Explorations in History and Society

Exploring and Collecting the History of the Somali clan of Hawiye.

Archive for May 2009

Taariikh nololeedkii Imaam Axmad Gurey

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Sidaan horay u soo xusnay wixii ka danbeeyey dilkii Suldaan Maxamed Azir, suldaankii guud ee Muslimiinta reer Adal, waxa soo food saaratay Saldanadda khilaafaad aad u ba’an oo degenaansho la’aan iyo qalalaasaba ku abuuray nidaamkoodii dawladnimo.

Waxaa  muddo laba sono gudohood ah soo maray illaa 5 amiir oo mid walba si dhakhso ah looga wareejinayey xukunka kadib dagaallo dhiig badani uu ku daatay. Waxaa hoggaanka u qabtay sidii aan horay usoo magacawnayba Garaad Abwan, oo ahaa nin aad ugu dheggan shareecada Islaamka. Imaam Axmed Gureyna wakhtigaas wuxuu ka mid ahaa ciidankii Garaad Abwan, wuxuuna caan ku ahaa geesinimo, karti iyo indheer-garadnimo uu ku kasbaday kalsoonida Garaadka iyo bulshadii uu ku dhex noolaa intaba.

Garaad Abwan waxaa isagana markiisa loo dilay khilaafkii ku salaysanaa awoodda maamulka Imaarada, waxaana xukunka kala wareegay Abubakar Maxamed Azir…Sacdu-diin oo ahaa wiilkii uu dhalay Suldaan Maxamed Azir.

Wixii ka danbeeyey dilkii Garaad Abwan, Imaam Axmed iyo Suldaankii reer Adal waxaa soo kala dhex galay isfahan la’aan, markii danbe sababtay in uu dhexmaro gacan ka hadal ku dhamaaday dilkii Suldaan Abubakar.

Inkastoo waxyaabaha sida aadka ah looga xasusto suldaan Abubakar ay ka mid ahayd usoo raritaankii uu caasimaddii muslimiinta reer Adal uu u soo raray Harar, hadana waxayaabaha dhanka kale lagu dhaliilo waxaa kamid ah, in uu wax ka qabanwaayey ammaankii imaarada oo faraha ka baxay. Waxaa mar kale soo noqday wakhtigiisii burcaddii jidadka u fariisan jirtay dadka socotada ah, si ay iyaga iyo hantidoodaba dhib ugu geystaan.

Waxaa sidoo kale hoos u dhacay rajadii muslimiinta reer Adal ay ka qabeen in loolan dhab ah uu dhex mari karo iyaga iyo Boqortooyadii galbeedka ka xigtay ee Kirishtanka Ethiopia. Muslimiinta reer Adal oo iyagu kaga wanaagsanaa boqortooyada Xabshida dhinaca xidhiidhka dibadda, gaar ahaan kan ganacsi ee ay la lahaayeen koonfurta Jasiiradda Carabta, wuxuu ku guul daraystay Suldaan Abubakar in uu kaga faa’iidaysto, culaysna ku saaro Boqortooyada Xabashida oo si aan kala go’ lahayn u isticmaali jiratay khadadkii ganacsi ee dhulka sare ee Ethiopia ku xirayey dekeddii Zaylac iyo Gacanka Cadan.

Waxaa sidoo kale halkoodii ka sii socday duulaankii boqortooyada Ethiopia ay ku haysay dhulkii ay maamulysay Imaarada Zaylac; inkastoo uusan ahayn duulaankani mid khatar badan ku hayey jiritaanka Imaarada, hadana waxay dhibaato aan yarayn ku haysay dadkii muslimiinta ahaa ee ku teedsanaa dhulkii xadka la lahaa boqortooyada Ethiopia oo mar walba iyaga uu saamayn ku reebayey dagaalada ay ku soo qaadaan ciidanka boqor Lebne Dengel.

Muslimiinta reer Zaylac, laga bilaabo wabiga Hawaash illaa laga gaaro Gacanka Cadan iyo xaruntoodii ganacsiga ee Zaylac, waxaa mar qura soo food saartay khatar ballaaran. Nidaamkii maamul ee Imaaradu wuxuu halis ugu jiray in uu gebi ahaanba burburo.

Musuqmaasuq iyo maamul xumo ku baahday dhammaan xarumihii looga arrimin jirey saldanadda, ammaankii iyo kala danbayntii oo faraha ka sii baxay, iyo duullaankii isadaba joogga ahaa ee boqortooyada Ethiopia oo halkiisii ka sii socday, intuba waxay sabab u noqdeen in uu yimaado kacdoon shacbi oo uu hogaaminayo Imaam Axmed Ibraahim Gurey.

Yaraantiisii Imaam Axmed wuxuu ku soo barbaaray dhul qiyaastii koonfurta kaga toosan Harar. Waxaan shaki ku jirin in uu qawmiyad ahaan ka soo jeedo Soomaalida, sida uu Professor Maxamud Brelvi uu ku xusay buuggiisa “Islam in Africa” oo lagu daabacay Lahore, Pakistan sannadkii 1964kii. Qowmiyadda Oromada oo iyagu ku dooda in Imaamku uu dhankooda ka soo jeedo ayaa la rumaysanyahay in ay agagaarka Harar soo gaareen qiyaastii xilligii Amiir Nuur Amiirka ka ahaa Harar.

Qabaa’ilka Soomaalida ee loo tiirin karo Imaam Axmed waxaa kamid ah: Geri-ga, Marreexaan-ka, Habar Magaadle-ha, oo ah qaybo kamid ah reerka Isaaqa. Sida ka muuqata buugga Futux Al-Xabasha waxay sadexdaas qoys ku tabaruceen inta badan ciidankii iyo fardihii ka yimid qowmiyadda Soomaalida ee uu Imaam Axmed uu ku weeraray boqortooyada Xabashida. Sidoo kale qabaa’ilka Harti-ga, oo iyagu ka yimid Maydh, Hawiye-ha, Xarla-ha, Jaraan-ta iyo Yibra-ha ayaa iyaguna ka mid ahaa qabaa’ilkii Soomaalida ee Imaam Axmed gacanta ku siiyey duulaankiisa.  

Imaam Axmed Gurey markii uu dareemay halsita ku soo wajahan imaarada Zaylac, wuxuu gooni ula baxay ciidan u badnaa ciidankii Garaad Abwan, waxayna amiir u doorteen Garad Cumar Maxamed Azir, oo ahaa suldaan Abubakar walaalkiis. Khilaafkii Imaam Axmed iyo suldaan Abubakar wuxuu gaaray halkii ugu saraysay. Wakhtigaas ciidanka ugu badan ee Suldaan Abubakar waxay kasoo jeedeen qowmiyadda Soomaalida qabaa’il ka tirsan sida ku xusan buugaagta taariikhda.

Boqor Lebne Dengel, boqorkii Xabshida, oo ka faa’iidaysanayey khilaafkii ka dhex aloosnaa imaarada Zaylac, wuxuu sannadkii 1527kii amray Fanuel, oo ka soo jeeday Kirishtankii reer Dawaaro, in uu weerar ku kiciyo reer Harar. Fanuel iyo ciidankiisu waxay weerarkooda ku ekeeyeen goob u dhow goobihii uu Imaam Axmed Gurey kula sugnaa ciidankii uu kala soo tegey Harar.

Dagaalkaas oo ahaa kii ugu horreeyey ee si toos ah u dhexmara Imaam Axmed Guray iyo ciidanka boqortooyada Ethiopia, wuxuu Imaamku ka gaaray guul ballaaran. Ciidanka Fanuel waxaa lagu jabiyey goobtii lagu dagaalamay, waxaana dagaalkaas looga qabsaday illaa 60 faras, baqal fara badan iyo hub sida uu ku xusay Shihaab Al-Diin buuggiisa Futuux Al-Xabasha, baalka 12aad.

