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HomeSpiritual TravelThe Saint of Harar: Aw Abadir

The Saint of Harar: Aw Abadir


Strolling by the guts of the outdated metropolis, one could discover its cobblestoned streets cause them to a compound accentuated by a gleaming white wall and a tall swish tree that rises from inside. The compound is a maqam, and as soon as one walks previous the inexperienced chambers of the prayer-room, they’re launched to the resting place of Shaykh Abadir – the foremost saint of town of Harar.

Harar is a metropolis that’s situated in modern-day Ethiopia, round 520km east of the capital Addis Ababa and 260km west of Hargeisa in Somaliland. The town is considered greater than a thousand years outdated and in accordance with some sources, Islam has been current within the area because the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The Harari folks have a tradition and heritage that’s strongly intertwined with Islamic custom. 

As a result of giant variety of Saints which can be thought to have both lived, died or frequented town, Harar is thought in Arabic as Madinatul-Awliya– The Metropolis of Saints. There are 102 maqams in Harar. Saints, and different revered figures, are given the titles of Aw‘ orAy/Inay‘ to symbolise their patriarchal and matriarchal locations, respectively, in Harari custom 

Maqam of Shaykh Abadir

Aw Abadir is claimed to have come to town within the 12 months 405AH. It’s associated in each written and oral custom that in a long time previous to his arrival, town was inhabited by warring tribes. The ruler of the time, Amir Haboba, requested that the elders of town search a scholarly man from the blessed lands of Hijaz to deliver peace to town. As soon as there, they recognized a younger da‘iy (caller to religion) by the identify of Shaykh ‘Umar ar-Ridaa, who was a descendant of the primary caliph, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. They offered him with the Amir’s invitation, to which he agreed and launched into a journey to East Africa with a lot of his tribesmen, kids, shareefs and different saints.

As a proactive younger scholar, the Shaykh referred to as the folks and their tribes to unity underneath one religion. Some heeded to his teachings and a small military of followers was shaped. Different tribes, nonetheless, rejected the Shaykh’s makes an attempt at unity and have been subsequently engaged in battle. Some sources state that ‘Umar ar-Ridaa refused to battle with a sword and fought with a picket membership as a substitute to symbolise the truth that he didn’t come to spill blood however to deliver unity and peace. 

‘Umar ar-Ridaa turned victorious and the area discovered one unanimous chief underneath whom folks would unite. The Shaykh then gathered a couple of males and travelled to modern-day Somalia and fought a lot of battles in the identical style to unite the tribes there. He additionally inspired his tribesmen and youngsters to intermarry with the folks of the cities in order that this new sense of unity was additional solidified. Within the Somali areas, this gave rise to the Sheikh-Aal tribe.

Upon seeing the sweeping success of the Shaykh and his substantial work in bringing peace, the ruler that invited him to the area, Amir Haboba, provided him his seat of energy. He did so, nonetheless, underneath three situations: that the Shaykh have a Harari identify, marry a Harari lady and study the language. It’s then that he turned referred to as Shaykh Abadir, marrying the well-known saint Ay Abida and spoke the Semitic language of town, Harari.

As an indication of latest beginnings, additionally it is associated that in a dialog with Amir Haboba, Shaykh Abadir noticed it match to offer this new state a brand new identify. Utilizing an alpha-numerical science (Hisab al-Jumlah), the place each letter within the Arabic language has a numerical worth, he named town “Harar” هرر- that’s, with the sum of the three letters of the phrase including as much as 405 (ه which equals 5, ر which equals 200, ر which equals 200); town’s new identify mirrored the 12 months he arrived, the 12 months of latest beginnings. This science was used up to now for astronomical and mathematical functions.

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As nice as these early accomplishments have been, the excessive esteem that Harari, Somali and others within the area have for Aw Abadir is because of his scholarly and non secular legacy. In a well-known collection of conferences, Shaykh Abadir gathered the students and saints of town to put the foundations of what would, within the centuries to return, flip Harar into the non secular hub of the Horn of Africa. Aw ‘Umar Khutub, a scholar who arrived with Abadir from the Hijaz, was despatched to the Somali areas to unfold the teachings of Islam and develop a convention of scholarship there. Inside Harar, Abadir appointed Aw Sofi Yahya, one other scholar who got here with him from the Hijaz, to ascertain a non secular education system for youngsters, referred to as Qur’an Gey. Right here, kids have been taught the basics of Islamic perception (aqidah), Arabic and Qur’an. This method of education turned the mainstay of training of Muslim kids in Harar and the encompassing Somali areas.

Aw Waqara and  Ay Abida, the spouse of Aw Abadir, have been put in control of Islamic scholarship within the metropolis. It’s stated that in Ay Abida’s periods of data, greater than 300 folks could be in attendance. Inay Abida is honoured in varied Harari customs and celebrated as an embodiment of the Harari woman.  Thus, after one visits maqam Aw Abadir, one strikes into the courtyard and approaches that tall swish tree that grows on the resting place of the Inay. Her maqam is frequented by many newly-wed ladies as a part of the Harari marriage ceremony ceremony, as the brand new bride asks God, by the honour of Inay Abida, that she embark on her new journey of life with the precept and esteem of this nice feminine saint.

Ay Abida Maqam

At this time, Abadir is thought to be the ‘Father of Harar’ and the compound that homes his maqam sits on the coronary heart of town. The maqam’s custodianship is handed down by Abadir’s bloodline, with the principle custodian believed to be a direct descendant of the Shaykh. The maqam is visited all year long, particularly in the course of the month of Safar main as much as Mawlid. It is usually frequented on a weekly foundation for Qur’an recitations, salawat, and du’a.

The elders say that Harar is protected by town’s saints; foremost amongst them is Aw Abadir. Earlier than his passing, Shaykh Abadir requested God to guard town from a lot of calamities. “Abadir Rubutziyu yiqirhanahal” – “Abadir’s promise [of supplication] will defend us”. It’s believed that this supplication was accepted and the Metropolis of Saints will proceed to be protected by the Will of God.

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