Somal was the mythic founder. Barbarah (Berberah), according to the Kamus (an Arabic dictionary), is a well-known town in El Maghrib, and a people located between El Zanj—Zanzibar and the coast—and El Habash. They are descended from the Himyar chiefs, Sanhaj and Sumamah, and they arrived at the time of the conquest of Africa by the king Afrikus. These, the progenitors of the Somal, are a part of the Galla nation Islamized and semiticized by repeated immigration from Arabia.
Somal is the name of the father of a people, so called because he thrust out his brother's eye.
In a.h. 666 (a.d. 1266–1267), the Sayyid Yusuf al Baghdadi visited the port of Siyaro near Berberah, then occupied by a traditionalist magician, who passed through mountains by the power of his gramarye. The saint summoned to his aid Mohammed bin Yunis el Siddiki of Bayt el Fakih in Arabia, and by their united prayers a hill closed upon the unbeliever.