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This is a list of Somali aristocratic and court titles that were historically used by the
Somali people The Somalis ( so, Soomaalida 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒆𐒖, ar, صوماليون) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common ancestry, culture and history. The Somali language is the ...
's various
sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

sultan
ates,
kingdoms
kingdoms
and
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

empire
s. Also included are the
honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title. It ...
s reserved for
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
ic notables as well as traditional leaders and officials within Somali
customary law A legal custom is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law". Customary law (also, consuetudin ...
(''
xeer ''Xeer'' (pronounced ) is the traditional legal system of Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Somali Region, and one of the three systems from which formal Somali law draws its inspiration, the others being Civil law (legal system), civil law and Sharia ...
''), in addition to the
nobiliary particle A nobiliary particle is used in a surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows ...
s set aside for distinguished individuals.


Monarchs and aristocrats

Below is a list of the
royal court A royal court is an extended royal household in a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. ...
titles A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the firs ...
historically retained by the Somali
monarchies A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a ...
and aristocracies.


Male titles


Kings or Rulers

*Suldaan: From the
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
for
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

Sultan
or English "Chief". Very common title for rulers in the pre-colonial and colonial periods; used throughout the Somali territories, particularly by the
Isaaq The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak, Isaac) ( so, Reer Sheekh Isxaaq, ar, بني إسحاق, Banī Isḥāq) is a Somali clan The Somalis ( so, Soomaalida 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒆𐒖, ar, صوماليون) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cu ...
. Famous Sultans include Fakr ad-Din, the first Sultan of the
Sultanate of Mogadishu The Sultanate of Mogadishu ( so, Saldanadda Muqdisho, ar, سلطنة مقديشو) (fl. ''Floruit'' (), abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor.), Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A ...
, who built the 13th-century Fakr ad-Din Mosque;
Nur Ahmed Aman Sultan Nur Ahmed Aman ( so, Suldaan Nuur Axmed Amaan; (1841–1907); Somali nickname Nuur Dheere), was a learned religious leader and the 5th Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, ...
, 5th Sultan of the
Habr Yunis The Habr Yunis ( so, Habar Yoonis, ar, هبر يونس) (Full Name: ''Siciid Ismacil (Garxajis) Sheikh Ishaaq ibn Ahmed'') is a major Somali clan and is a sub-division of the Garhajis The Garhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Nam ...
and one of the founders of the
Dervish state The Somali Dervish movement ( so, Dhaqdhaqaaqii Daraawiishta) was a popular movement that developed in eastern Somaliland between 1899 and 1920,Diiwaanka gabayadii, 1856-1921 , Maxamad Cabdulle Xasan · 1999 , PAGE 219 which was led by Sayyid Mo ...
; Sultan
Abdillahi Deria Sultan Abdillahi Deria ( so, Cabdillaahi Diiriye, ar, عبدالله بن ديريه) was the fifth Grand Sultan of the Isaaq Sultanate The Isaaq Sultanate ( so, Saldanadda Isaaq, ar, سلطنة الإسحاق) was a Somali kingdom that ruled p ...
of the
Isaaq Sultanate The Isaaq Sultanate ( so, Saldanadda Isaaq, Wadaad writing, Wadaad: , ar, السلطنة الإسحاقية) was a Somali people, Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It spanned the territorie ...
, who was an anti-colonial figure in the mid-20th century;
Mohamoud Ali Shire Sultan Mohamoud Ali Shire, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, MBE ( so, Maxamuud Cali Shire, ar, محمود علي شري) was a Somalis, Somali elder of the Warsangali clan. He bore the title Sultan * (also referred to as ...
, the 1st Sultan of the
Warsangali The Warsangali ( so, Warsangeli, ar, قبيلة ورسنجلي) is a major Somali sub clan, part of the Harti Harti ( so, Harti, ar, هرتي), meaning "strong man", is a Somali clan The Somalis ( so, Soomaalida 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛 ...
;
Mahmud IV Mahmud IV ( so, Maxamuud IV, ar, محمود), also known as Mahamud Hawadane (''Xawadane''),https://horseedmedia.net/2012/04/24/bulsho-waxay-wax-ku-tahay-jiritaankii-iyo-sumaddii-awooweyaashood-maqaal/ was a Somali people, Somali ruler. He was am ...
, who reigned in the early 19th century as one of the first Sultans of the
Majeerteen Sultanate The Majeerteen Sultanate ( so, Suldanadda Majeerteen, lit=Boqortooyada Majerteen, ar, سلطنة مجرتين), also known as Majeerteenia and Migiurtinia, was a Somalis, Somali kingdom centered in the Horn of Africa. Ruled by Boqor Osman Maham ...
;
Yusuf Ali Kenadid Yusuf Ali Kenadid ( so, Yuusuf Cali Keenadiid; 1837 - 28 september 1911) was a Somali Sultan. He was the founder of the Sultanate of Hobyo in the 1870s. Along with Sultan Mohamoud Ali Shire of the Warsangali Sultanate and King Osman Mahamuud o ...
, founder of the
Sultanate of Hobyo This article includes a list of successive Muslim state , caption = , active = {{Collapsible list , title = 1999–present , 1 = 1999: Established under the name of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad , 2 = October 2004: Joined al ...
; and
Ibrahim Adeer Ibrahim Adeer ( so, Ibraahin Adeer, ar, ابراهيم أدير) was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia ...
, founder of the
Geledi Sultanate The Sultanate of the Geledi ( so, Saldanadda Geledi, ar, سلطنة غلدي) also known as the Gobroon Dynasty Somali Sultanate: The Geledi City-state Over 150 Years - Virginia Luling (2002) Page 229 was a Somali Somali refers to an East African ...
. The title was also employed by the leaders of the influential
Ajuran Sultanate The Ajuran Empire ( so, Saldanadda Ajuuraan, ar, سلطنة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ...
, the House of Garen. * Ugaas: Authentic Somali term for "Sultan". Used throughout the northern and western Somali territories; particularly in the Somali region of Ethiopia and
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign ...

