Saturday, December 31, 2005


Adal Empire

Dir Era
I researched Adal, the Islamic kigndom that existed between Eritrea all the way to Coastal City Berber.

I thought Adal was mostly Afar and Arab kingdom, but I'm suprised Somalis have connection to Adal.

When and where Adal Empire was born:
*It was on the 13th century that came to the light, in Horn of Africa, one of the strongest Empire that existed in East Africa. Adal Empire had its origine in the city of Zeyla, situated until today in the northern region of the former Democratic Republic of Somalia. The father of that State was King Omar D. Ahmed (nicknamed Aw-Barkhadle). The king who had a long live, occupied the throne for many years. When he passed away, he left behind him many children, mainly males. Among them, the successors to the throne who inherited the kingdom. Later, Adal Empire became an Islamic Empire that expanded the religion of Islam with determination, into the entire Horn of Africa. Remarked by its faithful actions, other Islamic States in the world called Adal Empire "Diraasal-Islaam".

During the centuries that followed, Adal Empire was engaged into many wars against the Abysinians (Habasha), where thousands and thousands individuals died. At that time, Adal Empire became the most loved Islamic State among the entire Islamic Nations because of its determination to its cause; its strong judicial system and its faithful expansion of Islam into the territories of Abyssinians and Galas (Oromos). At that period of time, Adal Empire had a strong alliance with the Ottoman Empire of Turkey, while the Portuguese supported the Abyssinians.
Geographical location of Adal Empire:
In order for you to better situate the indications that will be mentioned, you are invited to refer to the Map of Africa in 1808 as well as other maps. Saying that, to the North, Adal Empire was situated up to the region of Danaakil (actually, North of the Republic of Djibouti, populated by Afar people). While to the South, the empire had its border up to the region of Ras-Xaafuun (actually called Hays and Maydh, located in today's Region of Sanaac). From the East, Adal Empire as well as the actual State of Awdal, had the entire code facing the Red Sea while to the West, it was situated up to the Region of Shawa (in Ethiopia), also called Shawa at that time. In fact, Shawa was the base of the Kingdom of Abyssinia and today, it's the home of its descendents leaded by the Ethiopian government, with its capital city of Addis-Ababa.

Composition of Adal Empire:
Adal Empire was composed of seven (7) States. According to the size of their land and the military forces of each state, here is their names: Ifaad, Dawaaro, Araabiini, Hadaya, Sharqa, Baali and Daara, where each of them had its own government. Please refer to the map titled Map of Adal Empire (13th century). The largest and strongest State Ifaad, known from Egypt and "Shaam" as Zeyla's land, became later the dominant and the central one with its capital city of Zeyla. Ifaad will lead the entire Empire and will face many challenges. According to the historians of that period, Ifaad was large as 20 days of walk from North to South and 15 days of walk from East to West. Its military force was composed of 15000 cavaliers and 20000 of infantries.

In his book titled "Masaalikal-Absaar"(this is in Somali spelling), the Egyptian author, Subhul Ahsha mentioned that Zeyla was the nucleus city of Adal Empire. Continuing into the description of this city, he added that Zeyla was "The City of Light", which had many Mosques and many schools, where all kind of subjects were taught. In fact, Mr. Ahsha described Zeylac as "The Place" where one can acquire any kind of knowledge that may be taught in that period of time. The author added in his description that the people were 100% Muslim. Mr. Ahsha said that they were gathering in large number into the Mosques of the city, as faithful believers to Islam. According to this writing, these Mosques could be compared to the municipal libraries that can be found today in big cities of our century. In addition of that, schools were places where people use to enjoy meeting, share knowledge, discuss about social issues and debate intellectually. As a matter of fact, Zeyla was known as the place where the knowledge was at the merci of everyone.

Well, now that you understand the value of Adal Empire, it is reasonable that you ask what did happen to that great Empire, how did it collapse? Who were the people living under the ruling of that great Empire, well known by its strong judicial system? Who were in fact the civilized nation living in that period of time and what did become their descendants? For the time been, I need your patient in order for me to work into the information that I collected. Meaning that you will know for sure what did happen to that great Adal Empire, very soon. Concerning your questions about the people of that nation or what did they become and who are the descendants, I'm inviting you to click on "People" under "About Awdal" category and voila!