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Written by abshir100

May 31, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Taariikh kooban ee ku saabsan Ceelbuur

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Marka aad maqasho mageeceeda waxaa markiiba ku soo dhacaya qalbigaaga farxad iyo raynrayn, waxaa gocaneysaa Inaad dib u aragto mar kale , daarihi cadcadaa , biyuhu ku wareegsanayeen , waadiyadii la xirriray magaalada ee ka xigay bari iyo koofur waxaa markiiba dhegahaagu maqlayaan heesti ugu horeeysay ee soomaliya ee magaalo iyo lala masliyo ee Ceelbuur kuyaale, Waxaa lagu tilmaamaa magaalooyinkiii ugu qadiimsanaa dalka soomaaliye, gaar ahaan, koofurta, waxaa ay noqotay waxaa la yiraahdaa waa magaaladii , fardaha iyo Ugaasyada, waxaa lagu tilmaamaa magaalooyinka soomaliye ee lehaa wax soo saar isku filaansho, intii aan somaliya ku dhicin qaran jabku dhinaca beeraha , xoolaha iyo khayraad kale oo ilaahay ku manaeeystay digirta, mesagada iyo qaauba ha ugu badnaadeen waxa ay soo saarto, waxaa ay caan ku tahay wax soorka burjikada oo Meelkale Oo soomaliya ah oo laga soo saaro aanay jirin, waxaa kale caan ku tahay farshaxan laga sameeyo dhagaxa caanka ah ee burjikada hadana looga manaafacaadsado waxa yaabo aan la soo koobi Karin , cusbo dhulka qaarkiis iska ceegaagta ( natural salt) waxaan maqaalkana ku soo qaatay in ay ceelbuur tahay magaalo soo iftiimaysa mustaqabalka dhow, waxaa iswaydin leh , dadka ku dhashay ma yihiin dad wada noolaan kara , wada tashan kara , meel wax isla dhigi kara , qaybsan kara manafaacdkaas ilaah ku maneeystay degaankooda, iyagoo is xaq dhowraya kana fogaanaya wax kasta oo u keeni kara fadqalalo iyo qalqal nabadgelyo, waxaan shaki ku jirin in meel la wada degan yahay ay ka magaca iyo muuno dheer tahay is qoqob, waxaase ka horeeya in nidaamka kala danbeeynta, sharciga ku saleeysan dhaqanka , diinta boorka laga jafo , loona duubto sidii hal meel looga soo wada jeesan lahaa waxaa soo ay muuqatay in dadku dib ugu soo laabanyaan waqrtiyadan danbe kadib markii ay muqdisho noqotay god waraabe galay. Ceelbuur waxaa ay tilmaan u tahay magaalo soo saartay dad badan oo soomali ah oo hore umar sare ka gaaray dhinacyo badan dalka soomaaliya( human capital) waxaase is waydiin leh ma noqdeen kuwo abaalkeedii u guday ama wax ku daray sidii ay ahayd dhawr iyo konto sano ka hor. Mise waxaa ay noqdeen ku sifoobay abaal darada .kuwa hada joogasi ma ku jiraan qorshe ay dib ugu dhisayaan magaaladoodu hooyo ee ay ku soo barbaareen.

Maxaad ka garaneysaa dadki ceelbuur ku Dhashay ee ee soommaliya magaca ku lahaa, ku soo koray khayraadkiisii aad u faraha badanaa , ku soo hanaqaaday barwaaqo dhinac kasta ah oo aan la soo koobi Karin ee dhinaca beeraha iyo Xolaha, waadiyada buyihu ku durduuraan ee dhex mara magaalada iyo degaanada ku xiiran , miyaanay ahayn magaaladii waadiyada iyo baliyada u dhexeeysay( Land between lakes ) . waxaa ay magaalada ceelbuur oo 7 qarni kodhowaad aasaaskeedu tirsado ku taalaa bartamaha dalka soo maliya ( gobolada dhexe) . waxaa laga yaqaan magaalaada nolosha fudud ee daynyarta , hufnaanta iyo tixgelinta wada noolaasho ee dadka meesha degan, meesha ay doonaan soomaliya ha ka yimaadeeene , waxaa can ku noqotahay cad la cuno , caano laga keeno sedexda cood ee addunyo , beeraha laga beero nawaaxigaas waxaa ay noqdeen kuwa taariikhda galay, tassoo marka digirta guduudan laga arko gobolada dhexe iyo bari la yiraahdo “ waryaa ceelbuur ka yimid “ waxaan shaki ku jirin oo hadii ay heli lahaayeen dhiiirigelintii dadka dageenka dar dar cusub gelin lahaaa dalaga digirta iyo mesagada oo looga bartay waqtiyadii hore in ay u dhoofiyaan , gobolada waqooyiga ka xiga ee bari iyo waqooyi galbeed oo ay waligeed ceelbuur la lahayd ganacsi taariikhi ah ee dhinaca delaga ( digirta) , subaga , malabka , iyo dhaggaxa.

Ceelbuur waxaa sanadkii 1900s noqotahay saldhigaa aqoonta gaar ahaan diinta islaamka , kadib markii ay dib ugiu soo laabteen culumo badan oo aqoon diinta u raadsaday goboladii galbeedka ee itoobiya , gobolada banadir iyo shabeelaha hoose gaar ahaan Marka iyo Ceelure iyo Muqdisho iyo ganacsiga uu noqday bartamiii qarnigii 20 aad, waxaa uu ganacisgiisu ku xirmay , wadama carabta gaar ahaan cadan , dalka yamen , kuwaa soo loo mari jiray , gobolad bari ee soomaliya. Waxaa ay degaan u noqotahay soomali kal duwan oo ka timid dhul kale duwan taasina waxaa ku tusineysaa in ay ahaayeen dadkii deganaa dad lala noolaan karo inkasta oo aadan degaanka u dhalan ama ka soo jeedin.

Waxaa dib u xusuusatay gabaygii Koriye uu biloowgii 1990s tiriyey AVV. Cabdilaahi macallin Cabdille (Cabdi xaashi) ee uu uga hadlaayey taariikhda ceelbuur , xagga wax soo saarka iyo cimilada, degaanka diinta iyo dadka degan ay u wada noolyihiin , isagoo iska dhigaya in ceelbuur ay hadleeyso waxaa uu yiri :

Ceelbuur cadde ayaa la i yiraa caanna waan ahaye
Cimrigaan waxaan kala fil ahay ciidda la abuuray
Culimiyo waxaa igu dhex nool caami fara weyne

Calaf bay durduurtaan wixii cabaya ceesheeyda
Ceel cadde ayaa lagu ogaa cirib samaantaase
Cusbadana waxaa laga helaa cirifyadeydaase

Casiis eebahay roob hadduu cirka naga siiyo
Caleentaa la daaqaa intay wada carfeysaaye
Caanaha waxaa lagu ruxdaa haaman la cugaaye

Caanooyada waxaa quudayaan inta caruurtaaye
Ciirtana waxaa lagu qubaa geed caraacarahe
Caweyskaa wiilashiyo gabdhuhu wada ciyaaraane

Culumadu waxay ku xamdiyaan caadilki abuuray
Ciyaalkana waxay kula talshaan inay ciseeyaane
Casharada quraankay ilmaha kula caraabaane

Cishihiina subacbay in badan ku carabaabshaane
Caddeyntiyo macnahana ragbaa caalim ku ahaaye
Caalimiin waxay soo baxshaan diinta calalshaane

Cidahana waxaa lagu dhaqaa caafiyo axkaane
Cabdishariif dadkaa wada yaqiin caalimnimadiisi
Cilmi inuu daliilshaa ilaah caado uga yeelay

Curadkiisiba baa lamid iyo Cismaan shiikhe
Cabdillooyin baa garab socdeen wada caruurtiiya
Cismaan faarax wiilki cabdille caarad u ahaaye

Ciidan bey ahaayeen dhammaan caalim iyo shiikha
Culumadu waxay ku hardamaan kala caddeynaayay
Cabir bay ahaayeen wixii diinta camilkeed ah

Cimaamadda ugaasnimo rag baa caano lagu daadshay
Caalin gobow wuxuu wiilal dhalay carab la moodaayo
Curadkii ugaas Muumin*4 baa calanka loo saaray

Caraduna nidaam bay lahayd laysku celinaayay
Colaad laguma faanee gefkaa layska celiyaaye
Cara qeybsi goortii larabo ama calaameysi

Cabdikariin*5 waxaa lagu ogaa kala caddeynteeda
Carabkiisu goortuu hadlana waad cajaa’ibiye
Caaqil wuxu ahaa eebeheey cilmi ugu deeqay

Caafimaadna waa keeni jiray caad ka hadalkiisu
Ciid ka hoos markii uu gala laygu caga taagay
Caddoodkaa waxow iiga bixi ciidda oo kaleye

Curashada cirkaan soo tufaa digir cagaar weyne
Cun waddaniga waa laga maqlaa tan iyo ceergaabo
Camboob qare waxaa loo cabaa oonka celintiiye

Cagaar wixii ka soo baxa dhamaan waa aan canuunshaaye
Caasinmo wixii la igu falay waan cartamayaye
Canug waliba coodkuu heluu cadan la aadaaye

Cardiyada kaleey uga dhisteen daariyo cariishe
Cagaweyne geelana halkaa laga curcuurshaaye
Cadagiyo wuxuu daaqayaa garas caleentiiye

Cimradana allaa naga hayoo waan ka caaganaye
Carom daran markuu caajisaa lagu cusbeeyaaye
Caaniyo waxaa lagu qabaa kurus caddiintiiye

Culaabtana wixii lagu raraa lagu caraawshaaye
Ciddi yare ergaa laga cabaa subagiyo ciiroode
Cadka hilibna waa laga qashaa cunid fudeydkiise

Caradaan waxaa looga heli ciidda oo kalaye
Caafimaad allaa iga dhigiyo cudur daweyntiiye
Cambuula yar qofkii iga cunaa waa cayilayaaye

Ciid buskayga cunigii hurdaa ciidanbuu noqone
Caruur korinta waa lagu yaqaan caano iyo dheefe
Calaamana waxaa looga dhigay cududdi doonyaale

Caruud iyo baroordiiq fardaha ceyn walbaba buuxa
Camber dhiin madoow dhuxulahoo is gol cararaaya
Casuur iyo guduud dhiig ahoo wada ciyaaraaya