Somaliland
, but also in central Somalia, southern and northeastern Somalia. The Gadabursi, and
Gaalje'el The Gaalje'el ( so, Gaaljecel), ( it, Galgial) ,( ar, الجعل) Galjecel is one of the largest Somalia, Somali clans, whose origins trace back to Gardhere. The Galje'el clan belong to the Saransor family of clans, alongside the Issa, Masare an ...
gave their sultan the title of "Ugaas" romanized as "Ughaz". *Boqor: Literally denotes
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

King
. However, in practice, it is the ''
primus inter pares ''Primus inter pares'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...
'' or "King of Kings". The title is etymologically derived from one of the
Afro-Asiatic Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family of about 300 languages that are spoken predominantly in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and parts of the Sahel. ...
Somali language Somali (Latin: ; Wadaad writing, Wadaad: ; Osmanya: 𐒖𐒍 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘 ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language belonging to the Cushitic languages, Cushitic branch. It is spoken as a mother tongue by Somalis in Greater ...
terms for "belt", in recognition of the official's unifying role within society. According to Kobishchanow (1987), ''Boqor'' is also related to the
style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-cla ...
''Paqar'', which was employed by rulers in the early
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile Valley
state of . Various Somali
honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title. It ...
s and designations have ''Boqor'' as their root. The latter include ''Boqortooyo'', signifying "monarchy", "kingdom" or "empire"; ''Boqornimo'', meaning "
royalty Royalty may refer to: * Kingship of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg"> Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of conte ...
", "
nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the realm, estate of the realm that p ...
" or "dignitaries"; and ''Boqortinnimo'', denoting "kingship". Historically, the title was mainly used by
rulers A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure distances or draw straight lines. Variants Rulers have long been made f ...

rulers
in the northeastern
Puntland Puntland ( so, Puntland, ar, أرض البنط, it, Terra di Punt or ''Paese di Punt''), officially the Puntland State of Somalia ( so, Dowladda Federalkaa ee Puntland , ar, ولاية أرض البنط الصومالية), is a States and ...

