Friday, January 11, 2013

Calling All Researchers of the Kawayne Family

Are you a descendant of Hasan Kawayni (aka Kawayne, Kilwayne)? Or are you a researcher interested in the Ashraf of Ogaden and Somalia?
What is some work that you can do to help the Kawayni tribe?
1. Can anyone take photos of the grave of Hasan Kawayni, his children, or his father Umar?  The locations of their graves are allegedly in locations known as Fayr-fayr and Wayr-Dayr. Do they have tombstones that mention their lineage (nasab)? As this book and genealogists of the Ashraf explain, tombstones are some of the best historical proofs for establishing the lineage of a person.
2. Does anyone have any documentary proof of his lineage? The Ba'Alawi tribe in Tarim will not recognize the ancestry of Hasan Kawayni until the tribe can show documented, historical evidence like a Contract, Waqf or any document signed by a Qadi (judge) from previous centuries which shows proof that Hasan Kawayni was a Sharif and the descendent of the Ba'Alawis.
3. Did any foreign writers or researchers (from Europe, the Middle East, Africa) meet the descendants of Hasan Kawayni and mention them in their writings over the centuries?

Please email me if you have any of these documents.

Why is this documentary proof important?
1. If Ali and Fatima are considered the first ancestors (level 1), Hasan and Husayn (level 2), Zayn al-Abidin (level 3), counting all the way down: Shaykhān b. ‘Alawī is considered (level 29). The lineage between Shaykhān b. ‘Alawī and Hasan Kawayni requires revision and cannot be correct because there are simply too many names.
How do I know there are too many names?
(a) The Quran manuscript mentions Zayn "ibn" Abidin - (Zayn al-Abidin is one person not two!)
(b) The Quran manuscript mentions Abdallah b. Ahmad b. Ahmad b. Isa (Same error, Ahmad is one person not two!). We know (a) and (b) because we have so many other historical sources to help us.
(c) It mentions : Abdullah b. 'Ubayd b. Ali b. Muhammad (when Abdullah is one not two! Ubayd is a nickname)
(d) Now for our main problem: Hasan Kawayni b. Umar b. Ali b. Adam b. Ibrahim b. Musa b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Alawi b. (#29) Shaykhān

Problem with (d): Besides this old Quran, we have no other proof for this lineage.  We need to verify it with other sources.  If those sources are more accurate then they can rectify the large number of names. For example, "Muhammad" is mentioned four times, which is highly unusual. "Adam" and "Ibrahim" are also unusual names in the Ba'Alawi tribe in Tarim.

Next, the great-granddaughter of Hasan al-Kawayni (if the tree is correct) is Ayute bint Hajji Aliyye b. Sā‘id b. Hasan Kawayni b. Umar.  Ayute married a Muslim ruler of Cambate, and their descendants ruled as the Oyeta dynasty (named after her) and were recognized as noblemen centuries later.  Ayute's husband Hamalmal met a Jesuit priest (Manoel de Almeida) who visited the region in 1614 CE according to the priest's diary, which has been translated into English.  

If the great-granddaughter of Hasan Kawayne lived in the 1600s, then there is no way Shaykhān could have lived in the 1500s or 1400s CE given the number of names between them.

Muhammad Mawla al-Dawayla (#21 in the tree) died in 765 AH/1363 CE. This means his 8th generation descendant, (#29) Shaykhān, lived at least two hundred years after him (in the 1500s CE). This provides a big chronological problem because this leaves Shaykhān - Hasan Kawayne - and Ayute all living in about the same era if not the same century.  The only solution for this tree to make any historical sense is to review the lineage between Hasan Kawayne and Shaykhān - as the genealogists of Tarim have requested. There cannot be more than 2-5 generations between them.

2. The only record we have for the Kawayni lineage is the old Quran inherited by the Kawayni family shown below. This is the only source of evidence that mentions the current lineage and it comes solely from the those "making the claim." For the lineage to be accepted by the Ba'Alawi family in Tarim, there must be supporting evidence from outsiders who can substantiate this claim.  For example, a government official, a judge, a historian, or two witnesses who mentioned or recognized the Kawayni lineage in documents.
3. Shaykhān b. ‘Alawī (level 29) is the last Ba'Alawi mentioned in the family tree in Tarim. It is not a coincidence that the family tree mentions that he traveled to East Africa (Sawāhīl). However, according to the records in Tarim, his children died out. Of course this can be a mistake given when there is no communication between a branch and the tribe in Tarim, but that is why it is important for the Kawayne family to find further evidence linking them to Shaykhān b. ‘Alawī.

١ -  النسب ما بين السيد الشريف حسن الكويني الى شيخان بن علوي  ما زال يحتاج الى التصحيح.  عندما زرت آل عبد الرحمن باعبود في تريم نظرت الى انسابهم و وجدت ان نسبهم وصل الى درجة ٣٨ او ٤٠ و نسبنا وصل الى اكثر من ٥٢. معناه انه يوجد زيادة في نسبنا كثيرا. 
٢ - المخطوط القديم الذي اعتمدنا عليه كان عنده زيادات واضحة مثلا كُتب فيها أحمد المهاجر مرتين و كُتب " زين بن عابدين" . هذه علامة انه يوجد زيادات في المخطوط
٣ - بعض الاسماء من اجداد الشريف حسن الكويني غريب جدا في ثقافة ال باعلوي مثلا اسم "ادم " و ابراهيم  و اكرار اسم محمد ثلاثة مرة
٤ - شيخان بن علوي كان حيا في قرن العاشر . و آيته بنت الحاج علي بن ساعد تزوجت من رئيس كمباتا في ايثويبيا في قرن الحادي العشر يعني 1600 ميلادي ومات زوجها في سنة 1614 ميلادي. واولادها اشراف كمباتا يسمون القبيلة باسمها. ما هو قصدي؟ يعني عندنا وثائق تاريخية انها كانت ملكة كمباتا في  1020 هجري. ومعناها ان ابوها الحاج علي بن ساعد كان حيا قبل ذلك. فاذا لا يمكن ان يكون بينه و بين شيخان بن علوي الذي عاش قبله مائة سنة اكثر من ٤ او ٥ اجداد. فهو مرفوض عقلا ان يكون ١٢ اجداد بينهما كما هو مكتوب في الشجرة . لا بد من حذف بعض الاسماء - يمكن بعضهم اسماء الاخوة ؟؟ الوثائق عندنا في زواج بنت الحاج علي هي المسيحين  من برتغال الذين زاروا البلد في عام 1614 والحمد لله

