Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Somalis of London


Somalis in the UK Posted by Hello

Where do they come from?s

Somalia is located on the northeastern seaboard of Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean. The Somali people first settled in Africa around AD1200. Since that time however, they have dispersed throughout the eight countries that make up the Horn of East Africa. The name Somali actually comes from a colloquial phrase that describes their generous nature. Though northern and southern Somalia were untied after they gained their independence from Britain, the majority of the country was ravaged by civil war in 1991, and intermittent clan warfare continued through 1993. The subsequent famine brought the nation to the brink of anarchy. In 1994, UN troops interceded, reestablishing a tentative stability.

Conversely, the Somalians are said to be one of the most unified African people groups in they share a common language, heritage, and faith. Society is extremely patriarchal and is based around the nuclear family. The people consider themselves warriors. Men leave their families to train in effective combat, and in their absence, the women rule their home with a naturally submissive but firm hand.

How do the various clans differ?

There are four distinct clan groupings. The Somaal are predominantly nomadic shepherds, and easily adapt to new and different regions. The Sab are peasant farmers, solid and stable in their permanency. They are a people of deep roots and traditions. The Digil, which include the Dabarre, are commercial farmers. They are the wealthiest of all the tribes. Among the clans, prestige is shown by hospitality. They love to hold feasts and are highly relational, relishing the quality time they spend with family and friends. The chief and his council make decisions concerning business and law.

What do they believe?

Arab tradesman introduced the nation to Islam in the middle of the sixteenth century. Spiritual freedom is limited, however, since the state religion is Islam. The Somali are a mix of Shiafite Islam (80%) and Sufi (a mystic and superstitious branch of Islam). Although the people follow stricter Islamic laws, the women do not wear the traditional coverings. They are overtly influenced by mysticism, often turning to the Wadaad (medicine man or religious leader) for charms and advice. Unfortunately, the sway of folk medicine has brought with it a dependence upon narcotics and the production and use of Khat (an euphoric drug found both in Somalia and the UK) has become rather common. There is a dark cloud over the people. Though there are missionaries who have a heart to reach out to these tribes, there are less than 3000 known Somali believers. They have access to the Bible in their language, but illiteracy is extremely high.

What are their lives like in London?

Because of famine and clan warfare, many Somalians have migrated to the UK. They have retained much of their cultural heritage despite the westernized norms found in cosmopolitan cities like London. The majority of this people group has settled in the London boroughs of Haringey and Hackney. Their society is still based on the nuclear family, and the man is the ruling head of his household. The Somali are a very independent people, and hold fast to their traditions. The women can often be seen wearing the brightly colored cloths that drape over their entire bodies, which, though not black, fits in with the orthodox Muslim standard for modesty. The children have adapted well into the Western culture, while still remaining true to the traditions they were raised under. In some ways, the older generation of women has chosen not to assimilate into this new world, and many are afraid of their western neighbors. On the other hand, ample numbers of men have taken the opportunity to expand their horizons in business and trade. For the most part, however, the Somali remain isolated within their own group, which makes it very difficult to build relationships and share the love of Jesus with them. Pray for people of peace to bridge the gap.

10 comments:

Yasmin said...

Falsan,

Hi, I am curious to know, How did you became a christain? were you born into it or have you converted into Christainity? What was the thing that made you christain if you are a convert?

Somalis For Jesus! said...

Walaal Yasmin
Thank you very much for your curiosity. I do not believe that anyone is born into a religion. People choose the faith they want to believe and that is true of me. The risen Lord, Jesus the Messiah, found me many years ago and I am grateful for the salvation he gave me. I was a Muslim before that and I am the only Christian in my family.

I accepted the Messiah’s offer to be saved because I found out that the Christian Faith is authentic and true. Please read the Bible and see it for your self. The risen Lord wants all people to be saved from their sinfulness into a healthy relationship with him.

I invite you today to accept Jesus as your Savior. Repent of your sins and follow the Lord. This life is short, really short; it does not make sense to live godless rejecting the Lord who created us.

Please visit the following Somali sites for more info.
www.somalichristians.org
www.runta.org (under construction)

Nimco iyo nabadi ha kuu ahaato

Waa walaashaa, Filsan

Yasmin said...

