Heroines of islam

Discussion in 'Muslims of the Past' started by ahmed-abou-doujana, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. ahmed-abou-doujana

    ahmed-abou-doujana Member

    Jun 22, 2015
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    Khawla Bint Al Azwar
    Khawla Bint Al Azwar was an
    extraordinary woman from the early
    years of Islam. Most of what history
    tells us about her childhood and
    environment is quite vague, but
    provides rich information about her
    courage that had most likely played a
    role in strengthening the new religion.
    Khawla became a legend during her
    life and remains a legend to this day.
    She was a courageous leader, and set
    an example to men and women alike
    that one should fight for what they
    believe in, and never accept defeat.
    She stayed true to her principles and
    feared nothing but Allah.
    The recorded history of that era
    mentions repeatedly the feats of
    Khawla in battles that took place in
    Syria, Jordan and Palestine. In one
    instance, she fought in disguise to
    rescue her brother Derar after the
    Romans captured him. Witnesses say
    that she was in fact much braver than
    many men. In addition to that, and
    whenever she did not carry her sword,
    she took the responsibility of
    organizing medical care to treat the
    wounded during the battles. This is 13
    centuries before Florence Nightingale
    did the same in Europe.
    Khawla was the daughter of one of the
    chiefs of Bani Assad tribe, and her
    family embraced Islam in its first
    days. Her father’s name is either
    Malik or Tareq Bin Awse. Al Azwar
    was his nickname. Her brother, Derar,
    was the knight and poet of his tribe,
    and was well known as well for his
    wisdom. His love for his sister and
    confidence in her capabilities were
    legendary. In fact, the brother and
    sister were so attached to each other
    that she was his companion wherever
    he went. He trained her in all arts of
    swordsmanship and she also became a
    knight. Besides that, Khawla was a
    poet who mastered that noble art. She
    was a brunette, tall, slim and of great
    Her name remained greatly unknown,
    until the battle of Ajnadin, not far
    from Jerusalem, where Derar lost his
    spear, fell from his horse, and was
    taken prisoner. She donned a male
    knight’s attire, took her arms and rode
    her mare through the Roman ranks,
    using her sword skillfully against
    whoever tried to stop her. The Muslim
    soldiers, and their leader Khalid,
    watched her with great admiration,
    presuming that she was a man.
    The Arab Historian, Al Waqidi, tells us
    in his book “The conquering of Al
    Sham (greater Syria)” that: “In a battle
    that took place in Beit Lahia near
    Ajnadin, Khalid watched a knight, in
    black attire, with a big green shawl
    wrapped around his waist and
    covering his bust. That knight broke
    through the Roman ranks as an arrow.
    Khalid and the others followed him
    and joined battle, while the leader was
    wondering about the identity of the
    unknown knight.”
    Rafe’ Bin Omeirah Al Taei was one of
    the fighters. He described how that
    knight scattered the enemy ranks,
    disappeared in their midst,
    reappeared after a while with blood
    dripping from his spear. He swerved
    again and repeated the deed fearlessly,
    several times. All the Muslim army
    was worried about him and prayed for
    his safety. Rafe’ and others thought
    that he was Khalid, who had won great
    fame for his bravery and genius
    military plans. But suddenly Khalid
    appeared with a number of knights.
    Rafe’ asked the leader: “Who is that
    knight? By God, he has no regard for
    his safety!“
    Khalid answered that he didn’t know
    the man, though he greatly admired
    his courage. He called on the arm to
    attack as one man and to make sure
    that they protect their hero(ine). They
    were fascinated as they watched the
    knight appear with a number of
    Roman knights chasing him. Then he
    would turn around and kill the nearest
    before resuming his attacks.
    The Romans eventually lost the battle
    and fled, leaving many dead and
    wounded in the battlefield. Khalid
    looked for the knight until he found
    him. By then he was covered in blood.
    He praised his bravery and asked him
    to remove his veil. But the knight did
    not answer, and tried to break away.
    The soldiers wouldn’t let him do that.