ما هي الغاية من كلامي كلها؟ لا بد من تصحيح و بينات . في هذه السنوات هل وجدتم بينات في الارض الشريفة التي دفن فيها الشهيد الحسن الكويني؟ هل مكنكم السفر الى فرفر او ويردر؟ هل يوجد مخطوطات او وثائق اخرى تبين النسب؟  هل يمكن السفر الآن؟

Thursday, April 30, 2009

After much deliberation, I've decided to upload a significant portion of my research in Ethiopia. It is the First Comprehensive Review of the Ancestry of clans claiming descent from the Prophet (or his clan of Hashim) in Ethiopia and Somalia. To respect the honor and privacy of the mentioned families, I have not included their heirlooms of manuscripts and family trees.

أول البحث الكامل في أنساب السادة الأشراف في إثيوبيا و الصومال. وكلهم ينتسبون إلى بني هاشم بل إلى آل أبي طالب Please post or email me with your revisions and comments.

By the mercy of Allah, a complete family tree of the Kawayni family, with the descendents of Hajji Ali was completed under the auspices of an Alawi genealogist in Sana'a, Yemen. He saw the old Qur'an with the clan's ancestry, immediately believed in its authenticity, and began working for many months on the tree. However, since then, he has hesitated in certifying the ancestry as authentic without the consent of the Ba'alawis in Tarim. And God knows best.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Signed Affidavit from Hadramout attesting the Kawayni Family's lineage to be correct from Shaykhan b. Alawi to the Prophet Muhammad (s).

Friday, September 07, 2007

So primarily in search of my roots, I packed my bags in Damascus and headed off to Ethiopia in hopes of finding further information that would help clarify and establish the lineage of Hajji Ali. I was excited that Ethiopia's proximity to Berbera, Somaliland, Hadramout, Yemen and Djibouti would allow me to visit all of these locations that I had only read about thus fur, but felt held the answers I needed to uncover my ancestry.
My attempts to communicate with the Somali Ashraf in Somalia, Somaliland, and those who had migrated to Kenya and London as refugees did not prove fruitful. While I was quite excited and optimistic, when finally finding a representative from the Somali Ashraf over the phone or email, all proved useless in the end.
By stroke of luck, during my last days in Damascus, I met a couple Ethiopians, both with Somali relatives, who agreed that Jijiga would be a great city to visit during my travels. Little did I know that it was my eventual trip to Jijiga that provided the necessary interviews that I had long waited to complete. It was there that I met representatives from nine major Ashraf clans. After traveling to Jijiga it was no longer necessary for me to travel to Djibouti or Somaliland.
When I left Syria, I promised to make my time in Ethiopia worthwhile by researching not only my own lineage but that of Ethiopian Ashraf in general. I hoped to gather the lineages of clans who claimed descent from the Prophet and his clan The Hashimids in a book or essay that would document their existence in Ethiopia for the first time.
Dr. Muhammad Muneer Shwaiki al-Husseini, President of Hashimid genealogists in Damascus, kindly wrote a letter of recommendation and certified me as a genealogist shortly before I left Ethiopia. His support provided the authority I needed to carry on my work with Ashraf families who would otherwise guard their lineages from me and refuse to help.
Within a few weeks of my arrival, I made a trip to Nazaret that forever changed the course of my genealogy search and perhaps that of my descendents, my own life, that of Hajji Ali's descendants and the Silte in general for years to come.
According to a Silte shaykh, Hajji Jamal Abdella Syed Lijimo, Hajji Ali's Somali Ashraf clan visited Nazaret about thirty years ago. Upon meeting and sharing oral histories the shaykhs realized they shared familial relations. The most intriguing part of all, the Ashraf clan gave the Silte their lineage and that of Hajji Ali, and it was completely different from which I found in Umnan and Addis Ababa a few years ago. The lineage which the Somali clan carried, actually went back to the famous and noble Ba'Alawi clan. I thought - at times ecstaticly - then skeptically - could Hajji Ali actually be Ba'Alawi?
Although I felt very conflicted concerning the discovery, I was excited that I had a shred of evidence that pointed to a possibility of a Ba'Alawi heritage. Besides claiming descent from al-Faqih al-Muqaddam, Hajji Jamal mentioned two other famous figures, Abdurahman Saqqaf and Abu Bakr Aydros. I thought to myself "I'll never let this go, I'm going to travel to Aden and Hadramout and search for Hajji Ali in any and every family tree they had." If this lineage was correct, I would definitely want to study in Tarim, the ancestral home of my forefathers.
Within a month, I began to seriously plan my trip to Hadramout. I only ended up visiting Harar and Jijiga on a limb and after reluctantly following a shaykh's advice. Had I not chosen to visit my contacts for Harar, I would've never found all of the answers I was looking for concerning the Somali Ashraf and my own lineage.
Through chance and the mercy of Allah, I was able to finish all of my responsibilities in Addis Ababa and plan a Harar-Jijiga-Dir Dowa-Sana-Hadramout trip during the last week of March and the first weeks of April. My time in Hadramout would coincide with the Mowlid of the Prophet (s) and would be an uplifting spiritual experience as well.
The crazy thing was that my trip to Harar was seriously rushed, unplanned and a result of my decision to shruggingly follow the advice of Husayn Sharif, an Ethiopian Ashraf genealogist. I was almost bewildered at the staunchness of his view – I was leaving for Hadramout for 2 weeks – but he said that I had to visit Harar before going to Hadramout.
(March 22, 2007)
I remember calling Hajji Kamil Abu Bakr Sharif randomly a few times before going to Harar in hopes he’d be excited about my trip there and help provide us with lodging in the city. Hajji Kamil is very well-respected and perhaps the most famous figure in the Ethiopian Muslim community. He founded the "Abadir Schools" located in Addis Ababa, and most families have relatives that have gone through the schools. His research into the history of Ethiopia is also quite valuable. The mercy of Allah is very great, had I found lodging through other contacts, I would never have bothered calling him and would never have found everything concerning the Somali origins of Hajji Ali. Absolutely everything – all the khayr – the discovery of the needle in the haystack goes back to finally talking to Hajji Kamil on the phone and politely agreeing to visit his school.
When I found the school and entered, Hajji Kamil was in the middle of a chance meeting with two old associates of his. I couldn't believe my luck, I had called him by chance and agreed on the fly to meet him that afternoon, had I chose a time earlier in the day, or the next morning, or any other time I would never had met them. These two individuals were the key to everything: they were 2 Sharifs from the Ashraf of Somal. Not only were they Somali Ashraf- they were knowledgable of their complete ancestry, one was particularly interested in genealogy, and knew the names of the 9 different Ashraf clans by heart. I had tried so hard to find such leads while in Syria, but it all fell in my lap a few days before my trip, literally at the last possible moments before I had left for Harar and Hadramout.