The Adal of yesterday is the Awdal of today:
First of all, though the Empire that we mention all along was called Adal Empire, in their mother language (Somali), the people of that nation called "Cadal". Translating the word Cadal into Latin gave Adal. With the time, people changed the word Adal (Cadal) to Awdal and that is how the Awdal of today is referred to the Adal Empire of yesterday.

The State of Awdal borders with Djibouti from the North-West, Ethiopia from the West, the former Democratic Republic of Somalia from the South and, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea from the North-East through the entire Easter coastal region. The region has an estimated land area of 22,000 sq. km and a 170 km long coastline on the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Awdal experiences three distinct climatic seasons; the rainy season which starts in March and ends in July, the dry season which starts in August and lasts until November and a kind of Mediterranean Fall, from December to February. High temperatures of above 35C and 20C are observed along the coastal settlements during the summer and winter months respectively. Average annually rainfall is between 450-500 mm. the State of Awdal consists of four districts: Boroma - with Boroma City as the regional capital city, Zeila, Lughaya and Baki.

As mentioned above, the State of Awdal corresponds to the former Adal Empire, which became Gadabursi Land under the British colonial, in the 19th century. Later, it was called Awdal Region until the disintegration of the dictatorial regime of the former Democratic Republic of Somali, in 1991. the State of Awdal did not officially proclaim yet its status to the rest of the world and it's not recognized yet as an Independent Nation by the United Nations but so far, the Awdalites live in their homeland under the ruling of local authorities, with freedom. After the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, Awdalites continued to maintain a stable existence, despite the economic infrastructure left behind by British and humanitarian organizations assistance programs. The State of Awdal is one of the African's largest source of incense and myrrh, which are forestry products. Also, the Awdal's chief exports include livestock, fish, hides and skins and, petroleum products. Nowadays, as one of the most recently established nation, the State of Awdal presents a new field of study for scholars and investors.

Ahmad Guray was a Dir Somali (his mother was a Harari Ethiopian though...) The Dir are the northernmost of the 6 Somali Clans, They include the Gadabursi of Northwest Somaliland and the Iessa of Djibouti.

The capital of Adal Sultanate was Harrar (which was an Islamic center) and its major ports were Zeila and Sahil (now Berbera) Ahmad the Left-handed's army included alot of recently Islamisized Somalis from the east (like the Ogaden, and Majerteen) and also a lot of Oromo and it also covered almost all of the Afar regions. It was truly the first and only 100% Cushitic Empire.

And man, did he give the Abbysinians a run for their money! He conquered lands as deep into the Ethiopian interior as Lake Tana (the source of the blue Nile) and he was killed in battle there. Only for his wife to carry on the first Jihad in the Horn of Africa.

He was also the first non European to use cannons and muskets in his warfare

Dir (clan)
Dir is a Somali clan whose members live in northern Somalia.

The Somali people are composed of four major tribes. The Dir, Hawiye, Darod, and Rahanweyn make up the majority of Somalis. The Dir are the most ancient Somali clan, and they are the most widespread group. They primarily live in Djibouti as the Issa and Gadabuursi. The northern clans of the self-declared Somaliland, namely the Isaaq, Gadabuursi,and Issa are also all Dir. In Ethiopia, the Dir clans are also the most numerous Somali clan group.

Southern Dir groups claim direct descent from Hiil, Samaale, Aji, Irir, who was the direct father of Dir. One of the brothers of the Dir included the Digaale and the Hawiye.

According to the Dir clan histories, Dir had four sons named Madahweyn, Mandaluug, Madoobe, and Mahe Dir; according to others Dir had a fifth son named Qaldho Dir.

