Last updated on September 28, 2019
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Somali: Axmad Ibraahim al-Gaasi, Harari “the Conqueror” (c. 1506 – February 21, 1543) was an Imam and General of the Adal Sultanate who fought against the Abyssinian empire.
With the help of an army mainly composed of Somalis, the Harla people, Afars, Hararis and a small number of Arabs and Ottoman Turks, Imam Ahmad (nicknamed Gurey in Somali, “Gura” in Afar and Gragn in Amharic Giragn, all meaning “the left-handed”), embarked on a conquest which brought three-quarters of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) under the power of the Muslim Sultanate of Adal during the Abyssinian-Adal War from 1529-43.
Imam Ahmad is regarded by most scholars as an ethnic Somali. However, some historians have disputed his ethnicity, with Ahmad sometimes interpreted as being a Harari. Many Somali clans played a strong role in Gurey’s conquest of Abyssinia, however these clans went to war not so much as Somalis but as Muslims.