In hindsight, it is very clear that the lineage I had found in Nazaret, with its serious inaccuracies would've led to a very frustrating trip to Hadramout, had I not found all of the information I gained through the Ashraf of Somal and the Kawayni family in general. I would’ve been heartbroken going there with my mistaken presumption we were from the Masawa, Aydros, BaShamila, or Saqqaf branches of the Ba'Alawi tribe. I can’t imagine how embarassing it would have been to have gone to Hadramout with only my notebook and the inaccurate information I had found in Nazaret. I thought I would have the opportunity to view the "Alawi Tree" and look at all of Saqqaf’s descendents – or asking them to look at those different branches in hopes of finding a man named Hasan Kawayni and his grandson Hajji Ali. Although the Alawi Tree exists in Tarim, the two genealogists who owned a copy would never allow me, a foreigner, let alone Ba'Alawis who live in Tarim to independently view the Tree. It would never have benefited anyhow because we weren’t from the famous Saqqaf branch. It's so sad how things could’ve gone terribly wrong just by the choice of Allah – Ya Allah we are so ungrateful – please make us of the truly thankful and allow us to fulfill our promises. Do not lead us astray – Keep us on the straight path – continue to provide us with Your Mercy in all of our aspirations and goals. Continue to provide miracles that provide our success along the way, because without it we are nothing but failures like so many from the children of Adem. Do not make us of those who lie – especially concerning their lineage – do not put us to trial by allowing us to find such amazing heritage that supposedly belongs to us – only to find it erroneous.

The Nazaret meeting clarified that Hajji Ali was from the Somali Ashraf clan of Hasan al-Kawayni. I have since found an old manuscript that mentions the Ba'Alawi lineage of the Kawayni family and substantiates what I found in Nazaret, it’s probably “the source of the source” of what I found in Nazaret – the lineage narrated by Fatima b. Hasan al-Kawayni. Some branches of the Kawayni family have mistakenly added nicknames to the Abdullah and Abdurahman ancestors mentioned in the lineage - however the original document does not identify them with these misnomers.

The shaykhs of the Kawayni tribe claim that we are descendents of their illustrious forefather and that Hajji Ali is the son of Saa'id the son of Hasan Kawayni the son of Umar.

So the 2 friends of Hajji Kamil knew the tribe of Hasan Kawayni and admitted that some say they are Husayni while many considered them to be of the Shaykhash. I later found the controversy stems from some branches of the Kawayni family inter-marrying with the major Somali (non-Ashraf) tribes and losing track of their Kawayni lineage.

Although the Ashraf in Jijiga say that some Kawaynis claim to be Ashraf and others claim to be Shaykhash, according to Kawayni individuals , no one from within their tribe, has ever denied their Ashraf lineage. Everyone from within the tribe, except for the branches in which contact has been lost, is aware of their Ashraf identity.

The most knowledgable and enthusiastic genealogist of the Kawayni tribe is Faysal Muhammad Yaseen. He mentions that within the Ogaden region where they reside, the neighboring tribes all recognize them as descendents of the Prophet and allow them to marry without paying a dowry because of their ashraf status. There also exists poetry concerning Hasan al-Kawayni praising his Sharif lineage.
· I remember feeling ecstatic that the two friends of Hajji Kamil had heard of Hasan al-Kawayni when no one in Ethiopia and even my contacts in Berbera had not heard of him or the tribe. The Kawayni family is not widespread in Somaliland – as Faysal says they’re mostly based in the Ethiopian-Somali region of Fayr Fayr and the like, although there is a branch near Berbera. I had begun to fear that I would never find the source of this lineage or anything concerning the person of Hasan Kawayni but Allah is Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

We drove to Harar that night – met Abdullah Sharif and visited Abadir and Hamdun mosque on Saturday – went to Jijiga Sunday morning, tried to talk to Ashraf Sunday evening and Monday morning – left for Harar by zuhr – picked up the photocopied books I had attained visited Abdullah one last time and measured the cubic cm. Of his manuscript collection – left for Dir Dawa that evening – met with Faysal until 12:30 am - who returned the following morning at 7:30 for one last meeting before we drove to the airport at 9:30 am. I was to return to Bole airport that evening to fly to Yemen.