Caano geel kuwaa loo qaboo wada caddaankiiya
Cows iyo cagaar bey cunaan caaddil ugu deeqay
Ceel gaabna way cabahayaan biyaha ceelaala

Cagahooda qoobka leh markii lagu cirdeynaayo
Cabdi wiilka fuushani hadduu ciribta taabsiiyo
Cirkabey lalaayaan sidii miig la ceyriyaye

Ciyow dheer ayay tegahayaan caro ilaaheeye
Coonka yare qofkii celinayaa kirta ku canaanto
Ceenad bey wadaagaan fardaha weysna curiyaane

Casiiskii abuuraa ammaan ceymo uga yeelay
Caasinimo waxaa lagu hayaa aan cilmi ahayne
Culumaduse waa fuulayaan caada nebiyoode

Caalamkaa dhan waa lagu dhaqmaa ceebna ma ahayne
Caay wixii ku sheegaa asaga cindi uga liita
Cad hadduu jirkiisii ka go’o waa cendherayaaye

Caraf iyo wuxuu qurux lahaa ceyn kaleey noqone
Caafimaad ma heystoo qalbigu waa is cunayaahe
Camal baan la sii golongolaa oo cayili mayo

Caasimadda farriin aan u diro cadowga googoostay
Casraa’iilkii qaadayay naftaad camilki haysaane
Canaad lagama sheegtoo asaga caadilkoow diraye

Calankaa sideen iyo wixii ceysh la baabi’iyay
Cantuugada dad hilibkiisa iyo carunka dhiiggiisa
Caryaar ma aha fiidkii la tumo ama caweyskiiye……

Erayadii allaha u naxariisto avv. Cabdilaahi macallim Cabdille iyo Sh. Cabdikarim Axmed Gindish (tribal leader , born Galaadi, 1880-1944 )

Written by hawiye1

May 31, 2009 at 3:37 pm

History of Medieval Somalia explained through Maps

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Horn of Africa in 1300 C.E: According to Ibn Battuta

Horn of Africa in 1300 C.E: According to Ibn Battuta

Horn of Africa in 1550: According to written accounts of the era

Horn of Africa in 1550: According to written accounts of the era

Horn of Africa in 1650 C.E: According to Written Accounts of the Era

Horn of Africa in 1650 C.E: According to Written Accounts of the Era

Horn of Africa in 1650 C.E: According to Written Accounts of the Era

Horn of Africa in 1650 C.E: According to Written Accounts of the Era

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by daud jimale

May 31, 2009 at 3:28 am

Astrological proverbs of the Hawiyya

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I here list apart some proverbs that are based on observations of the stars and on the solar year of the Somalis.    

1) “The waberís  appeared on Sunday: thus Danwên or of the people who are living with them! If the Sunday is on the 6: then Darôd or of the people dependent on them!” (Waberis  is the Somali name of the sa‘ban  lunation) The Danwen are a group of the Hawiyya tribe.  

2) ‘id sáfa digi mayso áqalki lögú dïsó  . “The safar does not make the hut that is built during it become a family.” 

3) “The month of sonqad   that starts on Saturday: the girl sells her modesty in order to buy polenta, the ninety-year-old man cries for food.” ( sonqad is the month of Ramadan.)    

4) “In the fortieth and in the mouth of a newborn child one is unable not to find a dribble.” (The fourth decade of the seasons of gu and dayr always brings rain.) “Between the year and the drops there are in the middle thirty nights.” (A light rain, which is called hagay,  is to be expected thirty days after the Somali New Year’s Day.)

6) “The moon of sékko,   if it appears on Wednesday, if it does not have great deceit, it has little deceit.” ( sékko is the Somali name of the lunation of muharram)

7) “The moon of boqoson if it appears precisely, it is propitious for the ovines and the camels; if it is late, they will become sick.” ( boqoson is the Somali name of the lunation of gumadà al-ahir.)      

8) “The lunation is of three novenes and three nights. Of the three novenes, one novene is for the nobles, one is for the religious, one is for the people. One who was born in the novene of the nobles has the behavior of the noble. One who was born in the novene of the religious has the behavior of a religious. One who was born in the novene of the people has the behavior of a common man. One who was born during the three nights has the behavior of a gloomy man.”

9) “One who was born in ‘kuhedín’ cannot be robbed of wealth. One who was born in ‘kalahánlä’   cannot be robbed of wealth. ( kuhedín   and kalahánlä  are the Somali lunar stations numbered 12 and 13, according to the nomenclature of the Hawiyya.)

10) “The kalahánlä  precedes the dirir by two nights. Its propitious days are Friday and Thursday. If it comes on another day, it is not propitious.” ( kalahanlä   is the 12th lunar station; dirir [= α Virginis] is the 14th station.)

References

Enrico Cerulli “How a Hawiye tribe use to live”

Written by hawiye1

May 26, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Sayings of the Hawiyya

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The speech of an elder without quotations of proverbs would have little meaning and little value in an assembly of the Hawiyya people. And the quotations often follow one another in succession, giving a pungency, often joking or ironical, to the reasoning, which is thus fortified by the most ancient wisdom of the tribe. The proverbs that follow were collected precisely from the speeches of the Hawiyya a tribal leaders, especially Abgal and Guggundabe, during the discussions of their problems. Thus they have served, and are serving, to show some aspects of the true psychology of the Somalis and to place in an advantageous light some circumstances of the difficult daily life of the tribes and of the spirit of patient courage with which the distresses of that life are faced.

1) “Marriage is the nearby marriage; field is the nearby field.” (Wife and oxen from your countries.)

2) “Take what you know; it will produce for you known things.”
 
3) “The man whom you have not been able to know in only one day will not be known in a hundred days.” (The man of frank and loyal character manifests himself at the first meeting.)
 
 4) “The one who fasted for a hundred days, after the fast he ate as the first thing unclean meat.” (Sometimes, after having been patient and worked for a long time in order to obtain something, one commits such an act as to destroy all the work already done.)
 
5) “Not to talk to each other does not make comrades.”
6) “To one who has nothing, nothing is entrusted; to one who understands nothing, nothing is said.”
 
7) “Shall I say something to one who understands nothing, or shall I pick up the water of the sea with a spoon?”
 
8) “The leopard’s cubs are not held on the lap.” (One does not trust a person from whom, because of his precedents, it is possible to fear some injury.)
 
9) “The funeral and marriage are debts” (because of the heavy expenses that are encountered for the traditional festivities).
 
10) “One has a hoary head, one has a hoary heart.” (Sometimes wisdom does not correspond to age.)
 
11)“The caliph does not wait for the age of judgment.”
 
12) “In counsel the paternal uncle is the strongest, and in counting, the number ten.” (Just as it is not possible to count on the fingers beyond 10, so, after having consulted the paternal uncle, nobody else in the family may be consulted.)
 
13) “The maternal uncle laments, but does not avenge.” Traditional saying about the juridical customs: the maternal relatives are excluded from the obligation of blood vengeance.
 
14) “If one knows your fault, it is not to be made known to a thousand. If a thousand know your fault, it is not to be made known to one [other one].” The proverb advises not exposing one’s own faults and one’s own deficiencies; wash the dirty linen at home, we would say.
 
15) “Old grudge and knobby cane break ribs.” (The most dangerous causes of fights are the angers concealed for a long time.)
 
16) “The heart of men and the eyes of ants are not seen” (because it is difficult to know the inner thoughts of men).

17) “Soul out of the body and rain of deir   do not come back.” (During the season of deir   it normally rains only once a day.)

18) “King and wife: it is to be observed how they begin.” (From the morning one knows the nice day, we say in a more general sense.)
 
19) “If you become honey, you will be licked.” It is the Somali correspondent of a very widespread series of proverbs expressing the idea that one who acts with insufficient firmness succumbs to the stronger.
 
20) “The slanderer needs a hollow place.” (Slander needs some kind of support in order to exercise its pernicious action.)
 
21) “A question handled standing and a camel loaded standing have to be reloaded many times.” (Thing done in a hurry never turn out well.)
 
22) “ ‘I will say’ is better than ‘I wanted to say.’ ” (It is preferable to express completely one’s own thoughts on a question than to hide them and then to be sorry for not having spoken in time.)
 
23) “To tell something that is hearsay is to tell a lie.” (Things that have not been witnessed are not to be referred to.)
 
24) “To the Imam only his cousin tells the truth.” (Only relatives may speak of the unpleasant truth that others hide either because of adulation or because of fear.)
 
25) “I ask pardon of the one who will ask pardon of me.” (We all may find ourselves in situations of asking for pardon, because we all may make mistakes.)
 
26) “Only one finger does not wash the face.” (Unity is strength.)
 
27) “A man does not know the advice, the people know the advice.” (The voice of the people /is/ the voice of God.)
 
28) “As long as there is the bellows, the iron does not cool.” (As long as the causes of a controversy or the people who are interested in provoking it are not eliminated, it cannot be said to be ended.)
 
29) “Lie that runs does not reach the truth.” (A lie has short legs.)
 
30) “One should not lose his head over something lost.” (When a misfortune is irremediable, it is better to be resigned than to make one’s own situation worse with useless acts.)
 