The Dir in Ethiopia are represented by the Issas, Gurgure, Guure, Quranyo Maxamed, Akisho, Gadabuursi, Gadsan, Gariir, Fiqi Muhumand, Qubeys, Layiile, Mandaluulg, Baajimaal, and Wardaai. The majority live in the Dira Dhabe area, Jijiga region, and by the Awash River. The rest of the Ethiopian Dir clans live in southern parts near the Somali border near Dollo Ado and as far as Guure Dhamoole and Negele.

In the Mudug region of central Somalia and all the way to Hiiraan region is another cluster of Dir clans known as the Suure. The Suure have been associated with spreading the Islamic faith in Somalia and the Qadiriya Sufi tariiqa in southren Somalia. The Suure are among the most influential Dir groups in Southern Somalia, and their territories include large areas of the Mudug and Galgaduud regions. Also the Suure have founded major trade cities in the Hiiran area including Alaabay and Kamhanley.

The majority of western scholars (both Italian and British) simply refered to the Surre as the "Dir of central Somalia" without differentiating them, but recent studies in Somalia reveal that the majority of the Dir in Hiiran, Gedo, Jubba and Bakool are divided into two branches, the Qubeyes and Abdalles, both descendents of Suure.

Other branches of the Dir include the ancient Biyamaal Clan who occuppy an area from 50 km south of Mogadishu all the way down to Jilib and Kismaayo, not far from border with Kenya. The Biyomaal of Marka fought against the Italian colonial rulers of Southern Somalia in a twenty-year war known as the Biyamaal Revolt, in which the Dir assassinated several Italian governors.

The Gurgure Dir inhabit the ancient city of Dira Dhawe, which is also inhabited by the Madoobe Dir Issas.[citation needed] The first to arrive were the Gurguras who named the city Dira Dhawe, or "the place that Dir conquered or hit with his spear". Finally, the Issas and other Somali groups followed into the region and the Christian Amharas referred the region to as "Oow-raajaa na Issa na Gurgura" or the region of the Gurguras and the Issas.

Political groups associated with the Dir clans include the following groups in Somalia and Ethiopia:

Issas and Gurgure Liberation Front (IGF) of Ethiopia.
Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA) of the Gadabursi Dir clan.
Somali National Movement (SNM) of the Northern Isaaq.
Southern Somali National Movement ((SSNM) of the mostly Mohamed Xiniftire Dir Clans (Bimaal, Mandaluug, and Gadsan) of Jubba, Gedo, Bardheere, and Shabeellaha Hoose region.
Democratic Liberation Front (DLF) supported Central Somalia Dir groups.
Dir subclans
Madaxweyn Dir
Gurgure: The Gurgure are divided into three major groups, Habar Daar, Quwaax and Liiban, who are made of many sub-clans:
Habar Daar
Gacal Waaq
Reer Aw Said and Abkeey Haji
Farah Said
Abiikar Said
Sacdi Said
Nuur Said
Ali Said
Cismaan Saciid
Huseen Said
Hassan Said
Cumar Saciid
Maha Dir (Maxamed Xiniftire)
Isaaq (Garhajis, Awal, Arap, and H. Jeclo)
Biyamaal (Sa'd, Suleyman, and Ismin)
Suure (Qubeys and Abdalle)
Abdalle (Gutaale)
Fiqi Muxumed

Qubeys (Lafagaab)
Tolweyne Qubeys
Faqi Cumar
Yabarcade Faqi Cumar
Fiqi Walaal (Aw-caalin, Xaaji Cabdalle)
Samafale,Maxamud weyne, Aw-Cisman, Maxamud Yare
Xassan Faqi Cumar
Rooble Cismaan (Faarax, Weheliye, Maxamed)
Aw-Macalin (Macalin Muxumed, Macalin Yusuf, Sheekh Cali, Macalin Macow)
Fiqi Yaxye
Caalin Mooge
Maxamed Abtiudug
Axadoobe Qubeys
Cismaan Diidshe (Cismaan Iyiinta)
Cabdalle Diidshe (Cabaas Iyiinta)
Yabadhaale Qubeys
Yabarow, Xasan, Cumar, Xeefoow
Axmed faarax
Afrax faarax
Guuled, Warsame, Cigaal, and Jalaf
Fiqi Khayre
Food Cade
Mandaluug Dir
(Many Dir believe the Mandaluug are actually Mahe Dir)

Madoobe Dir
Issas of Djibouti and Ethiopia
Qaldho Dir
Retrieved from ""

The History of the Dir People.