March 25 - April 14, 2007
I traveled to Harar to see the private collection of Abdullah Sharif, which houses over 750 manuscripts and priceless artificats. There were coins from many Islamic dynasties, including the Abbasid era, and even going back to Axum! Although I couldn’t find anything specifically regarding Hajji Ali, it was a good experience; I photocopied the Egyptian printing of Futuh al-Habasha and a manuscript detailing the heroics and legendary life of Abadir, the icon of Harar (the account begins with many famous Sufi saints entering Harar together in a single army). The life of Abadir is extended to multiple centuries and there other oddities. The anachronistic introduction diminishes the manuscripts historical accuracy concerning Harar's early history, however, the dates outlining the reign of Harar's later rulers are quite accurate. An obviously inaccurate narration of Abadir's sharif lineage is also included. I also copied research concerning the relationship between the Muslims of Zayla and Christian Ethiopia.
· My best evidence of the Kawayni claim to Ba Alawi lineage was a manuscript written at least a hundred years ago, which was copied from a manuscript written by Fatima bnt. Hasan al-Kawayni – it doesn’t have any laqbs but its very accurate for the most part. There are additional names I think on the part of the copier – not Fatima herself (2 Ahmed Muhajirs, Abdullah Abud becomes Abdullah b. Abayd, 4 Muhamads, the discrepancy and abundance of names after Shaykhan – all of these mistakes go back to the scribe and Allah knows best…). But now lies 2 questions – does Fatima’s original manuscript still exist even if torn and barely readable – and more importantly what was her source? Did she have a drawn tree from Hadramout? A scroll? If it was all oral – we may have problems – but I think she must have been copying her information from some kind of written source. Inshallah we’ll find our answers as the Kawaynis become more aware that this search is extremely important in establishing their Siyada (noble lineage). Hopefully digging and excavation in their region will yield miraculous results – maybe at the home and/or gravesite of Fatima or Hasan Kawayni. Only time and further research will tell if such documents still exist.
· So Faysal informed us that Hajji Ali and his Silte descendants are considered by Kawayni shaykhs to be of Hasan Kawayni’s descendants – this has been widely known and accepted since the Nazaret meeting close to 30 years ago. He also informed me that two shaykhs from the tribe had visited Hadramout a little over ten years ago and had attained certification concerning their lineage from the Ba'Alawi family. I was later disappointed to find the claim somewhat inaccurate. Although they indeed received a stamped affidavit from Habib Ali Mashur b. Umar b. Salim b. Hafeez, the Shaykh responsible for providing certification and adding families to the Alawi Tree, the Kawayni family was not recorded in the Alawi Tree. From the list of 40 ancestors, 29 are documented Alids, the last (29th) being Shaykhan b. Alawi b. Muhammad b. Ahmed b. Abu Bakr Kharbashaan b. Abdurahman b. Abdullah Aboud b. Ali b. Muhammad Mowla Dawayla. We still have the daunting responsibility of verifying our descent from Shaykhan b. Alawi.
· I was delighted to see the lineage was without problem until the 29th tabaqa, this was a huge advancement from searching misguidedly between the descendents of Abdurahman Saqqaf and even confusedly looking at the descendents of Imam Ali al-Rida and Imam Mohamad al-Jawad, not to mention the Idrisids for the previous two years.

After arriving in Hadramout, and after desperately asking Faysal for help, he quickly found and emailed the Hadrami affadavit that at the very least acknowledged their Ba'Alawi ancestry.
· The 3 vexing things about this lineage from me to Rasulallah (s) are:

I’m not 100% sure if Hajji Ali was really the son of Sa’id b. Hasan al-Kawayni – although it is entirely possible and probable because of the historic significance of his invasion, geographic location and matching oral histories (he was from the Somali region, had Arab ancestry, and established a foothold in Harar before traveling south).
I am tabaqa 50 with this lineage and that is totally unheard of within the Ba Alawi community – who are at 40-45 right now. Maybe this simply means there are some additions to the lineage – on the part of the scribe, especially between Shaykhan and Hasan al-Kawayni, the only part of the lineage that is unverified. Or this could be a sign of incorrect nasb. That could be a sign that the Kawayni family could be mistaken about their own lineage. Perhaps with more research I could find Ba Alawis who have reached tabaqa 49-50, but between genealogists this isn't really a major issue due to major variety concerning tabaqaat between Syeds and humans in general due to many factors.

Al-inqiraad: According to Alawi Bilfaqih, Shaykhan’s sons in general and Alawi b. Shaykhan particularly, from whom we claim descent, did not leave descendents. Although there exists a possibility we are from a second Shaykhan through a 4th son Yusuf according to Syed Jahaf in Sana'a, this info doesn’t even exist in Hadramout so it would be difficult to get their approval. Although it says this Shaykhan II went to Medina Munawwara so that would be great if we got more information there.
· Anyway the brothers in Hadramout also were very cordial in helping me understand this inheritance and learn to speak of my lineage honestly and with honor. They gave me confidence when they considered me one of their own and when said that many families have lost their lineages and the Ba alawi family in general is in turmoil concerning the protection of all of these lineages. So it is possible that all of what I have found could be true.
· My main concern is to gather all of the descendents of Hajji Ali to the best of my ability, so when the correct lineage is documented, we are ready to add our branch. I think finding the correct lineage now is secondary because I can’t personally interview and excavate in the necessary Somali regions. Finding further information in Mecca and Medina is a long shot because I think Bilfaqih would’ve known of Shaykhan II’s existence if he had descendents until today. In the end, clearly clarifying the issues concerning my lineage and the research I have completed in the past few years while recording my lineage as it appears to the best of my knowledge is still a privilege that I am thankful to have. Until something later establishes its impossibility or firmly establishes the nasb in a certified tree – I’ll have to mention the nuances of my research to anyone who asks.
· I must explain I am from the Ashraf of the Silte, through Hajji Ali, who is supposedly a grandson of Hasan Kawayni, whose lineage supposedly goes back to Shaykhan b. Alawi from the family of “Ba Aboud Kharbashaan” of the famous Ba'Alawi clan. These were the words of Muhamad b. Alawi Bilfaqih, who learned and stated this fact with ease. I remember smiling and being impressed with his photographic memory.
I left Hadramout with great news, but still with a task I thought had been completed years before: verifying the Kawayni tribe's descent from Shaykhan through manuscripts and documents they had inherited from their ancestors. I also had to document the descendents of Hajji Ali in a tree, so that our tribes could own partially complete and certified trees.
August 2007:
· I finished recording my immediate paternal family tree through a silent and secret genealogist, my father's sister Ziyada. Who knew everything! What the heck – how come she never spoke up before? She new nearly all the descendents of my great-great grandfather Siraaj Wededo. So I have a complete tree for five generations. Other uncles, Hajji Jamal and Nassir filled in a few gaps. So my immediate paternal family tree is done. Hajji Jamal also gave me the passports of my paternal grandparents. It's intersting how "Siraaj Wededo" came to life as a person who existed, when I saw all of his sons and the branches of his descendents. I also truly felt that I was from this man's Ahlil Bayt, a direct product of him.
(August 14)
· Through my contacts in Warabe, the research of Hayder and his associates proved very valuable, I have documented ALL of Hajji Ali's grandsons! That happened with very little effort on my part in a matter of 3 magical weeks, by the mercy of God.
· I’m now 100% sure I’m from this legendary Hajji Ali – this soldier immigrant to Silte lands and ruler of the Azernet Berbere region. But I wish I was sure of my direct descent from Hasan Kawayni. I'm about 80-90% sure of it.
Our descent from Kawayni is based on multiple pieces of evidence, first and foremost from a 1974 meeting between Silte and Kawayni shaykhs who came to a conclusion that they were of the same family. Second, there is no other Somali family that claims we are from them. I searched for years for the Somali Ashraf in hopes of finding a clan that says, "Yes, We know of your ancestor Hajji Ali, he was a man of our tribe" and I found exactly just that with the Kawaynis. As an objective researcher, nothing is ever a certainty, but as a genealogist it’s logical, acceptable and the discovery of a lifetime. I’ve accepted its possibility and I'm working to solidify and document our tribal relations and history, while trying not to allow my qualms to delay the process. I definitely believe it’s possible that Hajji Ali was a Ba’Alawi and Kawayni who didn’t document his lineage. As I have found that the Kawaynis haven't done the same in Somali lands, its understandable that a soldier and immigrant to Ethiopia didn't carry such documents either.

