Explorations in History and Society

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

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The Wacdaan tribe between 1896-1908

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Between Afgooye and Muqdisho lay about twenty-five kilometers of thick brush and scrub grass. In the late nineteenth century, the area was inhabited by the camel-keeping Wacdaan clan, who had been close allies of the Geledi for the preceding hundred years.

In the middle of the century, a number of Wacdaan had turned to farming; this helped to reinforce their political union with the Geledi, for the two groups shared land, markets, and credit facilities in the district between the river and the coast.

Two factors bearing heavily on Wacdaan attitudes toward the colonial presence were the internal struggle for leadership, and the economic dislocation brought about by the abolition of slavery and by the famine years of 1889-95. Most Wacdaan farming appears to have been done by slaves imported to Somalia after 1840; there is little evidence that Wacdaan pastoralists had large numbers of traditional client-cultivators typical of such riverine clans as the Geledi.

Thus abolition had more severe consequences for Wacdaan farm labor than it did for Geledi’s. The dry years of the 1890s only exacerbated the economic situation: it was reported in 1898 that one-half of the Wacdaan population had been forced to abandon its home territory for pastures further inland.

Apart from weakening their bonds with the Geledi, these developments, we can surmise, made the Wacdaan extremely fearful of any further threat to their land and well-being. They were, moreover, the first inland Somalis whose territory was actually invaded by colonial soldiers at the time of the Cecchi expedition.

One of the most influential leaders among the Wacdaan was the learned Shaykh Ahmed Haji Mahhadi. He was not a Wacdaan but a member of the Bendabo lineage of Muqdisho. He had lived there most of his life, teaching alongside such renowned Muslim scholars as Shaykh Sufi and Shaykh Mukhdaar.

Like the latter, he found coexistence in a town which housed infidels intolerable, and he chose to retire to the small coastal enclave of Nimow, a little south of Muqdisho. There he set up a small jamaaca —some say it followed the Qadiriya way—which attracted several of the local inhabitants. When Nimow was shelled by an Italian warship in retaliation for the Cecchi ambush, Ahmed Haji fled to Day Suufi (in the heart of Wacdaan territory) where he intensified his preaching against the infidels. As late as 1907, the acting Italian governor considered him “the most listened-to propagandist in this area of the Shabeelle. Even the Geledi turn to him rather than to their own sultan for religious counsel.”

One of the Wacdaan leaders apparently influenced by Ahmed Haji was Hassan Hussein, titular head of the largest subsection of the Wacdaan clan, the Abubakar Moldheere. The Abubakar Moldheere were the most numerous and hence the most militarily powerful section of the Wacdaan in the late nineteenth century. They inhabited the bush country between the river and the coastal dunes, including the villages of Nimow and Day Suufi. Hassan Hussein is remembered as one of the first Wacdaan to oppose the Italians; warriors from his lineage were prominent among the forces that attacked Cecchi at Lafoole.

Likewise, it was spokesmen for the Abubakar Moldheere who most strenuously urged the blockade of caravan routes to Muqdisho.

The other sizable section of the Wacdaan, the Mahad Moldheere, inhabited the clan territory contiguous to Afgooye and the fertile lands around Adadleh. Their interests coincided more with those of the agricultural Geledi. However, their smaller numbers gave them less influence in Wacdaan clan councils, which came to assume greater importance for policymaking as the Wacdaan began to act independently of the Geledi. While the Mahad Moldheere apparently cooperated in the Lafoole siege—at that time, the Wacdaan stood as one, I was told—their leader Abiker Ahmed Hassan subsequently struck an independent diplomatic stance.

In 1899, the Italian authorities sought to persuade the Wacdaan to submit peacefully to the government. They demanded that forty hostages surrender to the authorities in Muqdisho as a sign of Wacdaan submission.

Only the Mahad Moldheere responded. Their leader, Abiker, became a stipended official, which enhanced his standing among those of pacific persuasion. The Abubakar Moldheere refused to send the twenty representatives demanded of them and for some years remained openly defiant of Italian authority. They continued to attack caravans and occasionally to boycott the market of Muqdisho. There is some evidence to suggest that feuding within the Wacdaan increased after this rift between the two major lineages.

Several informants told me that at one time the Wacdaan were more strongly united; and Virginia Luling (personal communication) recorded the comment of an informant to the effect that in the time of the Italians feuding among the Wacdaan increased as traditional diya payments were unable to keep the peace. Cf. Carletti, Attraverso il Benadir, pp. 164-77, passim.

The conciliatory initiatives of the leaders of the Mahad Moldheere toward the colonial government bore some political fruit. For although Hassan Hussein and the Abubakar Moldheere resigned themselves to accommodation with the Italians after 1908, their section received fewer stipended positions than the numerically smaller Mahad Moldheere did. Moreover, the stipends they received were smaller than those of the Mahad Moldheere officials.

In the early 1960s, a man of the Mahad Moldheere was recognized as titular head of all the Wacdaan.

I could not ascertain if this had been true throughout the twentieth century.

While factionalism goes some way toward explaining the dual response of the Wacdaan to colonial occupation, it should not be assumed that anticolonial feeling ran strictly along sectional lines. Individuals from both sections continued to participate in resistance activities and, after their leaders submitted to Italian authority, joined the southern dervishes. The best-remembered dervishes from the Wacdaan were Barghash Yusuf, Muhammad Geedi, Ali Omar Garrarey, and the brothers Muhammad and Mustafa Hussein.

It does not appear that Hassan Hussein, head of the Abubakar Moldheere section, ever become a dervish. Nor did the fiery Bendabo shaykh Ahmed Haji Mahhadi. Ahmed Haji’s son Muhammad, however, was a well-known southern follower of the “Mad Mullah.” He went a step further than his father by interpreting the anticolonial religious message as a call to take up arms against the infidel invaders.

In Sylvia Pankhusrt’s book called “Ex-Italian Somaliland”, the following is mentioned on page 88,

Moreover, the Bimal and Wadan tribes must be conquered and forced to submit to Italian authority. This might be done “gradually, profiting by any favourable conditions which might present themselves,” or “suddenly by a rapidly advancing movement, breaking down all resistance,” as General Baldissera had recommended. Tittoni preferred the gradual method.

Gilib, on the coast, had already been occupied by Italian forces, he told the Chamber; possession would next be taken of Danane and the wells to which the Bimals resorted with their cattle in the dry season. Siezure of the water would give the government the whip hand, above all in a country of that type. Kaitoy, on the Webbi Shebeli, would then be sized, and afterwards towards Afgoy and Gheledi, opposite Mogadishu.

To accomplish these military operations the force of Askaris, which at that time numbered 2,442 with 30 Italian officers, must be increased to 3,400 with 46 Italian officers. Thereby it would be possible to strengthen the garrisons, and to establish a moving column, which could proceed rapidly wherever needed. The occupation of the area from Merka to the Webbi Shebbeli would be easy, for the distance was only 20 kilometres, and no thick forests intervened, but from Mogadishu to the same river the distancewas double, and the region covered with dense woods, “which lend themselves to ambushcades”.