Dagalada ay xabashida ku soo qaaday Soomalia iyo jabintii boqortooyinka Awdal(adel), Ifat, iyo Moora waxa ku burburay Habar magadle(Isaaq)aaga Bulaxaar/ Berbera/ Zaila ilaa hawd xabashida wey burburiyeen. Amxaarka Amad Siyoon(1456) gabey ayuu uu ku fanayo titirkii Islamka iyo Somalida iyo siduu dinta uga saray. Qabail fara badan oo Hawiya iyo Dirka Iyo Daarodka siiba (Reerka Harti)guddah dalka ayeey u soo kicitiimeen. Iyagoo hoygooda galbeedka ka soo carary. Magalooyin iyo masdiya fara badan oo waqooyi galbeed kuyaala barigaa ayaa la dumiyey. Qabaail far badan oo kuwa Somalida ugu xooga badnaa barigaas ayeey tirtirmeen siiba samaalah, sida: Darood: Weyteen, Yabarah, Awrtablaha iyo Daarjire hajaaga. Hawiye: Sadex geedi,udeyjeen iyo qaarkale. Dir:Badimal,Madagleh, Barsuuga ,iyo reeka loo yaqaan Layiile dad yar ayaa ka soo haray. Habar magadle oo (Isaq ahayd) galbeed way ka soo kicitiimen oo gudaha ayay soo galeen. Qabailka Samaale ee iyagan ku kala firaray oo qaar Oromada qabsatay, qaar lumay, iyo qaar ay somalida kale dul kula dirir ku tirtireen waxa ka mida: Hubeer,Ajuuran(Madinle),Xarla( oo qabil somalida oo dhan ka tira badneed), Cawarmale, Digoodi,Galjecal iyo Xawadle wey ka badbadeen. Galbeedka ayeey uge xigeen kadib markii amxarada burburisay xadaaradihii islamiga ahaa Dir badan oo galbeed xigtay Oromo cawan ayaa soo qabsatay markii Somalidii kala firdhatay. Burburkaa lixaada leh wuxuu keenay in Somali badan oo awood lahan jirtay sida dadka Midgah(Midgaan) iyo Yibraha kadib markii Somalida kale ay jabeen in ay baahi darteed is gumeytan oo kuwii laga xooga bato la bah dilo sida midgaha. Somali badan oo Dir iyo Darod ka qadiimsan in Oromada xagooda loo cayrsho.

am currently doing research of "Adel" civiliation from the 15th century and the pre-historic existence of the Somali clans in general and the "Dir-Gadabuursi" group of clans in particular. one of the interesting things i already came across so far is the central role the "Dir-Gadabursi" played in that civilization. I have already read some books writens by the Othman Turkey, i found the names of some books, which give me reference, regarding the stumbled over finds the names of books, which i may find a great deal of the "Adel" civiliation. I have also so far got the names and the dynasties, and their tmie lines of more than 10 "Gadabursi" kings, starting with King or Ugas Ali. One of those books mentioned that Iman Ahmed Gurey was from the "Gadabursi" clan, confirming what many elders who were descended "Zayla" were passing to their children for generations

Imam Samaroon Said alle ha unaxriisto 1432 AD when the Amhara cruseaders conquered Somali Iman Said was the mulim leader who led the Madanluug Dir and when the imam was later fighting in the Westren flank of the Guurey army he was injured at dardarley. The Gadabuursi latter suffered a davastating defeat and actually the present day Amuud which has a old cementary called Lafaruug was destroyed by the Amhara King. Also note it was this period that the King Shihad a Diin buried in Zailac Island was killed. The Gudabuursi Dir and Modoobe Dir never recovered from these davastating blows. The Madaluug in Southren Somalia and the Biyamaal as well as The Fiq's Suure all point their Southren movement from Amuud region in the 1600's during the Axmed Guurey era. The Suure Dir who are as a matter of fact still in Hauda region and whom refer them self's as Fiqi's where the Her or sheikh associated with Awbarre __Buube- Yusuf Barkad kowniin students who entered Mudug region at the time og Ajuuran rule and some served as Imams under one malakh Gareenow Xaasey Fiqi's

