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Muhammad al-Fadl  

George Michael La Rue

sultan of the Sudanese kingdom of Darfur from 1801 to 1838, was born about 1787 to his father Sultan ʿAbd al-Rahman, and his mother Umm Buza, described as a slave-concubine from the Beigo ethnic group. Sultan ʿAbd al-Rahman chose his son Muhammad al-Fadl as his successor and arranged with Muhammad Kurra, a powerful eunuch at court, to ensure a smooth succession. When ʿAbd al-Rahman died in 1801, Muhammad al-Fadl was about 14 and still living in the royal household. Muhammad Kurra out-maneuvered the rival candidates by passing the trappings of power, including the sultanic seal, to Muhammad al-Fadl and presented him as the new sultan. Under Kurra’s three-year regency, the awlad al-salatin the rival sons of earlier sultans strongly opposed the new ruler and regent After a major battle Kurra executed sixty of them near al Fashir Soon resentment of his harsh rule led to a new ...



Stephen Cory

was founder of the Zanata Berber Zayyanid dynasty and leader of the Banu ʿAbd al-Wad people, which ruled over portions of modern Algeria from the mid-thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. Although not as well known as their cousins, the Marinids, who ruled Morocco during roughly the same time period, the Banu ʿAbd al-Wad built a sophisticated capital in Tlemcen, whose cultural life, scholarship, and architecture are said to have rivaled that of the Marinid capital in Fez.

Yaghmurasan’s political fortunes arose as Almohad power declined in the central Maghreb. Following their 1212 defeat at Las Navas de Tolosa in southern Spain the Almohads began to lose control over their North African empire As central governance weakened the Almohads were replaced by regional Berber allies the Almohads were Berbers as well who were increasingly able to exercise independent authority the Hafsids in Ifriqiya present day Tunisia the Marinids in ...


Yusuf Mahmud Ibrahim  

Virginia Luling

leader of the Geledi clan in southern Somalia, was the son of Sultan Mahmud Ibrahim of the Gobroon lineage. The Gobroon dynasty, whose role had originally been that of Islamic sheikhs or men of religion, had already begun to take on political leadership, as their assumption of the title “Sultan” indicated, but it was Yusuf who led the Geledi to become the dominating power in southern Somalia in the mid-nineteenth century. His authority rested on a combination of political and military ability with a reputation for religious baraka and knowledge of divination and mystical arts.

At this time the Somali coast was nominally under the rule of the Omani Sultans of Zanzibari but this did not extend inland The Geledi constituted a small city state whose prosperity rested on farming and trade Their settlement the town now called Afgoye Afgooye although then simply Geledi was located at the point where ...