Puntland
region of
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
. The most prominent Boqor in recent times was
Osman Mahamuud Osman Mahamuud ( so, Cismaan Maxamuud, ar, عثمان محمود), also known as `Uthman III ibn Mahmud, was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl off ...
, who governed the
Majeerteen Sultanate The Majeerteen Sultanate ( so, Suldanadda Majeerteen, lit=Boqortooyada Majerteen, ar, سلطنة مجرتين), also known as Majeerteenia and Migiurtinia, was a Somalis, Somali kingdom centered in the Horn of Africa. Ruled by Boqor Osman Maham ...
(Majeerteenia) during its 19th-century heyday. Also used among the
Gadabuursi The Gadabuursi (Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered ...
as the law of the King and the 100 men' (heerka boqorka iyo boqolka nin). * Garaad: Often employed interchangeably with "Suldaan" to denote a Sultan. Etymologically signifies "wisdom", "mind" or "understanding". According to Basset (1952), the title corresponds with the honorific ''Al-Jaraad'', which was used during the Middle Ages by
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
governors in the
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
ic parts of
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
. ''Gerad'' was historically employed throughout
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign ...

Somaliland
by the Tol Je'lo as well as the
Habar Awal The Habr Awal ( so, Habar Awal, ar, هبر أول, Full Name: Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad)''; is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and mo ...
until the clan's leadership adopted a
Suldaan This is a list of Somali aristocratic and court titles that were historically used by the Somali people's various sultanates, Realm, kingdoms and empires. Also included are the honorifics reserved for Islamic notables as well as traditional leader ...
in the 20th century. It is still used by the
Dhulbahante The Dhulbahante ( so, Dhulbahante, ar, دلبةنتئ) is a Somali clan family, part of the Harti clan which itself belongs to the largest Somali clan-family — the Darod. In Somaliland, the Dhulbahante primarily settle in the regions of Sool, ...
today. * Imaam: Denotes the Head of State. Style was used especially by rulers in the
Sultanate of Adal The Adal Sultanate, or Kingdom of Adal or Awdal or Bar Sa'ad ad-din (alt. spelling ''Adel Sultanate'' , ''Awdal Sultanate''), was a Muslim Somalis, Somali kingdom and sultanate located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II af ...

Sultanate of Adal
and the Ajuran Sultanate. Notable Imams include
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi ( so, Axmed Ibraahim al-Qaasi or Ahmed Gurey, Harari: አህመድ ኢብራሂም አል-ጋዚ, ar, أحمد بن إبراهيم الغازي ; c. 1506 – 21 February 1543) was a Somali Somali refers to an East Af ...
, also known as Ahmed Gurey or Gran (both meaning "the Left Handed"), who led a military campaign during the Middle Ages known as the Conquest of Abyssinia (''Futuh al-Habash''). *
Emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politic ...

Emir
: Used by leaders in the Adal Sultanate. Also employed by commanders in the Ajuran Sultanate's . Prominent Emirs include
Nur ibn Mujahid Nur ibn Mujahid ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah al Dhuhi Suha (Harari language, Harari: አሚር ኑር, Somali: Nuur ibn Mujaahid, Arabic: نور بن مجاهد; died 1567) was a Muslim Emir of Harar who ruled Sultanate of Harar. He was the primary ...
, the Emir of
Harar Harar ( amh, ሐረር; Gē "the City", om, Harar, ar, هرر) is a walled city in eastern Ethiopia. It is known in Arabic as the City of Wali, Saints ( ar, مدينة الأَوْلِيَاء). Harar is the capital of the East Hararghe Zone ...

Harar
who built the great wall (''Jugol'') around the city.


Royal family

*Amiir:
Prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary title, hereditary, in so ...

