Supriya Ghosh (Editor)


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The Hawiye (Somali: Hawiye, Arabic: بنو هوية‎‎) is a Somali clan. Members of the clan traditionally inhabit central and southern Somalia, Ogaden and the North Eastern Province (currently administered by Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively). Like many Somalis, Hawiye members trace their paternal ancestry to Irir , one of the sons of Samaale.


Hawiye is one of the major Somali clans, with a wide traditional territory. It is the dominant clan in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.


According to an official Military Survey conducted during the colonial period, Hawiye clan members are by tradition believed to be descended from a forefather named Hawiya Irrir. Hawiya Irrir is held to be the brother of Dir. I.M. Lewis and many sources maintain that the Dir together with the Hawiye trace ancestry through Irir son of Samaale to Banu Hashim Arabian origins with Aqeel Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib.

The first written reference to the Hawiye dates back to a 13th-century document by the Arab geographer, Ibn Sa'id, who described Merca at the time as the "capital of Hawiye country". The 12th century cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi may have referred to the Hawiye as well, as he called Merca the region of the "Hadiye", which Herbert S. Lewis believes is a scribal error for "Hawiye", as do Guilliani, Schleicher and Cerulli.

Settlement and commerce

Due to ancient pastoralist migrations and population movements across the Somali peninsula in search of water wells and grazing land over a period of thousand years, Hawiye clans today can be found inhabiting an area stretching from the fertile lands of southern Somalia between Barawa and Kismayo, to the regions surrounding Merka, Mogadishu and Warsheikh in the hinterland, west to the modern city of Beledweyne in the Hiran region, and north to the ancient port town of Hobyo in the arid central Mudug region.

The economy of the Hawiye in the interior includes the predominant nomadic pastoralism, and to some extent, cultivation within agricultural settlements in the riverine area, as well as mercantile commerce along the urban coast. At various points throughout history, trade of modern and ancient commodities by the Hawiye through maritime routes included cattle skin, slaves, ivory and ambergris.

Clan tree

Ali Jimale Ahmed outlines the Hawiye clan genealogical tree in The Invention of Somalia:

  • Samaale
  • Irir
  • Hawiye
  • Gugundhabe
  • Baadicade
  • Gorgate
  • Hiraab
  • Mudulood
  • Abgaal
  • Harti
  • Angonyar
  • Warsangeli
  • Abokor
  • Wabudhan
  • Da'oud
  • Rer Mattan
  • Mohamed Muse
  • Wa'esli
  • Wacdaan
  • Moobleen
  • Ujajeen
  • Duduble
  • Habar Gidir
  • Sacad
  • Saleebaan
  • Cayr
  • Saruur
  • A few clans in the borders of Somalia do not belong to the Hawiye clan, but came to be associated with them politically:

  • Gaalje'el in Hiran and elsewhere in central Somalia traces its paternal descent to Gardheere Samaale;
  • Degoodi in the Somali Region of Ehiopia and North Eastern Province is related to Gaaje'el as Saransoor and traces its patrilineage to Gardheere Samaale;
  • Hawaadle in Hiran belongs to the Meyle Samaale;,
  • Ajuraan in the North Eastern Province claim descent from Maqaarre Samaale
  • Sheekhaal acknowledges descent from Sheikh Abadir Umar Ar-Rida, also known as Fiqi Umar.
  • Thus the Gaalje'el, Degoodi Ajuraan and Hawaadle are said to have patrilateral ties with the Dir and Hawiye through Samaale to Aqeel Abu Talib, whereas the Sheekhaal traces descent to a different forefather than the Samaale progeny, but also trace to Aqeel Abu Talib.


  • Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, President of Somalia, 2000–2004
  • Abdullahi Issa, Prime Minister of Somalia, 1954–1960
  • Aden Abdullah Osman Daar, President of Somalia, 1960–67
  • Ali Mahdi Muhammad, President of Somalia, 1991–1995
  • Ali Mohammed Ghedi, Prime Minister of Somalia, 2004–2007
  • Haji Farah Ali Omar, minister for Economic Affairs of Somalia,1956–1960
  • Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, current President of Somalia
  • Mohamed Farrah Aidid, President of Somalia 1995-1996
  • Nur Hassan Hussein, Prime Minister of Somalia, 2007–2009
  • Sharif Ahmed, President of Somalia, 2009-2012
  • Abdirahman Janaqow, Somali leader, deputy chairman of the Islamic Courts Union of Somalia (ICU), Minister of Justice
  • Abdullahi Ahmed Addow, former Somalia Ambassador to the United States (1970–80)
  • Abukar Umar Adani, Islamist, businessman who used to control the El-ma`an beach area which served as Mogadishu's port since the closure in 1995 of the city's main port
  • Bashir Raghe Shiiraar, secular faction leader; member of the US-backed Alliance for Peace and the Fight Against International Terrorism
  • Hassan Mohamed Hussein Mungab, Mayor of Mogadishu
  • Mohamed Abdi Hassan, entrepreneur and faction leader
  • Mohamed Afrah Qanyare, politician who was based to the south of Mogadishu and member of TFG parliament
  • Mohamed Nur, former Mayor of Mogadishu
  • Mohamed Moallim Hassan, Politician who served as minister of fishery and marine resources of Somalia, 2010- 2011
  • Military personnel

  • Ahmed Maxamed Xasan, Lieutenant colonel who defused Mig-17 jet fighter bombs
  • Daud Abdulle Hirsi, Commander-in-chief of the Somali national forces, 1960–67
  • Hassan Dahir Aweys, leader of Islamist revolution in Somalia, 2006–09
  • Hussein Kulmiye Afrah, vice-president of Somalia under the Siad Barre regime
  • Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Chairman of the United Somali Congress, 1991–1994
  • Muuse Suudi Yalahow, politician who served as Trade Minister in the Transitional Federal Government
  • Salaad Gabeyre Kediye, Father of the 1969 revolution
  • Leading intellectuals

  • Abdi Mohamed Ulusso, 2003 presidential candidate
  • Abdirahman Yabarow, Editor-in-Chief of the VOA Somali Service
  • Abdulkadir Yahya Ali, peace activist, co-director and founder of the Center for Research and Dialogue
  • Abukar Umar Adani, businessman who operates the Elman port services
  • Ali Jimale, educator at the City University of New York
  • Ali Sheikh Ahmed, dual president of Mogadishu University and Al-Islaah
  • Elman Ali Ahmed, entrepreneur and social activist
  • Hilowle Imam Omar, co-chairman of the reconciliation program 1995-2000
  • Hussein Ali Shido, founding member of the United Somali Congress
  • Hussein Sheikh Ahmed Kaddare, author of the Kaddariya script, 1952
  • Ibrahim Hassan Addou, Former Professor of Washington University. Foreign Minister of the Union of Islamic courts in 2006
  • Omar Iman Abubakar, professor and researcher in Hadith Sunna, Chairman of Hisbi Islam
  • Traditional elders and religious leaders

  • Sheikh Ali Dhere, founder of the first Islamic Court in Mogadishu
  • Music and literature

  • Abdi Bashiir Indhobuur, poet and composer, writer of several patriotic songs
  • Abdulle Geedannaar, poet
  • Hasan Adan Samatar, musician
  • K'naan, Somali-Canadian poet, rapper and musician
  • Magool (Halima Khalif Omar), musician
  • Sheekh Ahmed Gabyow, 19th-century poet
  • Political factions and organizations

  • Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, (ARPCT) a Somali alliance created by various faction leaders and entrepreneurs
  • Democratic Union Party (DUP), has supporters in the area of Negele Boran in the Ogaden's Borena Zone in Ethiopia, with the majority of the Hawiye Degodia clan heading the party
  • Hizbul Shabaab, the Youth Movement wing of the ICU before ceding the organisation to Aden Hashi Farah "Eyrow"
  • Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government.
  • Juba Valley Alliance (JVA), primary opponent of the Somali Patriotic Movement
  • Somali National Alliance (SNA) formed by Mohamed Farrah Aidid
  • Somali Salvation Army (SSA), the Ali Mahdi Muhammad branch of the United Somali Congress
  • United Somali Congress (USC) Formed in 1987, it played a key role in the ouster of the dictatorship
  • References

    Hawiye Wikipedia