Dervish movement (Somali)

a non-signatory treatyless kingdom in SSC-Khatumo lasting from 1895 until 1920
(Redirected from Darwiish State)

The Somali Dervish movement (Somali: Halgankii Daraawiishta) was a popular movement that developed in Somaliland between 1899 and 1920. It called for the expulsion of all foreign powers from the Somaliland region in the Horn of Africa.[2][3]

Somali Dervish movement
Halgankii Daraawiishta
Islam with Sufism-orientation
Mullah, Sayid[1] 
• 1899-1920
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan
• Established
• Disestablished
9 February 1920
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Ottoman Empire
Italian Somaliland
British Somaliland
Today part of Somalia

It was led by the Salihiyya Sufi Muslim poet and militant leader Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, also known as Sayyid Mohamed. He called for the removal of British and Italian colonies in Somalia, the defeat of Ethiopian forces, the expulsion of Christianity and the establishment of a Muslim Somali state.[2][3]



On 3 March 1905 Hassan, the so-called "Mad Mullah" declared himself Sayyid of Nogal (Nugaal valley) in the Khatumo region. The territory coincided approximately with the actual Nugaal area in modern Khatumo State. It was ruled like a kind of sultanate on behalf of the Mahdi.

Hassan's rule was ended by Italy in 1911. After the collapse of Hassan’s resistance movement,[4] rebellion and revolt occurred with disputes between different tribes in Northern Somalia.

The Italian government of Somalia again worked together with the old tribesmen in order to try and keep peace between the several tribes, while maintaining close control over the military.[5]

Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (nicknamed the "Mad Mullah" by the British) escaped from the Khatumo region in 1920 to Imey Ethiopia, where he later died in 1921.



The Dervish legacy in Somalia and Somaliland has been influential. It was the "most important revivalist Islamic movements" in Somalia, state Hasan and Robleh.[6] The movement, and particularly its leader, has been controversial in Somalia. Some cherish it as the founder of modern Somali nationalism. Others see it as an ambitious Muslim brotherhood militancy that destroyed Somalia's opportunity to move towards modernization and progress in favor of a puritanical Islamic state embedded with Islamic education. Its ideas are enshrined in the constitution of Somalia.[6]



  1. ʻAbdi ʻAbdulqadir Sheik-ʻAbdi (1993). Divine madness: Moḥammed ʻAbdulle Ḥassan (1856-1920). Zed Books. p. 67. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Abdullah A. Mohamoud (2006). State Collapse and Post-conflict Development in Africa: The Case of Somalia (1960-2001). Purdue University Press. pp. 60–61, 70–72 with footnotes. ISBN 978-1-55753-413-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong; Mr. Steven J. Niven (2012). Dictionary of African Biography. Oxford University Press. pp. 35–37. ISBN 978-0-19-538207-5.
  4. "Dervish Resistance movement". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  5. Hess, Robert L. Italian Colonialism, p 146
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hasan, Mohamed-Rashid S., and Salada M. Robleh 2004. Islamic revival and education in Somalia, Educational strategies among Muslims in the context of globalization: some national case studies, Volume 3, Brill Academic, pages 143, 146-148, 150-152.

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