Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn
|Born||Zeila in the 12th century|
|Main interest(s)||Islamic literature, Islamic philosophy|
Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn (Arabic : يوسف بن أحمد الكونين) (b. 12th century), popularly known as Aw Barkhadle ("Blessed Father"), Yusuf Al Kownayn, Yusuf Al Bagdhadi, and Shaykh Abu Barakat al Barbari ("Blessed Father of Somalia), was a Somali Muslim scholar and traveler. Based on reference to Yusuf Al Kawneyn in the Harar manuscripts, Dr. Enrico Cerulli has suggested that Al-Kawneyn was the founder and ancestor of the Walashma dynasty that governed both Sultanate of Ifat and Adal Sultanate during the middle ages. Another genealogical tradition according to C.J Cruttenden is that Aw Barkhadle was a descendant of Ismail Sheikh Isaaq ibn Ahmed. However, many accounts indicate Shaykh Yusuf al Kownayn and Shaykh Isaaq were known to be contemporaries and in contact at the same time (and not related).
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Kawneyn was a native Somali scholarwho studied in his city Zeila and later in Iraq. As a result of his studies in Iraq, he was given the title of "Al Baghdadi" as well. He is also noted for having devised a Somali nomenclature for the Arabic vowels, this would eventually evolve into Wadaad's writing.
Described by some as a Sharif,he has been described as "the most outstanding saint in northern Somalia".
The Sheikh is also known for spreading the Islamic faith, to the Maldives islands and Southeast Asia, after traveling there from Zeila, and was called by the residents there "Al Barakat Al Barbari".He is also known as being a member of the Somali 'Diwan al-awliya' (Famous Saints of Somali Origin).
Sheikh Yusuf Al Kawneyn is also associated with the Walashma dynasty of Ifat and Adal, which was a medieval Muslim dynasty of the Horn of Africa.It governed the Ifat and Adal Sultanates in what are present-day northern Somalia, Djibouti and eastern Ethiopia. Sheikh Yusuf is described by historians as being the founder and ancestor of this royal family. He is also known as representing the spiritual legacy of the Ifat and Adal Sultanates.
The Shaykh has shrines dedicated to him, in the Maldives,in Sri Lanka, in the town of Aw Barkhadle in Somaliland, and in a site called Qoranyale, near the town of Borama.
According to C.J Cruttenden, the tomb of saint Aw Barkhadle, which is located to the southwest of Berbera, was used by the Isaaq clans to settle disputes and to swear oaths of alliances under a holy relic attributed to Bilal Ibn Rabah. The Eidagale historically acted as mediators.
When any grave question arises affecting the interests of the Isaakh tribe in general. On a paper yet carefully preserved in the tomb, and bearing the sign-manual of Belat [Bilal], the slave of one the early khaleefehs, fresh oaths of lasting friendship and lasting alliances are made...In the season of 1846 this relic was brought to Berbera in charge of the Haber Gerhajis, and on it the rival tribes of Aial Ahmed and Aial Yunus swore to bury all animosity and live as brethren.
Before Al-Kowneyn's arrival into this town (now named after him) was called Dogor.The residents were not Muslim, but rather pagan, believing and taking part of a pre-Islamic Somalia religion called Wagar. The Wagar itself is thought to be an anthropomorphic representation of a sacred feature or figure, indicating an indigenous non-Islamic religious fertility practice in Aw Barkhaadle. The word "wagar"/"Waĝa" (or "Waaq") denotes the Sky-God adhered to by many Cushitic people (including the Konso) in the Horn of Africa including the Somali in pre-Islamic times both before and during the practice of Christianity and Islam.
While completing his studies in Zayla, Al Kowneyn was told of a town in Somalia called Dogor, with an oppressive king called Bu‘ur Ba‘ayr. According to the legend, Bu‘ur Ba‘ayr married couples by sleeping with the bride during the first six nights of the marriage and engaged in acts of paganism and magic.Local people at Aw-Barkhadle attribute the conversion of Somalis to Islam, to the defeat by duel of the previous religious leader, Bu‘ur Ba‘ayr, by the Muslim newcomer Aw-Barkhadle, who heard of the oppressive nature of the king and wanted to stop him. The Saint showed the religious superiority of his beliefs in contrast to the local beliefs of Bu‘ur Ba‘ayr's followers, whom the former won over in great number.
