Futuh Alhabasha: The Conquest of Abyssinia by Shihab al-Din Ahmad
Futuh Alhabasha, or The Conquest of Abyssinia, is a historical classic written by the Yemeni jurist Shihab al-Din Ahmad bin Abd al-Qader bin Salim bin Uthman, also known as Arab Faqih. It is an eyewitness account of the early 16th century jihad, or holy war, in Ethiopia, led by Imam Ahmad bin Ibrahim, better known as Ahmad Gran, or the Left-handed.
The book covers the period from 1529 to 1543, when Imam Ahmad and his army of Somali and Harari warriors invaded and occupied most of Ethiopia, facing fierce resistance from Emperor Lebna Dengel and his Christian allies. The book describes the battles, the sieges, the massacres, the conversions, and the political and religious intrigues that marked this turbulent era. It also provides valuable information on the geography, culture, and society of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa at that time.
Futuh Alhabasha is an invaluable source for historians and scholars of Ethiopia and Islam. It is also a fascinating read for anyone interested in the drama and tragedy of human conflict. The book was originally written in Arabic and has been translated into several languages, including French, Amharic, and English. The English translation by Paul Lester Stenhouse and Richard Pankhurst was published by Tsehai Publishers in 2003.
If you want to read Futuh Alhabasha online or download it as a PDF file, you can visit the Internet Archive website[^1^] [^2^], where you can find both the original Arabic text and the English translation. You can also find more information about the book and its author on Open Library[^3^], where you can also borrow or buy a copy of the book.
Who was Ahmad Gran and why did he launch a jihad against Ethiopia? Ahmad Gran was a Somali Muslim leader who rose to power in the Muslim state of Adal, which was located in present-day eastern Ethiopia and Somalia. He was born around 1506 and married a daughter of Imam Mahfuz, the ruler of Zaila, a port city on the Red Sea. He became the leader of Adal after Imam Mahfuz was killed by the Ethiopian emperor Libna Dengel in 1527.
Ahmad Gran was motivated by a combination of religious zeal, political ambition, and personal revenge to wage a holy war against Ethiopia. He wanted to spread Islam and end the Christian domination of the region. He also wanted to avenge the death of his father-in-law and expand his territory and influence. He claimed to be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and adopted the title of al-Ghazi, meaning "the conqueror".
How did Ahmad Gran succeed in his conquests? Ahmad Gran was a charismatic and skillful leader who managed to unite various Muslim groups under his banner. He recruited thousands of Somali nomads who were eager to fight for Islam and plunder. He also received support from the Ottoman Empire, which supplied him with firearms, cannons, and Turkish soldiers. He trained his army in modern warfare and tactics and used his superior firepower to overcome the Ethiopian resistance.
Ahmad Gran won several decisive battles against the Ethiopian forces, such as the Battle of Shimbra Kure in 1529, where he killed thousands of Ethiopian soldiers and captured many nobles and priests. He then marched into the Ethiopian heartland, destroying churches, monasteries, and towns along the way. He besieged the capital city of Gondar and forced Emperor Libna Dengel to flee. He also captured Harar, the holy city of Islam in Ethiopia, and made it his base of operations. 061ffe29dd