|Regions with significant populations|
|Somali and Arabic|
|Sunni Islam, Sufism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Dir, Hawiye, Isaaq, Rahanweyn, other Somali people|
The Darod (Somali: Daarood, Arabic: دارود) is a Somali clan. The father of this clan is named Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, but is more commonly known as Darod. In the Somali language, the word Daarood means "an enclosed compound," a conflation of the two words daar (compound) and ood (place enclosed by wall, trees, woods, fence, etc.). Darood is the largest and geographically most widely distributed clan. 
The Darod population in Somalia lives principally in the north, with a presence in Kismayo in addition to the southwestern Gedo region. Outside of Somalia proper, there are various Darod sub-clans in the Ogaden and the North Eastern Province (currently administered by Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively), Several sources, including the Canadian Report of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry, indicate that the Darod is the largest Somali clan. However, other sources such as the CIA and Human Rights Watch indicate that the Hawiye is the largest Somali clan in Somalia. According to U.S. Department of Justice report "Hawiye (part of the Irir clan family) is probably the largest clan within Somalia, while Darood is the largest clan among all Somalis across borders."
According to early Islamic books and Somali tradition, Muhammad ibn Aqil's descendant Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti (Darod), a son of the Sufi Sheikh Isma'il al-Jabarti of the Qadiriyyah order, fled his homeland in the Arabian Peninsula after an argument with his uncle. During the 10th or 11th century CE, Abdirahman is believed to have then settled in northern Somalia just across the Red Sea and married Dobira, the daughter of Dagale (Dikalla), the Dir clan chief. This union is said to have given rise to the Darod clan family. I.M. Lewis maintains that "strictly speaking… the Dir… together with the Hawiye are linked as 'Irir [Samaale]' at a higher level of genealogical grouping.". Together with the Hawiye they trace ancestry through Irir Samaale to Banu Hashim Arabian origins with Aqeel Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib.
According to the British anthropologist and Somali Studies veteran I.M. Lewis, while the traditions of descent from noble Arab families related to the Prophet are most probably expressions of the importance of Islam in Somali society, "there is a strong historically valid component in these legends which, in the case of the Darod, is confirmed in the current practice of a Dir representative officiating at the ceremony of installation of the chief of the Darod family."
A similar clan mythology exists for the Isaaq, who are said to have descended from one Sheikh Ishaq ibn Ahmad al-'Alawi, another Banu Hashim who came to Somalia around the same time. As with Sheikh Isaaq, there are also numerous existing hagiologies in Arabic which describe Sheikh Darod's travels, works and overall life in northern Somalia, as well as his movements in Arabia before his arrival. Besides historical sources such as Al-Masudi's Aqeeliyoon, a modern manaaqib (a collection of glorious deeds) printed in Cairo in 1945 by Sheikh Ahmad bin Hussen bin Mahammad titled Manaaqib as-Sheikh Ismaa'iil bin Ibraahiim al-Jabarti also discusses Sheikh Darod and his proposed father Isma'il al-Jabarti, the latter of whom is reportedly buried in Bab Siham in the Zabid District of western Yemen.
Sheikh Darod's own tomb is in Haylaan, situated in the Hadaaftimo Mountains in northern Somalia, and is the scene of frequent pilgrimages. Sheikh Isaaq is buried nearby in Maydh, as is Sheikh Harti, a descendant of Sheikh Darod and the progenitor of the Harti Darod sub-clan, whose tomb lies in the ancient town of Qa’ableh.
The Darod were supporters of Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi during his 16th century conquest of Abyssinia; especially the Harti, Marehan and Bartire sub-clans, who fought at Shimbra Kure, among other battles. In his medieval Futuh Al-Habash documenting this campaign, the chronicler Shihāb al-Dīn indicates that 300 Harti soldiers took part in Imam Ahmad's Adal Sultanate army. He describes them as "famous among the infantry as stolid swordsmen" and "a people not given to yielding".
The Darod clan has produced numerous noble Somali men and women over the centuries, including many Sultans. Traditionally, the Darod population was mostly concentrated in the northern and northeastern cities on the Gulf of Aden and upper Indian Ocean coast in the Horn of Africa. Darod noble men ruled these settlement pockets until the European colonial powers changed the political dynamics of Somalia during the late 19th century. Before many Darods began pushing southward in the mid-1850s, the Warsangali Sultanate governed the interior regions of Sanaag and Sool, while the Majeerteen Sultanate and Sultanate of Hobyo held steadfast in solidly established posts from Bosaso to Hobyo.
In addition to their traditional strongholds in northern Somalia, Marehan, Ogaden, and Harti Darod members settled further down south and southwest in the Gedo region (a region which was part of Upper Jubba as well as the entire length of the Jubaland region, composed of Gedo, Middle Jubba and Lower Jubba).