    And everyone asked him to reveal his
    When the knight found that there was
    no way to avoid that, he replied in a
    feminine voice: “My prince, I did not
    answer because I am shy. You are a
    great leader, and I am only a woman
    whose heart is burning.”
    “Who are you?” Khalid insisted.
    “I am Khawla Bint Al Azwar. I was
    with the women accompanying the
    army, and when I learnt that the
    enemy captured my brother, I did
    what I did.”
    Khalid ordered his army to chase the
    fleeing Roman army, with Khawla
    leading the attack, looking in all
    directions for her brother, but in vain.
    By noontime, the victory was decisive.
    Most of the Roman soldiers were
    Knowing that the prisoners had to be
    somewhere, Khalid sent Khawla with a
    number of knights to find them. After
    a hot chase, they managed to catch up
    with a Roman detachment that was
    taking the prisoners to their
    headquarters. Another fight took
    place, the Roman guards were all
    killed and the prisoners saved.
    In another battle in Ajnadin, Khawla’s
    spear broke, and her mare was killed,
    and she found herself a prisoner. But
    she was astonished to find that the
    Romans attacked the women camp and
    captured several of them. Their leader
    gave the prisoners to his commanders,
    and order Khawla to be moved into
    his tent. She was furious, and decided
    that to die is more honorable than
    living in disgrace. She stood among
    the other women, and called them to
    fight for their freedom and honor or
    die. The others were enthusiastic to
    her plan. They took the tents’ poles
    and pegs and attacked the Roman
    guards, keeping a formation of a tight
    circle, as she told them.
    Khawla led the attack, killed the first
    guard with her pole, with the other
    women following her. According to Al
    Waqidi, they managed to kill 30
    Roman knights, while Khawla was
    encouraging them with her verses,
    which in fact caused their blood to
    The Roman leader was infuriated by
    what happened, and led a detachment
    of his knights against the women,
    though he tried first to tempt them
    with many promises. He told Khawla
    that he planned to marry her and
    make her the first lady of Damascus.
    But she answered him calmly and with
    great contempt: “I wouldn’t even
    accept you to be a shepherd of my
    camels! How do you expect me to
    degrade myself and live with you? I
    swear that I’ll be the one to cut off
    your head for your insolence.”
    In the ensuing battle, the ladies
    proved their mettle, kept their
    grounds for some time, encouraging
    each other and driving off the
    attackers with their long poles.
    Suddenly, Khalid and the army
    reached the battlefield. In the ensuing
    fight, over 3.000 Romans were killed.
    The women who took part in the
    fighting were proud to say that
    Khawla killed five knights, including
    the leader that insulted her.
    In another battle, the Muslims were
    overwhelmed by a much bigger Roman
    army. Many soldiers fled away, but
    not for long. Khawla and the other
    women met the fleeing soldiers,
    questioning their claims of bravery
    and forced them to return to the
    battle. The men were stunned when
    they saw Khawla drawing her sword
    and leading a counter-attack. They
    turned their horses and joined the
    battle, which was eventually won.
    One of the knights present that day
    said: “Our women were much harsher
    with us than the Romans. We felt that
    going back to fight and die was much
    easier than facing the fury of our
    women later on”.
    Following his succession as the fourth
    caliph, Ali (may Allah be pleased with
    him) married Khawla. She became a
    legend during her life and remains a
    legend to this day. Khawla set an
    example to men and women alike that
    one should fight for wh
    at he or she
    believes in, and never accept defeat.
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  2. Abu Juwairiya

    Abu Juwairiya Junior Member

    Oct 23, 2013
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    Ma'shallah. This was a wonderful post. Jazakallah Khayrun for starting this thread and I look forward to other contributions of other inspiring Muslimahs in Islam from yourself in future posts. This should serve as a reminder to both brothers and sisters about the power of Imaan and trust in Allah.

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