The success of the present mahdi in raising the tribes and extending his influence over great tracts of country was a sufficient proof of the governments inability either to reconcile the inhabitants to its rule or to maintain order.
At the same time negotiations took place with Great Britain for an Italian occupation of Massawa, and Mancini, dreaming of a vast Anglo-Italian enterprise against the Mahdi, expatiated in.
After a brief period of prosperity, the Arabi rising, the riots at Alexandria, and the events generally which led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, followed by the losses incurred in the Sudan in the effort to prevent it falling into the hands of the Mahdi, brought Egypt once more to the verge of financial disaster.
Al-Mahdi, 179 (795).
Al-Mahdi, 180181 (796-797)second time.
In the middle of the year 914 Egypt was invaded for the first time by a Fatimite force sent by the caliph al-Mahdi Obaidallah, now established at Kairawan.
At that moment it was in a state of - open rebellion, stirred up by a religious fanatic who proclaimed himself a mahdi of Islam.
The new Egyptian army was so far improved that it gained successes over the forces of the Mahdi; the burden of the national debt was lightened by a successful conversion; the corve was abolished; 1 the land tax was reduced 30% in the poorest provinces, and in spite of this and other measures for lightening the public burdens, the budgetary surplus constantly increased; the quasi-judicial special commissions for brigandage, which were at once barbarous and inefficient, were abolished; the native tribunals were improved, and Mr (afterwards Sir John) Scott, an Indian judge of great experience and sound judgment, was appointed judicial adviser to the khedive.
In August 1881 a small force sent by Raouf Pasha to arrest Mahommed Abmed was destroyed, and the latter, proclaiming himself the mahdi, stood forth as the champion of revolt.
Payara and Birket in Kordofan quickly fell, and a few days before the battle of Tell-el-Kebir was fought, the mahdi, with a large force, was besieging El Obeid.
The year I883 brought a great accession of power to the mahdi, who had captured about 20,000 rifles, 19 guns and large stores of ammunition.
On the 22nd of June, before the British rearguard had left Dongola, the mahdi died.
The mahdi, Mahommed Ahmed, died at Omdurman on the 22nd of June 1885.
As the British troops retired to Upper Egypt, his followers seized the evacuated country, and the khalifa cherished the idea, already formulated by the mahdi, of the conquest of Egypt, but for some years he was too much occupied in quelling risings, massacring Lne Egyptians in the Sudan, and fighting Abyssinia, to move seriously in the matter.
At this time the power and prestige of the khalifa were at their height: the rebellions in Darfur and Kordofan had been stamped out, the anti-mahdi was dead, and even the dervish defeat by the Abyssinians had been converted by the death of King John and the capture of his body into a success.
After the death of the mahdi in 1885, Madibbo revolted against the khalifa, but was defeated by Kararnalla, the dervish amir of the Bahr-el-Ghazal, and was caught and executed.
A palace revolution, headed by Mahommcd, of the Omayyad family, who called himself Al Mahdi Billah (guided by God), and a street riot, upset the power of the liajib at Cordova while he was absent on a raid against Castile.
Mirza Mahdi relateshow this event was brought about by his address to the assembled nobles and officers on the morning of the Nau-ruz, or Persian New-Years Day, the response to that appeal being the offer of the crown.
Mirza Mahdi relates that from the Kabul plain he addressed a new remonstrance to the Delhi court, but that his envoy was arrested and killed, and his escort compelled to return by the governor of Jalalabad.
A certain Mahdi ~Ali Khan had landed at Bushire, entrusted by the governor of Bombay with a letter to the shah, and Relations he was followed shortly by an English envoy from the with Eng- governor-general, Captain Malcolm of the Madras land, India army.
The Persians (who were mostly Shiites) under a Moslem officer named Mokhtar (Mukhtar), whom they regarded as their mahdi, vainly attempted to assert, their independence in Kuf a, but were soon defeated.