Some History On The Somali Group Al-Itihaad [1983 – 2002]

The history concerning how the somali group al-Itihaad [i.e the somali islamic union] emerged is quite lengthy. However, I will share the main aspects of it In Shaa Allaah.

In the year 1980, after the war in 1977-1978 between Somalia and Ethiopia, many political figures and intellectual leaders in Somalia started to form movements of opposition to the somali government. The four main movements were:

  1. Hizb al-Islah [i.e. Somali’s Muslim Brotherhood] who have stated in a interview to the press that they are inspired by the ideological guidelines of Hassan al-Banna.
  2. Formed in the northern part of Somalia under the name al-Wuhdah and ‘Itisaam [i.e Somali Unity And Adherence Movement], they were more of followers of the political ideologies of Sayyid Qutb and his book’ ‘Milestones’.
  3. The pure takfeeris who declared a big portion of Somalia to be disbelievers.
  4. Jama’at Islaamiyyah, founded in the southern part of Somalia who were more taken by emotions and incitement.

One of the main representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan, Hassan at-Turaabi, offered to unite between the movements under the name Itihaad upon a layout that he would put down for them. Hizb al-Islah refused being they mentioned that the people should unite under them and the takfeeri movement refused as well since they didn’t deem the other groups as Muslims to unite with them. The other two groups united upon their own terms and agreements, from those terms being that the books of Sayyid Qutb be placed in their libraries. Hence, they united under the name al-Itihaad and eventually divided amongst themselves into a number of branches, especially at the break of the civil war in 1988 and upon the collapse of the Somali government of Siad Barre in 1990. the group al-Itihaad became more and more active in politics and permitted the killing of those who opposed their political agendas, and thus as a result much bloodshed took place in Somalia because of them. They were advised by a number of religious figures to abandon fighting and to devote to educating the people of their religion. However, they insisted to continue fight under their so-called plan of establishing a sharia country. When the Itihaad movement was on the verge of failure, many of its adherents uttered they will focus on dawah instead since they said they were incapable of continuing to fight. Therefore, many of their adherents joined the field of da’wah without any repentance or clarification in freeing themselves from all the corruption they caused to the Somali communities and they didn’t as well free themselves from many of the khawaarij that joined their ranks and as well they haven’t condemned this action of theirs in forming movements in Islam to overthrow Muslim governments.

From the founders of this movement is the notorious khaariji Hassan Daahir Uwais. When the Itihaad movement failed and disappeared a few years before Abdullahi Yusuf being elected president for Somalia, Hassan Daahir Uwais along with others started a new group called mahaakim islaami [i.e. the bond of Islamic courts movements] whereby they took control of much places. Moreover, the Ethiopian government got involved in support of the president Abdullahi Yusuf wherein severe combat occurred in somalia and much lives were taken supposedly under the name of establishing a government that will rule for sharia. Eventually, the war came to an end under a peace treaty which Hassan Daahir Uwais was against and wanted the war to continue. However, the rest of the members of the movement agreed to the peace treaty and the war ended and Shareef Ahmad was made president. As a result Hassan Daahir Uwais formed a new movement and teamed up with the terrorist group al-Shabaab to revolt against the new government of Somalia. There are a number of audio clips that is a proof to this behaviour of his. At the end Hassan Daahir Uwais’s last movement dissolved and many of its members joined al-Shabaab.

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Shaykh Hassan Habeeb Asking Hasan Daahir Uwais Questions Regarding Establishing Groups

Here on this clip, Ash-Shaykh Hassan Habeeb rahimahullah asks Hasan Daahir Uwais a question in a debate they had with each other which Hassan Daahir Uwais couldn’t answer.

From those questions in the full clip of the debate were:

First Question: Does Islam call to establishing one group or does Islam call to having a number of groups which are different from each other in methodology?

Second Question: Is it permissible when forming these groups to establish Walaa and Baraa [i.e. allegiance and disallegiance] upon them?

Till this day those who were part of the al-Itixaad movement weren’t able to answer.

Compiled by

AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman
Abu Fajr