Samaale (var. Samali or Samale Somali: Samaale, Beesha Samaale, Cusmaan, Beesha Cusmaan, Arabic: بنو سأملي ,بنو عثمان), is the oldest common forefather of several major Somali clans and their respective sub-clans. It constitutes the largest and most widespread Somali lineage. Two of the constituent Samaale sub-clans, the Dir and Hawiye, are regarded as major clans today. Samaale traces its ancestry to Arabian Banu Hashim origins through Aqiil Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib.
Shariif 'Aydaruus Shariif 'Ali records a tradition that the eponymous ancestor Samaale came from Yemen in the ninth century to settle in the Somali peninsula or Somaliland and founded the Samaale clan.
Samaale is generally regarded as the source of the ethnonym Somali. The name "Somali" is, in turn, held to be derived from the words soo and maal, which together mean "go and milk"—a reference to the ubiquitous pastoralism of the Somali people. Another etymology proposes that the term Somali is derived from the Arabic for "wealthy" (dhawamaal), again referring to Somali riches in livestock.
According to traditions recorded in Shariif 'Aydaruus Shariif 'Ali's Bughyat al-amaal fii taariikh as-Soomaal (1955), the patriarch Samaale arrived in northern Somalia from Yemen during the 9th century and subsequently founded the eponymous Somali ethnic group.
Most Somalis trace their origins to Samaale:
The eponymous ancestor of majority of Somalis today had 9 sons:
Although Quranyow is part of the Garre confederacy, the sub-clan actually claims descent from Dir, son of Irir, son of Samaale. This example does indeed strengthen the Somali saying: "Tol waa tolane", which means "clan is something joined together" The same could be said about Gaaljecel, Degodi and Hawadle who have allied themselves to the Hawiye section of Irir in the borders of Somalia, the Dabarre and Irrole of Maqarre and the Garre who have allied themselves to the Digil Rahanweyn confederacy and 'Awrmale to the Harti Darood section.
The Rahanweyn (Digil and Mirifle) clan traces descent from a separate patriarch called Sab. Both Samaale and Sab are said to have descended from a forefather named "Hiil", whose is held to be the common patrilineal ancestor of all the Somali clans.