A prime example of this occurred 500 years ago in the Gujarati sultanate of western India. Sayyid Muhammad Jawnpuri (d. 1505 .) asserted that he was the Mahdi.  His followers, who came to be known as Mahdavis, accused the Gujarati sultans and religious officials of takfir (unbelief). The sultans fought back, often displaying the severed heads of Mahdavi caliphs in order to intimidate would-be followers. The Gujarati brutality served its purpose and, by the end of the sixteenth century, the Mahdavis faded into oblivion.