Shaykh Sīdī Maḥmūd al-Baghdādī and his Arrival in Aïr in the Sixteenth Century
This chapter examines passages of the Qudwa that are concerned with the signs of the Mahdī who will appear at the end of time, the role played by Sīdī Mahmūd in the divine plan. The beliefs about the events that are to take place at the end of time appear to be derived from the following sources: (a) the cosmology of the days which are to precede the Last Judgment and the region of the world where the Mahdī will make his appearance; and (b) the belief that a charismatic religious leader would appear from a Saharan region, or build a castle or religious centre within it, which was a widely held view in North Africa during this period. These expectations were specifically centred on Sīdī Mahmūd.
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