According to the book Aqeeliyoon, his lineage is: Abdirahmaan Bin Ismaa'iil Bin Ibraahim Bin Abdirahmaan Bin Muhammed Bin Abdi Samad Bin Hanbal Bin Mahdi Bin Ahmed Bin Abdallah Bin Muhammed Bin Aqil Bin Abu-Talib Bin Abdul-Mutalib Bin Hashim.
Sons of Darod Ismail
Darod had five sons:
- Ahmed bin Abdirahman: Axmed-Sade Darod
- Muhammad bin Abdirahman: Maxamed-Kablalax Darod
- Hussien bin Abdirahman: Xuseen-Tanade Darod
- Yousuf bin Abdirahman: Yusuuf-Awrtable Darod
- Eissa bin Abdirahman: Cisse-Isse Darod
There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is based upon the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.
- Darod (Daarood)
David D. Laitin and Said S. Samatar offer a slightly different table:
- Darod (Daarood)
In the south central part of Somalia the World Bank shows the following clan tree:
One tradition maintains that Darod had one daughter .
Notable Darod people
- Abdi Farah Shirdon, Marehan, former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, Majeerteen, President of Puntland
- Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, Majeerteen, second President of Somalia, 1967–1969
- Abdirizak Haji Hussein, Majeerteen, former Prime Minister of Somalia, and former Secretary General of the Somali Youth League.
- Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, Marehan, Prime Minister of Somalia
- Abdulkadir Abdi Hashi, Leelkase, State Minister of the Presidency for Planning and International Relations of Puntland
- Abdullahi Ahmed Irro, Majeerteen, General in the Somali National Army; founded the National Academy for Strategy
- Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Majeerteen, former President of Somalia, President of Puntland and leader in the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, and one of the founders of the Puntland State of Somalia and the Somali Salvation Democratic Front.
- Abdulrahman Jama Barre, Marehan, former Foreign Minister of Somalia and close relative of Siad Barre
- Ahmed Elmi Osman (Karaash), Dhulbahante, Minister of Interior of Puntland and former President of Khatumo State
- Ali Matan Hashi, Marehan, first Somali pilot, commander of Somali Airforce 1959-1978, Minister of Justice, Minister of Health, Somali Nationalist.
- Amina Mohamed, Dhulbahante, former Chairman of the International Organization for Migration and the World Trade Organisation's General Council, and current Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya
- Faarax Maxamed Jaamac Cawl, Warsangeli, writer
- Farah Ali Jama, Majeerteen, former Minister of Finance of Puntland
- Farah Maalim, Ogaden, Deputy Speaker in the Parliament of Kenya
- Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf, Majeerteen, first President of Somali National Assembly; former Minister of Health and Labor of Somalia (1966–67)
- Haji Mohamed Yasin Ismail, Majeerteen, entrepreneur and presidential candidate
- Hassan Abshir Farah, Majeerteen, former Mogadishu mayor, Somali ambassador to Japan and later to Germany, interior minister of Puntland, prime minister of Transitional Federal Government from Arta, and current TFG minister of fishing and marine resource
- Hassan Ali Mire, Majeerteen, first Minister of Education of the Somali Democratic Republic; former Chairman of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF)
- Hirsi Magan Isse, Majeerteen, scholar and one of the leaders of the Somalian revolution
- Hussein Maalim Mohamed, Ogaden, former Kenya Minister of State in the office of the president
- Mahamoud Mohamed, Ogaden, former Chief of General Staff of the Kenya Defence Forces
- Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo), Marehan, former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Mohamed Yusuf Haji, Ogaden, former Minister of Defense of Kenya
- Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, Ogaden, the Sayyid; religious and nationalist leader of the Dervish State; called the Mad Mullah by the British
- Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan, Majeerteen, defence minister beginning of 1990s
- Mohamoud Ali Shire, Warsangeli, Sultan of former "British Somaliland" (1897–1960)
- Nathif Jama Adam, Ogaden, Governor of Garissa County and former Head of the Sharjah Islamic Bank's Investments & International Banking Division
- Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Majeerteen, Prime Minister of Somalia, and son of Abdirashid Ali Shermarke
- Saado Ali Warsame, Dhulbahante, singer-songwriter and former MP in the Federal Parliament of Somalia
- Shukran Hussein Gure, Ogaden, MP for Garissa County
- Siad Barre, Marehan, third President of Somalia, 1969–1991
- Yasin Haji Osman Sharmarke, Majeerteen, one of the founders of the Somali Youth League and its first leader
- Yusuf Mohamed Ismail, Majeerteen, former Ambassador of Somalia to the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva
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Then Magado, the wife of Ishaak, bore him twin sons, and their names were Ahmed, nick-named Arap, and Ismail, nick-named Gerhajis.
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