The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak) (Somali: Reer Sheik Isaxaaq, Arabic: اسحاق‎) is one of the main Somali clans. Members of the clan principally live in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia, and the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The populations of the five major cities of Somaliland –Hargeisa, Burco,Berbera, Ceerigaabo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq. As of the late 1980s, the Sacad Muuse, Habar Awal and Jibriil Abokor sub-clans of the Isaaq were also the main inhabitants of Gabiley.[1]


[hide]*1 History


[1][2]The tomb of Sheikh Isaaq, the father of the Isaaq clan, in Maydh.According to tradition, the Isaaq clan was founded in the 12th or 13th century with the arrival of Shaykh Ishaq ibn Ahmad al- Hashimi from Arabia, one of the Prophet Muhammad's early followers.[2][3] He settled in the coastal town ofMaydh in modern-day northernwestern Somalia, where he married into the local Dir clan.

A similar tradition exists for the Darod, whom are said to have descended from one Sheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, another Banu Hashim who came to Somalia around the same time.[2] As with Sheikh Darod, there are also numerous existing hagiologies in Arabic which describe Sheikh Isaaq's travels, works and overall life in northern Somalia, as well as his movements in Arabia before his arrival. Sheikh Isaaq's tomb is in Maydh, and is the scene of frequent pilgrimages.[4]

[edit]Clan treeEdit

[3][4]Partial breakdown of the Isaaq clan structure.There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.[5][6]

  • Isaaq
    • Haber Awal
      • Sa'ad Muse
      • Issa Muse
      • Ayub
    • Habr Garhadjis
      • Habr Yunis
      • Aidagalla
      • Arab
    • Habr Jaalo (Habr Toljallo)
      • Mohamed Abokor
      • Ibrahim
      • Muse Abokor
      • Ahmad (Toljaalo)

In Puntland, the World Bank shows the following:[7]

  • Isaaq
    • Habar Yoonis
    • Habar Awal
    • Habar Tol Jaalo
    • Habar Jaalo
    • Iidagale

One tradition maintains that Isaaq had twin sons: Ahmed, or Arap, and Ismail, or Gerhajis.[8]

[edit]Notable Isaaq peopleEdit