The Senussi or Sanussi refers to a Muslim political-religious order in Libya and Sudan founded in Mecca in 1837 by the Grand Senussi, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi(1791–1859). Libya ( ليبيا ar-Latn Lībiyā; Libyan vernacular: Lībya; Amazigh:) officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Sudan (officially the Republic of Sudan) ( السودان al-Sūdān is a country in northeastern Africa. Mecca ˈmɛkə also spelled Makkah ˈmækə (in full Makkah Al-Mukarramah (Arabic mækːæ(t ælmʊkarˑamæ مكّة المكرمة, literally Honored For the Lost character please see Sayid Jarrah Sayyid ( ar سيد) (plural Saadah is an Honorific title Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi (1787 - 1859 was the founder of the Senussi order Senussi was concerned with both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political integrity. He was influenced by the Wahhabi Movement, to which he added teachings from various Sufi orders. Wahhabism ( Arabic: Al-Wahhābīyya الوهابية or Wahabism is a conservative reformist call of Sunni Islam attributed to Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف From 1902 to 1913 the Senussi fought French expansion in the Sahara, and the Italian colonisation of Libya beginning in 1911. The Grand Senussi's grandson became King Idris I of Libya in 1951. Idris I, GBE (إدريس الأول born Sayyid Muhammad Idris bin Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Senussi, ( March 12, 1889 - May 25, In 1969, King Idris I was overthrown by a military coup led by Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi 1 (معمر القذافي) (born 7 June 1942) also known as Colonel Gaddafi A third of the population in Libya continue to be affiliated with the Senussi movement.
The Sanusi order has been historically closed to Europeans and outsiders, leading reports of their beliefs and practices to vary immensely. Though it is possible to gain some insight from the lives of the Senussi sheikhs further details are difficult to attain.
Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi (1787 - 1860), the founder of the order, was born near Mostaganem, Algeria, and was named al-Senussi after a venerated Muslim teacher. For the Lost character please see Sayid Jarrah Sayyid ( ar سيد) (plural Saadah is an Honorific title Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi (1787 - 1859 was the founder of the Senussi order He was a member of the Walad Sidi Abdalla tribe, and was a sharif tracing his descent from Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed. Sharīf ( Arabic: شريف is a traditional Arab tribal Title given to those who serve as the protector of the tribe and all tribal He studied at a madrassa in Fez, then traveled in the Sahara preaching a purifying reform of the faith in Tunisia and Tripoli, gaining many adherents, and thence moved to Cairo to study at Al-Azhar University. "Madrasa" and "Medrese" redirect here For the village in Azerbaijan see Mədrəsə. Al-Azhar University (pronounced "az-HAR" الأزهر الشريف, "the Noble Azhar" in Egypt, founded in 975 is the chief centre of The pious scholar was forceful in his criticism of the Egyptian ulema for what he perceived as their timid compliance with the Ottoman authorities and their spiritual conservatism. Ulema ( ar علماء,, singular ar عالِم,, "scholar" refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several He also argued that learned Muslims should not blindly follow the four classical schools of Islamic law but instead engage in ijtihad themselves. Ijtihad (Arabic اجتهاد is a technical term of Islamic law that describes the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the legal sources Not surprisingly, he was opposed by the ulema of as unorthodox and they issued a fatwa against him. A fatwā (فتوى plural fatāwā فتاوى in the Islamic faith is a religious opinion on Islamic law issued by an Senussi went to Mecca, where he joined Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Fasi, the head of the Khadirites, a religious fraternity of Moroccan origin. Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Laraishi al-Yamlahi al-Alami al-Idrisi al-Hasani (1760-1837 was a Neo-Sufi reformer active in Morocco, North Africa, and Yemen, who On the death of Al-Fasi, Senussi became head of one of the two branches into which the Khadirites divided, and in 1835 he founded his first monastery or zawia, at Abu Kobeis near Mecca. Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Laraishi al-Yamlahi al-Alami al-Idrisi al-Hasani (1760-1837 was a Neo-Sufi reformer active in Morocco, North Africa, and Yemen, who While in Arabia, Senussi's connections with the Wahhabi movement caused him to be looked upon with suspicion by the ulema of Mecca and the Ottoman authorities. Wahhabism ( Arabic: Al-Wahhābīyya الوهابية or Wahabism is a conservative reformist call of Sunni Islam attributed to Finding the opposition in Mecca too powerful Senussi settled in Cyrenaica, Libya in 1843, where in the mountains near Derna he built the Zawia Baida ("White Monastery"). There he was supported by the local tribes and the Sultan of Wadai and his connections extended across the Maghreb. The Maghreb (المغرب العربي al-Maġrib al-ʿArabī) also rendered Maghrib (or rarely Moghreb) meaning "place of Sunset
The Grand Senussi did not tolerate fanaticism and forbade the use of stimulants as well as voluntary poverty. Lodge members were to eat and dress within the limits of Islamic law and, instead of depending on charity, were required to earn their living through work. No aids to contemplation, such as the processions, gyrations, and mutilations employed by Sufi dervishes, were permitted. He accepted neither the wholly intuitive ways described by Sufi mystics nor the rationality of the orthodox ulema; rather, he attempted to achieve a middle path. The Bedouin tribes had shown no interest in the ecstatic practices of the Sufis that were gaining adherents in the towns, but they were attracted in great numbers to the Senussis. The Bedouin, (from the Arabic (ar بدوي pl badū) are a desert-dwelling Arab Nomadic pastoralist, or previously The relative austerity of the Senussi message was particularly suited to the character of the Cyrenaican Bedouins, whose way of life had not changed much in the centuries since the Arabs had first accepted the Prophet Mohammad's teachings.
In 1855 Senussi moved farther from direct Ottoman surveillance to Al-Jaghbub, a small oasis some 30 miles northwest of Siwa. Al-Jaghbub is a remote desert oasis in eastern Libyan Desert. He died in 1860, leaving two sons, Mahommed Sherif (1844 - 1895) and Mohammed al-Mahdi, to whom was passed the succession.
Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi bin Sayyid Muhammad as-Senussi (1845 - May 30, 1902) was fourteen when his father died, after which he was placed under the care of his father's friends.
The successors to the Sultan of Wadai, Sultan Ali (1858-1874) and the Sultan Yusef (1874 - 1898) continued to support the Senussi. Under al-Mahdi the zawias of the order extended to Fez, Damascus, Constantinople and India. In the Hejaz members of the order were numerous. al-Hejaz (also Hijaz, Hedjaz; الحجاز al-Ḥiǧāz, literally "the barrier" is a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia In most of these countries the Senussites wielded no more political power than other Muslim fraternities, but in the eastern Sahara and central Sudan things were different. Mohammed al-Mahdi had the authority of a sovereign in a vast but almost empty desert. The string of oases leading from Siwa to Kufra, and Borku were cultivated by the Senussites and trade with Tripoli and Benghazi was encouraged.
Although named Al Mahdi by his father, Mohammed never claimed to be the Mahdi (the Promised One), although he was regarded as such by some of his followers. In Islamic eschatology the Mahdi ( ar مهدي, also Mehdi; "Guided One" is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on earth When Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself al-Mahdi al-Muntazar or 'the Expected Saviour' in 1881 Mohammed al-Mahdi decided to have nothing to do with him. Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah (otherwise known as The Mahdi or Muhammad Ahmed Al Mahdi Arabic:محمد أحمد المهدي ( August Although Muhammad Ahmed wrote twice asking him to become one of his four great khalifs, he received no reply. A caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) is the political leadership of the Muslim community in classical and medieval Islamic history In 1890 Mahdists advancing from Darfur were stopped on the frontier of Wadai, the sultan Yusef proving firm in his adherence to the Senussi teachings.