31) “The hearts of men are pieces of wood that, by being rubbed, make light.” (What is missed by only one is not missed by two who consult each other, just as a spark arises from rubbing two pieces of wood.)
 
32) “One does not become ‘sheikh’ in five days.” (Long experience is worth more than a hasty impression.)
 
33) “The cat in its house has the canine teeth of the lion.”
 
34) “If it is obtained by you or obtained for you, thanks be to God!” (It is the same if a favor is obtained directly or obtained for others through the intercession of a friend.)
 
35)  “One who talks alone and one who aims at the ground do not make mistakes.” (It is necessary to hear the two bells /the two sides of the question/, we would say.)
 
36) “Of two four-year-old boys, one living alone with his mother is stronger.”
 
37) “To a great man belongs patience, to a small one, his portion.” (It is not right that an old person be disputed, even for his rights.)
 
38) “The bold wife will end by asking: ‘Escort me (to him)!’ ” (All rebels end by asking an intercessor for submission.)

39) “The cow and its calf are separated by the war.” (Events dissolve the closest bonds.)

40) “That only you know and that others know together with you are not equally good.” (It is always better that for an event there are witnesses that can be named in possible contestations.)
 
41) “For one 60 years old seek one who curbs his mouth” (because old people do not always succeed in controlling themselves).
 
42) “Did you build a hut or did you pay the blood price?” (Because of the high price of the construction of a hut in the zone of the ‘black land.’)
 
43) “The hawk has a reputation for digging,” and any offense of that kind (even if not committed by it) is imputed to it.
 
44) “The cubs of the leopard have a spotted coat.” (Like father like son.)
 
45) “Do not put your trust in me! Do not die for me! money said” (because of the difficulties that are encountered later through the collection of the credits).
 
46) “May your neighbor not be sent to you as a spy!” (He is always the best informed about your acts.)
 
47) “One who is born in justice does not refuse justice.” (Noblesse oblige.)
 
48) “Hit with one hand, pay with the other one!” (Everybody must bear the consequences of his acts.)
 
49) “Whoever has been burned with fire thinks that the ashes may also be burning.”
 
50)  “The stagnant water is stirred by the running water.”

51) “O great God! who may gain you? The one who prays to me may gain me. O land of the Lord, who may gain you? The one who perseveres may gain me. O man! who may gain you? The one who gives me something may gain me.”

52) “The question that arose among your relatives breaks your heart” and you run to participate in it.
 
53) “If one takes a drum, he wants to play for a dance.”
 
54)  “The molars of the thief and the virile member of the lustful man: the one who introduces them must pay [the sum owed].” (Whereas for blood vengeance there is the solidarity of the tribe, the thief and the lustful one answer individually.)
 
55) “ ‘Alas!’ is not a name; it is the lament of a sorrowful person.” (It is not enough to lament; it is necessary to specify persons and things about which there is a complaint.)
 
56) “One who runs after women is not told: Rule a people!”
 
57) “A stolen she-camel does not produce lawful camels.” (Like father, like son.)

58) “One who has killed a dig-dig. The dwarf antelope ( digdig  ) is captured with a noose by the hunters. ) with a snare cuts a [another] snare.”

59) “The dig-dig that likes life does not enter the mosque of the hunters.” (The weak one should never trust the strong ones!)
 
60) “One with lower intelligence is told: Recite your generations!” (Because the freed and the low castes have an inferior mentality.)
 
61) “Whoever enters a bovine enclosure at night: if he milked a cow, he milked it, if he did not milk it, he milked it.” (Do not put yourself in such situations as to be — though innocent — accused by the circumstances.)
 
62) “I carry a vessel of milk and leave from an enclosure of sheasses: I am a milkmaid of she-asses.” It is a variation of the preceding proverb: men judge from external circumstances.
 
63) “The one who has lighted the fire becomes warm there!” (One who has provoked a question should think of how to resolve it!)
 
64) “Slaughter the heifer so that the ox will give up hope!” (Because when one slaughters the heifer, from which one expects to have milk, it is clear that the ox will not be spared.)

65)  “In times of famine children are not made to vomit in front of the crowd” (because it is not known what they may vomit, since in difficult times everything becomes lawful).

66) “The camel of Mahay has many witnesses.” Mahay is a well much frequented by the Mantan; thus the proverb is quoted for well-known facts; we would say, lippis et tonsoribus / an abbreviated form of a saying to the effect that “the whole world knows it”/.
 
67) “When the nobles come, people have goat eyes.” (They become timid on account of respect.)
 
68) “The pot in which something is cooked is in trouble; the one who cooks is impatient. The one who handles a question is in trouble; the one for whom it is handled is impatient.”
 
69) “The one who does not get tired has wealth; the one who does not despair has a family.”
 
70) “To the one who says ‘ker’ to you answer ‘kir’  !” That is: repay him in kind! Answer tit for tat!

71) “When one is at war, one does not say to the coward: ‘Advise us!’ When one is at war, one does not say to the hero: ‘Advise us!’ When one is at war, one says to a man who has judgment: ‘Advise us!’ ” (Both fear and boldness may be bad advisers.)

72)  “One who has not poured water on my neck can not shave me” (that is, in order to obtain something it is necessary to flatter those from whom one expects the favors).

73) “The one who has enough milk does not stretch it with water” (whereas the poor man, by his condition, is forced to have recourse to all the expedients).
 
74) “The one because of whom one sleeps does not sleep.” (When, although one promises it, one does nothing in favor of someone, the one deceived must move and act by himself.)
 
75) “The one who surpasses you in eloquence will divide with you the inheritance from your father.”
 
76)  “What is not expected and an arrow make you scream from pain.”
 
77)  “The tree out of which one 20 years old has made a hut for himself, the one 60 years old will spend the midday there.”
 
78)  “Desire and the shadow behind are not to be reached.”
 
79)  “The one who respected you by a span it is best to respect by an arm.”
 
80)  “The people that says: ‘A chief is to be elected, and subchiefs are to be chosen!’ is a people who has a good harvest of durra” (otherwise they would not think about political fights).

81)  “May God not send us camels that eat the grass ‘ isil   and 337   indulgent rulers.” (The actual food of the camels is provided by the leaves of the acacia trees. The camel that eats by bending the head to the ground in order to look for grass instead of holding it high to eat from the branches is like an indulgent ruler.)

82) “From the one from whom one cannot obtain ‘Stand up!’ one may obtain ‘Lie down!’ ” (It is better to adapt the orders to the powers of the one who must follow them.)
 
83) “Thirsty ears understand: Drink!” (whatever else is said).
 
84) “For the viper [the appellation] small is not suitable” (because it is poisonous even if small).
 
85) “Many words do not become the Koran.”
 
86)  “By his eye he is seen, with his stick he is hit.” ( Ex ore tuo   / from your speaking/.)
 
87)  “The country of the hemia sufferers, O God, do not indicate to others to our cost!” (Because there one with moderate health might be taken for an athlete.)
 
88) “I did not come to the sea to joke.” (From the distant woodland the Bedouin has arrived at the shore: thus he has a serious reason for such a trip.)
 
89) “The man of many purposes, the woman of many men, the camel of many capers. gälgälinyo are the movements that the camel makes, once unloaded, placing itself with its back on the ground and turning from one side to the other. ), they differ in nothing.”
 
90) “If the ‘salam ‘alaykum’   was not bad, neither will the “alaykum es-salam   be bad.” (To a cordial salutation, a cordial response.)
 
91)  “Your brother about whom you have spoken ill is not far from you.” (You will find him again and always nearby. Thus abstain from speaking ill of him!)
 
92) “The butchering is only one; but that of a she-camel is a thing apart.” (All are equal in the affection of the family; but somebody may be the preferred one, just as the she-camel is among the livestock.)
 
93) “The hunger because of which you killed a lamb is at the door” (you did not delay it much).
 
94) “He who has a tribe does not have sadness.”
 
95)  “I lost a donkey: ‘drink some oil!’ he told me” (for advice beside the purpose).
 
96) “Knowing your blood, gather together your kindness.” (Noblesse oblige.)
 
97) “The children cry near their mother and look in the eyes of the father” (from whom they expect material favors).

98)  “Games of the young and fence of fields: the one that you conduct there may make you leave it.” (Just as if you take a young friend of yours to the dance, he may take away your favorite girl, so if you introduce a stranger into your field, he may appropriate it.)

99) “The she-camel that likes the food walks in front of the herd” (it knows that it is better to run before the others in order to procure for itself the good pasture).
 
100) “Two who are at war do not give each other gifts of milk.”
 
101)  “Cows and women know the man” (because they always have him near).
 
102) “The people, the one who governs it and the thief know it.”
 
103) “At night wild animals are all wild animals are all wild animals; by day they spend the midday under different trees.”
 
104)  “The talkative woman and the mare that runs a little make the people come down.”
 
105) “That it gives birth, that it produces a female, and that it dies is the worst luck for a she-camel.”
 
106) “O young man, before observing your saying, your giving, and your striking, I shall not raise for you the trill of happiness.” (I wait for your ordeals.)
 
107) “One who likes to dance and one who has the soil irrigated do not agree.”
 
