|Regions with significant populations|
Islam (Sunni, Sufism)
|Related ethnic groups|
The Isaaq (also Isaq, Ishaak) (Somali: Reer Sheik Isaxaaq, Arabic: إسحاق) is one of the main Somali clans. Its members principally live in the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia, and the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The populations of five major cities of Somaliland – Hargeisa, Burco, Berbera, Erigavo and Gabiley – are predominantly Isaaq. As of the late 1980s[update], the Sacad Muuse, Habar Awal and Jibriil Abokor sub-clans of the Isaaq were also the main inhabitants of Gabiley.
According to early Islamic books and Somali tradition, the Isaaq clan was founded in the 12th or 13th century with the arrival of Shaykh Ishaq ibn Ahmad al-Hashimi from Arabia, a descendant of one of the Prophet Muhammad's early followers. He settled in the coastal town of Maydh in modern-day northernwestern Somalia, where he married into the local Dir clan.
A similar tradition exists for the Darod, who are said to have descended from one Sheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, another Banu Hashim who came to Somalia around the same time. As with Sheikh Darod, there are also numerous existing hagiologies in Arabic which describe Sheikh Isaaq's travels, works and overall life in northern Somalia, as well as his movements in Arabia before his arrival. Besides historical sources, one of the more recent printed biographies of Sheikh Isaaq is the Amjaad of Sheikh Husseen bin Ahmed Darwiish al-Isaaqi as-Soomaali, which was printed in Aden in 1955.
The three major sub-clans of the Isaaq signed treaties with the British in the 1880s pledging them and their successors not to cede or otherwise alienate any part of their lands except to the British, and allowing the British Government to appoint agents who would reside in the territories of the clans. These groups were the Habr Awal, (dated 14 July 1884), the Habr Toljallo (dated 26 December 1884), and the Habr Garhadjis (13 January 1885).
Clan tree 
In the Isaaq clan-family, component clans are divided into two uterine divisions as shown in genealogy. The first division is between those lineages descended from sons of Sheikh Isaaq by an Ethiopian woman – the Habar Habuusheed – and those descended from sons of Sheikh Isaaq by a woman of the Magaadle clan – the Habar Magaadle. Indeed most of the largest clans of the clan-family are in fact uterine alliances. This is illustrated in the following structure.
Sheikh Is-haaq Bin Ahmed
1. Habar Habuusheed
- Ahmed (Tol-Ja’lo)
- Ibrahiim (Sanbuur)
- Mahammad (‘Ibraan)
2. Habar Magaadle
There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.
- Haber Awal
- Sa'ad Muse
- Issa Muse
- Habr Garhadjis
- Habr Yunis
- Habr Jaalo (var. Habr Toljallo; Haber Geelo)
- Mohamed Abokor
- Muse Abokor
- Ahmad (Toljaalo)
- Haber Awal
One tradition maintains that Isaaq had twin sons: Ahmed or Arap, and Ismail or Gerhajis.
Notable Isaaq people 
||The inclusion of certain items in this list is currently being disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the article's talk page. (December 2012)|
- Abdillahi Suldaan Mohammed Timacade, poet during the pre- and post-colonial periods
- Abdirahim Abbey Farah, former United Nations Under-Secretary General
- Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur, Last SNM Chairman and First President of Somaliland.
- Abdirashid Duale, award-winning Somali entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the CEO of Dahabshiil.
- Abdullahi Qarshe, Somali musician, poet and playwright; known as the "Father of Somali music".
- Ahmed M. Mahamoud Silanyo, President of Somaliland as of June 2010[update]; longest-serving and the 4th chairman of the SNM; former chairman of the Kulmiye Party.
- Amina Moghe Hersi (b. 1963), Award-winning Somali entrepreneur who has launched several multi-million dollar projects in Kampala, Uganda.
- Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, Vice-President of Somaliland, 2002–2010
- Ali Abdi Farah, Minister of Communication and Culture in Djibouti
- Ali Feiruz, popular musician in Djibouti and Somalia
- Bashir Yussuf, Somali religious leader
- Edna Adan Ismail, first female Foreign Minister of Somaliland
- Faysal Ali Warabe, chairman of the Justice and Welfare Party of Somaliland (UCID)
- Gaarriye (born Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac; 1949 – 30 September 2012), poet
- Haji Yusuf Iman Guled, former Defense Minister of Somalia and a Business Magnate
- Hanan Ibrahim, gender activist and first Somali British to be awarded Member of British Empire (MBE) for community work in UK
- Hussein Arab Isse, Defence Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia
- Hussain Bisad, has the largest hand span of anyone alive
- Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee'aad (Ibrahim al-Afghani), a prominent member of Somalia's Al-Shabaab, an insurgent group fighting Somalia's Transitional Federal Government.
- Ismail Mahmud Hurre, foreign minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia from mid-2006 to early 2007.
- Jama Musse Jama (b. 1967), prominent Somali ethnomathematician and author.
- Khadra Haji Ismail Geid, mayor of Gabiley
- Nuh Ismail Tani, Chief of Staff of Somaliland Armed Forces
- Mohammed Farah, Somali-British long distance runner, gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympics in the 10,000 metres, giving Britain its first-ever Olympic gold medal victory in the event.
- Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar, Foreign Minister of Somalia.
- Mohammed Ahamed, Norwegian-Somalian association footballer currently playing in the Tippeligaen for Tromsø IL. He plays as a Center Forward.
- Mohamed Hasan Abdullahi, Chief of Staff of Somaliland Armed Forces.
- Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame 'Hadrawi', poet and philosopher; author of Halkaraan; also known as the "Somali Shakespeare"
- Mohamed Mooge Liibaan, musician
- Moktar Ali Zubeyr, Emir (leader) of Harakat Al-Shabab Mujahideen, which currently is the most prominent insurgent group in Somalia.
- Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, former Prime Minister of Somalia; former president of Somaliland
- Rageh Omaar, Somali-British journalist and writer. He used to be a BBC world affairs correspondent, In September 2006, he moved to a new post at Al Jazeera English,
- Umar Arteh Ghalib, former Prime Minister of Somalia, former president of UN Security Council, teacher and poet.
See also 
- Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Information on the ethnic composition in Gabiley (Gebiley) in 1987–1988, 1 April 1996, SOM23518.E [accessed 6 October 2009]
- Rima Berns McGown, Muslims in the diaspora, (University of Toronto Press: 1999), pp. 27–28
- I.M. Lewis, A Modern History of the Somali, fourth edition (Oxford: James Currey, 2002), p. 22
- Roland Anthony Oliver, J. D. Fage, Journal of African history, Volume 3 (Cambridge University Press.: 1962), p.45
- I. M. Lewis, A pastoral democracy: a study of pastoralism and politics among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa, (LIT Verlag Münster: 1999), p.131.
- I.M. Lewis, Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar, and Saho, Issue 1, (International African Institute: 1955), pp. 18-19
- D. J. Latham Brown (1956). "The Ethiopia-Somaliland Frontier Dispute". International and Comparative Law Quarterly 5 (2): 245–264. JSTOR 755848.
- Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p. 55 Figure A-1
- Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, p. 43
- Laurence, Margaret (1970). A Tree for Poverty: Somali Poetry and Prose. Hamilton: McMaster University. p. 145. ISBN 1-55022-177-9. "Then Magado, the wife of Ishaak, bore him twin sons, and their names were Ahmed, nick-named Arap, and Ismail, nick-named Gerhajis."
- Emeagwali, Gloria T. "Editorial: Focus on the Horn of Africa". Africa Update (Central Connecticut State University) 2 (1; Winter, 1994–95). Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Counter-terrorism in Somalia: How external interference helped to produce militant Islamism
- Genocide of the Isaaq in somalia on the Combat Genocide Association website