Zeila

AvalitesSaylacZailaZaylaZeylaMundusZeila/AvaliteZeilaʻ
Zeila (Saylac, زيلع), also known as Zaila or Zeyla, is a port city in the northwestern Awdal region of Somaliland.wikipedia
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Awdal

AdalAdwalAwdal Region
Zeila (Saylac, زيلع), also known as Zaila or Zeyla, is a port city in the northwestern Awdal region of Somaliland.
The region comprises the four districts of Borama, the regional capital, Baki, Lughaya, and Zeila (now the regional capital of newly established but not legally approved).

Somaliland

RegionRepublic of SomalilandDistrict
Zeila (Saylac, زيلع), also known as Zaila or Zeyla, is a port city in the northwestern Awdal region of Somaliland.
During the classical period, the northern Barbara city-states of Mosylon, Opone, Mundus, Isis, Malao, Avalites, Essina, Nikon, and Sarapion developed a lucrative trade network, connecting with merchants from Ptolemaic Egypt, Ancient Greece, Phoenicia, Parthian Persia, Saba, the Nabataean Kingdom, and the Roman Empire.

Adal Sultanate

AdalSultanate of AdalAdal Kingdom
By the 9th century, Zeila was the capital of the early Adal Kingdom and Ifat Sultanate in the 13th century, and also a capital for its successor state the Adal Sultanate, it would attain its height of prosperity a few centuries later in the 16th century.
The sultanate and state were established by the local inhabitants of Zeila.

Djibouti

Republic of DjiboutiDjiboutianDjibuti
Located on the Gulf of Aden coast near the Djibouti border, the town sits on a sandy spit surrounded by the sea.
Nearby Zeila, now in Somaliland, was the seat of the medieval Adal and Ifat Sultanates.

Dir (clan)

DirDir clanBajimaal
Zeila traditionally belongs to the ancient Somali tribe called Dir who are the original inhabitants and founders of the ancient city.
In Zeila, a Dir city, a mosque called Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Somalia) is known as the site of where early companions of the Prophet established a mosque shortly after the first Migration to Abyssinia By the 7th century, a large-scale conversion to Islam was taking place in Somalia, first spread by the Dir clan family, to the rest of the nation.

Sultanate of Ifat

Ifat SultanateIfatKingdom of Ifat
By the 9th century, Zeila was the capital of the early Adal Kingdom and Ifat Sultanate in the 13th century, and also a capital for its successor state the Adal Sultanate, it would attain its height of prosperity a few centuries later in the 16th century. It is known for its coral reef, mangroves and offshore islands, which include the Sa'ad ad-Din archipelago named after the Somali Sultan Sa'ad ad-Din II of the Sultanate of Ifat.
Led by the Walashma dynasty, it was centered in the ancient city of Zeila.

Zeila Archipelago

Saad ad-Din IslandsSa'ad ad-Din IslandsRomanized
It is known for its coral reef, mangroves and offshore islands, which include the Sa'ad ad-Din archipelago named after the Somali Sultan Sa'ad ad-Din II of the Sultanate of Ifat.
They are situated near the ancient city of Zeila.

Somalis

SomaliSomali peopleSomali clan
Zeila traditionally belongs to the ancient Somali tribe called Dir who are the original inhabitants and founders of the ancient city. Along with the neighboring Habash (Habesha or Abyssinians) of Al-Habash to the west, the Barbaroi or Berber (ancestral Somalis) who inhabited the area are recorded in the 1st century CE Greek document the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as engaging in extensive commercial exchanges with Egypt and pre-Islamic Arabia. In the following century, the Moroccan historian and traveller Ibn Battuta describes the city being inhabited by Somalis, followers of the Shafi’i school, who kept large numbers of camels, sheep and goats.
During the conflict between the Sultanate of Ifat based at Zeila and the Solomonic Dynasty, the Abyssinian emperor had one of his court officials compose a hymn celebrating a military victory over the Sultan of Ifat's eponymous troops.

Harar

HarrarHarar JugolHarar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town
Berbera lies 170 mi southeast of Zeila, while the city of Harar in Ethiopia is 200 mi to the west.
In its early history, the city was under an alliance called the Zeila confederate states.

Berbera

BarberaBarbaraBerbera dockside
Berbera lies 170 mi southeast of Zeila, while the city of Harar in Ethiopia is 200 mi to the west. Ibn Said’s description gives the impression that Berbera was of much more localized importance, mainly serving the immediate Somali, hinterland while Zeila was clearly serving more extensive areas.
It is thought to be the city Malao described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the first century AD.

Gulf of Aden

AdenGhoubet
Located on the Gulf of Aden coast near the Djibouti border, the town sits on a sandy spit surrounded by the sea.
The main ports along the gulf are Aden, Balhaf, Bir Ali, Mukalla, and Shokra in Yemen; Djibouti City in Djibouti; Zeila, Berbera, Maydh, and Las Khorey and Bosaso in Somalia.

Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Somalia)

Masjid al-QiblataynLabo-qibla mosqueMasjid al-Qiblaṫayn
Zeila's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in the city.
Masjid al-Qiblatayn (Arabic: مَـسْـجِـد الْـقِـبْـلَـتَـيْـن), also known as Labo-qibla mosque is a mosque in Zeila, situated in the northwestern Awdal region of Somalia.

Habesha peoples

AbyssinianHabeshaAbyssinians
Along with the neighboring Habash (Habesha or Abyssinians) of Al-Habash to the west, the Barbaroi or Berber (ancestral Somalis) who inhabited the area are recorded in the 1st century CE Greek document the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as engaging in extensive commercial exchanges with Egypt and pre-Islamic Arabia.
Ifat was governed from its capital at Zeila in northern Somalia and was the easternmost district of the former Shewa Sultanate.

