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

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