108) “Expected wound does not cause fear.”
 
109) “To one who complains of the piece of dig-dig meat is shown the tracks of the animal.” (If the dwarf antelope killed is so small, the meat to share will certainly be little.)
 
110)  “Two collectors of fruit do not agree.”
 
111) “The impatient woman does not have a marriage portion and her husband does not give testimony.” (The woman who does not know how to wait will not find a husband, since she offers herself too obviously. And if she finds one, her husband, harassed by her impatience, is too nervous to become a reliable witness.)
 
112) “If one loads a donkey, it is not believed that his father had camels.” (The poor one is not thought to have been rich in the past.)
 
113) “One lives on news and food.” (To keep up-to-date about what is happening is as important as food.)
 
114) “If a piece of iron is broken, it is broken by the blacksmith” (and, if a question arises, one goes to the leader, who may settle it).

115) “You are not called woman if you have not first divided the polenta in a time of famine, and your modesty and your patience have been seen.”

 116) “The one who refuses the land, where is he to be buried?” (And one who does not want to accept the discipline of his tribe, where will he find help?)

117) “One who has his father living does not become a lord.”
 
118) “O people, know your leaders! O leaders, know your robe!” (To the respect of the people corresponds the restraint of the leaders.)
 
119) “Burned hut does not care about other huts.”
 
120) “The first question to be decided is food; and the second one is again food.”
 
121) “Although the grave hides, the tree does not hide.” (Only death frees one from the obligations for blood revenge.)
122)  “Because of the grudge that is felt against the crocodile, blows are given to the water of the river.
 
References; Enrico Cerulli “How a Hawiye tribe use to live”

Written by hawiye1

May 26, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Sufism in nineteenth century Benaadir

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Merchants and Ulama, Blood and Patronage:

The Urban Sufi Phenomenon

At the same time that the Benaadiri community began to experience the crisis of the late nineteenth century, organized Sufi turuq gained popularity in the towns of the coast. From the last quarter of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth, the various turuq played a central role in Somali society. While Sufism was known in Somalia before that time, it was largely the preserve of a few ascetics; it only emerged as a prominent social movement under the guidance of charismatic preachers after 1880. The efforts of these clerics were so successful by the beginning of the Second World War, it was estimated that virtually all Somali males identified, at least nominally, with one of the local schools of Sufism: the Qadiriyya, Ahmadiyya, or Salihiyya. Modern scholars of Somali history and culture have amply demonstrated the importance of rural saints, shaykhs, and local preachers, or wadaads. In addition to their spiritual roles, these men frequently acted as advisors, mediators, and even political leaders amongst the clans of the interior. An examination of the manaqib and urban oral traditions reveals that the townspeople of the Benaadir coast also participated in a vibrant mystical culture and, as I will show below, played a pivotal role in Sufism’s expansion number of influential shaykhs of the period made their mark in the largely urban milieu of the coast. Foremost among these was the Qadirishaykh Uways b. Muhammad (1847–1909). Born in the southernmost Benaadir town of Barawe, Shaykh Uways is credited by his followers with the almost single-handed revival of the Qadiriyya order in East Africa.

Accounts of Uways’ childhood, education, and travels have been widely documented: between 1880 and his death in 1909, the Shaykh succeeded in spreading what became known as the Uwaysiyya branch of the Qadiriyya throughout southern Somalia and along the East African littoral as far south as Tanganyika. The writings of most western-trained scholars concentrate on Uways’ activities among rural and disadvantaged peoples. Qadiri oral and written traditions emphasize the attraction the Shaykh held for all segments of society, rural and urban, elites and non-elites. As the quote at the beginning of this article clearly indicates, Qadiri disciples viewed Uways as an important presence in the towns of the Benaadir as well as its villages and hinterland.


The Shaykh’s influence among the urban mercantile classes is demonstrated in numerous written and oral manaqib. His first miracle is said to have been performed in Mogadishu among the merchants of the town whom he “saved” from their reputedly immoral ways and initiated into the path of the Qadiriyya.

This incident will be discussed more fully below. Here it is important to note that according to oral and written hagiographies, following this incident, hundreds of townsmen from all social classes, “both free and slave,” flocked to the side of the Shaykh and joined the Qadiriyya as muridun. These new adherents included many of the local ulama, including Shaykh Abd al-Rahman b. Abdullah al-Shanshy, known more commonly as Shaykh Sufi; members of the political elite, most notably Imam Mahmud b. Binyamin al-Yaquubi, leader of the Abgaal clan, the dominant political force in the Shangani quarter of the city; and many members of the merchant class. Although less dramatic than the arrival of the Qadiriyya in Mogadishu, the appearance of the Ahmadiyya also attracted ready adherents from the urban peoples of the Benaadir. The advent of the Ahmadiyya on the coast is credited not to the emergence of a single charismatic holy man but to the efforts of a number of shaykhs deputized to spread the word of the order by an Ahmadi leader from Arabia, Shaykh Mowlan Abd al-Rahman.


According to most oral accounts, Shaykh Mowlan came to the Benaadir coast a few years before the return of Shaykh Uways and installed five pious men as representatives of the order. These five then proceeded to spread the teachings of the order along the coast and up the Jubba valley. While never as numerically large as their Qadiriyya counterpart, the Ahmadiyya had, by the end of the nineteenth century, spread throughout the Jubba valley, making it, by some accounts, the preeminent tariqa along the river. During the same period, large Ahmadiyya followings formed in the towns of Barawe and Marka under the leadership of Shaykhs Nurayn Ahmad Sabr and Ali Maye respectively. A small Ahmadiyya community also formed in Mogadishu, although some contend that membership there consisted primarily of immigrants from the other two towns.


Exact data for the numbers of townsmen attracted to the various turuq are non-existent. Family histories suggest that by the turn of the twentieth century most men claimed at least nominal attachment to one of the main turuq, the Qadiriyya, Ahmadiyya, or, more rarely, Salihiyya. Similarly, an early Italian administrator in the interior trading center of Luuq in the 1890s noted the prominence of tariqa membership among the community of merchants from the coast. One of the distinctive features of the turuq in the towns was the extent to which the lives of religious practitioners and merchants were closely intertwined. While it was possible to find among the mercantile inhabitants of the Benaadir towns those who were concerned only with commerce and others who followed purely religious pursuits, the social lines between these groups were hardly distinct. The lives of religious practitioners and lay people were closely linked. Their worlds intersected through ties of tariqa affiliation, kinship, and patronage. Sometimes individuals were both religious practitioners and merchants. Few urban lineages were exclusively religious in character. An exception was the Reer Faqih, also known as the Banu Qahtan, of Mogadishu, a clan of religious scholars, who, until the advent of colonial rule, held a local monopoly over the position of qadi, or judge. In general, however, urban families and lineage units tended to be involved in both religious and secular spheres of society. Many families, in fact, counted both ulama and merchants among their members. While urbanites claim that this was a custom carried out from “time immemorial,” evidence of its practice can only be dated to the later nineteenth century and is largely connected to the rise of the turuq. During this period, most merchant families hoped ideally to direct at least one of their sons to religious pursuits and the study of ilm (the religious sciences), while the others took up commerce or various trades. Such was the case of Faqih (“jurist”) Yusuf, of Mogadishu’s Shangani quarter during the early twentieth century. According to family traditions related by his grandson, the Faqi and several other brothers dedicated their lives to study, supported by several younger siblings who became small merchants and tailors. Occasionally, this strategy produced a noted scholar or holy man. Shaykh Ahmad Nurayn, a respected nineteenth-century jurist and early leader of the Ahmadiyya tariqa from Barawe, for example, was a member of the notable Hatimy clan of merchants. Similarly, Shaykh Abd al-Rahman Sufi., poet and early Qadiriyya leader in Mogadishu, came from the commercial Shanshiyya clan. Obviously, not every family or lineage could hope to produce a scholar or holy man of prominence.


For merchants who lacked a prominent relative among the ranks of the ulama, or Sufi leadership, supporting religious institutions such as mosques or student hostels through endowments of waqf or patronizing individual religious notables were the most common means of acquiring spiritual capital. In Mogadishu, as in most places in the Islamic world, notables regularly provided funds for the construction and maintenance of mosques and other religious structures. Evidence from epigraphs demonstrates that from as early as the eleventh century, local personages, including a number of women, supported the construction of mosques in the oldest sections of the town. The Italian ethnologist Enrico Cerulli noted that one of the earliest inscriptions found in Mogadishu’s main jami or Friday mosque indicated that it was constructed around 1238 and endowed by a local notable, Kululah b. Muhammad. Similarly, the Somali historian Sharif Aydrus b. Ali provides a detailed list of prominent mosques built and maintained by local persons of note through the mid-twentieth century (Aydrus 1954:39). In the hagiographies and oral traditions of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, mention of such endowments is rare.


