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The Ajuran Sultanate

The Ajuran Sultanate was an east African empire located in the region of modern-day Somalia and their influence stretched across into eastern Ethiopia. The sultanate came to prominence from 1200 AD. The ruling dynasty of the Ajuran Sultanate was Islamic and the entire empire followed the religion of Islam. Some of the key cities of the empire were the cities of Barawa and Mogadishu located in the southern region of modern-day Somali. The ruling class of the empire was known as the House of Garen and included positions such as ‘emir’s’ who controlled the armed forces and navy, ‘Wazirs’ who were in charge of collecting taxes and ‘quadis’ who were judges.

The vast majority of the population adhered to Sunni Islam with a Shia minority (mostly those of Persian descent). Somali was the most commonly used language of government and social life while Arabic was most prominently used for religious studies. Religious ceremonies were often carried out at Masjid Fakhr al-Din which is the 2nd oldest mosque in Somalia and the 7th oldest mosque in Africa. The oldest mosque in the region is Masjid al-Qiblatayn which was built in the 7th century CE shortly after the hijrah, which was the first migration of the early followers of Muhammad to Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia). The Ajuran Sultanate continued to prosper until 1700 AD.

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