'Abd Allah II ibn 'Ali 'Abd ash-Shakur

Emir Abdallah Ibn 'Ali 'Abd-Ash Shakur
امير عبدالله إبن علي عبداشكر
18th and last Emir of Harar
Emir Abdullahi.png
Emir Hajji Abdallah of Harar
Reign1884 - 1887
PredecessorMuhammad ibn 'Ali 'Abd ash-Shakur
SuccessorEmirate abolished by Menelik II
DynastyAli Dynasty
ReligionSunni Islam

Abd Allah II ibn 'Ali 'Abd ash-Shakur, also known as Amir Hajji 'Abdu'llahi II ibn 'Ali 'Abdu's Shakur, (18??-1930) was the last Emir of Harar from 1884 (or 1885, various sources carry various dates) to January 26, 1887, when the state was terminated, following the defeat of the Harari troops at the Battle of Chelenqo (January 6).

According to R.A. Caulk, Emir 'Abd Allah was the son of Muhammad ibn `Ali `Abd ash-Shakur by Kadija, the daughter of Emir `Abd al-Karim ibn Muhammad.[1] To secure his hold on the emirate of Harar, his father had married 'Abd Allah to the daughter of Ahmad III ibn Abu Bakr, his predecessor. When the Egyptians evacuated Harar, 'Abd Allah became the logical choice to rule Harar. He was given "a few hundred soldiers trained by one of the British officers, 300 to 400 rifles, some cannon, and munitions, a force hardly sufficient to garrison Harar and Jaldessa, let alone police the traderoutes and ensure the security of the state."[2]

Emir 'Abd Allah grew anxious about the growing Ethiopian threat to his domain, and accused the resident Europeans of co-operating with Negus Menelik II. His situation deteriorated by July 1885, according to historian Harold Marcus: "the population grew uncontrollable, European traders became virtual prisoners in their homes and shops, and the adjacent Oromo people raided the town."[3] In response, the Emir introduced a new currency which impoverished the local population. The neighboring Oromo and Somali deserted Harar's markets and the town's economy collapsed.

The Ughaz or Sultan of the Gadabuursi, Ughaz Nur II, had established strong relations with the Emir of Harar, Abdallah II ibn Ali. In 1887, when Harar was occupied by Menelik II of Ethiopia, Ughaz Nur sent Gadabursi askaris to support Abdallah II ibn Ali. [4]

Emir 'Abd Allah responded to the first Ethiopian military probe with a night attack on their camp at Hirna that included fireworks; the Ethiopians panicked at the pyrotechnics and fled toward the Asabot and Awash Rivers. When the Negus Menelik personally led a second attack a few months later, the Emir misjudged the quality of these troops and attempted to repeat his earlier success of a second night attack. "Had he allowed the enemy to attack the walled city, where his few Krupp cannon might have been effective, the Shoans might have suffered a defeat with serious political consequences," Marcus notes. However, the Battle of Chelenqo destroyed the Emir's army in fifteen minutes and, with his wives and children, the Emir fled into the empty country east of Harar. He left his uncle Ali Abu Barka to submit to Menelik and ask clemency for Harar.[5]

The former Emir 'Abd Allah later returned to the town to live as a Sufi or religious scholar. He died there in 1930.[6]

See also[]


  1. ^ R. A. Caulk, "Harar Town and Its Neighbours in the Nineteenth Century", Journal of African History, 18 (1977), p. 384
  2. ^ Marcus, Harold G. (1995). The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia 1844-1913. Lawrenceville: Red Sea Press. pp. 89f. ISBN 1-56902-010-8.
  3. ^ Marcus, Menelik II, p. 90
  4. ^ Mukhtar, Mohamed Haji (2003-02-25). Historical Dictionary of Somalia. Scarecrow Press. p. 248. ISBN 9780810866041.
  5. ^ Marcus, Menelik II, p. 91f
  6. ^ S. Waldron, "The political economy of Harari-Oromo relationships (1554-1975)", p. 23f (Forced Migration Online website, accessed 3 July 2009)