Rather than endowing centralized institutions, benefactors subsidized the activities of individual Sufi masters, students, and scholars. The funding of scholarly activities could take a variety of forms. The most direct of these was the distribution of personal largesse. Local benefactors, for instance, might present regular or occasional gifts of cash, livestock, or other foodstuffs to a shaykh or alim in order to help finance the latter’s study and instruction of students or, more rarely, the practice of traditional/Islamic medicine. Alternatively, a merchant might provide an alim with a quantity of goods, such as cloth, spices, coffee beans, which the latter could sell to finance his activities. Merchants are also said to have helped members of the ulama finance larger trade ventures toward the same end. In addition to the distribution of largesse, merchants and other notables also subsidized members of the ulama and Sufi shaykhs through acts of hospitality. This often took the form of feasts provided for shaykhs and their followers on various holy days or the provision of permanent or semi-permanent housing. The provision of hospitality to scholars, saints, and students is a motif that appears constantly in both written hagiographies and oral traditions.


Merchants might make their homes available to learned individuals on an ad hoc basis. During the 1920s, for example, a hide merchant and follower of the Qadiriyya named Uways Nuur, from the Bendawow lineage, often hosted a certain Shaykh Ooyey al-Qadiri from Jawhar, of the Abgaal, along with his followers. His hospitality usually consisted of providing them with food and occasionally lodging during their stay. Similarly during the 1930s, Hadi al-Barawi, a Barawe merchant living in Bardheere, frequently offered passing scholars lodging for a night or two in exchange for prayers of blessing or lessons in ilm. Hospitality could also take the form of more long-term and concrete investment. Two vivid examples of this are recorded in the oral traditions of Barawe.


The first centers around the Ahmadiyya shaykh and alim Mahmud Waciis, who settled in the town of Barawe from the Ogaden during the later nineteenth century: “Shaykh Mahmud Waciis came to Barawe in the middle of the night and encountered Shaykh Nurayn Ahmad Sabr and said ‘I am here at the order of God. Take me to the house of Suudow Abrar [the pious wife of a wealthy merchant].’ Shaykh Nurayn escorted him there and when they arrived at the correct house the former shouted out to her that he had a guest. At this she is said to have replied, ‘Is it Shaykh Mahmud Waciis?’ And both Shaykhs were filled with wonder at her foreknowledge.” The Shaykh is reputed to have remained in the house of Suudow Abrar until his death some years later (Funzi 1994).


Another example of relatively large-scale largesse was the case of the wealthy Barawe merchant Abd al-Qadir b. Shaykh Ismaan, known more commonly as Shaykh bin Shaykh. Oral traditions about the Shaykh b. Shaykh family state that following the death of the Qadiri leader Shaykh Uways Muhammad in 1909, no one dared buy his house in Barawe for fear that it was inhabited by jinn or spirits. As a result it remained unoccupiedfor months after his death. One night, however, Shaykh Uways came to Shaykh b. Shaykh in a dream and instructed him to buy the house. Shaykh b. Shaykh, who was not then as wealthy as he was to become, borrowed a large amount of money from his relatives and purchased the deceased holy man’s house. Following this, it became the principal place of residence for all Qadiri ulama visiting Barawe, who stayed as the guests of Shaykh b. Shaykh for both long and short periods of time (Shaykh bin Shaykh 1994). Finally, merchants and notables also made long term financial and material commitments to the education of future ulama and religious notables. In addition to entertaining and housing religious practitioners,some urban merchants provided extensive aid to students who came from other parts of the region to study with local scholars. These patrons paid for the subsistence of the students during their stay and built and maintained special student hostels where students resided during the course of their studies. In addition, a local notable might establish a waqf or endowment to finance the education of an individual student. The creation of a waqf for an individual rather than an institution, such as a mosque or school, is unusual and the extent of this practice in the Benaadir is unknown. However, there is at least one recorded instance of such an individual waqf. The hagiography of Shaykh Nurayn Ahmad Sabr indicates that on at least two separate occasions the Shaykh initiated endowments for the purpose of financing the religious education of the future children of two Mogadishu Sharifs. Given the well-established connection between merchants and religion, it is not surprising that Sufi ritual became an integral part of urban life.


Urban Woes and the Social Lens of Hagiography

One way to explain the proliferation of the turuq and the manaqib that grew up around them is to consider them a way for adherents to discuss the problems of society in relation to the crises of the period. Rather than constituting purely laudatory accounts of the miracles of various holy men, the literature produced by the turuq was a genre that presented the sacred as a remedy for secular ills. The use of manaqib as eulogistic literature dates to tenth- and eleventh-century Maghreb, where the first biographies dedicated to ascetics and martyrs appeared.


From this point onward in Islamic history the genre became a favorite vehicle of religious orders, especially Sufi turuq, whose adepts wished to venerate their founders and more distinguished adherents using the written word. The founders of the Qadiriyya and Ahmadiyya orders, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir Jilani and Ahmad b. Idris, were memorialized in such compilations. This genre remained a hallmark of Sufis through the nineteenth century. Thus it should come as no surprise that with the appearance of well-organized Sufi congregations in the Benaadir came the production of the first locally composed manaqib.


The emergence of manaqib as a written genre of literature in Somalia appears to be directly linked to the local renaissance of the Qadiriyya and Ahmadiyya Sufi orders during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The earliest known collections are dedicated to the first generation of scholar-saints, who are credited with the Sufi revival. According to current Sufi leaders and adherents, these collections served to memorialize the saints and to educate new initiates about the tariqa. As such, they were generally recited during weekly, or even nightly, meetings, known as dhikr, and during annual ceremonies, known as ziara, held to mark the anniversary of the death of a particular saint. Recitals also occurred on a much more informal basis, however, taking place during what B.W. Andrzejewski described as “ad hoc situations, round the evening camp fires in the interior,” or “at parties in private houses in towns”. These were written exclusively in Arabic, which Somali urbanites considered the only proper language of public oratory. Running translations into Somali were generally provided at all such events for the benefit of less-educated adepts and casual observers.

Andrzejewski suggests that such oral performances provided the manaqib with a public audience that went far beyond the boundaries of an individual tariqa. He notes that while hagiographic stories were often heard during religious events, they also found their way “into ordinary conversation, especially when people discuss some difficult or unusual situation or reminisce about similar things in the past”. Andrzejewski’s comments highlight two important aspects of the genre. First, it existed as a distinct form of oral literature, which was widely known and used in both rural and urban society. Second, and more importantly, individual stories could be used to illuminate particular social problems. The observations put forward by Andrzejewski were based on evidence gathered during the 1950s and 1960s. However, the presence of hagiographic accounts in Somali oral literature can be demonstrated for a much earlier period. One of the earliest examples comes from Richard Burton, who, in his 1856 First Footsteps in East Africa, related a story told to him by a local alim about the saint Sayyid Yuusuf al-Baghdadi, who vanquished the infamous magician Bucur Bacar, supposed progenitor of the Yibir group of outcasts (72–73). Several other nineteenth-century European writers also noted the existence of oral hagiographies, albeit usually about somewhat mythical saints.


These early accounts point to the possibility that a hagiographic tradition was present in Somali oral literature before the Sufi revival of the late nineteenth century. The emergence of the turuq and their tradition of written hagiography, therefore, seems to have provided a new vehicle of transmission, written text, for an already existing genre of literature. Oral versions of many of the stories recorded about the scholar-saints in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries appear to have circulated widely before they were committed to paper. Shaykh Abd al-Rahman Umar noted that the manaqib of the Qadiri shaykh Abd al-Rahman Zaylai contained in Jala al-Aynayn were “drawn from the learned, and the mouths of men, and the loving brothers of the tariqa”.  Similarly, in other collections, the oral roots of the manaqib are presented as validating their authenticity. In each work the compiler provides a chain of transmission, silsila, for every story. Such chains begin with the person from whom the compiler received the story and proceeds backward in time, listing each transmitter of a manqabah and ending with the person who is said to have witnessed the actual event. Such chains are modeled upon similar chains, known as isnad, used to validate the pedigree of hadith, the sayings of the Prophet. The social utility of various oral genres among the Somali has been amply demonstrated by numerous researchers. The late B.W. Andrzejewski and Said Samatar have demonstrated the various political and social uses of Somali oral poetry, while Lee Cassanelli has illustrated the uses of historical tradition and the histories of individual clans in the definition of social relationships and identities among pastoral groups. If, as Andrzejewski maintains, manaqib are simply another category of oral literature within the Somali repertoire, then it can be argued that they, like other genres, also hold social meaning. Many of the issues confronted and remedied by the saints of the manaqib were physical threats to both urban and rural society: famine, physical insecurity, and epidemic illnesses such as smallpox. In other instances, the issues were moral in character, involving social concerns such as public morality and local tradition versus Islamic “orthodoxy.” Many stories in the hagiographic literature center on public morality and piety.