There’s the dream I had – that I saw Mohammad Alawi the only Ba’Alawi I knew in Damascus, sitting doing ziyara of Hajji Ali while the tomb was glittering and sparkling like that of Syeda Zeyneb – and I felt upon awaking that he had familial relations. That’s why I began asking him about his lineage – I wanted to know if his BaHasan lineage was Hasani and if we were branches from the same tree. Now I know that it was our lineage that met with his in the Ba'Alawi family tree. Alawi Bilfaqih clarified that the Alawi tree mentions Shaykhan's migration to Sawahil (Tanzania/Kenya) and that his mother was from the same BaHasan! That’s why I saw Mohammad Alawi as a sign that we really are related on that sublevel and we have similar roots from Ba’alawis who came to Africa.

Then there’s the dream in which I see many white houses, and one with the names Hasan and Husayn written in front of the house. In the dream, I receive a key with Husayn written on it and I enter the blessed house. I had permission to enter their household.

After researching in Ethiopia for the past year and discovering my possibly Husayni lineage, I am very happy about my time spent there.

Hajji Ali could still be from the Idrisid tree – but there’s no other likely reality. If Hajji Ali was from the Somali Ashraf, he was from the Kawaynis.

The famous Idrisi lineage I had found from Silte informants did not come from Hajji Ali himself, that is why it can be brushed aside – even if it’s now widespread. It’s from an oral tradition based on a dubious fa’ida that could have been copied from anywhere. Plus there are not enough names. Plus it’s close to impossible for this to be the lineage of a Somali – it’s literally a product of Ethiopia. There are many families throughout Ethiopia that claim descent from this Idrisid tree, but I haven't found it elsewhere. Although it would be interesting if it turned up in other countries throughout Africa in future years. Even if every historian narrated the same information in ijma – but the source was all the same – then it’s not stronger than one shahada. An analagous example is like most historians narrating the same Sayf b. Umar riwaya concerning Abdullah b. Saba causing the battle of Jamal. Even if every historian later narrates this information…there's still only one source.
Let’s say by some weird chance – we really are Idrisid– we made a mistake (which goes back to aya) in thinking this to be an incorrect lineage and for choosing the Kawayni connection as being the one with a greater possibility. Either way we are Alawi Fatimi, and this is definitely a claim of my tribe and not myself.
I want to know the truth and I'm afraid that I’m wrong, but I also know there’s a chance this tree may be right. I fear my sometimes my qualms are due to the shock of unebelievably finding what I was looking for.

