Muhammad Ahmad was born to a Sudanese family under the Turco-Egyptian rule. He viewed himself a "renewer" of the Muslim faith, and thus took up the the ceremonial title "Al-Mahdi" which means "divinely guided one" in Arabic. He was able to rally the Sudanese to form a Mahdist Revolutionary Army. This army was comprised of 40,000 individual.s He led successful military campaigns against the Egyptians and the British. He led his army to capture Khartoum in 1885, and there founded the Mahdist state. In 1896 Anglo-Egyptian forces began the reconquest of the Sudan, and in 1898 he was forced to flee his capital Omdurman. On November 24, 1899 Mohammad Ahmad Al-Mahdi was killed in an uprising against the British.