Imam Samaroon Said alle ha unaxriisto 1432 AD when the Amhara cruseaders conquered Somali, Iman Said was the muslim leader who led the Madanluug Dir and when the imam was later fighting in the Westren flank of the Guurey army he was injured at dardarley. The name Gadabuursi was given to his descendents at the last critical moment before he made a final stand to the Amhara at the mandaluug ancestral homeland of Amuud which was destroyed over 50,000 homes where excuvated recently and the place was leveled with the ground 10, 000 thousands perished. The Magadle Dir was completely annilated except for the 10,000 or saw that survive in Cerigaabo. The Madoobe Dir installed a Madaxweyn Dir dynasty The Wardiiq who was the ruling remenants of the Madaxeyn. Madigan, Gurgure and the Barsuug Dir fled west and were encirled by the Oromos- Many assimilated and the union formed a half cast Jarso. The Isaaq Dir reconstituted as Maxamed (Axmed Xiniftire) new Habar alliences formed the Nacadoor,Mikidoor,Nabidoor and the Idoor all disappeared. The name Gaada Biirsay means The one who collected the army or "chests" the name refered to the desparate effort of imam Samaroon Said to collect and muster the power of his kinsman against the infidels. Gaado means shafka ama xabadka (gaada ha i saarin oo kale. Gaadsan the westren Dir 's name means the one with the army or good chest litraray. The Gadabuursi latter suffered a davastating defeat and actually the present day Amuud which has a old cementary called Lafaruug was destroyed by the Amhara King. Also note it was this period that the King Shihad a Diin buried in Zailac Island was killed. The Gudabuursi Dir and Modoobe Dir never recovered from these davastating blows. The Madaluug in Southren Somalia and the Biyamaal as well as The Fiq's Suure all point their Southren movement from Amuud region in the 1600's during the Axmed Guurey era. The Suure Dir who are as a matter of fact still in Hauda region and whom refer them self's as Fiqi's where the Her or sheikh associated with Awbarre/Buube/ Yusuf Barkad kowniin students who entered Mudug region at the time when the Ajuuran ruled at mereg and some served as Imams under one malakh Gareenow Xaasey. The Suure Fiqi's, Biyamaal, Guure, and the Badimaal all entered the south. The Biyamal claim to have entered the Banadir area, a name meaning beynka direeb, in 1700's. The Gurgure/Akisho cluster and reminders of Madaxweyn Dir conquered the Dira Dhabe " meeshu Diri Dhabe" ama waranka ka taagay. The Gurgure which is not their real name (Gurgure means trader hence the word Gorgortan - to bargain)

(Posted by guest: hassan)
In the 1500's several things happened in the early struggles of Axmed Gran with the Ethiopia Christian Imperialists who where sprearheading attacks into Muslim lands.

According to Fatuh Al Habash: 1) Ahamed Gran came into the hinterlands of North Westren Somalia in order to recruit fighters amoung the Mandaluug Dir, Mahomed Xiniftire Or Mahe Dir and Madoobe.


The fatuh al Habash mentions the Habar Magadle (Maha Dir) by name as one group which Gureey try to draw into his camp.Nevertheless, the Habar Awal and Habar Yonis joined the Gurey jihaad.

For Example, the Makaahil of the Habar Awal was the son of an Amhara princesse who was broght back to Somali by a Habar Awal worrior. The Amhara princes asked her captor one favour which to name the first son. After she bore the son she named him Makahil "Micheal" the angel. As a matter of fact many Mahe Dir like the Habar xabuush or Habar Jeclo were also named in such a case.