(August 3, 2007)
- Looking at the Silte book published by Abraham Hussein – the Shoa-Hadiya – Gurage region was known as Southern Ethiopia – as the Kawaynis traditionally say was Ali’s destination. Hussein says he went from Berbera-Harar-Southern Ethiopia – just like the Somali wording of the oral tradition. The realization brought a cooling affect to my heart – maybe I was just that lucky enough to have found the clan of Hajji Ali. I now picture his movement as being momentous and historic, as the manuscript 'Zahab ibreez' points out, the migration to Gurage lands was an invasion that takes place a century after Gran – that is why the Kawaynis and the Silte could indeed be talking about the same personality. Anyway, all of my English notes, Ethiopian texts, Faysal’s research will be combined into one book inshallah, it probably won’t stand alone – it will be a separate section of the Ashraf book, we’ll see.
It’ll definitely get Siltis talking – having all of my quotes from those other books, inherited Kawayni information, the trees, the Ba'Alawi documents and information… it will lead to an awakening – definitely the Addis mobile number needs to be included in the book. Husayn Shareef will be busy.
August 30
For some reason tonight, after all of this time – perhaps after finding that map – and realizing linguistically that the Shoa-Gurage-Hadiya region is “southern Ethiopia” that the Kawayni family has been talking about the epic migration and victory of our Hajji Ali, I see they really are talking about the same guy.
- The reason the idea was previously far fetched to me was because there were thousands of soldiers in Gran’s army named “Ali.” There were hundreds of “Alis” who also came from Somali lands in his army.Now the historical and geographcial settings have shifted:
- Hasan Kawayni is no longer the man killed in 915 AH. Meaning, he lived at least a hundred years after Gran – because Shaykhan b. Alawi himself lived at that time – so that in fact makes Hasan Kawayni and Hajji Ali closer to 1100s
- Shaykh Wolone – I think correctly characterizes the migration, invasion and victory of Hajji Ali and his comrades as after Muslim military might had been crushed and only a memory, close to a century after Gran and perhaps 50 years after Ameer Nur. So instead of being 900 AH – Hajji Ali is now closer to 1100 after hijra. This makes sense: had he come during the great futuh or before (as Abraham Hussein’s research suggests)– he would’ve been forgotten – or his story and symbol as a Silte hero would not be so fresh. There was definitely a Silte migration to the region before or during the Futuh. There is also Gran meeting “Hamdino” the Silte tribal chief in Hadiya. They historically inhabited the hadiya area for hundreds of years I think as neighbors to the Gurage – as Abdulfetah Huldar and Abraham Hussein clarify – the term “hadiya” was used (even by neighbors) to describe early Silte history. As Dr. Lapiso points out, the early silte migration to the lands should not be confused with Ali’s later migration. The Silte people were there and much more greater than Hajji Ali.
- His victory a century after Gran and during a time of Christian dominance and resurgence would mean his movement was probably quite a surprise and renowned by the Muslims of his time – that is why all the sources (Silte fathers: from my investigation, Abraham Hussein’s, Abdulfetah’s, Shaykh Wolone, and the Kawaynis) who recount such a movement could seriously be talking about the same great man and invasion.
- When I first heard the Kawayanis say Ali went to “southern Ethiopia” I was disappointed and skeptical concerning the vagueness of such a term. But after looking at the map and asking family and colleagues, I found that the Hadiya/Gurage/Shoa lands definitely qualifies as “Southern Ethiopia.” So if the Somalis are using the term correctly to describe Gurage lands – there is only one icon named Ali who triumphantly came from Somali lands – was from the Ahlil bayt – went to Harar – and settled in Gurage lands. I’d like to ask Richard Pankhurst and other teachers concerning the traditional use of the term “Southern Ethiopia.” I've spoken to Muhammad Safi, President of the Majlis al-A'la in Ethiopia, a researcher named Hasan Mohammed at AAU, Professor Mohammad Saeed and family who say that Southern Ethiopia is famous for being ethnically mixed, however the Hadiya region and Gurage people are indeed quite prominent in the region. The Oromo also are very importnat in the region. However had Ali b. Saa'id gone to Oromo lands the Somalis would've stated that, as the clan of Abu Bakr b. Nur al-Hasani have done.
August 21, 2007
Last night, I smiled – if all is true – I’ve almost done the same – the emails, multiple phone calls to the “Somali Ashraf Welfare Association” in the internet centers in Damascus. Searching for Somali Ashraf online for countless hours – hoping to use Dr. Shwaiki’s contacts. Searching...searching for the truth. Searching for my roots. Searching for the tribe of Hajji Ali that must’ve recorded his hijra, that held the answers concerning his correct lineage, the proofs substantiating his noble ancestry, information concerning his brothers, uncles – maybe the branch that inherited some manuscripts.
I wrote to Somali personalities “have you heard of the Hasani family of Isma’il Jabarti…” after the Nazaret breakthrough it was “have you heard of the family of Hasan Kawayni?” Subhanallah, I should save those emails – now that I’ve found the tribe and I’m still amazed that they accept us with open arms. Deep down inside I'm afraid that it’s all a big mistake. I'm afraid that after I’ve accepted everything – after my findings are published and the trees are created– something pops up in the future that clarifies it was all a big case of mistaken identity.
This is my fear. I fear that what I've found is too good to be true. I don't really think that anything will discredit my findings in the future. I think it's possible Ali b. Saa’id was actually a different man who didn’t come to Silte lands, but there is no evidence of such a possibility. If the family of Ali b. Saa’id say that he is our legendary Somali Syed Hajji Ali, then we accept it until something disproves it.
My new dua is "Oh God give me certainty in my knowledge and beliefs." . I’ve said the dua a few times – and I swear I feel a cooling, calming affect on my heart and nafs.
I’m not afraid to meet Allah – I’m standing on research and the shahada of shaykhs, not simply my own thoughts. If by chance, it’s wrong – then the verse of Ahzab applies. But I think this is it, we’ve found Hajji Ali’s clan. Honestly there isn’t another clan – what other Somali ashraf clan can he be from? They say we’ve found you…no other clan will say that.

The next day, I was reading through a book on Islamic thought and culture and the scholar mentioned very important points concerning Islam’s ruling on doubt and fortitude. First the verse: “Make shura with them and once you’ve decided, then have tawakul of God.” (3:159).
The verse presents a golden rule. Research, Debate, Analayze Thoroughly, once you have completed those things, as Muslims, we are supposed to trust in God that all is for the best once we have done our duties. This trust in God is what gives us strength, fortitude and success in our endeavors.
The problem with being unsure with your decisions is it slows the movement and process down all together. However, when you’re sure, you move full speed. Imam Ali points this out in a maxim. NOT trusting God causes anxiety and weakens performance. So then we have important rules in Islamic Law:
ادرس الموقف جيدا من خلال جميع جوانبه واول أن تقتنع به على أساس متين
لا تهيب من المستقبل و لا تردد أمام الاحتمالات غير معقولة بل تقدم ولا تخف وتوكل على الله فضد قرنت الهيبة
لا شك لكثير الشك
كل شيء طاهر حتى تعلم أنه نجس
كل شيء حلال حتى تعرف أنه حرام
كل شيء صحيح حتى تعرف أنه فاسد
(في المعاملات التي تواجهك في حياتك و تشك في صحتها وفسادها)
هكذا نفرض الشريعة الإسلامية في كل حالات الشك عملا يمارسه الإنسان لئلا يقع فريسة للقلق والتردد والشك بالخيبة

It has been a long time since I've updated this blog...I've found so much.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