Mohammed al-Mahdi's growing fame made the Ottoman regime uneasy and drew unwelcome attention. In most of Tripoli and Benghazi his authority was greater than that of the Ottoman governors. In 1889 the sheik was visited at Al-Jaghbub by the pasha of Benghazi accompanied by Ottoman troops. Pasha or pacha, formerly bashaw, (paşa پاشا ( Persian: پاشا ( Armenian: Փաշա was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire This event showed the sheik the possibility of danger and led him to move his headquarters to Jof in the oases of Kufra in 1894, a place sufficiently remote to secure him from a sudden attack.
By this time a new danger to Senussi territories had arisen from the colonial French, who were advancing from the Congo towards the western and southern borders of Wadai. French Congo was the original French Colony established in the present-day area of the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the Central African The Ouaddai Empire (1635-1912 (Also Wadai Empire) was originally a non- Muslim kingdom located to the east of Lake Chad in present-day Chad. The Senussi kept them from advancing north of Chad.
In 1902 Mohammed al-Mahdi died and was succeeded by his nephew Ahmed-el Sherif, but his adherents in the deserts bordering Egypt maintained for years that he was not dead. The new head of the Senussites maintained the friendly relations of his predecessors with Wadai, governing the order as regent for his young cousin, Mohammed Idris (King Idris I of Libya), who was named Emir of Cyrenaica by the British in 1917. Idris I, GBE (إدريس الأول born Sayyid Muhammad Idris bin Sayyid Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Senussi, ( March 12, 1889 - May 25, The Senussi, encouraged by the Turks, played a minor part in the First World War, fighting a guerilla war against the British and Italians in Libya and Egypt. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc In 1916, the British sent an expeditionary force against them, led by Major General William Peyton. General Sir William Eliot Peyton KCB KCVO DSO ( 7 May 1866 - 14 November 1931) was a British 
In 1922, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini launched his infamous "Riconquista" of Libya - the Roman Empire having done the original conquering 2000 years ago. The term Italian Fascism denotes the totalitarian Fascismo political movement that ruled Italy from 1922 until 1943 under leader Benito Mussolini The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial Sanusi led the resistance and Italians closed Sanusi lodges, arrested sheikhs, confiscated mosque land. Libyans fought the Italians until 1943 with between 250,000 and 300,000 of them dying in the process. 
Sanusiya Order is the name given to the Muslim brotherhood and emirate centred on the Senussi (also spelled Sanussi), alias Senussites, the names respectively of a Moslem family (and especially its chief member) and of the fraternity or sect recognizing the authority of the Senussi.
Considerable diversity of opinion has prevailed among writers and travellers claiming knowledge of the Senussia; it is possible, however, to distinguish the main facts in the lives of the Senussi sheiks and to indicate the range of their direct political influence. The extent of their spiritual influence, the ramifications of the fraternity and the 'aims of its chiefs cannot be gauged so accurately.
Seyyid or Sidi (i. e. Lord) Mahommed ben Ali ben Es Senussi el Khettabi el Hassani el Idrissi el Mehajiri, the founder of the order, commonly called the Sheik es Senussi, was born near Mostaganem, Algeria, and was called es Senussi after a much venerated saint whose tomb is near Tlemcen. Mostaganem is a port city in and capital of Mostaganem province, in the northwest of Algeria. Tlemcen is a town in Northwestern Algeria, and the capital of the the province of the same name. The year of his birth is given variously as 1791, 1792, 1796 and 1803. He was a member of the Walad Sidi Abdalla tribe of Arabs and his descent is traced from Fatima, the daughter of Mahomet. As a young man he spent several years at Fez, where he studied theology.
When about thirty years old, he left Morocco and travelled in the Saharan regions of Algeria preaching a reform of the Muslim faith. From Algeria he went to Tunisia and Tripoli, gaining many adherents, and thence to Cairo, where he was opposed by the Ulema of El Azhar, who considered him unorthodox. Ulema ( ar علماء,, singular ar عالِم,, "scholar" refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several Leaving Sgypt, Senussi went to Mecca, where he joined Mahommed ben Idris el Fassi, the head of the Khadirites, a fraternity of Moroccan origin. On the death of el Fassi Senussi became head of one of the two branches into which the Khadirites divided, and in 1835 he founded his first monastery at Abu Kobeis, near Mecca.
