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Coat worn by Mahdists in Sudan, 1880s / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The jibba or jibbah (Arabic: جبة, romanized: jubbā), originally referring to an outer garment, cloak or coat,[1]) is a long coat worn by Muslim men. During the Mahdist State in Sudan at the end of the 19th century, it was the garment worn by the followers of the Mahdī (Anṣār, 'helpers'). Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself al-Mahdī al-Muntaẓar (the Expected Rightly-guided One), successor of the Prophet Muhammad, in 1881. He exhorted his followers to join a jihad against the Ottoman-Egyptian occupation of Sudan.

Watercolour of a Mahdist jibba held at the British Museum

The Mahdī decreed that all his followers should wear the patched jibba, a version of the muraqqa’a worn by Sufi mendicants, which symbolises the wearer's commitment to a religious way of life.[2] The ascetic symbolism of the patched garment was appropriate to the Mahdist aim to restore strict Islamic standards to Sudan, which they felt had been corrupted by the appointment of European and American Christians into positions of power by the Ottoman-Egyptian government.[3]