I have recently discovered that our tribe is not alone in claiming that "Futuh al-Habasha" records the ancestry of the Ashraf. Apparently the descendents of Shareef Ishaq b. Ahmed, or the Ishaqi tribe, in Somalia claim that the same writer and book has recorded the lineage of their ancestor. This is quite astounding - the claim of our tribe seemed dubious when it wasn't substantiated by another source. One could have claimed that the Silti in Ethiopia simply concocted the lineage of this Shareef and dubiously used a book that did not exist to bolster the claim. However the existence of another tribe with a similar claim; that the "Futuh al-Habasha" included other volumes, and information concerning genealogy; points to the truth of the claim. At the very least we can agree that Hajji Ali was not a native of Ethiopia and actually came from the Somali port of Berbera. We can also conclude that if other volumes of Futuh al-Habasha did not exist in the past - then at least the source of the claim did not originate in Ethiopia, but also came from Somalia.
According to the tribe's oral history, the children of Hajji Ali became the chief ancestors of the Silti. I thank Dirk Bustorf, a researcher of the Silte people from Hamburg University for providing the following family tree. The tree is the only "sure" information one can ascertain from oral history. Other details such as specific names differ depending on the source. While other sources may not have recorded their information in the original Arabic - the caretaker of Hajji Ali's shrine did so - that is why I feel he is our best source on the complete lineage. On a personal note, both of my parents are descendents of the son Samardeen, from the Arabic Thamr al-Din ( ثمر الدين).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

و نسبه كما يروي خادم قبره و المكتوب عند دفتره هو
الشريف علي بن عمر بن عثمان بن احمد بن اباذر (اسمه ناصر) بن احمد بن سيد نخل بن اسماعيل الجبرتي بن عبدالنور بن هاشم بن موسى بن ابي بكر بن داود بن صالح بن يعقوب بن عبدالعزيز بن سيد ادريس بن عمر بن سيد ادريس بن عبدالله الكامل بن حسن المثنى بن حسن السبط بن علي بن ابي طالب
لا يجوز لغير نقيب الأشراف ان يصحح او يغير نسبه ولكن بعد بحث طويل - اظن بأن لازم نبدل الإسمين "ادريس بن عمر بن إدريس بن عبدالله الكامل" و الأصح هو "عمر بن إدريس الثاني بن إدريس الأول بن عبدالله الكامل." إذاً يرجع نسبه إلى بني عمر بن إدريس الثاني او هو من أحفاد "عبدالعزيز بن عمر" من فرع آخر من الآدارسة. وجدنا رجلين في تاريخ يمكن يكونا من أجداده
. يوجد في مصر من ينتسب الى الادارسة من طريق المولى عبدالعزيز الميموني الغماري المهاجر من غمارة الى مصر في سنة 708ه" - ولكن ما هو نسبه الكامل؟
. يوجد خليفة الملقب بفيتور ابن*عبد العزيز*بن عبد الله الملقب نبيل المولود بفاس ودفين مكة ابن عمران بن أحمد بن عبد الله بن عبد العزيز بن عبد القادر بن عبد الرحيم بن أحمد بن عبد الله ابن الإمام إدريس الأصغر بن الإمام إدريس الأكبر. هل أعقب هذا عبدالعزيز (ابو فيتور) بأبناء غير ابنه المشهور بفيتور -او يكون اباء شريف علي من أحفاده غير مباشر؟؟
في نسب الشريف علي يكون جده "عبدالعزيز بن عمر" هو في الحقيقة : عبدالعزيز بن عبدالله (المهاجر إلى مكة) بن عمران بن ...ادريس الثاني. والله أعلم. كتب المؤخر المقريزيز في رسالته " الالمام بمن في ارض الحبشة من ملوك الاسلام" في سنة 839 انه وصلت بنو هاشم إلى مدينة زيلع و جبرتِ (اسم احد اجداد الشريف اسماعيل الجبرتي - بنسبة الى هذه المدينة) و انهم جاءوا خاصة من الحجاز - فلذاك اعتقد بأن اجداد الشريف كانوا من الأدارسة الذين هاجروا إلى الحجاز. والله أعلم

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shareef Ali (1540 AD) - whose family was from the Ashraf (plural of Shareef) of Somalia, from the Port of Berbera

Hajji Umar : Our oral tradition states that he lived on the Somali coastline and married a woman from a Husayni clan of the city of Mecca. It is unclear if their son, Shareef Ali, was born in Berbera, or if he was born in Mecca and later traveled to Berbera to live with his paternal family.

Hajji Usman : from the Arabic 'Uthman (عثمان).

Hajji Ahmed

Abadir (his actual name is Nassir; the surname Abadir may come from Abu-Dhar (ابو ذر), the name of a noble companion of the Prophet)

Shareef Ahmed

Syed Nakhl

Syed Isma'il al-Jabarti

Abdul Noor



Abu Bakr




Abdel aziz

**Break of missing names



Idris (founder of the Idrisid dynasty of Morocco)

Abdullah al-Kaamil

Hasan al-Muthanna

Hasan al-Sibt

Ali b. Abi Talib (May God be pleased with them)