When the Southern clans were conquered by the Fascist Italians in the early 20th century, the rebellious clans were forced to the arduos labour of clearing roads through the jungle and bush.

Tittoni recorded the work already accomplished and the programme immediately projected;

“I believe it will interest the chamber to know what has been done. The labour of clearing has been imposed as a punishment upon the rebellious tribes which have been subjugated. At the middle of last march, the clearing had been executed along the paths which adjoin the following localities;-

(1) Mogadishu-Afgoy, with the understanding that the passage already cleared be widened in as brief a space of time as possible, which is already being done on the Afgoy side, the work being executed by the Wadan tribe.

Only the Italians have written the story of their conquest of Somaliland. The agonies suffered by the conquered people in defence of the fertile land they had cultivated from generation to generation, have been been chronicled; their dead and their exiled are unrecorded.


Lee Cassanelli “The Shaping of Somali society”

Sylvia Pankhurst “Ex-Italian Somaliland”


Written by abshir100

June 26, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Rivarly between the Badi ‘Addä and the Mobilen

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“Once a Badi ‘Addä came out of the Badi ‘Addä territory. In olden times the Badi ‘Addä and the Mobilen were enemies. Then this one (Badi ‘Addä) went to the Mobilen. He went there at night. He entered the hut of a Mobilen. There was no light in the hut. The Badi ‘Addä thus got under the bed without being seen. Then the Mobilen and his wife entered the hut. ‘Bring the polenta!’ the husband said. Then the woman brought the polenta. The husband sat down on the bed. Then she put the polenta on the bed. Then the Badi ‘Addä thrust out an arm there at the edge of the bed. He ate half of the dish. Then the Mobilen thus touched the half of the dish. He said: ‘Here there is nothing.’ He thought that his wife had eaten the half of the dish. ‘But wait!’ and he put his hand thus on the other half of the dish. Then the Badi ‘Addä thrust his arm out straight. The other one took his hand. In the meantime the Badi ‘Addä, in turn, had grasped the woman’s hand. Then the woman screamed. The Mobilen said: ‘Why did you finish my polenta?’ She replied: ‘Dear me! I have not eaten any!’ The husband said: ‘You have eaten it!’ He thought he had seized the person who had eaten his dish. ‘I myself have seized the wife’s hand!’ the Badi ‘Addä said to himself and laughed. Then the Mobilen let go of the hand. ‘All right!’ he said, ‘I have let go of you.’ He thought that it was the wife’s hand. Then the Badi ‘Addä, whose hand was thus released, in turn released the woman’s hand. Then the Mobilen went to sleep. Then the Badi ‘Addä struck him in the belly with the dagger. He died. The Badi ‘Addä fled. “Why ever did that man kill the Mobilen? Because at that time the Mobilen and the Badi ‘Addä were enemies. In olden times the Mobilen used to live in a locality called Tir, which is above Dinlabe. The Mobilen occupied the territory inhabited today by the Hawadlä

The Mobilen tribe has thus reached its present seats (or it has been reduced to its present seats) to the west of the middle valley of the Webi, because of having been pushed out of a more northern territory along the same Webi by the work of the Badi ‘Addä and of the Galgä‘el.

Then the Badi ‘Addä and the Gal-gä‘el chased them away from there. They fled

Evidently, although our tradition (collected from a Badi ‘Addä) does not say it explicitly, the Badi ‘Addä and the Galgä‘el, after having already occupied the territory of the Mobilen around Dinlabe, were in turn driven out by the Hawadlä.

An old man, who in ancient times was the leader of the Mobilen, was called Dino Guled. When his people fled, he remained there

The old Mobilen leader, whose name the tradition has preserved, remains in the country of the ancestors, even when his warriors consent to go away.

 Then the Badi ‘Addä struck him with their lances and killed him. Then a Badi ‘Addä sang a song and said; O leader Dino Guled, like a lid they have entirely pierced you, like a donkey they have loaded you with mats. The ones of my generation did not stop to fight; they skipped away. And so it is.”

The verses of the Badi ‘Addä poet attack the Mobilen for having abandoned their old leader, who, on the other hand, did not find mercy among his conquerors.


Enrico Cerulli ” How a Hawiye tribe use to live”

Taariikhdii Siyaad Qaasim Dheryo Dhoobe

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Maxaad ka taqaan Caaqil Siyaad Qaasim Dheryo-dhoobe? Kumuuse ahaa?

Siyaad Dheryo-dhoobe wuxuu ahaa caaqil Soomaaliyeed oo noolaa muddo dadka taariikheeya ama isaga ka farcamay ay ku qiyaaseen illaa 400 oo sano ka hor ama 12 oday(awoowe) ka hor. Siyaad wuxuu ku dhasay ballida Xamur ee ka mid ah balliyada faraha badan ee ku yaal deegaanka Dooxa ee gobolka Galguduud.

Qaasim wuxuu ahaa nin nabaddoon ah aadna u caqli badan, lana oran karo Siyaad caqliga aabihii ayuu ka dhaxlay. Qaasim wuxuu kaloo ahaa nin xoolo dhaqato ah. Maalin maalmaha ka mid ah ayaa waxaa Qaasim ka lumay awr ka mid ah geeliisii, wuxuuna isla markiiba ku dhaqaaqay in uu baadi goobo inta aanu gabalku dhicin.

Qaasim marna kuma fekerin in baadigoobka awrta ka luntay ay u horseedi doonto helitaanka marwo caqli badan oo hooyo u noqon doonta abwaan xikmaddiisa soomaali meel kasta oo ay joogto lagaga sheekeysto.

Qaasin wuxuu baadidii dabajoogaba, wuxuu goor casirkii ay tahay uu meel kayn horteed ah kaga soo baxay inan ari la joogta, kadib markii uu bariidiyay  ayuu weydiiyay in ay awr baadi ah aragtay iyo in kale? Ma arag bay ugu jawaabtay, hase yeeshee waxay markiiba raacisay tilmaanta awrta oo waxa ay tiri “Awrta mid ma il la’aa? Midna ma dabo go’naa? Mid kalena ma rarnaa?”

Waxa uu weydiiyey halka ay ku aragtay awrta ay tilmaamahooda sheegtay, laakiin waxa ay kaga yaabisay in aysan awrtaasi arag balse ay soo martay meeshii ay awrtaasi mareen. Markii uu weydiiyay sida ay gabadhu ku ogaatay tilmaamaha awrta ka dhumay waxa ay ku jawaabtay “In mid il la’i uu ku jiray waxaan ku ogaaday dhirta hal dhinac buu ka daaqayey kana buurtay, in uu midna dabo go’naa waxaan ku ogaaday saalada meel qura ayuu tuuminayay, in uu mid kalena culays siday waxaan ku ogaaday raadkiisa oo dhulka aad u diisaayay” waxa ayna raacisay in ay astaamahaas ku aragtay meel aan ka fogayn meesha ay goortaa ariga ku ilaashanaysay”.