Such episodes invariably pit pious saints against impious, or at least morally misguided, townsmen. This could be viewed merely as the moral invective of holy men against the apparent evils of the secular world. An examination of these stories within the social and economic context of the late-nineteenth-century Benaadir coast suggests that they may also mirror a widespread belief of the time that local society was suffering from a genuine moral and social crisis, one which could only be remedied by turning to God and religion. This is demonstrated by the first miracle recorded in the hagiography of Shaykh Uways b. Muhammad, al-Jawhar al-Nafis, which is quoted above. The written manaqib does not state the exact nature of the abomination known as hiikow. Oral versions suggest that it was a licentious dance which was performed either by the townspeople or by their slaves. In the latter case, according to oral sources, merchants used the event and the carnival-like atmosphere that surrounded the weekly performances to attract customers. The written version links this immoral behavior directly to members of the urban elite, especially those involved in commerce: “Among them were the Ashraf, merchants, notables, clan elders, rulers, patrons and people of the ships. All of them assisted and participated in this abominable practice until the breasts of the ulama contracted [with anguish]”. It was only the appearance of Uways, according to the hagiographer,that led to the immediate and miraculous renunciation of “the abomination” by the parties concerned, the reconciliation between merchants and ulama, and the adoption of the Qadiriyya tariqa by the townsmen. In another instance of immoral behavior amongst the mercantile elite, rather than a pious Shaykh rescuing townsmen from the path of immorality, irate townsmen plotted the downfall of an overzealous qadi and Sufi saint, Nurayn Ahmad Sabr. During the reign of the Zanzibari Sultan Sayyid Barghash (1870–1888), the Ahmadiyya Shaykh Nurayn Ahmad Sabr was appointed qadi over the town of Barawe. According to both oral and written hagiographies, the Shaykh favored a strict interpretation of Islamic sharia over the use of local customary law, or xeer. Oral versions of this story emphasize that this privileging of “orthodoxy” clashed with the customs of certain Barawan lineages which, in contradiction to Islamic law, excluded women from inheriting wealth or property, thus limiting the distribution of wealth to the agnatic line. Because of this conflict, the written hagiography states, many local notables and merchants wanted to remove the Shaykh from his position of power. Leading citizens wrote to the Zanzibari Sultan making false claims about his lack of competence in the law and clamoring for his removal. The Sultan resolved to have the qadi arrested and brought in chains to Zanzibar for punishment. The Shaykh, by virtue of his karama, or holy qualities, avoided the trap set for him by the jealous townsmen and proceeded to Zanzibar in order to refute the charges against him. He was received by the Sultan and tested by members of the Zanzibari ulama who proclaimed that he was an erudite scholar worthy of his post. The Sultan then denounced those who had leveled the charges against the Shaykh and ordered his reinstatement as the qadi of Barawe  Shaykh Nurayn’s problems apparently did not end here. Another story from the same collection relates that an unnamed town “leader” attempted to assassinate the controversial Shaykh.


One of the leaders of Barawe, who harbored ill will against the Shaykh, went one night to Balad al-Rahma18 with ill intent, accompanied by one of his askaris [soldiers]. As they drew near to the house of the Shaykh . . . they saw a person appear by the door whose shape was like that of the Shaykh’s . . . there was no doubt of it being Shaykh Nurayn. The askari fired his rifle and wounded the person, who fell to the ground. The two thought that they had killed him; but they had not. It seems that the deceased was a cow . . . And when the leader came to know that he had not killed Shaykh Nurayn with the rifle he began to keep watch on the affair for fear that it would reach the government of the Italian Company. Certainly, the above anecdotes cannot be taken as faithful representations of “historical fact.” On the other hand, to categorize them as merely religious polemic robs them of their potential value for the social historian. Instead, I suggest, the above manaqib constitute commentary on the many social and economic maladies of the late nineteenth century—ills brought about by a perceived immorality and impiety of the urban elite that could only be remedied through a return to piety in the forms of the Sufi turuq and the sharia.


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Written by hawiye1

May 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Colonialism & Characteristics of the Southern Resistance

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The Anglo-Italian agreements of 1891 gave Italy the triangle of land known as the Horn of Africa as her ‘sphere of influence’. Afterwards, Italy proceeded to construct shaky colonial edifice of her own in this part of Africa. Until the outbreak of the First World War, Italy was unable to consolidate her control over these territories. All attempts, both military and political, were in vain due to active resistance from the inter-riverine people of southern Somalia. It is out of the scope of this article to discuss the details of this resistance; however, a brief sketch will be helpful. In the late 19th century, the inter-riverine region was the centre of religious ferment and economic resistance against European colonization. The so-called Gosha Revolt (1890-1907), led by Nassib Buunto, emerged from the struggle against slavery. Nassib Buunto recruited the bulk of his fighters from the freed slaves who deserted their Italian landlords and Somali ‘Abans’ (overseers). He established a centre named after him in the Gosha region. The centre offered the escaped slaves not only refuge and freedom, but also a better way of life by developing communal ways of farming and cattle herding, training in new handicraft skills, new techniques for building houses and for manufacturing tools and weapons. It was the free men of this centre who fought against the Italians, delaying their penetration into the fertile hinterlands of the inter-riverine region for decades.

Another focal point of resistance was the Banadir. The Banadirians of the interior were concerned that the occupation of the port by foreigners would mean the diversion of the external trade from their control. The Banadir ports played a significant role in the region’s external and internal trade. They supplied the hinterland with imported commodities as well as providing markets for livestock and major local products. Moreover, it was in these coastal towns that cottage industries like weaving and knitting the Banadiri cloth, the manufacture of utensils and tools flourished, and trader communities were established. It was essential to defend such economic resources, and the Banadir revolt (1888-1910), though religious in origin, was motivated by economic factors. The Banadirians blockaded the Italians on the coast for more than two decades, from 1888-1910.

 

In October 1923, De Vecchi di Val Cismon became the first fascist Governor of Somalia marking a change in Italian strategy in the Horn of Africa. De Vecchi set out to exterminate all who opposed his government’s desire for total control over what fascist propaganda called ‘La Grande Somalia’. However, the Somalis were heavily armed and led by men who had been given advanced training during the preparation for the First World War. An estimated 16,000 rifles were in Somali hands. The Governor’s first task, therefore, was to order the confiscation of arms and ammunition from the Somalis, particularly from the clans in the inter-riverine region.

 The Barsane revolt

In March 1924, Sheikh Hassan Barsane, of the Gugundhabe and a leader of the Shabelle valley movement known as the Barsane Revolt, convoked a Shir (meeting of elders) where the participants, inflamed with millenarian zeal, denounced the Governor’s order. On behalf of the Shir, Barsane wrote the following to the Governor:

In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful … I have received your letter and understood its contents, but must advise that we cannot obey your orders and join with you in a covenant . . . Your government has its laws, and we have ours. We accept no law other than ours. Our law is the law of Allah and his Prophet . . . We are not like other people, none of us has ever enrolled in the Zaptie (colonial forces), never! … and if you come to our land to fight against us, we will fight you with all possible means … The world is very close to its end, only 58 years remain. We don’t want to stay in this world. It is better to die while defending our laws.

After some initial success, the Somali resistance crumbled when Barsane was captured by the Italians on 4 April.

De Vecchi’s problems were not over. Further resistance emerged from the Jama’oyin religious settlements which had sprung up in the 19th century in the same region. In 1923, Sufi Baraki united several Jama’a settlements: Buulo Mareerto, Golwiing, Muki Dumis and others scattered in the Lower Shabelle region, and set up his headquarters in Barawa, the birthplace of Sheikh Aways Qadir, the founder of the movement. The major goal of this movement was to propagate the teaching of its founder. The tours of Sufi Baraki to the villages, where he often made provocative speeches, aroused Italian suspicion, and the fascist authorities warned him several times to give up what they called ‘these unhealthy activities’. Sufi Baraki was forced to leave Barawa for the extreme north of the Upper Jubba region, where a strong religious movement had emerged led by Sharif Alyow al-Sarmani. Sufi Baraki learned many things there, which he later taught to the Lower Shabelle militants. These included plans to fight against tribalism; to bring harmony among the Ikhwan (Muslim) brotherhood; to fight salaried tribal chiefs who were considered agents of the colonial administration; to establish settlements for the protection of the Ikhwan from Italian raids, and to promote learning and training.

Sufi Baraki returned to the Lower Shabelle and established a village called ‘Dai Dai’, later known as ‘Jama’a Dai Dai’, located in the heart of the Jidu territory. Eventually, the movement gained the support of Sharif Alyow al-Sarmani, who established his own village at Qorile, later known as Buulo Ashraf, not far from Dai Dai. A partial merging of the two groups occurred, making the Lower Shabelle movement more powerful. Delegations were despatched across the inter-riverine region to obtain support. They contacted Sheikh Murjan, a prominent Qadiri holy man in the Lower Jubba. The Italian authorities felt endangered, and as a preemptive measure, the Governor ordered the Barawa District Commissioner to negotiate with the leaders of the movement in a peaceful way. This was not fruitful, and a Zaptie commando was sent against Sufi Baraki and his allies. On 20 October 1924, Zaptie forces besieged Dai Dai Camp; the Ikhwan defended their village and forced the Zaptie to retreat to Barawa leaving behind some of their dead and injured. Sufi Baraki considered the event a miracle, and proclaimed a Jihad against the fascist administration. Early in November 1924, the Italians sent well-armed detachments to attack the strongholds of the movement; many centres were attacked, and the Ikhwan fought bravely with arrows and swords.

Characteristics of the Southern Resistance

In dealing with Somali resistance to colonialism, much scholarly attention has been given to the northern Somalia, particularly the rebellion led by Ina ‘Abdulle Hassan, known as ‘the Dervish Movement’.  Southern Somali resistance is not often discussed in Somali scholarship.