Prince
. Honorific set aside for the hereditary son of the King or Sultan. Notable Princes include
Ali Yusuf Kenadid Ali Yusuf Kenadid ( so, Cali Yuusuf Keenadiid, ar, علي يوسف كينايديض) was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal ...
, the son and heir of Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid of the Sultanate of Hobyo. * Ina Boqor: Alternate court style for the Prince. A term used by
Ajuran Empire The Ajuran Empire ( so, Saldanadda Ajuuraan, ar, سلطنة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somalis, Somali empire in the medieval times in the Horn of Africa that dominated the trade in no ...
and a powerful Ajuran princess called Faduma Sarjelle


Court officials

* Wasiir:
Minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
and/or tax and revenue collector. Title used in the northern Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo, as well as the southern Ajuran Sultanate. Wazirs were also quite common at the royal court of the medieval Sultanate of Mogadishu. When the traveller
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an e ...
visited
Mogadishu Mogadishu (, also ; so, Muqdisho or Xamar ; ar, مقديشو, Muqadīshū ; it, Mogadiscio ), locally known as Xamar or Hamar, is the capital city and most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city ...

Mogadishu
in 1331, he indicated that the city was ruled by a Somali Sultan originally from the northern
Barbara Barbara may refer to: People * Barbara (given name) Barbara is a given name used in numerous languages. It is the feminine form of the Greek word ''barbaros'' ( el, βάρβαρος) meaning "strange" or "foreign", from which the current term b ...
region, who had a retinue of wazirs, legal experts, commanders, royal
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot ...

eunuch
s, and other officials at his service. Other notable wazirs include the maternal grandfather of the Somali General
Abdullahi Ahmed Irro Abdullahi Ahmed Irro ( so, Cabdullaahi Axmed Cirro, ar, عبد الله أحمد إرو), also known as Abdullahi Ahmad Yousef Irro,''ARR: Arab report and record'', (Economic Features, ltd.: 1978), p.602. was a prominent Somali people, Somali mili ...
, who was part of the Sultanate of Hobyo's aristocratic contingent in the southern town of
Kismayo Kismayo ( so, Kismaayo, Maay Maay, Maay: ''Kismanyy'', ar, كيسمايو, ; it, Chisimaio) is a port city in the southern Lower Juba (Jubbada Hoose) province of Somalia. It is the commercial capital of the autonomous Jubaland region. The ci ...

Kismayo
. *Boqortiishe:
Viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

Viceroy
. Style reserved for court officials governing territory on behalf of their Kingdom was mostly used by
Ajuran Empire The Ajuran Empire ( so, Saldanadda Ajuuraan, ar, سلطنة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somalis, Somali empire in the medieval times in the Horn of Africa that dominated the trade in no ...
that established many colonies and a famous ruler was
Abd al-Aziz of Mogadishu Abd al-Aziz of Mogadishu ( ar, عبد العزيز) was a 14th-century island chief or katheeb of Utheemu island of the Maldives. When Ibn Battuta visited the Maldives islands, the governor of the island of Utheemu at that time was Abd al-Aziz of Mo ...
who ruled islands on behalf of
Ajuran Empire The Ajuran Empire ( so, Saldanadda Ajuuraan, ar, سلطنة الأجورانية), also spelled Ajuuraan Empire, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somalis, Somali empire in the medieval times in the Horn of Africa that dominated the trade in no ...
*Wakiil-Boqor: Alternate court title designating a Viceroy. *
Na'ib Nawab (Bengali Bengali or Bengalee, or Bengalese may refer to: *something of, from, or related to Bengal, a large region in South Asia * Bengalis, an ethnic and linguistic group of the region * Bengali language, the language they speak ** Be ...
/Naïb:
Deputy Deputy is one empowered to act for another. Depute is the historical form of "deputy" and is still used in the Scottish legal system. Deputy or depute may refer to: * Steward (office) * Khalifa, an Arabic title that can signify "deputy" * Deputy ( ...
or representative of the Sultan. Duties included the administration of
tribute A tribute (; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be ...

