Hiraab is a Somali clan, and one of the Gorgaarte Hawiye subclans. Hiraab members live in central and southern Somalia, from Gaalkacyo to Kismayo. Most of them, such as the Abgaal, live in Mogadishu. Others live in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. They once formed a kingdom which successfully revolted against the Ajuran Sultanate and established an independent Hiraab Imamate, which included Hobyo.[1] According to Dr. Bernhard Helander of Uppsala University, "the Imam of Hiraab is a hereditary position that traditionally is held by a person of the first-born branch, the Mudulod."[2]


[hide]*1 Hiraab sub-clans

[edit]Hiraab sub-clansEdit


[edit]The Hiraab ImamateEdit

Lee Cassanelli in his book, "The Shaping of Somali society," provides a historical picture of the Hiraab Immate. He writes:

"According to local oral tradition, the Hiraab imamate was a powerful alliance of closely related groups who shared a common lineage under the Gorgaarte clan divisions. It successfully revolted against the Ajuuraan sultanate and established an independent rule for at least two centuries from the seventeen hundreds and onwards.[1]

The alliance involved the army leaders and advisors of the Habar Gidir and Duduble, a Fiqhi/Qadi of Sheekhaal, and the Imam was reserved for the Mudulood branch who is believed to have been the first born. Once established, the Imamate ruled the territories from the Shabeelle valley, the Benaadir provinces, the Mareeg areas all the way to the arid lands of Mudug, whilst the ancient port of Hobyoemerged as the commercial capital.[1]

Hobyo served as a prosperous commercial centre for the Imamate. The agricultural centres of Eldher and Harardhere included the production of sorghum and beans, supplementing with herds of camels, cattle, goats and sheep. Livestock, hides and skin, whilst the aromatic woods and raisins were the primary exports as rice, other foodstuffs and clothes were imported. Merchants looking for exotic goods came to Hobyo to buy textiles, precious metals and pearls. The commercial goods harvested along the Shabelle river were brought to Hobyo for trade. Also, the increasing importance and rapid settlement of more southernly cities such as Mogadishu further boosted the prosperity of Hobyo, as more and more ships made their way down the Somali coast and stopped in Hobyo to trade and replenish their supplies.[1]

By the late 19th century, the imamate began to decline. Faced with internal problems, the imamate also faced challenges from the imperialist forces as well as the Zanzibari sultan, and even the Portuguese in the earlier years. By then, a young ambitious rebel of the Majeerteen managed to invade Hobyo with an army of Yemeni musketeers and declared himself the sultan of Hobyo. After roughly 50 years, the Sultan was disposed and overthrown by a former commander of the Imamate named Guuleed Faarax Jeex who put Hobyo back into the hands of the Imamate for a short period of time .

Soon afterwards, the entire region was snapped up by the fascists Italians and it led to the birth of a Modern Somalia. However, the Hiraab hereditary leadership has remained intact up to this day and enjoys a dominant influence in national Somali affairs."[1]

[edit]List of Sultans of the Hiraab ImamateEdit

  • Suldaan Doodshe Aadan Good
  • Suldaan Daamey Cali (Xume) Axmad
  • Suldaan Cumar Abu Bakr
  • Suldaan Abu Bakr
  • Suldaan Axmad I
  • Suldaan Maxamad I
  • Suldaan Axmad II
  • Suldaan Maxmuud
  • Suldaan Cali
  • Suldaan Cusmaan
  • Suldaan Maxamad II
  • Suldaan Axmad III
  • Suldaan Xassan C/Qaadir Xaa