Samaale (var. Samali or Samale ( so|Samaale) was a progenitor who according to Somali tradition is considered the oldest common forefather of several major Somali clan
s and their respective sub-clans.
It constitutes the largest and most widespread Somali lineage. Two of the constituent Samaale sub-clans, the Dir
, are regarded as major clans today.
According to many documented sources and historians, the patriarch Samaale arrived in Somalia
during the 9th century and subsequently founded the eponymous Somali ethnic group.
Shariif 'Aydaruus Shariif 'Ali's records in his book ''Bughyat al-amaal fii taariikh as-Soomaal'' that Samaale was Uthman the son of Mahamed, a military leader commanding an army sent from Egypt, Suez to East Africa, Mogadishu to aid and join the Muslims in their fight against their enemies. They waged a war and when Samaale heard the news of his father passing away he migrated from his homeland Yemen to East Africa and made it his homeland marrying from the locals. Thus Uthman (Samaale) came to live in the area we know today as the Somali peninsula and founded the Samaale group.
The progenitor Samaale is generally regarded as the source of the ethnonym
''Somali''. Other state the word Somali is 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" (''zāwamāl''), again referring to Somali riches in livestock.
Shariif 'Aydaruus Shariif 'Ali mentions that in relation to the name 'Samaale', there were many notable people before him known as 'Samaale' like Abu 'Samaal' Al 'Adwi an Arab orator, poet and descendant of Ali
and 'Samaal Ibn 'Awf the grandfather of Majashi' ibn Mas'ud the Companion, also Sayaal ibn 'Samaal' ibn Hareesh and Khalid ibn Abi Yazeed ibn 'Samaal', both scholars of the Hadith tradition."
Many sources claim that Samaale traces its geneological traditions to Arabian Quraysh Banu Hashim origins through Aqiil
the son of Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib
, who was cousin of the Prophet Muhammed
. According to the British anthropologist and Somali Studies
veteran I.M. Lewis, the traditions of descent from noble Arab families related to the Prophet
embraced by all Somali clans are most probably figurative
expressions of the importance of Islam
in Somali society.
The paternal genetics
of ethnic Somalis
are inconsistent with a post-Islamic
(time to most recent common ancestor) and with a post-Islamic paternal Arabian origin for the majority of the ethnicity.
The majority of Somalis have an TMRCA between 4,000-2,000 years before present in the Bronze Age
Most Somalis trace their origins to Samaale:
Samaale in turn traces his to the Meccan tribe of Quraysh
The eponymous ancestor of majority of Somalis today had 9 sons, which is shown in the genealogical table below:
, Massare, 'Awrmale
, Udeejeen, Murusade
*****# Mayle: Hawadle
*****# Maqarre: Dabarre and Irrole
*****# Yahabur: Hubeer
*****# Hammarre "Harmalle":
Although Quranyow is part of the Garre confederacy, the sub-clan actually claims descent from Dir, son of Irir, son of Samaale.
[The Quranyo section of the Garre claim descent from Dirr, who are born of the Irrir Samal. UNDP Paper in Kenya http://www.undp.org/content/dam/kenya/docs/Amani%20Papers/AP_Volume1_n2_May2010.pdf]
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.
(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.
* Demographics of Somalia