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Sheikhal (Sheekhaal) (Fiqi Cumar)
(فيقي عمر (شيخال
Total population
1.5-2 Million[1]
Regions with significant populations

Somali and Arabic


Islam (Sunni)

Related ethnic groups

Siddiquis, Qallu and other Somali clans

The Sheikhal (var. Sheikhaal, Sheekhaal, Sheikal, Shikal) (Arabic: شيخال‎) or Fiqi Omar is a Somali clan whose members inhabit both Somalia and Ethiopia, with considerable numbers also found in the Northern Frontier District (NFD).



Sheikhal people and Harari people are very closely related by blood, as they claim immediate descent from the same ancestor. Historically, Hararis and the Sheikhal have had close ties, and many Hararis have intermarried with Sheikhals. Some Sheikhals, particularly those belonging to the Aw Axmed Loobage subclan, claim they are part of the Hiraab sub-clan, which in turn is part of the larger Hawiye clan. However, other members, such as those from the Aw-Qutub subclan, dispute this.[2]

The Sheikhal clan traces its ancestry to Fiqi Omar, also known as Omar Al-Rida, who in turn traced his lineage to the first caliph, Abu Bakr (Sayid Abubakar Al-Sadiq). According to Richard F. Burton, Faqi Omar crossed over from Arabia to Eastern Africa ten generations prior to 1854, with his six sons: Umar the Greater, Umar the Lesser, the two Abdillahs, Ahmad, and Siddik.[3]

Sheikhaal sub-clans

  • Aw-Qutub
  • Aw Axmed Loobage
  • Aw Cismaan Gandarshe
  • Gaameedle Gandarshe
  • Jaziira, also known as Baa Xassan
  • Qallu
  • Teedan
  • Abiib
  • Cali Cafiif
  • Gudle
  • Cabdi Shekh
  • Cabdi Sufi
  • Seka-when in Afar Region
  • Cabdisamad
  • Sheikh Hayti
  • Seyle
  • Wardiiq, in Ethiopia and Djibouti.
  • Reerow-Xassan (there is a dispute though whether this clan is a part of the Sheekhaal clan)

Prominent figures

  • Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed, founder and president of Mogadishu University, and president of Al-Islaah, a Muslim organisation in Somalia.[4]
  • Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali, former Commissioner of the Kenya Police.


  1. ^ Cerulli, Enrico. Texts of the Consuetudinary Law of the Somali, pp 35-37
  2. ^ Qabaa ilka Soomaalida1988 Dr Omar ali page 27, Banaadir Press, Mogadishu, Somalia
  3. ^ Richard Burton, First Footsteps in East Africa, 1856; edited with an introduction and additional chapters by Gordon Waterfield (New York: Praeger, 1966), p. 165
  4. ^

See also



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