Qaasim oo markiiba is tusay in uu helay baadi kale oo ka maqnayd baa gabadhii su’aalay halka ay reerahoodu yaallaan iyo arrimo ku saabsan qoyska inanta,  markii uu xogtaas helayna wuxuu u jiheystay halkiii ay gabadhu awrta ugu tilmaantay, nasiib wanaagse meel aan sidaa uga uga fogeyn buu ka soo  helay awrtii. Qaasim wuxuu u tababushaystay in uu Buullo Xuseen(gabadha magaceeda ) u soo geed fariisto.

Guurkii Bullo iyo Qaasim waxa ka dhashay Siyaad oo carruurnimadiisiiba ay soo if baxday kaydka caqil iyo xal-abbaarnimada Eebbe ku mannaystay, wuxuu kaga duwanaa ilmaha ay isku da’da yihiin isagoo marnaba aan ku mashquuli jirin waxyaabaha da’ yartu waqtigooda isku dhaafiyaan, taa beddelkeeda waxa uu aad uga fakeri jiray sidii wax faa’iido u leh uu reeraha ugu soo biirin lahaa. Sancooyinkiisa badan bay dadka qaar sheegaan yaraantiisiiba inuu kula baxay magaca “Dheryo-dhoob”.

Siyaad wuxuu kaloo ahaa nin takhtar ah, kuna xeel dheer kabista lafaha, sanceynta dhirta dawada loo isticmaalo iyo waliba daweynta xoolaha iwm. Wuxuu kaloo daaweyn jiray qaniinyada halaqa.

Markii uu hanaqaadayba Siyaad Qaasim ‘dheryo-dhoob’ waxa uu la kowsaday tijaabooyin la mariyay garaadkiisa curdanka ah waxaana u billaabatay taxanihii qisooyinka Soomaali gees illaa gees caan ka noqday.

Qisadii Qaraha

Qisadani waxa ay ka mid tahay qisooyinkii badnaa ee lagala haray Siyaad Dheryo-dhoobe, in kastoo qisooyin badan oo kale ah aan hada lahayn oo ay kala lumeen.

Waxaa ragga qaar caada u ahayd in ay Siyaad su’aalo fara badan loola yimaado, iyadoo la oran karo waxay ahaayeen aqoon kororsi iyo xujeyn intaba. Maalin maalmaha ka mid ah ayaa waxa Siyaad loo keenay haan afka ka daboolan, lana soo niggaxay. Waxaana lagu xujeeyay in uu sheego waxa haanta ku jira, isaga oo aan furin ama haruubka ka qaadin haanta.

Siyaad ma ahayn nin ay xujo ku cusub tahay, iyadoo hore loo soo marsiiyay xujooyin kale oo qalafsan. Waxa uu bilaabay in uu rogrogo haantii oo uu darso waxa ku jira, isaga oo aan furin. Danta laga lahaa ayaa ahayd in lagu fashiliyo aqoonta iyo caqliga uu sheeganayo, waxa ayna dhalisay in haantan daboolan oo xirxiran gudaheeda waxa ku jira la weydiiyo.

Siyaad laguma sheegin taariikhdiisa in uu ahaa nin falfalka isticmaala oo yaqaana. Balse, waxaa lagu sheegay in uu nin caqli badan, una fiirsada hadaladiisa.

Wuxuu hadba dhinac u gadiyo haantaba, oo marba dhinac ka istaago wuxuu yiri:

‘wuxu qoyaan kama taggana, qaleylna kama taggana ee ma xabbad qare ah baa’.

Markii haantii la furayna waxaa laga dhex helay hal xabbo oo qare ah. Dabcan, sida aad hadda ula yaaban tahay sida uu ku gartay waxa ku jira haanta afka ka xiran, ayaa loola yaabay muddo laga joogo afar qarni in ka badan.

Waxaanse hadalkeygii ku soo gabogabeeyay in aan uga harno in ay tahay arrin ‘mucjiso’ ah.

Qisadii Hasha

Maadaama uu Siyaad ahaa nin mudaawaadka yaqaanna, mucjisooyin badanna laga hayo ayaa sida caadada biniaadamku tahayba waxaa jiray dad aan Siyaad u aqoonsaneyn amaba u quuri waayay caqliga Eebe ku maneystay. Raggii iyagu su’aasha ka qabay caqliga lagu sheegay Siyaad ayaa go’aansaday in ay xujeeyaan, waxa ayna soo kaxeeyeen hal isla markaana masaar ayay afka uga soo rideen una soo kaxeeyeen meeshii uu joogay Siyaad.

Heerka ay nimanka hasha watay ka taagnayd in ay ku beeniyaan Siyaad waxa uu sheeganayo meel fagaare ah, waxaad ka garan kartaa, niman reer miyi ah oo go’aansaday in ay neef u qasaariyaan xujo darteed, oo ayna ku xadgudbeen neefka marka ay masaar laqsiiyeen.

Markii ay hashii u keeneen Siyaad ayaa waxa ay ku yiraahdeen “Siyaadoow noo sheeg hashaanu waxa ay qabto, oo ay la cabaadeyso?”

Siyaad waxa uu u yimid hashii, waxa uuna bilaabay in uu fiirfiiriyo, dhan walbana kala wareego. Waxa uu ka waayay wax nabar ah ama jab ka muuqda hasha, waxa kale oo uu ka waayay astaamaha lagu garto cudurada kale ee ku dhaca geela sida shubanka, kudka, cadhada, il qod, saan-reed, dhugato(hargabka) iwm.

Markii uu muddo ku wareegay ayuu yiri “Hashu maankeygay gadaye ma masaar bay laqday”. Waxaa nimankii xujada maleegay argagax ku noqotay in uu Siyaad sheegay waxa ay ku sameeyeen hasha, halkaana uu ku fashilmay shirqoolkodii.

Halkaas ayay dadkii oo dhami ku qireen garaadka Eebe ku manneystay Siyaad Dheryo-dhoobe, hashiina lagu gowracay. Waxaa kale oo halkaas ka hirgalay maahmaahdii uu bixiyay Siyaad ee ahayd “Hashu maankaygay gadaye, ma masaar bay laqday”, oo illaa iyo hadda dhaqan gashay.

 Qisadii Xog warran

Sideedaba waqti kasta waxa uu leeyahay dad u gooni ah oo laga wareysto wixii markaa taagan ama horay u dhacay, Siyaadna xiligiisii wuxuu ka mid ahaa dadka iyagu looga dambeeyo fikradaha iyo oraahyada taariikhiga ah. Dadka caaqiliinta ah waxaa badanaaba la weydiiyaa su’aalo fara badan oo ulajeedaoodu tahay in lagaga faa’iideysto ama lagaga reebo oraahyo, maahmaahyo ama murtiyo taariikhda gala.

Maalin iyada oo goob shir ah la joogo, loona wada dhan yahay ayaa waxa Siyaad la weydiiyay su’aalo si bal looga faa’iideysto caaqilka. Su’aalaha la weydiiyay Waxa ay ahaayen kuwo si toos ah ama si dadban u khuseeya dadka oo dhan. Akhristoow in kastoo sheekadani dhacday in ka badan 400 sano kahor, haddan su’aalaha la weydiiyay iyo jawaabaha uu Siyaad ka bixiyayba waxaa laga yaabaa qaar ka mid ahi in ay ku quseeyaan ama aad la kulantay. Waxayna su’aalihii u dhaceen sidaa:

Dadkii: Siyaad, bal ka warran samaanta iyo xumaanta ragga?

