Hadhrami people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hadhrami people
Regions with significant populations
Hadhrami Arabic, (Urdu in South Asia, Malay in Southeast Asia, Swahili in East Africa)
Islam (Sunni, Shafi'i, Sufi Islam), Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Arab people, Arab Singaporean, Arab Malaysians, Arab Indonesians, Chaush, Arabs in India

The Hadhrami (Arabic: حضرمي‎, sing.) or Hadharem (Arabic: الحضارم‎, pl.) are people inhabiting the Hadhramaut region in Yemen and their descendants in diaspora communities around the world. They speak Hadhrami Arabic, which belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family.

Among the two million inhabitants of Hadhramaut, there are 1,300 distinct tribes. Historically, antagonism between townsfolk and wandering tribesmen had been so bitter that the towns are surrounded by stone walls to protect them from attack by their tribal countrymen.

Few Hadramis still practice the nomadic lifestyle of their ancient ancestors. Today, approximately half of the Hadramis live in the towns and villages scattered through the deep valleys of their region. Among these settled peoples, there are sharp distinctions, the highest social prestige belonging to the wealthy, educated Sadahs, who claim to be direct descendants of Muhammad. In the past, Hadramis rarely married outside their own social level, and often lived in segregated groups in separate parts of town.


The Hadharem have a long seafaring and trading tradition. Hadhrami seamen have navigated in large numbers all around the Indian Ocean basin, from the Horn of Africa to the Swahili Coast to the Malabar Coast and Hyderabad in South India to Maritime Southeast Asia.[1]

There are Hadharem communities in the trading ports of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The money changers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia have usually been of Hadhrami origin.[2]

The Hadhrami have long had a notable presence in the Horn region (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia). Hadhrami settlers were instrumental in helping to consolidate the Muslim community in the coastal Benadir province of Somalia, in particular.[3] During the colonial period, disgruntled Hadhrami from the tribal wars additionally settled in various Somalian towns.[4] They were also frequently recruited into the armies of the Somali Sultanates.[5]

Some Hadhrami communities also reportedly exist in Mozambique and Madagascar.[6]


The Hadhrami speak Hadhrami Arabic. It belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family.

Diaspora communities[edit]

Hadhrami people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ho, Engseng. 2006. Graves of Tarim. University of California Press. Berkeley. passim
  2. ^ Jean-François Seznec The Financial Markets of the Arabian Gulf, Routledge, 1987
  3. ^ Cassanelli, Lee V. (1973). "The Benaadir past: essays in southern Somali history". University of Wisconsin. p. 24. 
  4. ^ Gavin, R. J. (1975). Aden under British rule, 1839–1967. London: Hurst. p. 198. ISBN 0-903983-14-1. 
  5. ^ Helen Chapin Metz, Somalia: a country study, (The Division: 1993), p.10.
  6. ^ Francoise Le Guennec, Changing Patterns of Hadhrami Migration and Social Integration in East Africa in Hadhrami Traders, Scholars and Statesmen in the Indian Ocean, 1750s-1960s, Edited by Ulrike Freitag and William G. Clarence-Smith, BRILL, 1997, pg 165
  7. ^ http://www.lankalibrary.com/cul/muslims/moors.htm


Further reading[edit]