Somalia

SomaliFederal Republic of SomaliaSOM
Ibn Said’s description gives the impression that Berbera was of much more localized importance, mainly serving the immediate Somali, hinterland while Zeila was clearly serving more extensive areas.
During the classical period, the northern Barbara city-states of Mosylon, Opone, Mundus, Isis, Malao, Avalites, Essina, Nikon and Sarapion developed a lucrative trade network, connecting with merchants from Ptolemaic Egypt, Ancient Greece, Phoenicia, Parthian Persia, Saba, the Nabataean Kingdom, and the Roman Empire.

Havilah

Hevilathland of Havilahsame name
In the Middle Ages, the Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela identified Zeila (or Zawilah) with the Biblical location of Havilah.
Saadia Gaon's tenth-century Arabic translation of the Hebrew Bible substitutes Havilah with Zeila in present day Somalia.

Sa'ad ad-Din II

SadadinSa'ad ad-DinSa'ad ad-Din Abdul Muhammad
It is known for its coral reef, mangroves and offshore islands, which include the Sa'ad ad-Din archipelago named after the Somali Sultan Sa'ad ad-Din II of the Sultanate of Ifat. When the last Sultan of Ifat, Sa'ad ad-Din II, was also killed by Dawit I of Ethiopia in Zeila in 1410, his children escaped to Yemen, before later returning in 1415.
After a battle between Sa'ad ad-Din and the Ethiopian general Barwa, in which the Ifat army was defeated and "no less than 400 elders, each of whom carried an iron bar as his insignia of office" were killed, Sa'ad ad-Din with his remaining supporters were chased to Zeila in modern Somalia.

Ibn Battuta

Ibn BatutaIbn BatutahIbn Battutah
In the following century, the Moroccan historian and traveller Ibn Battuta describes the city being inhabited by Somalis, followers of the Shafi’i school, who kept large numbers of camels, sheep and goats.
From Aden, Ibn Battuta embarked on a ship heading for Zeila on the coast of Somalia.

Abyssinian–Adal war

Conquest of AbyssiniaEthiopian-Adal WarEthiopian–Adal War
This campaign is historically known as the Conquest of Abyssinia (Futuh al Habash).
He also mentioned that the Adal kingdom had its capital in the city, suggesting that the Adal Sultanate with Zeila as its headquarters dates back to at least the 9th or 10th centuries.

Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi

Ahmad GragnAhmad ibn Ibrihim al-GhaziAhmed Gragn
From this new capital, Adal organised an effective army led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Ahmad "Gurey" or "Gran") that invaded the Abyssinian empire.
Imam Ahmad was born in 1506 at Zeila, Adal Sultanate Due to the unislamic rule during the reign of Sultan Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad, Ahmad would leave Harar for Hubat.

Ludovico di Varthema

Varthema of BolognaItalian Lodovico di VarthemaLudovico de Varthema
Travellers' reports, such as the memoirs of the Italian Ludovico di Varthema, indicate that Zeila continued to be an important marketplace during the 16th century, despite being sacked by the Portuguese in 1517 and 1528.
The ship was supposed to make a stop in the Persian Gulf first, but contrary winds forced it in the opposite direction, and it ended up having to sail south instead, calling in at Zeila and Berbera (on the coast of Somalia).

Dawit I

Dawit I of EthiopiaEmperor Dawit I
When the last Sultan of Ifat, Sa'ad ad-Din II, was also killed by Dawit I of Ethiopia in Zeila in 1410, his children escaped to Yemen, before later returning in 1415.
According to al-Maqrizi, in 1403 Emperor Dawit pursued the Sultan of Adal, Sa'ad ad-Din II, to Zeila, where he killed Sa'ad ad-Din and sacked the city.

Dakkar

In the early 15th century, Adal's capital was moved further inland to the town of Dakkar, where Sabr ad-Din II, the eldest son of Sa'ad ad-Din II, established a new base after his return from Yemen.
It was the second capital of the medieval Adal Sultanate, after the polity moved its initial headquarters from Zeila in modern-day northwestern Somalia.

Barbara (region)

BarbaraBarbarBarbara/Barbaroi
Zeila is an ancient city, and has been identified with what was referred to in classical antiquity as the town of Avalites, situated in the erstwhile Barbara geographical region on the northern Somali coast.
The travelogue mentions these Berbers as trading frankincense, among various other commodities, through their port cities such as Malao, Avalites, Mundus, Mosylon and Opone.

Sultanate of Mogadishu

Mogadishu SultanateMuzaffar dynastyMuzzaffar
According to I.M. Lewis, the polity was governed by local dynasties consisting of Somalized Arabs or Arabized Somalis, who also ruled over the similarly-established Sultanate of Mogadishu in the Benadir region to the south.
According to the 16th-century explorer, Leo Africanus indicates that the native inhabitants of the Mogadishu the capital of Ajuran Sultanate polity were of the same origins as the citizens of the northern people of Zeila the capital of Adal Sultanate.

Djibouti (city)

Djibouti CityDjibouticity of Djibouti
The construction of a railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa in the late 19th century continued the neglect of Zeila.
Although the initial company failed and required a government bailout to avoid falling under British administration, the Franco-Ethiopian Railway itself was a success and allowed Djibouti city's commerce to quickly eclipse the former caravan-based trade carried on with nearby Zeila in British Somaliland.