Siyaad: Rag samaantiis waa “waxaada wax ka sii, wixiisana baahi u cun. Xumaantiisana ninkii ka abaal dhaca wax ka weydiiya, isagaa iiga aqoon badane”.

Dadkii: Ka warran samaanta iyo xumaanta dumarka?

Siyaad: dumar samaantiisa waa “u samir ama ka samir. Xumaantiisana ninkii labada cir-guduud la tirsada wax ka weydiiya, isagaa iiga aqoon badane”.

Dadkii: Ka warran geela samaantiisa iyo xumaantiisa?

Siyaad: Geel samaantiisa “waa korkiisu hakaa qarsanaado, koortiisuna hakuu yeerto. Xumaantiisana ninkii sadex jir ka rartay, lix jirna raaciyay wax ka weydiiya, isagaa iiga aqoon badane”.

Dadkii: Ka warran lo’da samaanteeda iyo xumaanteeda?

Siyaad: Lo’da samaanteedu waa “labada hore biyo ha kula jirto, labada dambena cows. Xumaanteedana ninkii sadex qadiyay, eregna u dhiibtay wax ka weydiiya, isagaa iiga aqoon badane”.

Dadkii: Ka warran ariga samaantiisa iyo xumaantiisa?

Siyaad: Ariga samaantiisa waa “meel il bannaan leh ha daaqo, arad wanaagsanina ha xanaaneyso. Xumaantiisana berrin ood cas leh ninkii ku furay wax ka weydiiya, isagaa iiga aqoon badane.

Dadkii oo dhan waxaa halkaa uga caddaatay in uu Siyaad yahay nin xikmad badan oo laa faa’iideysto Eebe ku mannestay. Maalintaana su’aalihii uu jawaabta ka bixiyay waxaa laga heli karaa nolosha bini’aadamka meel kasta oo ay jogaanba.

Qisadii Mag ari

Waxaa jirtay in uu dagaal dhex maray beesha uu Siyaad ka dhashay ee Duduble iyo beel kale, dad badan oo laba dhinacba ah ay ku dhinteen kuna dhaawacmeen. Sida caadada Soomaalidu ahayd ama hadda tahayba markii gogoshii heshiisiinta la isugu yimid ayaa la xisaabtamay oo dhimashadii la isu tirsaday. Beeshii Siyaad ayaa laba nin la dheeraaday oo diyadoodii lagu yeeshay.

In kastoo waqtiga hadda la joogo diyada lacag lagu bixiyo, xilligii qisadani dhacday geel ayaa lagu bixin jiray diyada, lacagna lama aqoon. Subixii dambe ayaa Siyaad diyadii ari u keenay, dadkii oo dhamina ay wada fajaceen, filanwaana ku noqotay falka uu ku kacay Siyaad Dheryo-dhoobe.

Sida la wada ogsoon yahay garta Soomaalidu waa mid furan oo waxaa ka soo qeybgala dadka oo dhan, si loo ogaado waxa lagu heshiiyay iyo in ay raali ka yihiin labada dhinac ee la dhexdhexaadinayo. Maalintaana waxaa gogosha joogay qabiilo kale oo Soomaali ah, si ay uga marqaati noqdaan heshiiskaas.

Dadkii oo dhan ayaa weydiiyay Siyaad sababta uu ari diyada ugu bixinayo, maadaama uu dhaqanku ahaa geel in lagu bixiyo. Siyaad oo ku adkeystay in uu arigu geela ka wanaagsan yahay, kana manaafacaad badan yahay ayaa waxa uu ku qeexay arigii sidan “Labo ragga ayay la wadaagtaa, labana dumarka, labana geela, labana fardaha, labana lo’da, labana wey sii dheertahay”. Dadkii ayaa weydiistay Siyaad in uu faahfaahiyo wixii uu tiriyay oo dhan.

Siyaad sida la sheegayba dan ayuu ka lahaa diyada ariga lagu bixiyay, waxaana ka go’nayd in uu ka qanciyo reerihii diyada ku lahaa iyo beeshii uu ka dhashay oo aan ku faraxsaneyn ficilka uu muujiyay. Siyaad wuxuu ku bilaabay faahfaahintiisa sidan:

Labo ragga ayay la wadaagtaa, oo waa ‘garka iyo xuurada’

labo dumarka ayay la wadaagtaa, oo waa ‘labaca iyo laab-nugeylka’

labo geela ayay lawadaagtaa oo waa ‘qatinka iyo qajaajufka’

labo fardaha ayay la wadaagtaa oo waa ‘gurdanka iyo gaalibka’

labo lo’da ayay la wadaagtaa oo waa ‘qoobabka iyo geesaha’

Siyaad wuxuu ku soo gabogabeeyay labadii uu danta ka lahaa oo wuxuu yiri:

‘labana waa ay dheertahoo, iyadoo labo jir ah ayay laba qooxood dhexdood iska seeddaa, oo ay laba jirna kaa seexisaa(kaa dherjisaa).

Dadkii oo dhami waa ay garowsadeen hadaladii Siyaad, reerihii diyada ariga lagu siiyayna waa ay aqbaleen, halkaas ayaana lagu heshiiyay oo gartii ku xirantay. Ninkii reerka diyada qaatay u ahaa madaxda ayaa markuu u adkeysan waayay hadalii Siyaad, una arkay in laga gar helay, inkaar la beegsaday Siyaad, oo yiri ‘Labo labo badanaa, labo aan is-geyn ha kaa harto’.

Siyaad intaa kuma ekeyne wuxuu yiri hadal kale oo taariikhda galay illaa iyo maantana maahmaahda Soomaalida ku jira. Wuxuuna yiri:

‘Geel iyo wixii gooyaa, waxba isma gaado dhaamaan’

Inkastoo dadka geela dhaqda ay ku culus tahay in arigu geela ka wanaagsan yahay, haddana waxaa halkaan ku cad in ay beeshii Siyaad ari ku bixiyeen diyadii, iyagoo awood u lahaa in ay geel ku bixiyaan.

Maalintaa waxaa taariikhda dhaqanka Soomaalida galay hadalo ama arrimo dhowr ah oo ka dhacay gogoshaas. Waxaa goobtii ama geedkii garta loo bixiyay illaa iyo haddana loo yaqaan ‘Mag Ariile’. Reerihii iyagu diyada ku qaatay arigana waxaa loo bixiyay illaa iyo maantana loo yaqaan ‘Ciise Riyoole’, waxayna degaan gobolada bari ee Soomaaliya. Inkaartii Siyaad lagu riday oo ahayd ‘labo labo badanaa, labo aan is geyn ha kaa harto’ waa ay haleeshay Siyaad, oo dad badani kama farcamin.

Qisadii koore-dadab

Sida la ogyahay nolosha reer miyigii hore ee soomaalida aad ayay u adkeyd marka loo eego xilliyada colaadaha iyo abaaraha. Xilliyada colaadda waxaa dhici jiray duullaamo beelaha soomaalidu isku qaadi jireen oo marka ay taasi dhacdana xoolo(Geel),iyo xarrago(Fardo) lagu kala qaadi jiray.

