Ideological and practical considerations regarding slavery in the Mahdist state and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: 1881-1918

One of the major reasons for the success of the Mahdi’s rebellion in 1881-1885 was the suppression of the slave trade in the 1870s. The Mahdist leadership conceived of slavery within a context of Islamic law and tradition. As an accepted feature of society and the economy it was dealt with in accordance to the established law, and it was seen as a legitimate means of converting non-Muslims and of acquiring labor for agricultural production, women for harems, and soldiers for the army. After the reconquest (1896) both inspector-general SLATIN and most other Anglo-Sudanese officials accepted the continuation of slavery as a necessary evil which had to be tolerated on practical grounds, regardless of its religious roots. Map, notes, ref.

Title: Ideological and practical considerations regarding slavery in the Mahdist state and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: 1881-1918
Author: Warburg, G.R.
Book title: The ideology of slavery in Africa
Year: 1981
Pages: 245-269
Language: English
Geographic term: Sudan
Abstract: One of the major reasons for the success of the Mahdi’s rebellion in 1881-1885 was the suppression of the slave trade in the 1870s. The Mahdist leadership conceived of slavery within a context of Islamic law and tradition. As an accepted feature of society and the economy it was dealt with in accordance to the established law, and it was seen as a legitimate means of converting non-Muslims and of acquiring labor for agricultural production, women for harems, and soldiers for the army. After the reconquest (1896) both inspector-general SLATIN and most other Anglo-Sudanese officials accepted the continuation of slavery as a necessary evil which had to be tolerated on practical grounds, regardless of its religious roots. Map, notes, ref.