Sadiq al-Mahdi

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Sadiq al-Mahdi
Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi 1964.jpg
Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi in 1964
Prime Minister of Sudan
In office
May 6, 1986 – June 30, 1989
President Ahmed al-Mirghani
Preceded by al-Jazuli Dafalla
Succeeded by Post abolished
In office
July 27, 1966 – May 18, 1967
President Ismail al-Azhari
Preceded by Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub
Succeeded by Muhammad Ahmad Mahgoub
Personal details
Born (1935-12-25) December 25, 1935 (age 80)
Al-Abasya, Omdurman, Sudan
Political party Umma Party

Sadiq al-Mahdi (Arabic: الصادق المهدي‎) (also known as Sadiq Al Siddiq, born December 25, 1935) is a Sudanese political and religious figure who was Prime Minister of Sudan from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1986 to 1989. He is head of the National Umma Party and Imam of the Ansar, a sufi sect that pledges allegiance to Muhammad Ahmad, who claimed to be Islam's messianic saviour, or the Mahdi.

Personal life[edit]

Sadiq al-Mahdi was born on December 25, 1935 in Al-Abasya, Omdurman, Sudan.[1] He is the grandson of Sayyid Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi, founder of the Umma party,[2] and great-grandson of Mohamed Ahmed Al-Mahdi,[3] the Sudanese sufi sheikh of the Samaniyya order and self-proclaimed Mahdi who led the Mahdist War to reclaim Sudan from Anglo-Egyptian rule. He is also the paternal uncle of Sudanese-British actor Alexander Siddig.[4]

Political life[edit]

Sadiq al-Mahdi was Prime Minister of Sudan on two occasions: first briefly in 1966-67, and second from 1986 until his ousting on 30 June 1989.

First term as Prime Minister (1966-1967)[edit]

Second term as Prime Minister (1986-1989)[edit]

In 1986, Sadiq formed a coalition government comprising the Umma Party (which he led); the National Islamic Front (led by his brother-in-law, Hassan al-Turabi); the Democratic Unionist Party (led by al-Sayyid Muhammad Othman al-Mirghani); and four small Southern parties. On June 30, 1989, his government was overthrown in a coup led by Colonel Omar al-Bashir. The post of Prime Minister of Sudan was then abolished.

1989 coup and afterwards[edit]

Mahdi has continued to lead the Umma Party, in opposition to Bashir, since being ousted in the 30 June 1989 coup d'état led by Colonel Omar al'Bashir.[5][6] He spent a period in exile but eventually returned to Sudan in November 2000.[6] He ran unsuccessfully for the 2010 presidential elections, pledging not to hand Bashir to the International Criminal Court to faces charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, arguing that it would destabilise the country.[7]

Publishing career[edit]

He is the author of a variety of scholarly and political books, including The Southern Question (1964); Speeches in Exile (1976); Questions on Mahadism (1979); Legitimate Penalties and Their Position in the Islamic Social System (1987); Democracy in Sudan: Will Return and Triumph (1990); Challenges of the Nineties (1991).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sadig Al-Mahdi". Club De Madrid. 2007-09-12. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  2. ^ Gabriel Warburg (2003). Islam, sectarianism, and politics in Sudan since the Mahdiyya. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 171. ISBN 0-299-18294-0. 
  3. ^ Gamal Nkrumah (15–21 July 2004). "Sadig Al-Mahdi: The comeback king". Al-Ahram. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ Gayle Stever (1998). "Sid’s Biography". 
  5. ^ Lydia Polgreen and Jeffrey Gettleman (July 28, 2008) "Sudan Rallies Behind Leader Reviled Abroad", The New York Times.
  6. ^ a b Political Parties of the World. 6th edition, 2005, Bogdan Szajkowski (ed.), John Harper, ISBN 0955114403, p. 113.
  7. ^ Maram Mazen (February 1, 2010) Sudanese Candidate Al-Mahdi Wouldn’t Hand Over Bashir to ICC. Bloomberg

External links[edit]

  • Helen Chapin Metz, ed.,"Umma Party", Sudan: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991.