Walaal Filsan,
Salaama,
It was good of you to answer my questions. However, you assumed that I am a sinner. What makes you think I am a sinner? did my writing exude sin? I have known many religious people(Muslim,Christain and Jew), always those who know the best preaches the least. There is a woman I know she was a nomad all her life(godless in a way), and now she discovered Islam. Every time she sees me she says I should wear the Hijab. I asked her how do you know if I am Muslimah, have you asked me or you assumed? The same goes for you. Don’t assume people are sinner, the Old Mighty God knows who is a sinner and who is a saint. And in the Day of Judgment we shall discover to our delight/horror (depends which side of the fence we are standing) who is sinner or Saints. Which religion was the right one?

This statement of yours baffled me and it even baffled my Christian friends: "it does not make sense to live godless rejecting the Lord who created us."
Is it "Lord" Jesus who created the Universe? Or he was created by God? Very interesting brand of Christianity that you follow!

Anyhow, Thanks once again for satisfying my curiosity. Lakun Diinankum waliya Diin, Sister.

Somalis For Jesus! said...

Walaal Yasmin

Before I responded to you, I had visited your blog and found out that you were not a believer (follower of the Messiah); that is why I asked you to repent and follow Christ. By the way, even Christians are “sinners” and they must repent of their sins and other short comings weather willful or not. No human being in the world, including the wholly sanctified believers, are incapable of sinning even if these sins are “minor” or unintentional shortcomings caused by lapse of judgment.

In fact, Kitaabka Qudduuska Ahi says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

Regarding the Messiah, the Savior was NOT created, he is the Alpha and the Omega. The Messiah was incarnated to dwell among us and to save us—This is what the “Word becoming flesh” is all about.

I beg you, my dear sister, do not end up in hell and listen to God’s vessel sharing the Gospel with you. In the Day of Judgment, “Lakun Diinankum waliya Diin, will not work for you!

Eebbe ayaa hanuunka leh

Filsan Odawa

Ali_Kukai said...

no one who was a muslim can become a christian. You asked someone to read the bible yet I doubt you your self have read it. If you have, you would realize that what are reading is not the gaspel God give to prophet Isa or Jesus. Its more in line myths of Roman pagens that have shaped chriastian idology. By all means, read the Bible, the quran and the torah. Gods unity is clear in everyone of them and if you can be certian of one thing if god exists is that you will in hell for such a sin as declare other gods beside the one and even worse one of his prophets. You say are for Jesus, if thats really the case STOP commiting the worst sin known to man in his name. Do you know why fools like you believe that Jesus is God? It is because the Bible calls prophet jesus son of god. Do you know what else the bible says? "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of god". Or because jesus is called lord. I can only say that you do not consider your land lord part of god.

Anonymous said...

Hello

I want to get in touch with Somalis in London and would like to contact you. Is that possible?

Regards
Phil

Anonymous said...

I am a Somali girl and I'm satisfied about Somali-Christians.
At first I was like "Wow, what will Somalia be in a couple of years?
A Christian country-Like kenya, or, a Muslim country-like Saudi Arabia.

I live in London to!
I'm not sure anymore about what religion anymore...

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian myself. I live in London
It`s amazing to know that there is a growing number of Somalis who accepted Jesus as their saviour.
I would like to get in touch with Somali Christian over here, if possible.
Thank you and God bless.
Matt

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much your being paid to sell your soul - just make sure you spend your money wisely - 1st go to school and educate yourself - 2nd read and understand - and 3rd - follow the teachings of Jesus may god be pleased with him and not Mark Luke Matthew and John - understand what According to means - read the history - really helps - and remember it's fools like you when Jesus (MGBPWH) return - he will turn around while your screaming Lord Lord Lord - he will say - get away from me - I never knew you looool clearly says it on the Bible - a child would tell you the definition of - i of my own will can't do nothing but the Will of my father - or - I have been sent on to only the sheep (children) of Israel - a 3 year old would tell you what it means - perhaps you should go back to Nuresery --- may Allah guide you to the right Path -

Anonymous said...

keep it up brother. too many reasons to say why there is proof that Jesus Christ is God but hold on man of truth. There is ONE God and ONE true way and you have chosen that way. OUR way is open to questioning and scrutiny because we have nothing to fear. you find that when you question false religions like Evolution and Jehovahs witnesses they get angry instead of doing open minded research at that POSSIBILITY that you might just be wrong. You are very wise and full of great knowledge as the HOLY Bible says. We will meet in heaven one day when this is all over and we both jamaican and somali will hug and congratulate eachother. I admire you and aspire to you. You are a great inspiration.