The Sheekhaal (var. Sheikhaal' (Arabic: شيخال‎), also known as Fiqi Omar, is a noble Somali clan. Group members inhabit Somalia, Ethiopia and with considerable numbers also found in the Northern Frontier District (NFD) in Kenya.


Sheikh Abadir Umar Ar-Rida (Fiqi Omar), founder of the Sheekhaal clan.

Sheekhal traces its ancestry to Sheikh Abadir Umar Ar-Rida, also known as Fiqi Umar, who in turn traced his lineage to the first caliph, Abu Bakr (Sayid Abubakar Al-Sadiq). According to the explorer Richard F. Burton, In his book "First Footsteps in East Africa". The Sheekhaash or Sheekhaal is described as the only Somalis of the mountains not derived from Dir and Darood. They claim descent from "Caliph Abu Bakr" and asserted that their ancestor Khutab bin Fakih Umar crossed over from Al-Hijaz.[1] Fiqi Umar crossed over from the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa with his six sons: Umar the Greater, Umar the Lesser, the two Abdillahs, Ahmad and Siddik.[2] Sheikh Ar-Rida is also regarded as the saint of Harar.[3]

UNHCR considers the Sheekhal as a separate group, with four sub-clans: Lobogay (Loboge), Aw Qudub and Gendershe and Ali.[4] Lewis (1982) mentions that the largest clan of the Sheikhal is the Reer Fiqi Omar, whose most important lineage, the Reer Aw Qutub, inhabit Somali region of Ethiopia.[5] The Sheekhal clans were reportedly not considered as part of the Hawiye politically until after the civil war.[6]

Shekhal are also mentioned to be one of the religious group of Somalia along with the Ashraf[7]. The Sheekhaal people are known to be very religious and well respected scholars. Most Sheekhaal around the globe are closely associated with mosques and devoted to spreading islamic knowledge and religion.

Sheikhaal sub-clans

Clan Tree

Prominent figures

See also


  1. ^ Burton, Richard Francis (1856-01-01). First Footsteps in East Africa. Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans. p. 193. 
  2. ^ Richard Burton, First Footsteps in East Africa, 1856; edited with an introduction and additional chapters by Gordon Waterfield (New York: Praeger, 1966), p. 165
  3. ^ Siegbert Uhlig, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: He-N, Volume 3, (Otto Harrassowitz Verlag: 2007), pp.111 & 319.
  4. ^ Joint British, Danish and Dutch fact-finding mission to Nairobi, Kenya (2000-11-24). "Report on minority groups in Somalia" (PDF). Nairobi, Kenya. p. 55. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  5. ^ Lewis, I.M (1982). A study of pastoralism and politics among the northern Somalis of the Horn of Africa (PDF). New York: Africana Publishing Company. pp. 10–11. 
  6. ^ Hassan Ali Jama (2005). Who Cares About Somalia. Berlin: Verlag Hans Schiler. p. 140. ISBN 3-89930-075-0. 
  7. ^ http://minorityrights.org/wp-content/uploads/old-site-downloads/download-912-Click-here-to-download-full-report.pdf
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Aves Osman Hagi; Abdiwahid Osman Hagi (1988). Clan, sub-clan, and regional representation in the Somali government organization, 1960-1990: statistical data and findings. Washington DC: Aves O. Hagi & Abdiwahid O. Hagi. p. 156. 
  9. ^ Dr. Omar Ali. Qabaa ilka Soomaalida1988. Mogadishu, Somalia: Banaadir Press. p. 27. 

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