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Darwiish State

A militant Somali resistance movement against colonial powers between 1899 and 1920 led by Sufi leader Mohammed Hassan
(Redirected from Sultanate of Nugaal)

The Darwiish state (also spelled Daraawiish State) was a Somali kingdom that existed from 1897 to 1920.[1] It was the successor state to the Dhulbahante garaadship.

Darwiish State

Flag of Darwiish
Motto: Salahiyya1
Anthem: Salahiyya
Territory of Darwiish
Territory of Darwiish
Common languagesSomali
• 1896-1920
Sayyid Hassan
• 1900-1920
Ismail Mire
• Assassination of Garaad Ali IV
• Air raids on Taleh
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dhulbahante garaadship
British Empire
Sayyid Hassan's fort and capital in Taleh.


Darwiish may come from Al Darawish which means "simple people" in Arabic. It may also come from dar al wiish which is Arabic and Balochi for land of happy people. The Darwiish sometimes referred to their opponents as kabacad or gumeysiraac.[2]


On Mar 3, 1905 the "Mad Mullah" declared himself Sayyid of Nogal (other name of the Nugaal valley) in northern Italian Somalia. His full name was sultan" Mahamad Abdullah Hasan. The territory coincided approximately with the actual Nugaal area in northeastern Somalia. It was ruled like a kind of sultanate in behalf of the Mahdi.

His rule was terminated by Italy in 1911. The Italian victory started on September 3, 1908 when Italian official Di Giorgio conquered Afgoi and the sultan of Ghelédi with his 5000 men surrendered to the Italians (who won an important battle at Araré and Eyl).

Eyl Castle.

Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (nicknamed the "Mad Mullah" by the British) escaped to British Somaliland, where later died in 1920.

During 1910-1914, Sayyid's capital moved from Illig to Taleex in the heart of Nugaal where he built three garrison forts of massive stone work and a number of houses. He built a "luxurious" palace for himself and kept new guards drawn from outcast clans. By 1913, he had dominated the entire hinterland of the Somali peninsula by building forts at Jildali and Mirashi in Warsangali country, at Werder and Qorahy in the Ogaden and Beledweyne in southern Somalia.

After the collapse of Muhammad Abdullah Hassan’s resistance movement,[3] 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.[4]


  1. A History of Our Own Times ...: From the diamond jubilee, 1897, to the accession of King Edward VII, p 106
  2. Samatar, Said S. "Gabay-Ḥayir: A Somali Mock Heroic Song." Research in African Literatures (1980): 449-478.
  3. Dervish Resistance movement
  4. Hess, Robert L. Italian Colonialism, p 146

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