Sultanate of Harar

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The Sultanate of Harar was an ancient kingdom centered in Harar, Ethiopia. It succeeded the Adal Sultanate. In this period the Harar Sultanate led by Amīr Nūr continued to carry on the struggle of the Adal leader Imām Aḥmed Gurēy against the Abyssinian Empire. Due to the encroaching Oromo people invading from the south and Somali threats in north east blocking Harar's coastal influence,[1] the Sultanate of Harar was ultimately a short lived state, lasting only 18 years (though if you start from the reign of Imām Aḥmed Gurēy, a more respectable 51 years). The capital was moved east to the oasis of Aussa by Imām Maḥamed "Jāsa" Ibrahim who founded the Imamate of Awsa.

Rulers of the Sultanate of Harar[edit]

Name Reign Note
Imām Aḥmed "Gurēy" Ibrahīm 1526 - 1543 Also known as Ahmed Gurey or Ahmed Gran. The conqueror, cousin of Garād Abūn ʿAdādshe of Hubat. He ruled Adal in all but name and launched a conquest of the Ethiopian highlands. While not technically a Sultan of Harar, no list is complete without him.
Bāti Dēlōmbira Mahfuz 1543 - 1559 Occasionally rendered as Del-Wambara, she was the daughter of Emir of Harar Mahfuz and Imām Aḥmed Gurēy's widow. She was the de facto ruler following his death, and married Amīr Nūr.
1 Amīr Nūr "Dhuhi-Suha" ʿAli 1559 - 1567 The Amir of Harar. He built the walls that surround Harar and convinced the people of Harar to abandon their clan and tribal identities and become one people, the Harari nation.
2 Amīr ʿIsmān "AlḤabashi" 1567 - 1569 A former Abyssinian slave of Amīr Nūr, he was murdered shortly after becoming Sultan, sparking a struggle between his sons and the descendants of Garād Abūn ʿAdādshe over who would rule Harar.
3 Sulṭān Ṭalḥa ʿAbbās 1569 - 1571 Son of Wazir ʿAbbās Abūn and grandson of Garād Abūn ʿAdādshe
4 Sulṭān Nāssir ʿIsmān 1571 - 1572 Son of Amīr ʿIsmān AlḤabashi
5 Sulṭān Maḥamed Nāssir 1572 - 1573 Son of Sulṭān Nāssir ʿIsmān. He was executed by Emperor Sarsa Dengel following his failed invasion of Ethiopia. The Harari military was decimated by Ethiopian forces ending Harar's aggression towards Ethiopia permanently. The Oromo simultaneously attacked several villages in Hararghe while the main Harar army was away leading to further weakening of the emirate.[2]
6 Amir Mansūr Maḥamed 1573 - 1577 Son of Sulṭān Maḥamed Nāssir. Emir of Harar.[3] He successfully defeated Oromo, Somali and Afar tribes, this led to reclaiming territory including Zeila and Aussa for the Emirate.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yasin, Yasin (2010). Regional Dynamics of Inter-ethnic Conflicts in the Horn of Africa: An Analysis of the Afar-Somali Conflict in Ethiopia and Djibouti. UNIVERSITY OF HAMBURG. p. 72.
  2. ^ Pankhurst, Richard. The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. p. 375.
  3. ^ History of Harar (PDF). p. 106.
  4. ^ Pankhurst, Richard. The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. p. 375.