According to the Fatuh Al Habash, "the fierce and rebellious Isaaq, Issas, and Afar clans who lived close to these groups and was know as "Oda Cali" caused Guurey many problems because as soon as the attacked the Habash enemies and gained some booty they would return to their territorie this angered Imam Ahmed who wanted a displined army. Ali and Mataan a brothers in-law of Gurey and Ahmed Nuur a knephew or Gurey, who later married Gurey's wife Batiyo Delwambero(Dawmbiro). It is interesting to not The name Dalwambero. It is no accidental it sounds like Dombiro. The Darood Somali clans under Imam Ahmed Gurey where led by another Garad who was know as Guuray and he was married to Delwambera's sister Mardiya. It was at this period that the Madaxweyn Dir enlisted the Yabbare, Geeri, and Harla, also it was at this juncture of history that the Darood confuse history.

1) The Darood confuse to distinct persons. Namely, Imam Ahmed Ibrahim Ghazali Aragsame the proper Ahmed Guray and the Garad Gurey who led the Darood armies. After centuries they think that their Garad whose name is mentioned in the Fatuh Al Habash as Guray is the same as Ahmed Gurey. So the legacy of Axmed Gurey is not limited to the Gababuursi or Ciisa or Gurgure but as touched all Somalis.

This ancient shiekh was a Somali - prof. Andreski (the famous
linguist) interviewed his descendant in Merca - the head of the main mosque is
a direct descendant. Merca is a Somali town on the Indian Ocean (inhabited the
Somali Dir clan). The custodians of the shrine/tomb of shiekh Hussein are
Somalis - the tradional custodians have always been Somali. Again the role of
Somalis in propergating Islam has never been recognised by Western Scholar?
Why? Even the Maldive Islands off India rembere how the Somali Sheikh (13th
century) called Shiekh. Awbarkhadle came and converted them - he is remembered
in Somalia - and also appears in Arabic/Ethiopic MSS. in associating with the
Walsama Dynasty (Muslim Dynasty eastern Shoa/Hawas - old Somali-Afar Sultans
of Awfat/Adal) -

Waqooyi Galbeed

1) Guureh
7)Warday cali

*Maahe Dir
Maxamed Xiniftire
4-Quranyow maxamed(Gare)
5-Madaluug maxamed(Ethiopia,North/south somalia, North Kenya, Djabuti)

* Maddoobe
shanta Ciise
Other smaller clans

*Qaldho Dir

History of Islam in Somalia from the Time of Mohamed (Saws)


Shortly after the Hijra (670's) the Quraish or prophet's tribe started persucuting muslims and hundreds of the prophets followers fled across the Indian Ocean to present day Zaila and through Erithrea. It was in this period that the Somalis and their cousines the Afar-Oromo-Harararis and other nations of the horn of Africa converted to Islam. According to most Historians the people of Zaila who were of Dir origin and Issas-Gadabursi-Isaaq origins, Islam became well established by 800 A.D. By the 1300 century the whole horn of Africa up to Kenya and Zanziber we have Muslim cities flourishing and Muslim sulltanes like Ifat and Adal all over Somali. As a matter of fact, it was in 1300's that the ancient Somali saint Sheikh Yusuf Alkownin (Aw Barkadle) innvented the Alif-La-Kordhabee or Somali way of reading and learning to read the Quran scriptures. And around this time, another Sheikh by the name of Sheikh Hussein Al Bale of the Bale Oromo Arsi region left Northren Somali and Islam was well established in Southren Ethiopia all the way to northren Ethiopia. So the Islam of Somalia dates back to the time of the Hijra and many Somalis became muslims even before the Prophet Islamized the Arabs and Islam succeded in Arabia. Later in he 1400 AD, the Qadiriya Sufi order of Sheikh Cabdul Qadir Al-Jilani spread to Somalia and Ethiopia revitalizing the ancient faith and further incorporating more Kushitics. By 1456 AD, he Muslim Kings of Ifat, led by a Somali worrior, Imam by the name Imam Axmed Gurey (Left-Handed) was fighting Ethiopian Christian Habasha kings who tried to conquer Somalilands. W.A.
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