On the 8th of April 1898 a British division, with the Egyptian army, destroyed the Dervish force under the amir Mahmud Ahmed, on the Atbara river.
The negotiations that followed ended in the conclusion of the treaty of Gandamak in May 1879, by which Yakub Khan was recognized as amir; certain outlying tracts of Afghanistan were transferred to the British government; the amir placed in its hands the entire control of his foreign relations, receiving in return a guarantee against foreign aggression; and the establishment of a British envoy at Kabul was at last conceded.
It is said that the amir Beshir, who succeeded about 1786, was himself a crypto-Christian.
Every petty amir then tried to seize sovereign power for himself, and the people groaned under the consequent anarchy.
In 1901 a quarrel arose between Sheik Mubarak of Kuwet and the amir of Hail whose cause was supported by Turkey.
The Amir Abu Yakub Yusef besieged Tlemcen in the early years of the 14th century.
The khalifa sent the amir Hamdan Abu Angar, a very skilful leader, with an army of over 80,000 men against him.
The result was that whereas in former times the forces of an Afghan ruler consisted mainly of a militia, furnished by the chiefs of tribes who held land on condition of military service, and who stoutly resisted any attempt to commute this service for money payment, the amir had at his command a large standing army, and disposed of a substantial revenue paid direct to his treasury.
The word originally signified a military commander, but very early came to be extended to anyone bearing rule, Mahomet himself being styled by the pagan Arabs amir of Mecca.
The Abyssinian Frontier.On the Abyssinian frontier Ras Adal was in command of a considerable force of Abyssinians early in 1886, and in June of that year he invaded Gallabat and defeated the dervishes on the plain of Madana; the dervish amir Mahommed Wad Ardal was killed and his camp captured.