While in Arabia, Senussi visited the Wahhabites, and his connection with that body caused him to be looked upon with suspicion by the Ulema of Mecca. Wahhabism ( Arabic: Al-Wahhābīyya الوهابية or Wahabism is a conservative reformist call of Sunni Islam attributed to It was at Mecca, however, that Senussi gained his most powerful supporter, Mahommed Sherif, a prince of Wadai, who became in 1838 sultan of his native state, the most powerful Mahommedan kingdom order in the Central Sudan. The Ouaddai Empire (1635-1912 (Also Wadai Empire) was originally a non- Muslim kingdom located to the east of Lake Chad in present-day Chad. Sultan (سلطان is an Islamic title with several historical meanings Sudan (officially the Republic of Sudan) ( السودان al-Sūdān is a country in northeastern Africa. Finding the opposition to him at Mecca too powerful, Senussi quit that city in 1843 and settled in the Cyrenaica, where in the mountains near Derna he built the Zawia Baida or White Monastery. For the historical Libyan city of Derna see Darnah Derna (Felsőderna is a commune in northeastern Bihor County, Romania There he was in close touch with all the Maghribin, gaining many followers among the Tripolitans and Moroccans. He also maintained a close correspondence with the sultan of Wadai, who greatly favored the spread of the Senussia in his state.
The Ottoman sultan viewed with some disfavour the growth of Senussi's influence as likely to become detrimental to his own position as the Khalifa of Islam. Probably with the desire to be independent of pressure from the Turks, Senussi removed in 1855 to Jarabub (Al-Jaghbub), a small oasis some 30 m. Al-Jaghbub is a remote desert oasis in eastern Libyan Desert. N. W. of Siwa. Here he died in 1859 or 1860, leaving two sons, one Mahommed Sherif (named after the sultan of Wadai), born in 1844, and the other, El Mahdi, born in 1845. To the second son was left the succession.
It is related that as the younger son showed a spirit in all things superior to that of his brother the father decided to put them to the test. Before the whole zawia (monastery) at Jarabub he bade both sons climb a tall palm tree and then adjured them by Allah and His Prophet to leap to the ground. The younger lad leapt at once and reached the ground unharmed; the elder boy refused to spring. To El Mahdi, " who feared not to commit himself to the will of God," passed the birthright of Mahommed Sherif. Mahommed appears to have accepted the situation without complaint. He held the chief administrative position in the fraternity under his brother until his death in 1895.
Senussi el Mahdi, only fourteen when his father died, was at first under the guidance of his father's friends Amran, Reefi and others. He enjoyed all his father's reputation for holiness and wisdom, attributes consistent with all that is known of his life. Mahommed Sherif, the sultan of Wadai, had died in 1858, but his successors, Sultan Ali (who reigned until 1874) and Sultan Yusef (reigned from 1874 to 1898), were equally devoted to the Senussia. Under the Senussi el Mahdi, the zawias of the order extended from Fez to Damascus, to Constantinople and to India. In the Hejaz members of the order were numerous.
In most of these countries the Senussites occupied a position in no respect more powerful than that of numbers of other Moslem fraternities. In the eastern Sahara and in the central Sudan the position was different. From the western borders of Egypt south to Darfur, Wadai and Bornu, east to Bilma and Murzuk, and north to the coast lands of Tripoli, Senussi became the most powerful sheik, acquiring the authority of a territorial sovereign. Darfur (دار فور daar foor, lit "realm of the Fur " is a region in Sudan. Role of the emirs The state is dominated by the Kanuri ethnic group and is an example of the endurance of traditional political institutions in some areas of Africa The string of oases leading from Siwa to Wadai, Kufra, Borkou, etc. Borkou, or Borku, is a region of Central Africa, mostly in Northern Chad, forming part of the transitional zone between the arid wastes of the Sahara and were occupied and cultivated by the Senussites, trade with Tripoli and Benghazi was encouraged, law and order were maintained among the savage Bedouin of the desert. But the eastern Sahara, though vast (covering approximately about 500,000 m²), is among the most desolate and thinly populated parts of the world, and of more importance to the order was the dominating influence possessed by the sheik at the court of Wadai.