tribute
, which was collected by court soldiers. Style was used in the Ajuran Sultanate, Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo. * Qaadi: Denotes a
Chief Judge A chief judge (also known as chief justice The chief justice is the Chief judge, presiding member of a supreme court in any of many countries with a justice system based on English common law, such as the High Court of Australia, the Supreme Court ...
. Especially common title in Somaliland, but also used in the southern Ajuran Sultanate. Prominent Qadis include Ismail ibn Ash-Shaykh Ishaaq, the ancestor of the
Garhajis The Garhajis ( so, Garxajis, ar, غرحجس , Full Name: ''Al-Qādhī Ismā'īl ibn ash-Shaykh Isḥāq ibn Aḥmad'') historically known as the Habar Gerhajis () is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family. They are the traditional holders ...
clan, Abd al Aziz al-Amawi, an influential 19th-century diplomat, historian, poet, jurist and scholar who was appointed Qadi of the
Kilwa Sultanate The Kilwa Sultanate ( ar, سلطنة كيلوة) was a sultanate, centered at Kilwa Kisiwani, Kilwa (an island off modern-day Tanzania), whose authority, at its height, stretched over the entire length of the Swahili Coast. According to the lege ...
at the age of 18 by
Muscat and Oman The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman ( ar, سلطنة مسقط وعمان, Salṭanat Masqaṭ wa-‘Umān), also known briefly as the State of Muscat and Oman () during the rule of Timur ibn Faisal, was a sovereign state that encompassed the presen ...
's Sultan
Said bin Sultan Sayyid Said bin Sultan al-Busaidi ( ar, سعيد بن سلطان, , sw, Saïd bin Sultani) (5 June 1791 – 19 October 1856), was Sultan of Muscat and Oman, the fifth ruler of the House of Busaid, Busaid dynasty from 1807 to 4 June 1856. His rul ...
; and the father of Sheikh
Abdurahman Sheikh Nuur Sheikh Abdurahman Sh. Nur ( so, Sheekh Cabdiraxmaan Sheekh Nuur, ar, شيخ عبد الرحمن شيخ نور) was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūm ...
, inventor of the
Borama script The Gadabuursi script also known as the Borama alphabet (Borama: ) , is a writing script for the Somali language Somali (Latin: ; Wadaad writing, Wadaad: ; Osmanya: 𐒖𐒍 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘 ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiat ...
for the Somali language.


Female titles


Consorts

*Boqorad: Literally translates as "Queen". Title mainly reserved for the
queen consort A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *I ...
of the King (''Boqor'').


Royal family

*Amiirad:
Princess Princess is a regal rank and the feminine equivalent of prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title o ...
. Honorific set aside for the hereditary daughter of the King or Sultan. *Ina Boqor: Alternate court style for the Prince or Princess.


