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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asalamu Aleikum Brother, I enjoyed reading your thoroughly research of the Somali Asharaf Genealogy. I have a favor to ask, I need a copy of that book you mentioned of the Cuqayliyaat (Aqeeliyoon). Where can I get a copy of that book?

Thanks in Advance.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I should get in touch soon on the Somali Asharaf Lineage.
Mohamed Sharif Abdi Sharif Sahal

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Blogger jaceelow said...

i am really happy to read your research of somali Ashraf,actually i belong to that group and i realy tried to find out the lineage of the group after all i wanted to knw where i realy belong and am happy to read your note please dont give up till the lineage gets over may Allah bless you
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2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asalamu Aleykum brother, you've some good findings but unfortunately its not enough to uncover the truth. I don't know who you're, but i know you're trying hard for your research.i am belong to asharaf tribe and i know about them and my family. the Asharaf tribble are devided into two main names: Alhasani and alhusseini. they claim to be a deccent of the prophet(SAW). Fact: the Asharaf are not origially somalians. thanks brother, i'll be very happy to help you out!!!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your work and got quite into it. I wish I knew my lineage more then I do now. I'm Majerteen proud to be a descendant of Jabarti

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

salaam, i am finding all your research really interesting after stumbling on to your site doing some family research of my own - did you find an expert on the somali ashram clans? please direct me to any resources/people as i am looking for info on jamal layl/sharif ahmed clan info! thanks

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Blogger Ibrahim Mohammed said...

السلام عليكم
وكيف ندعي الإنقطاع نسب بين عبدالعزيز وادريس بن عمر
والإدريس بن عمر له خمسة ابناء( انظر كتب الشجرة المباركة للرازي ص 34 كتاب المسالك والممالك

المؤلف: أبو عبيد عبد الله بن عبد العزيز بن محمد البكري الأندلسي (المتوفى: 487هـ) ص818/2) والوثيقة موجودة مع خادم القبر تزكر عبدالعزيز بن ادريس اذاَ عبد العزيز هو واحد من الأولاد ادريس بن عمرزإذاَ وين الانقطاع

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Blogger Ibrahim Mohammed said...

وكمان انظر لكتاب نسب الأشراف الغزافيين لشريف محمد صادق ص 26

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Blogger Ibrahim Mohammed said...

وكمان انظر لكتاب نسب الأشراف الغزافيين لشريف محمد صادق ص 26

5:01 AM  
Blogger Ibrahim Mohammed said...

I appreciate your research. I am not denying Hussani tree for Haji Aliye but defending for the hassani family tree you discover it and thank you for that discovery. Your discovery compeletes our family tree. For your information I found almost the same claims from different corners one
from Jimma Al Ademi tribe ( Tribe of princess Halima Mother of Aba jiffar) another
from the ashraf family of afar the so called Abona,
From Wallega families
From wollo
From Tigray
From Eritrea
From Argoba
There must be truth behind this Al hassani tree As All this different people with different cultures and languages. Even I can say I might be the first researcher who links all this people with almost the same family tree Al hassani.

6:38 AM  

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