Sultanate of Showa

The Sultanate of Showa (Sultanate of Shewa) was a Muslim kingdom of uncertain historical origins situated in the territory of present-day Ethiopia. It was situated between the Ethiopian Highlands and the Awash River valley, approximately 70 km northeast of Addis Ababa in the vicinity of the town of Walale. This area roughly corresponds with the present-day North Shewa Zone.

It was one of the oldest documented Muslim state in the region whose dynastic family, the Makhzumis, are said to have reigned in Shewa from AH 283/AD 896 for three hundred and ninety years to 1285-86. They ruled until they were deposed by Walasma dynasity of Yifat or Ifat (1285-1415). Ifat was once the easternmost district of Shewa Sultanate. In 1285 Ali b. Wali Asma deposed the kings of Shewa and installed a certain Mhz.[1][2]

There were nine recorded Sulṭāns of Showa (Shewa), who asserted descent from Wudd ibn Hisham al-Makhzumi.[3] The Showa chronicle records two other names before Sulṭān Malasmaʿī (r. 1180–1183). However, it is not clear what is their relationship with the Makhzumi dynasty.

Ruler Name Reign Note
1 Sulṭān Malasmaʿī 1180 - 1183
2 Sulṭān Ḥusein 1183 - 1193
3 Sulṭān ʿAbdallah 1193 - 1235
4 Sulṭān Maḥamed 1235 - 1239 Son of Sulṭān Ḥusein.
5 Sulṭān Ganah 1252 - 1262
5 Sulṭān Mālzarrah 1239 - 1252 Son of Sulṭān Maḥamed. Married Fatimah Aydargun, daughter of Sulṭān ʿAli "Baziwi" ʿUmar of the Sultanate of Ifat in 1245, and mother of Sultan Dilmārrah.
6 Sulṭān Girām-Gaz'i 1262 - 1263 Son of Sulṭān Ganah. Abdicated in favor of his elder brother.
7 Sulṭān Dil-Gāmis 1263 - 1278 Son of Sulṭān Ganah. He was deposed by Dilmārrah in 1269. He sought assistance from Yekuno Amlak in restoring his rule, and was briefly restored to the throne in July 1278, but was deposed again by August.
8 Sulṭān Dilmārrah 1269 - 1283 Son of Sulṭān Mālzarrah. He was half-Walashma on his mother's side, and also married a Walashma princess. When Yekuno Amlak overthrew him to re-install Dil-Gāmis in July 1278, the Sultanate of Ifat invaded and restored his rule. In 1280, Showa was incorporated into Ifat, and he was murdered in 1283, bringing a definitive end to the Sultanate of Showa.
9 Sulṭān ʿAbdallah 1279 - 1279 Son of Sulṭān Ganah. Briefly deposed Sulṭān Mālzarrah to restore the rule of the sons of Ganah. However, this rebellion was short lived, and Showa would be annexed into Ifat the following year.

See also


  1. Nehemia Levtzion, Randall Pouwels The History of Islam in Africa - Google Books" Ohio University Press, 2000. p. 228.
  2. Stuart Munro-Hay Ethiopia, the Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide - Google Books" I.B.Tauris, 2002. p. 365.
  3. Ethiopia, the Unknown Land: A Cultural and Historical Guide, Page 365-366
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