Furthermore, the Aw-Barkhadle site is also important burial site of the Muslim rulers of Awdal, Al-Kowneyn himself of the Walashma dynasty of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries AD is buried in this town.
In the Maldives, he is called Saint Abu Barakat al Barbari ("Blessed father of Somalia") and whose religious name was Shaykh Yusuf al Kawneyn.He is also credited with spreading Islam in the islands, establishing the Hukuru Miskiiy Mosque, and converting the Maldivian population into Islam. Ibn Batuta states the Madliveian king was converted by Abu Al Barakat Al Berber ("blessed father"). The Shaykh reportedly converted the islands into Islam by convincing the local King, Sultan Mohammed Al Adil, after having subdued Ranna Maari, a demon coming from the sea.
Yusuf bin Ahmad al-Kawneyn is also credited with starting the first Sri Lankan Muslim settlement. It is located in western Sri Lanka and is named Berbereen (Beruwala) in honour and respect of the Shaykh.
Aw Barkhadle, is the founder and ancestor of the Walashma dynasty
Shaykh Aw Barkhadle and Shaykh Isaaq belonged to the same time period.
Translated from French to English: Then, at the age of 68 (Shaykh Isaaq), he took his pilgrim's staff and went to Harar, where the Sheikh 'Aw Barkhadle was then teaching.
Aw Barkhadle, he was a native, who lived in about 1,000 years ago and is buried now in a ruined town named after him, Aw Barkhadle, which is a few miles away from Hargeisa.
Translated from French to English: Now this holy man - this is the new point (Al Kownayn) – seems to be the same as that which the people of the Maldive Islands, near India, called Barakath Al-Barbari who spread Islam in this region as he did in the Horn of Africa. We only know in which of these two regions he lived first and this prompted him to change sectors of business.The tomb of Sheik Barkhadle (Yusuf Al Kownayn) is in a ruined city called Dhogor, near Hargeisa, in the north of the Democratic Republic of Somalia.
In reference to Ibn Batuta's Moroccan theory of this figure, citation 8 of this text mentions, that other accounts identify Yusuf Al Barbari as East African or Persian. But as a fellow Maghribi, Ibn Battuta likely felt partial to the Moroccan version.
Cerulli suggests that the Saint "Aw Barkhdale" (Yusuf Al Kownayn) can be associated with "Yusuf Barkatla", ancestor of Umar' Walashma, founder of the Ifat dynasty
Translated from French to English: The Aw Barkhadle figure, it should be noted, is among the ancestors of the rulers of the Walashma dynasty, who reigned over the Muslim state of Ifat.
Aw Barkhadle, the ancestor of the founder of the Walashma dynasty, represents the "spiritual legacy" of the Islamic state of Yifat/Adal.
The history of the Maldives is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions, comprising the areas of South Asia and Indian Ocean; and the modern nation consisting of 28 natural atolls, comprising 1194 islands. Historically, the Maldives had a strategic importance because of its location on the major marine routes of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives' nearest neighbours are Sri Lanka and India, both of which have had cultural and economic ties with Maldives for centuries. The Maldives provided the main source of cowrie shells, then used as a currency throughout Asia and parts of the East African coast. Most probably Maldives were influenced by Kalingas of ancient India who were earliest sea traders to Sri Lanka and Maldives from India and were responsible for the spread of Buddhism. Hence ancient Hindu culture has an indelible impact on Maldives' local culture.
The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal, was a Muslim Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II after the fall of the Sultanate of Ifat. The kingdom flourished from around 1415 to 1577. The sultanate and state were established by the local inhabitants of Zeila. At its height, the polity controlled most of the territory in the Horn region immediately east of the Ethiopian Empire (Abyssinia). The Adal Empire maintained a robust commercial and political relationship with the Ottoman Empire.
Islam is the major religion, and the most widespread religion of the Maldives. It is also the official religion of Maldives.