Haddaba waxaa dhacay in beri reerihii Siyaad col galay, dagaal lagu riiqdayna uu ka dhacay halkaa, kadib waxaa colkii duullaanka soo qaaday u suurto gashay in ay hore u sii taxaabtaan geenyo beesha Duduble dhexdeeda caan ka ahayd, Ugaaskeeduna lahaa in kastoo uu Siyaad si gaar ah u dhaqaaleyn jiray geenyadaas. Markii dagaalka lagu kala dareeray, dhaawaciina la kala fogeystay ayaa waxaa la ogaaday in ay geenyadii Ugaaska ay colkii u gacan gashay.

Waxaa loo saaray rag jilib culus ah sidii lagu soo celin lahaa geenyadaas oo astaan iyo sharafba u ahayd beesha laga qaaday. Siyaad Dheryodhoob ayaa noqday qofkii loo xulay in uu geenyadii ku soo celiyo xerada laga taxaabay, wuxuuna weysada u biyeystay sidii uu himiladaas u gaari lahaa.

Siyaad wuxuu soo socdaba, wuxuu goor barqo ah soo galay reerihii geenyada ay xeradooda ku jirtay, isagoo iska dhigaya doqon aan waxba garaneyn. Gabar uu dhalay boqorka reerahaa oo ari la joogtay baa aragtay, markii ay u aqoonsatay nin dhimman in uu yahay, ayaa waxa ay u soo kaxaysay xaggii reerka, una keentay aabaheed iyo odayaashii kale. Boqorka reerka oo ahaa nin shaki badan, ileyn waa nin dakano qaba oo nin kale geenyadiisna soo xareystaye, ayaa waxa uu Siyaad mariyay tijaabooyin badan si uu u hubiyo bal in ninku yahay nacas reerka agahiisa looga tagi karo iyo in uu yahay halyey isa soo dhammaagaya. Markii ay boqorkii u caddaatay in ninkani yahay nacas aan dhaqanka adduun waxba kala socon ayaa la soo dhoweeyay oo adeegaha reer boqor laga dhigay, iyadoo loo bixiyay magaca ah “dambas jiif” maadaama meelaha dabka lagu shido uu iska seexan jiray oo aanu nadaafadiisa dan ka lahayn.

Siyaad waxa uu soo xareyn jiray oo uu la joogi jiray fardaha boqorka Beesha oo ay ku jirto geenyadii uu daraadeed safarka dheer u soo maray, waxana uu noqday ninka kaliya ee xerada gammaanka iyo xoodaamiskoodaba uu boqorku u dirsan jiray, maadaama uusan boqorku u aamini jirin cid kale oo garanaysa waxtarkooda.

Maalin maalmaha ka mid ah ayaa waxa si kadis ah isaga oo aan filayn u daawanaysaysay gabadha boqorka beesha xilli uu laxawsanayay geenyadii uu soo dhaqaaleyn jiray oo marka ay aqoonsatay gurxan kala joojin waysay, arrintaas oo shaki ku dhalisay gabadhii boqorka. Shakigii ay qaadday bay aabaheed u sheegtay waxaana la go’aansaday in la hubiyo bal in ninkani fardofuul yahay iyo in kale. Meel fagaare ah baa looga yeeray waxaana la faray in uu faras geed ku xiran ka soo furo oo uuna soo heenseeyo. Hase yeeshee mar qura ayaa dadkii meesha isugu yimid qosol la kala dareereen, inantii shakiga kicisayna yaxyax la sii jeesatay markii uu Siyaad koorihii faraska dhankii qaldanaa u rogay kuna soo xiray faraskii. Dabadeedna waxaa halkaas uga baxay Siyaad magacii labaad oo ah “koorodadab”.

Boqorkii sidaa ugama uusan harine wuxuu gabadhiisii ku yiri ‘Nin kaan waa ka shakiyaye, orodoo u fadhi xumme’. Gabadhii boqorka ayaa maalintii dambe u timid Siyaad ee meel iska fadhiya, soona hor kadan-koodsatay iyadoo u fadhi xumeyneysa, oo aan cowradeeda ka qarsaneyn. Siyaad ma uusan gaagixine, inta farta uu ku fiiqay gabadha alaabteeda ayuu yiri “Naa ma dagaal baad gashay, oo meeshaas ma waran baa kaaga dhacay”. Gabadhii uma jawaabine way ka dhaqaaqday, waxayna aabaheed u sheegtay wixii dhacay. Sidaas ayuuna boqorkii reerku ku shaki baxay.

Siyaad waxa uu dhaandhaan iska dhigo, marba si silloon oo lala yaabo u dhaqmaba, waxa ugu dambeyntii u timid fursaddii uu muddada sugayay. Galab ayaa boqorka reerku faray Siyaad in uu soo kaxeeyo geenyadii oo lagu diyaariyey geed hoostii loona qalabeeyey si heer sare ah si loogu dabbaaldego inanta boqorka oo la aroosayay. Waa siduu Siyaad rabaye, intuu geenyadii si xarrago leh u soo fuulay oo madashii shirka ula soo dhowaaday buu markii la weydiiyay “waa kuma ninka geenyada ku joogaa?” wuxuu ku jawaabay “marna waa dambas jiif, marna waa koorodadab, marna waa kii lahaa”. Intaas kuma ekaane wuxuu madashii odayaashu fadhiyeen ku soo sayriyey wasakh uu ula jeeday in uu ku muujiyo sida aanu ugu qanacsanayn habkii ay ula dhaqmeen iyo colaaddii ka horreysay ee ay geenyada ku soo qafaasheen. Siyaad oo awalba aqoon u lahaa geenyada uu saaran yahay orodkeeda in aan faras kale cago ku gaari karin, ayaa la beegsaday jihadii reerkoodu ka jiray isagoo niyada ku haya in uu col soo dabajoogo.

Durbadiiba waxa la agaasimay ciidankii iyo fardaha midba midkii uu ka dheereeyay si ninka geenyada qaaday looga soo reebo, hase yeeshee geenyada oo aan gammaan cago ku barbareeya weli hore loo arag ayaa ka cid gashay colkii ku raad joogay. Halkaasna waxaa beesha Siyaad ay sharaf ku aqoonsadeen qofnimadiisa qaaliga ah, boqorkii is jecleysiiyay geenyo aan isaga u dhalanna wuxuu ogaaday in uu Siyaad ahaa nin caqli badan, doqonnimona ay kala fog yihiin.

Qisadii Garta

Maalin maalmaha ka mid ah Siyaad oo wata rati dhaan ah, ceelkana ujeeda ayaa waxaa uu maqlay dad magaciisa ugu yeeraya oo leh ‘Siyaad…siyaad’, gadaal ayuu u fiiriyay wuxuu arkay labo nin oo xagiisa u soo ordaya, kadibna wuu ka sii jeestay oo socdaalkiisii sii watay.

