted a series of skirmishes against him, however, Ahmed was continuing to extend his control of the surrounding territory, taking the city of Berber on the Nile River, thus further isolating Gordon in Khartoum. Gordon continued to dig in and sent urgent requests to England for reinforcements. In September, Gordon sent the British and French consuls down the Nile on a steamer, in an attempt to run the blockade of the Mahdist forces, and to get news of the situation of besieged Khartoum to the world. The steamer was attacked before it reached Abu Hamed, and all the Europeans were killed. In October, Ahmed moved with his forces to Omdurman, preparing for the assault on nearby Khartoum. After much deliberation, the British government decided to send a relief expedition led by General Garnet Wolseley, but by the time the steamers reached Khartoum on January 28, 1885, they were three days too late to save Gordon. Ahmed established his headquarters in Khartoum, but did not live long thereafter. To his followers today, the he is remembered as a nationalist leader who liberated the people of the Sudan from outside oppression and paved the way for the modernization of the country. He was portrayed by actor Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1966 movie "Khartoum." Following his death, Ahmed's body was entombed in a silver-domed mosque in Omdurman, Sudan. This was completely destroyed by General Horatio H. Kitchener and his British forces in 1898, at which time the Ahmed's body was burned and his ashes thrown into the river. In 1947 his son had the mosque and tomb rebuilt. (bio by: Warrick L. Barrett) 
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Ashes scattered in the Nile River at Omdurman, Sudan
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Warrick L. Barrett
Record added: Sep 22, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9506208
Muhammad Ahmed
Added by: Warrick L. Barrett
Muhammad Ahmed
Added by: Warrick L. Barrett
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