Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah Sayyid Al Hasan

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Muhammad Ibn ’Abd Allah Sayyid Al Hasan


Born circa 1860; died Dec. 21, 1920, near Imi, Ethiopia. Leader of a rebellion in Somalia against British and Italian colonialists that lasted from 1899 to 1920; national hero of the Somali people.

Soon after the Somali peninsula was seized and partitioned by European colonialists, Muhammad organized a rebellion which bore the character of a national-liberation movement. Taking the form of a “holy war” (jihad) against the “infidels,” the movement involved broad strata of the Somali population; as a result, the British colonialists were forced to withdraw their troops from the country’s interior. The process of forming a centralized state was begun in the liberated areas. The British colonialists, with the advantage of air support, succeeded in defeating Muhammad’s detachments only in 1920. Although he successfully accomplished an organized withdrawal of his forces to Ethiopia, Muhammad and most of the rebels died there of various diseases.


Khazanov, A. M. “Antikolonial’noe dvizhenie v Somali pod predvoditel’stvom Mukhammeda Bin Abdally.” Problemy vostokovedeniia, 1960, no. 2.
Gorodnov, V. P., and P. I. Kupriianov. “Sovetskie afrikanisty v Somali.” Vestnik AN SSSR, 1972, no. 8.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.