Although named El Mahdi by his father, there is no evidence to show that the younger Senussi ever claimed to be the Mahdi, though so regarded by some of his followers. When, however, Mahommed Ahmed, the Dongalese, rose against the Egyptians in the eastern Sudan and proclaimed himself the Mahdi, Senussi was disquieted. He sent an emissary via Wadai to Mahommed Ahmed, this delegate reaching the Mahdis camp in 1883 Soon after the sack of El Obeid.
The moral and industrial training of the Senussi , writes Sir Reginald Wingate, revolted from the slaughter and rapine he saw around him. The sincere conviction of the regeneration of the world by a mahdi whose earnest piety should influence others to lead wholesome and temperate lives, the dignity of honest labor and self-restraint, these sentiments filled the mind of the emissary from Wadai.
The sheik Senussi, there is reason to believe, shared the lofty views which Wingate attributes to his agent. He decided to have nothing to do with the Sudanese Mahdi, though Mahommed Ahmed wrote twice asking him to become one of his four great khalifas (i. e. lieutenants, governors). In his second letter, the text of which has been preserved, the Mahdi urged Senussi either to attack Egypt or to join him in the Sudan. To neither letter did Senussi reply, and he warned the people of Wadai, Bornu and neighboring states against the new creed. In 1890 the Mahdists, advancing from Darfur, were stopped on the frontier of Wadai, the sultan Yusef being firm in his adherence to the Senussi teaching. As evidence of the influence of the sheik may be instanced the appeal made to him in 1888 by the sultan of Borku (or Borgo), a state to the north of Wadai, when invited by the chiefs of Darfur to rise against the khalifa Abdullah. Borgo is an Italian word (plural borghi) cognate with English Borough, German Burg, French bourg, that now usually means the new Senussi advised Borku to abstain from Sudan affairs and only to fight against the Mahdists should they attack his kingdom. The Darfurian revolt of 1888-1889 against the khalifa was nevertheless carried out in the name of the Senussi.
The growing fame of the sheik Senussi el Mahdi drew upon him the unwelcome attention of the Ottoman Turks. In many parts of Tripoli and in Benghazi, the power of the sheik was greater than that of the Ottoman governors, and though Sultan Abdul Hamid II looked favorably on an organization which might become actively anti-Christian, he did not desire that a new mahdi should arise to dispute his authority. Abdülhamid II His Imperial Majesty Sultan of the Ottoman Empire ( Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-i sânî, İkinci Abdülhamit In 1889 the sheik Senussi was visited at Jarabub by the pasha of Benghazi at the head of some Ottoman troops, showing the sheik the possibility of danger which led him (in 1894) to leave Jarabub and fix his headquarters at Jof in the oases of Kufra, a place sufficiently remote to secure him from any chance of sudden attack. Pasha or pacha, formerly bashaw, (paşa پاشا ( Persian: پاشا ( Armenian: Փաշա was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire Kufra (also spelled Cufra or Khofra) is an Oasis in Southeastern Libya that played a minor role in the Western Desert Campaign of World
By this time a new danger to Senussia had arisen; the French were advancing from the Congo towards the western and southern borders of Wadai. In 1898 Senussi, in his character of peacemaker, wishing also to range together all the states men. aced by the French advance, sought to reconcile Rabah Zobeir and the sultan of Bagirmi; neither of those chieftains belonged to the Senussi order and the sheiks appeal was unavailing. At the end of the previous year, at the request of Sultan Yusef, the sheik had sent an envoy to Wadai to be his permanent representative in that country. Yusefs successor Ibrahim, who ascended the throne of Wadai in 1898, showed signs of resenting the advice of the sheik, stirred perhaps by the overthrow of the khalifa Abdullah at Omdurman. Senussi retaliated, says Captain Julien in his history of Wadai, by prohibiting the people of Wadai from smoking tobacco or drinking merissa, the native beer, which is to the Wadaiin what the skin is to the body. Sultan Ibrahim rejoined that his people would fight and die for merissa; rather than give it up they would renounce Senussiism. The sheik had the