Religious leaders

Islamic leaders within Somali society were often drawn from or elevated to the noble ranks. Below is a list of the titles most often used historically by the clergymen (
ulama In Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the fir ...
): *
Sheekh Sheikh ( so, Sheekh, ar, شَيخ), also known as Shiikh, is a town in the northwestern Sahil, Somaliland, Sahil
: Honorific for senior Muslim clerics (''wadaad''). Often abbreviated to "Sh". Famous Sheikhs include
Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-JabartiSheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, (Arabic: عبدالرحمن بن اسماعيل الجبرتي) also known as Daarood, (Arabic:دارود) Dawud or Da'ud, is the common ancestor of the Somalis, Somali Darod clan. According to early Islamic ...
, an early Muslim leader in northern Somalia; Abadir Umar Ar-Rida, the patron saint of Harar;
Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti (1753–1825) ( ar, عبد الرحمن الجبرتي), full name: Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan bin Burhan al-Din al-Jabarti ( ar, عبد الرحمن بن حسن بن برهان الدين الجبرتي), often simply known ...
, Sheikh of the
riwaq Riwaq ( ar, رواق) or Centre for Architectural Conservation is a center for the preservation of architecture, architectural heritage on the West Bank of State of Palestine, Palestine. The organization settles in Ramallah and owes its name mainly ...
in
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
who recorded the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt; Abd Al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Zayla'i, scholar who played a crucial role in the spread of the
Qadiriyya The Qadiriyya, also transliterated Qādirīyah, ''Qadri'', ''Qadriya'', ''Kadri'', ''Elkadri'', ''Elkadry'', ''Aladray'', ''Alkadrie'', ''Adray'', ''Kadray'', ''Kadiri'', ''Qadiri'', ''Quadri'' or ''Qadri'' are members of the Sunni Qadiri tariqa ...
movement in Somalia and East Africa;
Shaykh Sufi Abd Al-Rahman bin Abdullah al Shashi ( ar, عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله الشاشي) (b. 1829 - 1904), popularly known as Sheikh Sufi, was a 19th-century Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia ...
, 19th-century scholar, poet, reformist and astrologist who authored ''Shadjarat al-Yakim'' ("The Tree of Certitude");
Abdallah al-Qutbi Abdallah ibn Mu'allim Yusuf al-Qutbi ( ar, عبد الله يوسف قطبي ) (c. 1879 – 1952) was a Somali people, Somali polemicist, theologian and philosopher who lived in Qulunqul (Kolonkol), Somalia. Biography Sheikh Al-Qutbi is best kno ...
, polemicist, theologian and philosopher best known for his five-part ''Al-Majmu'at al-mubaraka'' ("The Blessed Collection"); and Muhammad Al-Sumaalee, teacher in the
Masjid al-Haram , native_name_lang = ar , religious_affiliation = Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
in
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
who influenced many of the prominent Islamic scholars of today. *
Sayyid ''Sayyid'' (, ; ar, سيد ; ; meaning 'Lord', 'Master'; Arabic plural: ; feminine: ; ) is an honorific title denoting people accepted as descendants of the Prophets in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad and his cousin and son-in-law Ali ( ...

Sayyid
: Title of high honour meaning "
Lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peera ...

Lord
" or "
Master Master or masters may refer to: Ranks or titles *Ascended master Ascended masters in the Ascended Master Teachings of a number of movements in the theosophical tradition are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarn ...
". Denotes males accepted as descendants of the
Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, c ...
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
through his grandsons,
Hasan ibn Ali Al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib ( ar, الحسن بن علي بن أبي طالب; 2 March 625 – 2 April 670 Common Era, CE), also called Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba ( ar, الإمام الحسن المجتبى, link=no) by Shia Muslim ...

Hasan ibn Ali
and
Hussein ibn Ali Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, Al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlīy ibn ʾAbī Ṭālib; 10 January AD 626 – 10 October 680) was a grandson of the Islamic prophet Muham ...
, sons of the prophet's daughter
Fatima Zahra Fatima, Fátima or Fatimah most often refers to: * Fatimah (died 632 or 615–633), a daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad revered by Muslims * Fátima, Portugal, a location of several reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary * Fatima (given na ...
and his son-in-law
Ali ibn Abi Talib Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...
.Ho, Engseng, ''Graves of Tarim'', (University of California Press: 2006), Berkeley. p.149 Used by leaders in the
Dervish State The Somali Dervish movement ( so, Dhaqdhaqaaqii Daraawiishta) was a popular movement that developed in eastern Somaliland between 1899 and 1920,Diiwaanka gabayadii, 1856-1921 , Maxamad Cabdulle Xasan · 1999 , PAGE 219 which was led by Sayyid Mo ...
; notably by
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Sayid Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan ( so, Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan; 1856–1920) was a Somali Somali refers to an East African tribe (ethnic group) native to Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Rep ...
("Mad Mullah"). * (pl. Ashraaf): Historically used to distinguish descendants of Hassan 'Ali Abuu Taalib (Hasan ibn Ali). Often reserved for early Islamic leaders such as Sharif Yusuf Barkhadle (popularly known as ''Aw Barkhadle'' or the "Blessed Father"), a man described as "the most outstanding
saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' depends on the context and Christian denomination, denominatio ...

saint
in northern Somalia"..
Sharif Aydurus Sharif Aydarus Sharif Ali Al-Nadheeri or short Sharif Aydarus was a famous scholar of Islamic and Somali history and pan-Islamic leader. History He was born in the city of Mogadishu in the year 1311 A.H. (1893) and belonged to the coastal Reer ...

