Matan ibn Uthman Al Somali

Garad Matan bin Uthman Bin Khalid (Somali: Matan, Arabic: متن بن عثمان بن خالد الصومالي) born c. early 1490 – 28 October 1531, also known as Garad Matan Bin Uthman bin Khalid Al Somali, was a Somali military commander and Adalite general that served the Adal Sultanate. He led in key and decisive battles, famously leading the Somali divisions. He was also the brother-in-law of Imam Ahmed and his right-hand man. Garad Matan played a very prominent role in the campaigns against the Abyssinians. Garad Matan hailed from the Geri Koombe clan and was also the chieftain. He was regarded as the most bravest, courageous military generals in Adal Sultanate well documented in the Futuh Al Habash.[1][2]

General of the Somali Adalite Division

Garad Matan bin Uthman

متن بن عثمان بن خالد الصومالي
Garad Matan carrying the red banner tied to his spear with The Imam
Native name
Matan Uthman
Birth nameMatan Bin Uthman ibn Khalid
Bornc.1490 ( Exact Date Unknown)
Zeila, Adal Sultanate
Died(1531-10-28)October 28, 1531
Ambassel, Abyssinian Empire
AllegianceAdal Sultanate
RankDivision Commander
Commands heldSomali Adalite Division
Known forConquest of Abyssinia
Battles/warsBattle of Amba Sel
Spouse(s)Fardowsa Bint Ibrahim
RelationsBrother in-law of Imam Ahmed

Early life Edit

Born into the powerful Geri Koombe clan, a branch of the Darood, he was a key figure in the Muslim conquests in the Horn of Africa. He began his career as a knight, similar to his brother-in-law, Imam Ahmed, who also began as a knight. Garad Matan ascended up the ranks until becoming a military general, and was explicitly hailed as a great knight.[1]

Family Edit

Garad Matan serving as a military general under the Adal Sultanate had a close and personal relationship with the Imam.[1] Garad Matan was married to the sister of the Imam, Her name was Fardawsa. This shaped a close relationship with Imam Ahmed.[1] Garad Matan also had a brother by the name Ali Garad who also particapated in the jihad.

The Tribe of Girri who came up. Their chieftain was Garad Matan ibn Uthman, the Somali. They showed off their weaponry and armour, paraded their horses and had their bows slung sash-like over their shoulders as they met the imam face to face. He commanded them then to go ahead to a place called "Sim". Their chieftain Matan had brought with him his wife, Fardawsa, the sister of the imam Ahmad. And he set out ahead, he and his army.[1]

Military campaigns Edit

Garad Matan, a talented horseman, commanded the Somali Adalite Division in combat. The Geri Koombe created a great big army of knights, horsemen, and foot warriors totaling 3,000 men, who were accompanied by their brethren clans Harti Koombe, Jairan Koombe, and Mazra Koombe, all of whom were Darod.

The Imam then attached a crimson banner to a spear and gave it to his brother-in-law Garad Matan Bin Uthman ibn Khalid, their captain, knight, and the most daring, bravest of them all. There were 110 knights and 3,000 troops, as well as the Somali tribes of Harti Koombe, Jairan Koombe, and Mazra Koombe, all of whom rallied to him.[1][3]

Like previously mentioned Garaad Matan led key battles for the Adal sultanate, also famously leading the Somali Adalite Division. The Imam gathered all the Somali tribes and made them one unit entrusting the unit to his Brother In law Garad Matan.[1]

The tribe of the Somalis said, "it was the tribe of Harla?" that gave us away; while the tribe of Harla said, 'it was the Somali tribe that gave us away The imam split his forces into three divisions: all the Somalis were in one division whose command he entrusted to Matan.[1]

Matan with his Brother In Law

Then he [the imam] tied a red standard to a spear and entrusted it to his brother-in-law Mattan bin 'Utman bin Kaled, the Somali, their chieftain, their knight, and the most courageous, the bravest of them all. There rallied to him one-hundred-and-ten knights and three-thousand infantry, along with the tribe of Harti, ' the tribe of Jairan and the tribe of Mazra, all of whom were Somalis.[1]

In 1531 the Adalites was able to inflict a crushing defeat on the Abyssinians during the Battle of Antukyah which allowed the Adalites to Conquer Fatager and Shewa. Adalite forces killed and captured Elite patricians, Among the famous patricians was the governor of Begmeder Azmac Yeshaq who was killed by a Somali called Ali Madajir who was from the tribe of Matan ibn uthman the Somali,[4] The number of patricians killed was staggering, the futuh reports exactly 130 Amhara and Tigrayan patricians were killed[5] Then the Imam dispatched his right-hand man and brother in law Garad Matan Al Somali who then conquered Eastern Shewa then General Matan Al Somali drove his adalite forces and conquered Bete Amhara ( House Of Amhara ) by the end of the year Dawit II fell back behind the Abay River to seek refuge in Gojjam much deeper into the highlands.

Surprise attack on Imam Ahmed's camp Edit

Imam Ahmed's camp was a subject to surprise attacks from the Abyssinian stragglers. The Christians had descended from the highlands during the night while all the Adalite forces were asleep, they were famous for using poisoned spears. Garad Matan had then noticed the Abyssinian stragglers at his camp. the Abyssinians then shot their spears directly at Matan, Matan then galloped on his horse courageously pushed and chased the Abyssinian stragglers away.[1]

The storyteller, says: When a quarter of the night had passed, there was a surprise attack on the perimeter of the camp by the idol-worshippers who had fought the Muslims on the terrace of the mountain. They shot their arrows into the area where Matan the Somali was. He mounted his horse and put them to flight in the dark until he drove them back up the mountain. Then he returned to his camp. None of the Muslims were harmed.[1]

Martyrdom Edit

In the Battle of Amba Sel the chieftain of Geri, Garad Matan ibn Uthman was martyred. When the imam heard of the news of the death of his brother in law he cried becoming emotional he said the Islamic Istirja "for verily we belong to Allah and we will return to him". The imam had prayed for him.[6][1]

The companions of Garad Ahmusa who had been routed, reached the imam on the day of his march against the Amba. They informed him about what had happened. He was saddened on account of his brother-in-law Mattan, said the prayer "Truly to God we belong, and unto Him do we return", and wept.[1]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Richard, Pankhurst; ʻArabfaqīh, Shihāb (1974). The Conquest of Abyssinia: 16th Century. ISBN 9780972317252.
  2. ^ Pankhurst, Richard (1997). The Ethiopian Borderlands Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. Red Sea Press. p. 192. ISBN 9780932415196.
  3. ^ Sabelli, Luca dei (1936). Storia di Abissinia. p. 63.
  4. ^ conquest of abyssinia. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-9723172-5-2.
  5. ^ ʿArabfaqīh, Šihāb ad-Dīn Aḥmad Ibn ʿAbd al-Qādir; Stenhouse, Paul Lester; Pankhurst, Richard; ʿArabfaqīh, Šihāb ad-Dīn Aḥmad Ibn ʿAbd al-Qādir (2003). Futūḥ Al-Ḥabaša: the conquest of Abyssinia (16th century). Tsehai. pp. 150–152. ISBN 978-0-9723172-5-2.
  6. ^ Pankhurst, Richard (1997). The Ethiopian Borderlands Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. Red Sea Press. p. 224. ISBN 9780932415196.