wisdom to give way, declaring that in response to his prayers Allah had deigned to make an exception in favor of the faithful Wadaiins. Ibrahim died in 1900 and his successors fell again under the influence of the sheik, who again changed his headquarters, leaving Kufra for Gem, in Dar Gorane, a western province of Wadai, where he was welcomed with, veneration. He built and strongly fortified a zawia on the top of a rocky hill, difficult of access. His object in taking up this position was, presumably, to prevent with the advance of the French. But, as Julien points out, Senussi was too late; Rabah had been slain by the French (April 1900), and Bagirmi was occupied by them. Nevertheless the sheik made an effort to prevent the French obtaining possession of Kanem, a country north-east of Lake Chad and on its northern and eastern frontiers bordering Saharan territory, which the Senussites considered their particular preserve. A zawia was built at Bir Allali, in Kanem, that site being chosen as it was an entrepot for the trade of Tripoli with all the Chad countries. An entrepôt (from the French " Warehouse " is a Trading post where merchandise can be imported and Exported without Bir Allah was strongly garrisoned by the Senussites and war with the French followed. After a severe engagement, Bir Allah was captured by a French column under Commandant Ttard in January 1902. The sheik Senussi, much affected by the loss of Kanem, died shortly afterwards (May 30, 1902). He was succeeded by his nephew Ahmed-el Sherif, who in view of the presence of the French on the borders of Dar Gorane removed to Kufra.
The new head of the Senussites maintained the friendly relations of his predecessors with Wadai, and, following the example of his uncle, made advances to Ali Dinar, the sultan of Darfur, which were not reciprocated. To keep in touch with Darfur a zawicf had been built on the caravan route from Kufra to that country. The adherents of the Senussi el Mahdi in the deserts bordering Egypt maintained for years that be was not dead, and in March 1906 a public declaration was made at Siwa that Sidi Mahommed-el-Mahdi had returned from his secret journey to Kufra. Commenting on this announcement Sir R. Wingate wrote: It is well known that the body of the late sheik lies In a tent at Zawia-el-Taj in the identical shrine which was made font at Geruwhen he died (Egypt No. 1 (1907),p. 120).
The Senussites occupied desert fastnesses which could only be attacked by Europeans after overcoming great difficulties. By Henri Duveyrier and other writers of the last half of the 19th century they were regarded as likely to proclaim a ji/zad or holy war against the Christians of North Africa. This view was founded upon. the supposed tenets of the order and upon geographical and political considerations. The record of the first and second Senussi sheiks shows them, however, to have acted chiefly on the defensive. A study of all available data up to 1906 led M L. G. Binger, one of the greatest authorities, to the conclusion that the politics of the sect were subordinated to the material interests of their chief, and that the Senussi sheik was as unable as were other noted Moslem leaders (such as Abd el Kader in Algeria; Samory in the western Sudan and the Dongolese Mahdi in the Egyptian Sudan) to overcome the rivalries and divergence of interests of their own co-religionists. This view received confirmation in the events of I9061910 when the French came in conflict with the sultanate of Wadai. Although there was severe fighting the French found less difficulty than had been expected in seizing the capital of Wadai, nor was there any general movement of the Senussites against them. The French also sent flying columns into Borku and Enndi. The comparative ease with which these operations were carried out seemed to demonstrate the weakness of the Senussites (see WADAI). Nevertheless, like any other Moslem fraternity, and perhaps more readily, the Senussites might be speedily transformed into a powerful fighting organization. Through the seaports of Tripoli and Benghazi, with the connivance (or in defiance) of the Turks, the importation of arms and ammunition into the eastern Sahara is a matter of little or no difficulty, and the Bedouin of that region could furnish a numerous and well-armed fighting force. A Senussi sheik would also recruit many followers in the central Sudan.