Sharif Aydurus
was also a notable Sharif and Somali scholar from Mogadishu. * Xaaji: Honorific reserved for distinguished individuals who have performed the
hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ ' "wikt:pilgrimage, ''pilgrimage''"; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Far ...
, or pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.


Traditional leaders and officials

Below is a list of the titles traditionally employed by leaders and officials within the Somali
customary law A legal custom is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law". Customary law (also, consuetudin ...
or ''
xeer ''Xeer'' (pronounced ) is the traditional legal system of Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Somali Region, and one of the three systems from which formal Somali law draws its inspiration, the others being Civil law (legal system), civil law and Sharia ...
''.


Leaders

*Islan: Clan chief. Title evolved after the fragmentation in the 18th century of the great
Harti Harti ( so, Harti, ar, هرتي), meaning "strong man", is a Somali clan The Somalis ( so, Soomaalida 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒆𐒖, ar, صوماليون) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Afri ...
confederation that dominated the northeastern
Horn Horn most often refers to: *Horn (acoustic), a conical or bell shaped aperture used to guide sound ** Horn (instrument), collective name for tube-shaped wind musical instruments *Horn (anatomy), a pointed, bony projection on the head of various a ...

Horn
region since at least the 14th century. A general process of decentralization ensued, with new leaders known as ''Islaan'' assuming at the local level some of the power that was previously solely commanded by the Sultan of Majeerteenia, the titular head of the entire confederation. Although they nominally asserted independence from the sultanate, Islaan's mainly wielded religious rather than political authority. *Malakh: Signifies "War Leader". Historically used mainly by the
Rahanweyn The Rahanweyn (Maay language, Maay: ''Reewin'', Northern Somali: ''Raxanweyn'', ar, رحنوين), also known as the Digil and Mirifle () are a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large territory and de ...
clan that today forms one of the largest constituencies in southern Somalia, in addition to a few sympatric clans. Usually assigned to the Herabow sub-lineage, from which two male constituents were selected to manage the group's military affairs. *Akil: From the Arabic for "wise man". A common title for male elders, who are the traditional clan chiefs. Used particularly in
Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Soomaaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliland, ar, جمهورية صوماليلاند ''Jumhūrīyat Ṣūmālīlānd''), is a de facto sovereign ...

Somaliland
.Abdullahi, p.140


Officials

*Oday (pl. Odayaal): Literally "elder". The most common title for
advisor An adviser or advisor is normally a person with more and deeper knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact ...
s to the clan head or
judge A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In th ...

judge
s in xeer hearings. Used throughout the Somali territories. *Heer begti or Heer boggeyal:
Jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and inf ...
s or legal experts in xeer. *Gurtiyal:
Detective A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crimes by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads them ...

Detective
s. *Garhajiyal: in xeer cases. *Murkhatiyal:
Witness In law, a witness is someone who has knowledge about a matter, whether they have sensed it or are testifying on another witnesses' behalf. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, e ...
es in official xeer proceedings. *Waranle:
Police officer A police officer, also known as a policeman or policewoman, is a warranted law employee of a police force The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state, with the aim to enforce the law, to ensure the safety, ...

Police officer
s to enforce the customary law.


Nobiliary particles

*Aw:
Nobiliary particle A nobiliary particle is used in a surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows ...
meaning "honorable", "venerable", or simply "
Sir ''Sir'' is a formal English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually becom ...