I am in need of a genealogist of the Somali Ashraf of the Hasani clans to help complete the family tree. I am pretty sure this shareef is not from the Ashraf Sarman because Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani is not in the list of his ancestors. I think he is from the clan of Shareef Ahmed, but I need to compare it with someone who is knowledgable concerning his family tree.
The History :
From 1525-1542 AD Ahmed b. Ibrahim al-Ghazi (aka Muhammad Grine -a Habashi and Somali Muslim war icon) led the Adal dynasty in a campaign to unite East Africa under an Islamic state. He fought a long war that united Muslims along the horn of Africa against the Christian empires of his time and nearly succeeded. During this time, a historian in his army, Shahab al-Deen Ahmed b. Abdul Qadir al-Jizani 'Arab Faqih', begins to write in detail about the campaign and documents events up to the year 1537. His famous journal of events is called "Futuh al-Habasha."
During this volatile period there is an immense shift in the geographic locations of tribes as well as the individual soldiers who settled in new lands after the war. The point being, from the soldiers who came from modern-day Djibouti and Somalia, we read in the "Futuh" that the 'Ashraf' played an important role in calling the people to jihad and acting as leaders (religious and/or military). Due to their noble lineage, Imam Ahmed b. Ibrahim specifically asked for the participation of the Ashraf, so that the common people would be encouraged by their presence. He also made the Ashraf maintainers of the spoils of war, probably as a sign of his trust in their honesty and religiosity.
Fast forward about 470 years and one will find today that there is a tribe in modern-day Ethiopia with the claim that one of the "Ashraf of Somal," specifically from the port of Berbera, by the name of 'Shareef Ali b. Umar al-Hasani (or Hajji Ali)' came to their locale. The people of his time asked him to stay and teach Islam; so he settled, had children and died in the area. 'Futuh al-Habasha' mentions him as "Shareef Ali b. Umar al-Hasani" and that he was a made a leader along with two other Ashraf companions (who were from the Ba'lawi-Husayni line), "Muhammad b. Umar al-Shaatari" and "Alawi b. Ali Al-Shaatari."
Although the tribe has narrated the lineage of Shareef Ali al-Hasani, it is incomplete and requires comparison and verification with genealogists of the Somali Ashraf.
The locale in which he's buried mentions him to be : Ali b. Umar b. Uthman b. Shareef Ahmed b. Abadhir (or Nassir) b. Shareef Ahmed b. Syed Nakhl b. Isma'il b. AbdulNur b. Hashim b. Musa....and it continues with an incomplete chain to Abdullah al-Kamil b. Hasan al-Muthanna b. Hasan al-Sibt b. Ali b. Abi Talib.
Unfortunately I have been unable to find the names of his ancestors in the Genealogy records and books concerning the descendents of the Prophet. Genealogists in Damascus and Iraq have all helped me in the research, but have not been able to find his family tree. I am in need of more information of his lineage through communication with his clan from the Ashraf of Somal.

There are apparently four Somali Ashraf clans that claim descent from Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib; the main ancestors being named; Mohammed Sharif; Sharif Ali; Sharif Ahmed; and the Ashraf Sarman.

Perhaps this Shareef Ali came from one of these clans (particularly the name Shareef Ahmed matches two names in his lineage), however, the answer lies in comparing his lineage to the genealogy of the Hasani Ashraf from Somalia.

There is a Shaykh buried in Berbera who may have lived a few generations before Shareef Ali by the name of Isma'il al-Jabarti - this man may indeed be the same one mentioned in our ancestry. However, I would need to verify this with residents and historians of the city by actually traveling there.
There is a Somali oral tradition that exists that a group of 40 Shareefs came from Hadramout, during the 1400s and landed in the port ofBerbera. There was also a Shareef from that group that was buried in Harar, Ethiopia. However I have found no textual evidence to the claim except for Sir Richard Burton who mentions the tradition in his Footsteps in East Africa.

The Encyclopedia of Islam and the medieval historian Maqrizi (who wrote in 837 AH/1400s CE) mention the city of Jabarti - a metropolitan Islamic city near the Somali port of Zayla. Travelers from Yemen and along the Aden coast visited and settled in the city. The city of Zayla included settlers Hashemite clans who were descendents of Aqeel b. Abi Talib, Muhammad al-Hanafiyya b. Ali b. Abi Talib, and Ba'Alawis who are descendents of the Prophet. Some families who settled in the area took on the surname "Jabarti" - and as the author of Aqeeliyoon (The Descendents of Aqeel) writes; the surname doesn't necessarily signify (Hashemite) lineage but rather that they were once residents of the popular city.

There is also a city named "Jabra" 40 milesfrom Tarim, Hadramout but I cannot verify if one of our ancestors carried the laqb"Jabarti" because he was from Jabra unless I travel there myself.
There is a famous Sufi by the name "Ismail b. Ibrahim b. Abdusamad al-Jabarti al-Aqeeli" buried in Zabeed,Yemen, but he is a different man from the one in my lineage.
Finally there is also the Somali tribe of Darood al-Jabarti; but we do not share any relationship with them. The write of Aqeeliyoon hypothesizes that Darood comes from Dawud and they may be descendents of Dawud b. Ismail b. Ibrahim al-Jabarti - the previously mentioned saint buried in Zabeed.

I am very skeptical of Muslim tribes and families who claim descent from Ali b. Abi Talib without family trees that have been stamped by geneaology offices (from the Ottoman era, etc).
However, siyaada in Yemen is difficult to research because Yemeni Hashimi families seemed to have kept many family trees and lineages a private heirloom instead of instituting a nationwide Naqeeb or office that could keep records.

The rector of the shrine of Shareef Ali carries the names of the Shareef's ancestors in a small notebook. Interestingly enough, it's not just the names that surprise the reader - but it's the fact that the page reads as if it was truly copied from the annals of "Futuh al-Habasha" - it starts :"And from his blessed army, the Pilgrim to The House (the Kaba in Mecca) - Hajji Ali b. Hajji Umar b. HajjiUthman..." and it continues until Ali b. Abi Talib (through an Idrisi branch). Then it says "As we heard this (information) from trusted individuals." It is finally signed "Fath al-Habasha."
However upon finding a copy of the book and a manuscript (in London and Damascus respectively) - we see that no lineages are mentioned -and the journal begins and ends without mentioning the Shareef's lineage as claimed in Ethiopia. Interestingly enough - a French translation of the book includes family trees of some individuals (none of whom are Alawi) at the endof the book - I am baffled on whether the French scholar collected these family trees from other sources or found them with some of the"futuh" manuscripts. If indeed the lineage we have inherited was copied from the "Futuh" -it points to the existence of unfinished additional volumes that were never recovered - or an uncovered page from the genealogy section that some scholars found. Although our tribe does not speak Arabic - perhaps someone could've falsified the lineage and claimed that it was part of the Futuh to bolster the claim.

Finally, Hajji Aliyye's two Husayni companions 'Muhammad b. Umar al-Shatiri' and 'Alawi b. Ali al-Shatari' and their families were indeed descendents of the Prophet - they settled in Zayla and Kedad and participated in the war with Muhammad Grine. Their genealogy is famous and verified - you can find them in the book "Shams al-Thaheera" by Sharif AbdulRahman bin Husayn al-Mashoor .
شمس الظهيرة للسيد الشريف عبدالرحمن بن حسين المشهور
Alright - That's my rant