Labadii nin oo xuurtoonaya oo dhididka seyrinaya ayaa ka daba yimid kuna yiraahdeen ‘Siyaadoow rag ayaa halkaas fadhiya oo gar goyn waayaye, kaalay wax ka dheh’. Siyaad oo lagu yaqaanay murtida iyo garta aan eexda lahayn, lagana filayay in uu ragga garta u fadhiya kala qeybqaato ayaa wuxuu ku yiri raggii “Nin hoggaan hayaa, howraar ma toosiyo” wuuna iska sii socday oo dhaankiisii kaxeystay.

Labadii nin oo ka xumaaday goobta uu uga dhaqaajiyay Siyaad iyo xilligii gartu isku cakirnayn ee baahida loo qabay ayaa raggii geedka garta u fadhiyay dib ugu laabtay una sheegay in uu Siyaad diiday in uu galo gartaas. Nin raggii gogosha fadhiyay ka mid ahaa ayaa weydiiyay labadii nin hadalkii uu Siyaad ku jawaabay, waxayna u sheegeen in uu Siyaad yiri “Nin hoggaan hayaa, howraar ma toosiyo”. Ninkii ayaa fahmay ulajeedada uu Siyaad ka lahaa hadalkaas wuxuuna ku yiri raggii intiisii kale ‘Siyaad ma diidin in uu garta galo, wuxuu yiri ninna laba howl ma wada qaban karo hal mar, ee wuu na soo mari doonaa markuu soo dhaansado, waa in aan sugnaa’.

Maalin kadib ayaa Siyaad oo dhaankiisii wata soo maray raggii oo geedkii gartii u fadhiya, dhinac buu ka fariistay gogoshii. isla markaana gartii galay, gabogabadiina waa lagu heshiiyay.

Waxaa halkaas laga qaatay hadalka maahmaahda noqday ee ahaa “Nin hoggaan hayaa howraar ma toosiyo”, oo ka mid ah maahmaahyada badan ee uu Siyaad reebay, macnaheeduna ku saleysan yahay “Ninna labo shaqo hal mar ma wada qaban karo”

 To be continued..

History of Wacdaan and their alliance with the Geledi

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The Wacdaan subclan of Darandole Mudulood have a centuries-old alliance with the Geledi which stands to this day. The history of this subclan and their alliance with the Geledi spans a long time and has withstood the turbulent changes Somalia and Banadir experienced throughout the centuries.

In this article we’ll try to narrate the most important aspects of Wacdaan history and the alliance with the Geledi which was the foundation of the Geledi Sultanate.  

In capter 12 of the book titled: Somali Sultanate, the Geledi City-State over 150 years, the author (Virginia Luling) writes:

The precolonial politics of Somalia, while they were articulated by clan and lineage divisions, also relied on alliances that could cut across the lines of descent. We have seen that Geledi exemplified this principle to a high degree. Their alliance, waransaar (pile of spears), with the Wacdaan carries it even further, and is different from the links within the Geledi community that I have analyzed so far. The Wacdaan regard it not as a client relationship but as an alliance between equal entities, separate and of roughly equivalent size, with each maintaining its own political system but joining in the defense of their common interest. It is notable in that it bridges the divide between the two major branches of the Somali – The Samaale and the Sab, the Maxaa and the Maay speakers. It encapsulates the division between the pastoral-nomadic and the settled agro-pastoral Somali.


On the character of the Wacdaan and their contribution to the succes of the Geledi Sultanate Virginia Lulling writes in chapter 12 of the above mentioned book:

Warriors and Dandies

The league of the Geledi with this vigorous and warlike pastoral clan must have contributed much to their succes in their heyday – indeed in the opinion of the Wacdaan themselves the Geledi would have been helpless without them. They have a strong warrior ethos: their ideal is of the man who is both brave and dandified, dressing in a fine white cloth even if he has to go hungry. Many of the Wacdaan were slow to take up modern schooling, but if the Geledi considered this a sign of backwardness, for some at least of the Wacdaan themselves it showed their independence of spirit. They valued this independence even though i the 1960s it led to their lacking a deputy of their own to send to the National Assembly (their representative came from the Abgaal).


The origins of the Wacdaan are like most subclans of the Darandole Mudulood in Ceeldheer, Mudug region of Somalia. As we have seen in the history of the Darandole conquest of Mogadishu, the Wacdaan played a keyrole and were even blessed by the Darandole Imam for their bravery in the war against the Ajuuraan. After having played a keyrole in the defeat of the Muzzaffar Dynasty in Mogadishu and their Ajuuraan allies in the hinterland the Wacdaan entered into an alliance with the Geledi to defeat the Silcis who were in power of Afgooye region.

Virginia Lulling narrates on the origins of Wacdaan as followes:

History and Migration

According to most accounts the Wacdaan came originally from near Mareeg in Ceel Dheer district in Mudug, where there is a place called Jebed Wacdaan. After long and destructive wars with the Abgaal, the Wacdaan arrived in the Afgooye area, which was then still ruled by the Silcis. The Geledi needed them as allies and – according to the Wacdaan- employed magic, tacdaad, to make them stay. They prepared a feast for the Wacdaan envoys, and meanwhile shoemakers fixed each man a new pair of sandals, with a charm in between the two layets of the sole, which would cause them to come back. The Wacdaan inbsist that they took the lead in the ousting of the Silcis rulers, driving them from the land on the East bank of the river and then taking possesion of it. They maintain that it was only thanks to them that the Gobroon sltans became powerful. (The Geledi however are adamant that it was they who conquered the Silcis, with the Wacdaan either playing a secondary role, or arriving afterwards, and that the Geledi granted the Wacdaan the land.)

In this narration of the migration of Wacdaan Virginia Lulling asserts that the Wacdaan arrived to Afgooye and Banadir as a consequence of wars between them and Abgaal subclans. However, what she means is that the Wacdaan came to Afgooye region from Lafoole and Mogadishu and not from all the way Ceeldheer in Mudug region. As became clear from the history of Mogadishu the Hirab, in which Wacdaan was a subclan of (to be precise subclan of Darandole Mudulood Hiiraab), migrated southwards from Mudug.


“In ancient times the Sirasi lived in Mogadiscio. The people called Halawani succeeded the Sirasi. The Mudaffar succeeded the Halawani. The Mudaffar came from the country of Yemen in Arabia. He had guns. He built the palace that is found under the Governor’s house. He was a friend of the Aguran. At that time the Mudaffar governed the coast; and the Aguran ruled in the woodland. The Hirabe were not nearby them; they lived in the northern places. At that time the people of the woodland could not spend the night in the city of Mogadiscio. At sunset a ban was put on the city: ‘Hawiyya, it is growing dark! Hawiyya, it is growing dark!’ Then they went away toward the woodland.

