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The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak) (, ) is one of the main Somali clans. Members of the clan principally live in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia, and the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The populations of five major cities of Somaliland – Hargeisa, Burco, Berbera, Ceerigaabo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq. , the Sacad Muuse, Habar Awal and Jibriil Abokor sub-clans of the Isaaq were also the main inhabitants of Gabiley.Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Information on the ethnic composition in Gabiley (Gebiley) in 1987-1988, 1 April 1996, SOM23518.E, available at:


According to early Islamic books and Somali tradition, the Isaaq clan was founded in the 12th or 13th century with the arrival of Shaykh Ishaq ibn Ahmad al- Hashimi from Arabia, one of the Prophet Muhammad's early followers.Rima Berns McGown, Muslims in the diaspora, (University of Toronto Press: 1999), pp.27-28I.M. Lewis, A Modern History of the Somali, fourth edition (Oxford: James Currey, 2002), p. 22 He settled in the coastal town of Maydh in modern-day northernwestern Somalia, where he married into the local Dir clan.A similar tradition exists for the Darod, whom are said to have descended from one Sheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, another Banu Hashim who...
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