Somalia’s historiography became obsessed with a mythic monolithic culture, diverting scholars from examining other important themes of Somalia’s past. Current scholarship is pointing out the significance of anti-colonial resistance in the inter-riverine region. The list of scholars includes Lee Cassanelli, Virginia Luling, Bernhard Helander, Herbert Lewis and those who contributed to All Jimale’s recently edited volume, The Invention of Somalia.

Inter-riverine society was more diversified than its northern counterpart. At the advent of colonialism, it was divided not only along clan lines, but also on the basis of Sufi order affiliation. Moreover, the region had absorbed people from neighbouring regions; Arabs, Oromos and Bantu among them. One wonders how such a complex society could raise serious resistance against colonialism. Nevertheless, the region produced movements that transcended particular clan interests and fought for the protection of broader regional political and economic interests.

The struggle continued throughout the years. Rebellions against the Italian colonialists erupted, depending on the evolution of Somalia as a nation. In the mid-19th century, Cheif Hassan Gedii Abtow, heading the three Mataan Abdulle of the Abgaal tribe, was asked to take a census on his tribe and later to report the results to the Italian ruler in Mogadishu. When the time came for him to report, Chief Hassan brought with him three bags (about 50kg each) of Wambo seeds and told the Italian governor; “this is the census of the Mataan tribe as i asked each and every one of them to put one Wambo seed into the sack”. This was an act of resistance to the Italian occupation. There were many examples of resistance to the domination of the riverine and inter-riverine region such as those of Nasiib Buunde, Abdullahi Isse, and others. Women were also part of this resistance. Several of the most notable were; Hassanai Owbakar (Hassanay Bandiiro), Gura Bilaal, Fay Jeelle and Timiro Ukaash (Cuqaash).

Because the regional economy was integrated, threats to any one sector affected the others. The early Italian blockade of the Banadir ports was a threat not only to particular clans or traders, but threatened to damage the sophisticated network linking the hinterland with the coast.  The caravan routes started to fade, and the value of goods dropped sharply. The oral tradition of the time records the inflation caused by the blockade. Indeed, inflation triggered the resistance that involved numerous clans of the coast, such as the Biyamals, the Tunnis, the Gheledis, the Wa’dans, the Abgals, the Shikhals and others. A coalition of these clans prevented the Italian penetration to the hinterland of the inter-riverine region for over two decades (1886-1908).

The Ethiopians

Even before the Italians began to take steps to assert control over their new possessions, another well-armed power was threatening Somali society from the west. Ethiopian King Menilek, having consolidated his power in the Shewa highlands, began to seek out livestock and manpower in the lowlands to the southeast. When Egyptian forces abandoned the Islamic city of Harar in 1885, Menilek moved in. In January 1887, he personally led an army against the forces of the Harari emir Abdullahi and defeated them on the plains outside the walled town. Thus even before Menilek was crowned emperor of Ethiopia (in 1889), Harar had become a symbol of Ethiopian expansion into the Somali Peninsula.

Using Harar as a base, expeditions of armed Ethiopian warriors on horseback set out to exact tribute from the Oromo and Somali populations to the south. By the mid-1890s, these raids were reaching the Shabeelle basin and beyond. In 1896, Ethiopian forces reached the outskirts of Luuq on the upper Jubba River.

Earlier such military forays had been disruptive to trade; in an age of colonial expansion, they assumed even more menacing proportions.

As far away as the Benaadir Coast, Somalis were aware of the Ethiopian threat. In a report which followed the assassination in 1897 of an Italian official in Marka, one of the reasons given for Somali discontent was “a general uneasiness caused by rumors of an Amharic invasion.”

Such rumors proved well founded; in the spring of 1905, an Ethiopian force estimated at several thousand well-armed horsemen pushed down the Shabeelle Valley to the environs of Balcad, about a day’s march from Muqdisho.

A Somali poet in the Afgooye area recorded the episode in the following verses.

When I was still a young man   Into the world I loved the Amhara came   They came from Jigjiga and the confines of Awdal   Crossing the Ogaadeen, they killed many from the Karanle   They used guns against the people of Imaan Cumar   They killed many from the Jidle and Jajeele.  [Then] they arrived at Jiiciyow and at the banks of the Webi.

When they reached Jibbirrow they were attacked;   The Muslims confronted them and fighting began;   In the country near Yaaqle  The Mobilayn stood firm and fought with them,   The magic of the Gobroon defeated them. [But] when the Amhara left the infidels appeared,   Coming from every corner of the world. . .

The poem indicates that the threat of Ethiopian expansion was felt even by those living in the Benaadir hinterland, and that some Somali clans actually engaged in combat with the invading forces. It also suggests that the Ethiopians were initially perceived to be a greater danger than the Italians, who at that time were still confined to their enclaves along the coast. It soon became clear, however, that the Italians had imperial designs on the country as well, and that their presence was far more permanent than that of the Ethiopian raiders. It appeared that any resistance struggle the Somalis would have to wage would be on two fronts.

The Facist Italians

From 1893 to 1905, when the Italian government assumed direct administration of the southern portion of the inter-riverine region, two companies—the Filonardi Company 1893-1896, and the Benadir Company 1896-1905 — introduced customs and tariff regulations which were anathema to the people of the region. Most early protests were provoked by these measures. Italian colonial records indicate a great deal of Somali discontent. With the introduction of forced labour in the interior, and the toleration of slavery in the newly-established plantations, popular resistance acquired a new dimension. The Nassib Buunto movement is a good example of resistance against slavery and forced labour. Bitter memories of the period are found in the oral tradition of the inter-riverine people. Terms like ‘Cologno’ (corvee labour) and ‘Teen’ (shift labour) are reminders of a tragic period in the history of the region, when its people were forced to work on plantations, roads, canals and other construction projects. Workers in the plantations were treated harshly, and many died of over-exertion and disease.

The faith of Islam includes a metaphysics, a cosmology, a moral and political theory. It is not surprising that colonial oppression and the moral disruption of inter-riverine society should lead to the emergence of movements to defend that faith. The Jama’a movement played a leading role in raising the political consciousness of its followers. The sheikhs who led them were the educated elite in a mass of illiterate people. Most of the Jama’a centres were located in the agricultural part of the region where the colonial plantations also developed, and they posed a threat to colonial activities. These centres became safe havens for runaway slaves and outcasts, giving them a fresh start and helping them to integrate into the religious and economic life of the region.  The centres also enabled destitute people to acquire land and earn a living while also practicing their faith. Jama’a centres were actually a means by which the Somalis could evade the colonial forced-labour regime. In brief, these communities played a tremendous social and economic role and led most the southern resistance at the time.

As we have seen, the Jama’a were scattered throughout the inter-riverine region, and the colonial authority failed to suppress their activities decisively. Italian frustration is clearly manifested in the reports sent to Rome. Governor Riveri (1920-1923) noted in 1921 that the multiplication and extension of Jama’a communities might be a cause for concern since they were acquiring more land and more adherents along the Shabelle valley. ‘By substituting the universal ties of religion for strictly ethnic ones’, Riveri added, the Jama’a ‘could constitute, sometime in the future, a real danger to the political tranquillity of the colony’. As the examples cited above of Sufi Baraki and Sharif Alyow reveal, Riveri’s warning was prophetic. Although by 1926 the most powerful Jama’a resistance had been defeated and the leadership either killed or detained, the fascist administration still confronted sporadic disturbances and sabotage from the Ikhwan followers of martyred Sheikhs.

It is also evident that millenarianism strongly motivated these movements both in opposition to the colonialists and to rally their own followers. Barsane’s letter to the fascist Governor cited above, and his foretelling the end of the world within 58 years, is a clear illustration. The statement that ‘we are living in a time of unparalleled woes’ is a familiar one in nineteenth and twentieth century African anti-colonial movements. The followers of Sheikh Aways al-Qadiri believe he would be murdered by the Dervishes of the north, and that would be the end of the world. Sheikh Abdulle Issaq from Bardhere, another millenarian, predicted that ‘when we are close to the end of the world, Captains and Commissioners will conquer our country’. Similar movements inspired by messianic and millenarian doctrines appeared all over Africa during the colonial era; such as Kimbangui in the Congo, who believed the world would end on 21 October 1921 and Adamawa in Northern Cameroon, who believed the Mahdi (Messiah) era had already passed, and it was now the epoch of the Dajjal (anti-Christ). The believers, Muslim and Christian alike, had nothing to lose in this just struggle: if they die for the cause, they become martyrs; and if they win, they are heroes. Nassib Buunto, the leader of the Somali anti-slavery movement was hanged in 1907. Sheikh Aways al-Qadiri was murdered in 1909. Sheikh Hassan Barsane was sentenced to death in 1924, but had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment and died in prison in 1929. Sufi Baraki was killed in 1925.

References

De Vecchi di Val Cismon (1935), Orizzonti d’impero: Cinque Anni in Somalia

Cassanelli, Lee V (1982), The Shaping of Somali Society, Reconstructing the History of a Pastoral People, 1600-1900