“Later the Mudaffar had an interpreter who was called ‘Ismankäy Haggi ‘Ali. This ‘Ismankäy had the idea of letting the Darandollä enter the city. A message was sent to the imam Mahmud ‘Umar, who lived at Golol. The imam, guiding his Page: 71 warriors, came south and approached Mogadiscio. Then what did ‘Ismankäy do? He spoke with the Mudaffar: ‘By now the Darandollä are near Mogadiscio, let me be accompanied by some soldiers, and I shall go to them.’ ‘How do you want to do it?’ ‘I shall do it this way. I shall come to an agreement with the leaders and make them return to the places in the north.’ ‘So be it!’ said the Mudaffar. Then ‘Ismänkäy took some soldiers with him, but without weapons: ‘Leave your weapons! We go out to conclude an agreement, not really for war.’ They put down the weaons. They went into the woodland. When they had gone into the woodland, the Darandollä came out and took all the soldiers prisoner. Then they continued the raid and entered Mogadiscio. The Mudaffar was caputred and they wanted to kill him. But he, looking at the people who had come close to him, saw among them ‘Ismankäy Haggi Ali. ‘Stop!’ he said then. ‘Before you kill me, I want to speak. O ‘Ismankäy, you are good for nothing, you are capable of nothing, you will not pass seven!’ he said. Thus was 248 ‘Ismankäy cursed. When the Mudaffar was killed, when seven days passed after his death, ‘Ismankäy died too. It happened exactly as he had been cursed.

‘After entering Muqdisho, the Darandoolle quarrelled with the Ajuraan. They quarrelled over watering rights. The Ajuraan had decreed: ‘At the wells in our territory, the people known as Darandoolle and the other Hiraab cannot water their herds by day, but only at night’’…Then all the Darandoolle gathered in one place. The leaders decided to make war on the Ajuraan. They found the imam of the Ajuraan seated on a rock near a well called Ceel Cawl. They killed him with a sword. As they struck him with the sword, they split his body together with the rock on which he was seated. He died immediately and the Ajuraan migrated out of the country.’


From the above quotation from the book titled:  How a Hawiye tribed lived written by Enrico Cerulli, we can see that the Darandole Mudulood, Wacdaan been a member of the Darandole, came from Mudug region and conquered Mogadishu and its direct environs from the Muzaffar dynasty and the Ajuuraan rulers in the hinterland.

Wacdaan were pushed eventually out of Mogadishu city and pushed towards Lafoole and Afgooye region, which is in line with the wars Virginia Lulling talks about.




page 207 of the same book, Virginia Luling writes:

Written by daud jimale

June 6, 2009 at 5:02 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

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

Italian imperialism and Benaadir resistance prt 4

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5:The Storm of the Banadir Resistance gathers strength

As became clear from the NY times report (see part 4) on the ‘Lafole Massacre’, the Italian minister of Foreign Affaires commented on the ‘Lafole Massacre’ that the Italian government would take ‘energetic measures’ to punish the Somalis who were ‘guilty of the outrage’.

Now let us discuss these ‘energetic measures’ the Italian government wanted to take, and see whether they could stem the coming tide of the monsoon storm of resistance headed towards the Benadir coast region. As mentioned in part 3, the Italian foreign minister immediately appointed Commander Giorgio Sorrentino as royal commissioner extraordinary for the Benadir. His mission was as Robert L. Hess writes in his book ‘Italian colonialism in Somalia’:

”Sorentino was instructed ‘above all to provide for the security and tranquillity of the region’ After a complete investigation of the causes of the attack at Lafolé, he was to take whatever steps should appear indispensable for our dignity and for the security of the colony’’

This investigation would be completed within ten days which was around February 1897 (see part 4). The conclusion Sorrentino drew from the investigation was as follows:

”Within ten days he had determined that Lafolé was neither the precursor of a general urprising against the Italians nor an Ethiopian ambush but an isolated case of action by Wadan tribesmen and the tribes of Geledi; who had been spurred to the act by two Arabs from Mogadishu’’ (Robert L. Hess)

The conclusion Sorrentino drew was that the guilty ones were Wacdaan tribesmen and the tribes of Geledi, which meant that these tribesmen would be punished as the Italian foreign minister said in the NY Times report. Also Sorrentino believed that these tribesmen have been spurred to the act by two Arabs from Mogadishu. These Arabs were Abu Bakr Bin Awod, Filonardi’s interpreter and a certain Islam bin Muhammed.

The first thing, Sorrentino did was arresting Abu Bakr, while Islam bin Muhammed disappeared from the Banadir coast. The second thing, Sorrentino did was to plan a punitive expedition against the Somalis who were ‘guilty of the outrage’. For this he had ordered two companies of Eritrean askaris. In the meantime, Sorrentino, researched the conditions prevailing in the Benadir, where he discovered the widespread practice of slavery and domestic servitude. But he could not do something about it, since obviously this meant distrubting the whole plantation economy of the South.

”Under the circumstances-the already difficult relations with the interior tribes- Neither Dulio nor Sorrentino could act immediately against slavery. Such action would have committed the Italians to a costly undertaking of doubtful outcome, a risk that Sorrentino had been ordered not to take.’’ (Robert L. Hess)

Sorrentino and Dulio, the Benadir Company’s commissioner, had to content themselves with the expected punitive expedition against the tribes in the interior. Sorrentino was pleased at the prospect of this punitive expedition as he thought of the Somalis as: ”liars, thieves, and murderers”. A clear grudge from the ‘Lafole massacre’. He wrote in his book Ricordi del Benadir: ”We’ve got a nasty cat to skin!, May God protect us!”

In March the reinforcements of the two companies of Eritrean askaris finally arrived, and the Italians completed their plans for the punitive expedition against the Wacdaan and Geledi.

On April 20, almost 5 months after the Lafole attack, Sorrentino led his expedition inland and burned first Lafole and then several other villages associated with the Geledi and Murusade clan. The religious settlement of Nimow from where Sheekh Axmed Xaaji preached his religious message, was also bombarded by an Italian warship.

”The Italian bombardment of the small coastal village of Nimow in retaliation for Cecchi’s death marked the first such colonial action against a Somali civilian population.’’( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians were joyful about these ‘energetic measures’ against the Somalis who were found guilty. Surprisingly, the Italians thought that these measures would solve everything and concluded that the Sorrentino expedition was a success:

”With Abu Bakr arrested, the Ethiopians in voluntary retreat, Lafole avenged, and leaders of Somali opposition deported, Sorrentino had virtually accomplished his mission by the end of April’’ (Robert L. Hess)

The deported leaders were Hussein Dera of Mogadishu and other Somalis for collaboration with the Ethiopians and instigation of Somali attacks on trading caravans between Lugh and the Coastal towns. Although these punitive expeditions looked impressive, they had no lasting effect, as it further antagonized the Wacdaan and Geledi clans. Also, it became clear that the two Arabs had no influence whatsoever on the clans of the interior, and thus were not the source of opposition to the Italian presence.

”The impression made by the punitive expedition after Lafolé could hardly have been called lasting” (Robert L. Hess)

This seems to be the case, since the Italians retreated to the coastal cities after the expedition.

”In the decade following the Lafoole incident, the Italians remained at the coast, their colonial policy marked by uncertainty and indecision. Their only major venture into the interior was the establishment of a garrison of Arab soldiers at Baardheere in 1902’’ ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

Also, in the book ‘Italian colonialism in Somalia’ of Robert L Hess, it becomes clear that the punitive expedition to avenge the Lafole attack was not followed by other expeditions into the interior.