Practitioners of Islam first entered Somalia in the northwestern city of Zeila during prophet Muhammad's lifetime whereupon they built the Labo-qibla mosque; as such, Islam has been a part of Somali society for 14 centuries. Practicing Islam reinforces distinctions that further set Somalis apart from their immediate neighbors, many of whom are either Christians or adherents of indigenous faiths.
The Isaaq is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory.
The Sultanate of Ifat was a medieval Somali Muslim state in the eastern regions of the Horn of Africa between the late 13th century and early 15th century. Led by the Walashma dynasty, it was centered in the ancient city of Zeila. The kingdom ruled over parts of what are now eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and northern Somalia.
Sa'ad ad-Din II was a Somali Sultan of the Ifat Sultanate. He was the brother of Haqq ad-Din II, and the father of Mansur ad-Din, Sabr ad-Din II and Badlay ibn Sa'ad ad-Din. The historian Richard Pankhurst describes him as "the last great ruler of Ifat."
Haqq ad-Din II was a Somali Sultan of the Ifat Sultanate, the brother of Sa'ad ad-Din II, and the son of Ahmad ibn Ali.
The Walashma dynasty was a medieval Muslim dynasty of the Horn of Africa. Founded in 1285, it was centered in Zeila, and established bases around the Horn of Africa. It governed the Ifat and Adal Sultanates in what are present-day northern Somalia, Djibouti and eastern Ethiopia.
The Darod is a Somali clan. The forefather of this clan was Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, more commonly known as Darood. The Darod clan is the largest Somali clan in the Horn of Africa, with a wide traditional territory.
The Dir is a major Somali clan. Its members inhabit Djibouti, northwestern Somalia, Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya.
The following is an index of Somalia-related articles.
Wadaad writing, also known as Wadaad Arabic, is the traditional Somali adaptation of written Arabic, as well as the Arabic script as historically used to transcribe the Somali language. Originally, it referred to an ungrammatical Arabic featuring some words in Somali, with the proportion of Somali vocabulary terms varying depending on the context. Alongside standard Arabic, wadaad writing was used by Somali religious men (wadaado) to record xeer petitions and to write qasidas. It was also used by merchants for business and letter writing. Over the years, various Somali scholars improved and altered the use of the Arabic script for conveying Somali. This culminated in the 1950s with the Galal alphabet, which substantially modified letter values and introduced new letters for vowels.
The Habr Awal is a major Somali clan in horn of Africa and which is divided into eight sub-clans of which the two largest and most prominent are the Issa Musse clans and the Sa’ad Musse clans. Its members form a part of the Habar Magaadle confederation.They contstitute the largest sub-clan of the Isaaq. The Habar Awal traditionally consists of farmers, nomadic pastoralists, merchants and coastal people. They are viewed as the richest Somali clan. They politically and economically dominate Somaliland and reside in the most economically strategic and fertile lands in Somaliland, as well as dominating the national capital Hargeisa where they make up the majority.
Beruwala is a town in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council. Beruwala with a total area of approximately 15 square kilometres and is located on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, 60 km (37 mi) south of Colombo.
The Reer Nuur also known as Nuur Yoonis, is a noble northern Somali clan, a sub-division of the Makahiil sub-clan of the Gadabursi clan family.
Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti,(Arabic:عبدالرحمن بن اسماعيل الجبرتي) also known as Darod,(Arabic:دارود) Dawud or Da'ud, was a proto-Somali who lived in the northern Horn during the 10th century. He is the common ancestor of the Somali and Omani Darod clan. According to early Islamic books and local tradition, Abdirahman descended from Aqeel ibn Abi Talib, a member of the Banu Hashim and the cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
This is a list of Somali aristocratic and court titles that were historically used by the Somali people's various sultanates, kingdoms and empires. Also included are the honorifics reserved for Islamic notables as well as traditional leaders and officials within the Somali customary law (xeer), in addition to the nobiliary particles set aside for distinguished individuals.
The Gurgura, Gorgorah or Gurgure people are a Somali clan that is part of the large Dir clan. They inhabit in Dire Dawa Sitti zone of Somali region Harari region and large portions of the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, also the Afar Region of that country.
The Makayl-Dheere also known as Makaahiil-Dheere, is a northern Somali clan, a sub-division of the Makahiil sub-clan of the Gadabuursi Dir clan family.