Friday, May 27, 2011


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

Somali Origin
Dir Era
Due to a lack of written evidence of the early history of the Somaal, numerous historical perspectives on the origins of the Somaal have been presented. According to Arab historical sources the ancestors of the Somali people migrated south from the shores of the Red Sea into the Cushitic-speaking Oromo region from approximately the 10 th century, with the Oromos displacing the Bantu-speaking people further south. According to another source based in northern oral history, the Somali are a hybrid group originating in the marriages of two Arab patriarchs to local Dir women, whose descendants migrated from the Gulf of Aden towards Northern Kenya in the tenth century.

Most contemporary scholars however argue that the ancestors of the Somaal came not from Arabia but from an area between southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya and linguists trace Somali to the Cushitic language group. Based on a hybrid of archaeological, anthropological and historical linguistic evidence, it is now widely asserted that the Somaal originated in the lake regions of current day southern Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, as a sub-group of the Cushitic peoples. In the decades BC, it is believed that the sub-group known as the Omo-Tana moved northwards from the lake highland areas until reaching the Tana river and the Indian Ocean. Some settled along the Lamu peninsula, situated near the northern Kenya and southern Somalia border, while others continued to move northwards into southern Somalia. In southern Somalia patterns of farming and pastoralism provided a mixed economy for the Omo-Tana group that continued to move from the Lamu peninsula into the Somali peninsula. It is here that the initial references to Somaal were asserted. It is believed that by the 1 st Century AD the Somaal, who had continued to migrate northwards, had reached the Red Sea and occupied most of the Horn of Africa. During the 8 th to 10 th Century the movement of Somaal brought them into contact with coastal groups.

It is known that coastal settlements of non-Somali people existed well before the 10 th century. The coastal culture was hybrid, absorbing influences of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Persians, Greeks, Arabs and Romans who came to trade and to tap frankincense and myrrh along the Gulf of Aden and sometimes also to settle. The market town of Zelia (Saylac) dates back to the 6 th century BC, when merchants there traded goods from the African interior such as hides, leopard and giraffe skins, ostrich feathers, ivory, rhinoceros horns and slaves. Coffee came from the Abyssinian highlands to supply a large local market. Saylac later became the centre of the Islamic culture of the northern region; the capital of the medieval state of Adal.

On the whole urban commerce and Islam was more developed in the south. There, coastal towns came into contact with Swahili trading settlements and ships sailing from the Indian subcontinent, China and southwest Asia. By the 9th century Mogadishu was the most prosperous of these towns.

Between the 11 th and 13 th centuries many Somali converted to Islam. During this time, many of the Prophet’s earliest followers fled the Arabian Peninsula to seek refuge in Africa, where the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia often afforded them protection. This penetration from the peninsula sparked another population shift, this time from the coastal areas into the interior. The political unit that developed in the interior from the 13 th century onward that forms a prototype for contemporary political structures was the diya-paying group. In this system groups belonging to the same clan have a contractual alliance that joins them together in payment and receipt of damages to or from another group. These groups are governed by Heer, a social contract that incorporated elements of Islamic law and common laws determined by consensus among the males of the community. In addition Somali songs and poetry took on the social and political importance they retain today, preserving oral histories of the clan as well as expressing political ideas and military ambitions.

During the 14 th century, goodwill continued to exist between the Ethiopian Christian kingdom and the settled Muslims in the Somalia region, since the highlands made the kingdom largely inaccessible for Islamic conversion campaigns. In the early 15 th century, however, the Ethiopian kind Yeshaq invaded Muslim kingdoms in the Adal region forcing them to relocate to current day Djibouti. During the 15 th and 16 th centuries, centralised state systems emerged within the kingdoms of Ethiopia and Adal, with each of the kingdoms fighting off domination by the other. During the 16 th century, numerous retaliation campaigns were carried out by both kingdoms, and the arrival of the son of Vasco De Gama aided the Ethiopians in routing the Muslim operations. By the mid-16 th century, the repeated Ethiopian excursions into Saylac caused trade and the Islamic cultural centre to shift to Berbera, with both these cities falling under the sphere of power exerted by the sharifs of Mocha (in current day Yemen). By the 17 th century, Saylac and Berbera fell under the flag of the Ottoman empire. The continued fighting in the region, caused the locus of power to shift more inland towards the Ujuuraan State, at the convergence of the Shabeelle and Jubba rivers. The power of Ujuuraan diminished with the arrival of the Portuguese on the East African coast.

From the late 15 th century until the early 17 th century migrations brought clans more or less into the regions they occupy today. In the early 17 th century, “Ahmed the left-handed”, with the help of Ottoman troops, conquered a large part of Abyssinia, establishing his capital at Harar.

Between the 16 th and 18 th centuries trade between the interior and the coast increased and clans struggled to establish control over the caravan routes to the Banaadir coast. Eventually, the Somali clans dislodged the Arab-dominated merchant oligarchies in the coastal towns. An exception was that in the early 19th century, the Banaadir coast was nominally controlled by the Omani Sultanate, then based in Zanzibar.

Trading in slaves became significant during that time. Somali landholders had long made use of the slave labour as farming was considered a humble occupation. Bantu-speaking slaves captured in Malawi and Tanzania harvested grain and cotton in the Shabeelle and Jubba river areas. Oromo women and children were used as domestic slaves and concubines.


The History of the Dir People.
Fatuhal Habash bookDir People from Ahmed Gurey Ibrahim's era

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.


Noah Dualle said...

Istaaga istaaga direey waad fadhidaane dalkeenii lala wareeg istaaga istaag istaag

Noah Dualle said...

Istaaga istaaga direey waad fadhidaane dalkeenii lala wareeg istaaga istaag istaag

Noah Dualle said...

Istaaga istaaga direey waad fadhidaane dalkeenii lala wareeg istaaga istaag istaag

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