Al-Habash was an ancient region in the Horn of Africa. Situated in the northern highlands of modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia, it was inhabited by the Habash or Abyssinians, who were the forebears of the Habesha people.
Along with the neighboring Barbaroi (Berbers) of Barbara i.e. Somali people, the Habash are recorded in the 1st century Greek travelogue the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as engaging in extensive commercial trade with Egypt, among other areas. The document also relates a strong connection with the "Frankincense Country" in the Mahra region of modern Yemen and a symbiotic relationship with the ancient Sabaeans, with whom the Habash were allied.
- Sven Rubenson, The survival of Ethiopian independence, (Tsehai, 2003), p.30.
- Jonah Blank, Mullahs on the mainframe: Islam and modernity among the Daudi Bohras, (University of Chicago Press, 2001), p.163.
- Wilfred Harvey Schoff, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: travel and trade in the Indian Ocean, (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912) p.62