Khawlah bint al-azwar

War­rior poet of early Is­lam 7th cen­tury

All About History - - DON’T CALL ME PRINCESS -

The rider in black had sur­prised ev­ery­one. The forces of early Is­lam were on a mis­sion to res­cue their com­rade Di­rar from the Chris­tian Byzan­tines, when a mys­te­ri­ous sol­dier clad in black and green rushed forth, mow­ing down Ro­mans like grass. When the com­man­der fi­nally tracked down the sol­dier, drenched in blood like “a crim­son rose petal”, their iden­tity was un­cov­ered: Khawlah bint al-azwar, sis­ter of the cap­tured Di­rar. She went on to help free her brother and then set­tled back down a bit, help­ing out as a nurse. That is un­til she, too, was cap­tured by the Byzan­tines, along with a group of mid­dle-aged women. While her fel­low cap­tives were re­signed to their fate, she ral­lied them, sug­gest­ing they up­root the poles hold­ing up their tent and fight their way out. As they did so, they let loose with diss po­ems such as “We have de­cided that to­day we will rec­tify your brains with these tent-pegs and shorten your life-spans, thus re­mov­ing a spot of dis­grace from your an­ces­tors’ faces”. Her es­cape so im­pressed the Byzan­tine com­man­der that he of­fered to marry her on the spot and be her master. Her ver­ba­tim re­ply: “You wretched un­be­liev­ing son of an un­chaste adul­terer! By Al­lah! I will take this peg and gouge your eyes out. You are not even wor­thy of herd­ing my camels and sheep, let alone claim to be my equal!” If you’re think­ing at this point that you want to be best friends with her, well, get in line.

Many streets, schools, and even mil­i­tary units across the Mid­dle East bear her name

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.