I was at a grocery store one day, and I helped this older Somali lady pick up bottled water in a 24 pack. She then said to me “Caawo Wa Mawlidka Awowo Jabarti, Ma Imaanaysa?” which translates to “Tonight is prayer for “Grandfather Jabarti” will you be there?” I didn’t know what she was talking about so I said “no, I can’t” and left. A while after that I heard about this prayer again, and this time I asked who “Awowo Jabarti” was. Nobody gave me an answer. So I googled it and this is what I found.
To be “Somali” you have to fall under ONE of the five subgroups. I will explain why you can only be one of these.
Let’s start with Darod. According to tradition, the father of the Darod clan is Abdirahman Bin Ismail Al-Jabarti (the lady was inviting me to a get together for his birthday?). The tradition said he left the Arabian Peninsula because he got into an argument with his uncle. It is believed he settled in present day Somali around the 10th or 11th century. His tomb is in Haylaan in the Hidaaftimo Mountains in Northern Somalia.
Ishaaq believe they’re their own subgroup. It is said that they are descendants from Sheikh Ishaq Al Alawi Banu Hashmi. He came to present day Somalia around 10th or 11th century as well. He is buried in Maydh, in the Sanaag region of Northern Somalia. People celebrate his birthday on Thursdays.
The Dir clan are descents of Dir who is held to be the great-grandson of Ram Nag, an Arab, Indian, or Abyssinian immigrant who landed in Zeila in the Northwest Awdal region of Somalia. His daughter married Darod.
Hawiye clan are the descendents of a forefather named Hawiye Irrir. He is believed to be the great-grandson of Ram Nag and the brother of Dir.
The Rahanweyn clan are the largest group. They differentiate Somalis by the dialect. Those who say Mai Tirri are Rahanweyn and they speak Af May (May -May). Those who say Maxa Tirri are the other clans mentioned above and they speak standard Somali.
Some Garris at one point spoke a dialect close to May-May called Dowg-Dowg, and live in the same regions as Rahanweyn. It is common for some Garris to be considered Rahanweyn (Digil and Mirifle), But this relation is only regional and linguistic not biological.
Each time I read about Garri’s ethnicity I get more confused. Some people link Garris to Hawiye tribe of Somalia, some link them to Digil and Mirifle and more confusingly some people say the Quranyowa side of Garri are actually related to Dir clan of Somalia. -Hussain
All these connections are just links and have no basis. It is impossible for a person to have more than one father. If Garris were Somali they would be able to convey their ancestry back to ONE of the Somali subgroups. Our ancestry goes back to Tuuf and Quranyowa, and clearly Tuuf and Quranyowa do not come from the Somali groups. That is a fact whether it is recognized or not. Garris don’t have any of those traditions the Somali tribes have about Jabarti, Ishaq, Dir and so forth. But Garri people have The Kedh Gurrai which is the legend that explains where Tuuf and Quranyowa come from.