At the same time the power of the Senussi organization was not so widespread in the Sudan and the western Sahara as would appear of the from the exaggerated reports once current. The Senussi sheiks, were without followers in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, with the doubtful exception of Darfur. Bagirmi, Kanem and other black Muslim states once dependent on Wadai did not embrace Senussiism. In the Hausa States and in the greater part of the western Sudan, as far as Timbuktu, the Moslems acknowledged the spiritual headship of the emir of Sokoto (in Nigeria), whose influence is believed to be sufficiently strong to prevent the spread of Senussiism among his followers. Timbuktu ( Timbuctoo; Koyra Chiini: Tumbutu; French: Tombouctou) is a city in Tombouctou Region, in the West African Sokoto is a city located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to where the Sokoto River and Rima River meet The general attitude of the Mahommedans in the western Sudan towards the Senussi emissaries was described by European observers in 1907 as one of good-natured tolerance. They are occasionally allowed to preach, but apparently with little effect. In Bornu, which does not acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of Sokoto, the Senussi propaganda meets with less opposition, but the adherents of the order are not numerous. Here and there in the western Sahara are tribes professing Senussilsm, but they are regarded as unimportant.
It should, however, be remembered that while other dervish fraternities are mystical and latitudinarian in theology, and Tenets, only sporadically meddle in politics, the Senussites have exercised a continuous political influence and have sought to revive the faith and usages of the early days of Islam. The order is in a sense an outcome of the Wahhabite movement, but, as gathered from the writings of Mahommeci el Hechaish, a Tunisian sheik, and other trustworthy sources, appears to be neither mystical nor puritan. There is less of secrecy about their rites than is usual in Moslem fraternities. The use of tobacco and coffee is forbidden, but the drinking of tea is encouraged, and the wearing of fine clothes is allowed. While they profess to belong to the Malikite rite (one of the four orthodox sects of Islam), the Senussites are charged by the Ulema of Cairo with many deviations from the true faith; chiefly they are accused of interpreting the Koran and Sunna without consulting one of the recognized glosses. Thus the Egyptian theologians regard the Senussites as inaugurating a new rite rather than forming a simple fraternity; in this, if not in puritanism, resembling the Wahhahites. Their great work in the eastern Sahara, apart from proselytism, has been colonization and the encouragement of trade. Wells have been dug and oases cultivated, rest houses built along caravan routes, merchants from Tripoli, Bornu, Wadai and Darfur welcomed. Such at least is the report of Mahommedan writers and of French and British political agents; very few Europeans have had opportunities of making personal observations. Gustav Nachtigal was in Wadai in 1873, Gerhard Rholls traversed the Cyrenaica and visited Kufra in 1879; but in general the Senussi, supported by the Turks at Tripoli, have closed the regions under their control to Europeans. At the oasis of Siwa (Jupiter Ammon), however, they are in contact with the Egyptian administration. Siwa was visited by Silva White in 1898 and by Freiherr von Grunau fl 1899. The last-named reports that he found the representative of Sheik Senussi living in perfect agreement with the Egyptian authorities, the inhabitants of the oasis being divided into two sections, known respectively as the Mussulmans and the Senussites, a distinction which goes to show the special position occupied by the Senussites in Islam.
The missionary zeal of the Senussites is undoubted. Outside the regions adjacent to their headquarters they appear to be most strongly represented in Arabia. In the eastern Sahara and Wadai practically all the population are Senussites; the order in other countries draws its adherents from a higher social rank than the generality of Moslem secret societies. Its chief agents are personages of wealth and importance and highly educated in Oriental lore. They are in general on good terms with the rulers of the countries in which they live, as instanced in 1902 by the conferment of the Legion of Honor on the head of the zawia at Hiffil in Algeria. These agents make regular tours to the various zawias placed under their charge, and expound the Senussi doctrines at the Moslem universities. From all that has been said it is apparent that the Senussi sheik controls a very powerful organization, an. organization probably unique in the Moslem world.