”We make no expeditions against tribes guilty (of hostilities) but arrest individuals of that tribe who happen to be in town; (this policy) has persuaded the Bimal and the Somali of Mogadishu that we are not strong”

It thus becomes clear that the Italians retreated back to the Coast, and only were visible in the cities of Merca, Mogadishu, Barawe and Warsheekh.

In Somali Sultanate, Virginia Luling also talks about the consequences of Lafole attack, in which she writes: ”On the Italian side, though the repercussions of the disaster delayed by three years the formation of the Benadir Company, in the long run it reinforced the conviction that it was necessary to take military control of the hinterland.’’

What made the punitive expedition not effective on the long run? Why did the Italians retreated to the Coast? To answer these questions we need to know how the different Somali groups in Benadir responded to the Lafole attack.

”It is clear from colonial reports and from Somali oral recollections that Lafoole precipated a response from all the districts of the hinterland” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).


-To start with the Geledi Sultanate,

The Sultan of Geledi, Sultan Osman, as already discussed in the previous parts, wanted to accommodate the Italian presence on the Banadir coast. Cecchi apparently went to conclude a treaty with the Sultan, in order to penetrate the interior of the Banadir region. The Lafole episode came suddenly, and the Italians mounted their revenge expedition. As a consequence, Sultan Osman quickly succumbed to the Italian pressure and signed a treaty of peace with the Italians.

”The encounter with the Italians subdued the sultan of Geledi, who quickly signed a treaty of peace and pledged obedience to the Italian government” (Robert L. Hess).

This however did not mean that the Geledi people supported the Italian penetration of the Banadir coast, or accepted the Sultan’s treaty with the Italians. The young people of Geledi were fiercely opposed to the Italians and also played a role in the Lafoole attack.

”Acting-Governor Dulio felt that the young men of Geledi were fiercely opposed to the Italian presence, whereas their elders wanted some sort of accommodation” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

Besides the young men, the uncle of Sultan Osman, and others felt that if the sultan wavered in his resistance, Gobroon authority would be weakened for good. This was true, since many from Adawiin lineage, whose religious prestige among the Geledi was second only to the Gobroon, preached a policy of non-accommodation. The reasons why the Sultan of Geledi succumbed to the Italians were varied. One of them was that Sultan Osman himself considered the possibility of shoring up his waning power through an alliance with the Italians.

The only articulated fierce opposition to the Italians from the Geledi was from the leader of a jamaaca (religious settlement) of the Ahmediya. This leader was Shaykh Abiker Ali Jelle, a member of the sultan’s own Gobroon lineage.

”When Abiker began to preach outright opposition to the colonials sitting threateningly on the coast, he was forced by the Geledi elders to leave the district’’( Lee V. Cassanelli).

This shows on which side the elders stood, and how they along with the Sultan were hesitant to join the resistance and thought accommodation was the best option for the group’s interest. We will see in later instalments whether this actually was the case.

-The Wacdaan response:

As already discussed in the previous parts, the Wacdaan were from the beginning fiercely opposed to the Italian penetration of the Banadir. This fierce opposition culminated in the attack of Lafole, in which mainly Wacdaan warriors along with a few Murusade and Geledi warriors, attacked the Cecchi expedition and killed all but three men.

The Italians directed their anger and revenge on mainly this group, by burning Lafole to the ground and bombarding the coastal village of Nimow from the sea. The Sorrentino expedition, with the Italian troops already based in the Banadir port-cities and the reinforcements of the two Eritrean Askari companies, was also mainly directed at punishing the Wacdaan and their allies.

These punitive measures however did not subdue the Wacdaan. Instead the Wacdaan remained harassing Italian presence on the Banadir coast by conducting guerrilla warfare tactics i.e. attacking caravans to the Banadir port-cities, organising blockades of the caravan routes that went through their territory to Mogadishu, and persecuting Somalis working with the Italians.

”Now the Wacdaan were beginning to blockade the caravan routes that ran through their territory to the coast” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians sought to divide the Wacdaan and persuade sections of the group to submit peacefully. As said earlier the most numerous and militarily strongest section of Wacdaan, the Abubakar (Abukar?) Moldheere were lead by the famous Hassan Hussein, the fierce anti-‘infidel’ leader who along with Sheekh Axmed Xaaji articulated the opposition to the Italian penetration of the Banadir coast. This section of Wacdaan could not be persuaded, and continued to fight the Italians to the bitter end. The other section, the Mahad Moldheere, began slowly to depart from the rest of Wacdaan. They too participated in the Lafole attack, but started to move to the side of the Geledi. This was not surprising since they inhabited the territory contiguous to Afgooye and the fertile lands around Adadleh.

”Their interests coincided more with those of the agricultural Geledi. However, their smaller numbers gave them less influence in Wacdaan clan councils, which came to assume greater importance for policymakers as the Wacdaan began to act independently of the Geledi. While the Mahad Moldheere apparently cooperated in the Lafoole siege, their leader Abiker Ahmed Hassan subsequently struck an independent diplomatic stance.’’ ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

When in 1899 the Italians demanded forty hostages to be surrendered to the authorities in Muqdisho as a sign of Wacdaan submission, only the Mahad Moldheere responded. Their leader Abiker became a stipend official, which enhanced his standing among those of pacific persuasion.
The Abubakar Moldheere refused to send the twenty representatives demanded of them and for some years remained openly defiant of Italian authority.

”They continued to attack caravans and occasionally to boycott the market of Muqdisho. There is some evidence to suggest that feuding within the Wacdaan increased after this rift between the two major lineages’( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Biyamaal response:

The Biyamaal were one of the first group to express their support for the Wacdaan in the lafole attack. They boycotted the markets of Merca, and the northern Biyamaal even collaborated with Hassan Husein of the Wacdaan. This collaboration led to the Biyamaal becoming also a target of punitive expeditions.

”After the Lafoole episode, several Biimaal sections boycotted the market of Marka to express their support for the Wacdaan action. The northern Biimaal collaborated with Hassan Hussein of Lafoole in cutting off land communications between Muqdisho and Marka.” ( Lee V. Cassanelli).

The Italians also targeted the Biyamaal for their support to the Wacdaan. In this they seized Jeziira, 13 miles south of Mogadishu.

These were the immediate responses of the Italian colonialists and the different Somali groups to the Lafole episode.

These actions and reactions would accelerate in the coming years, as the Italians were determined to colonize the Banadir coast and its hinterlands as the springboard for the eventual colonization of the rest of Southern Somalia. In this, the Italians would target the two most fierce resistance groups in the Banadir: the Wacdaan and Biyamaal, who were already allied in their economic sanctions and operations to disturb the lines of supplies and communication of the Italians in Mogadishu. As will become clear in the next instalments the Italians would target the very foundation of the Wacdaan and Biyamaal power: their means of production and thus means of power–>the plantation economy of the Banadir coast.

In the next instalment the plantation economy of the Benadir coast and Southern Somalia will be discussed and the Italian strategy to undermine this by their anti-slavery campaign.

This strategy of directly targeting the foundations of the Banadir agricultural society and thus the power of the two most fierce resistance groups against Italian penetration of the Benadir coast would trigger the monsoon Storm of Resistance that struck the Banadir coast region.