Sir
". Reserved for learned Islamic clerics, and used throughout the Somali territories. During his research in the ancient town of
Amud Amud or Amoud ( so, Camuud, ar, عمود) is an ancient, ruined town in the Awdal region of Somaliland.Damtew Teferra, ''African higher education: an international reference handbook'', (Indiana University Press: 2003) Named after its patron Sai ...
, the historian G.W.B. Huntingford noticed that whenever an old site had the prefix ''Aw'' in its name (such as the ruins of
Awbare Awbare (Amharic language, Amharic: ኣውባረ, so, Aw Barre), officially known as Teferi BerTeferi Ber is the name used by the Central Statistical Agency in it''Agricultural Sample Enumeration 2001-2002 (1994 E.C.): Report on Area and Product ...
and
Awbube Awbube (Amharic Amharic ( or ; (Amharic: ), ', ) is an Ethiopian Semitic languages, Ethiopian Semitic language, which is a subgrouping within the Semitic languages, Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first languag ...
), it denoted the final resting place of a local saint.G.W.B. Huntingford, "The Town of Amud, Somalia", ''Azania'', 13 (1978), p. 184 Similarly, the ancient island of Aw Garweyne on the southeastern Benadir littoral was named for the late Sheikh 'Ismaan, whose tomb is found there. Surveys by A.T. Curle in 1934 on several of these important ruined cities recovered various artefacts, such as
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="g ...

pottery
and
coin A coin is a small, flat, (usually, depending on the country or value) round piece of metal A metal (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hell ...

coin
s, which point to a medieval period of activity at the tail end of the Sultanate of Adal's reign. Somaliland and northeastern Somalia in general is home to numerous such
archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also kn ...

archaeological site
s, with similar edifices found at
Haylan Haylan ( so, Heylaan), is a town in the eastern Sanaag Sanag ( so, Sanaag, ar, سَنَاج) is an administrative region (''Administrative divisions of Somaliland, gobol'') in north eastern Somaliland.
, Qa’ableh, Macajilayn, Booco,
Qombo'ul Qombo'ul ( so, Qumbucul) is a very old and historical town in the eastern Sanaag Sanag ( so, Sanaag, ar, سَنَاج) is an administrative region (''Administrative divisions of Somaliland, gobol'') in north eastern Somaliland.El Ayo El Ayo ( so, Ceelaayo, ar, عيلايو), also known as El Ayum, is a coastal town in the eastern Sanaag region of Somaliland Somaliland ( so, Somaliland; ar, صوماليلاند ', '), officially the Republic of Somaliland ( so, J ...
, ,
Botiala Botiala ( so, Butiyaalo), also known as Bottiala or Bandar Kor, is an archaeological site in the northeastern Bari, Somalia, Bari region of Somalia. History Botiala is located in a valley to the east of the ancient port city of Qandala, between Ca ...
,
Salweyn Salweyn, also known as Salwine, is a proto-SomaliProto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis Somalis ( so, Soomaalida) are an Cushitic peoples, East Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa who share a common ancest ...
, Mudun,
Abasa ʻAbasa ( ar, عبس, "He Frowned") is the 80th chapter (''sura A ''surah'' (; ar, سورة, sūrah) is the equivalent of "chapter" in the Quran, Qur'an. There are 114 ''surahs'' in the Quran, each divided into ''ayah, ayats'' (verses). T ...
,
Maduna {{Infobox settlement , official_name =Maduna , other_name = , native_name = , nickname = , settlement_type =Archaeological site , motto = , image_skyline = , imagesize ...
,
Gelweita Gelweita ( so, Geel Wayta), also known as Las Galwayta or Galwayta is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also ...
and Damo, among other areas.Michael Hodd, ''East African Handbook'', (Trade & Travel Publications: 1994), p.640.


See also

*
Maritime history of Somalia Maritime history of Somalia refers to the seafaring Seamanship is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual i ...
*
Somali architecture Somali architecture is the engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering en ...
*
Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles Until the end of the Ethiopian monarchy in 1974, there were two categories of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class ...


Notes


References

* * * * * * *
Warsangeli Sultanate
(Official website)


External links


Warsangeli Sultanate
(Official website) {{DEFAULTSORT:Somali aristocratic and court titles Somalian monarchy Somali culture Court titles Gubernatorial titles
Noble titles This category works on a broad definition of nobility, including ruling houses of true monarchies, peerage or equivalents and lower aristocracy or gentry. Please note that this page is unlikely ever to list ''all'' 'noble' titles discussed in Wikipe ...
Royal titles Titles of national or ethnic leadership