Rafed English

Defeat of Ayesha

Such was the end of the two great leaders of the rebels. As to Ayesha, the implacable soul of the revolt, the vindictive lady was still screaming unceasingly with her shrill voice, "Slay the murderers of Osman," and urging her men to fight. But the troops, bereft of their leaders, had already lost heart and were falling back upon the city. Seeing, however, that she was in peril, they stayed their flight and turned to her rescue. Rallying round her camel, one after another rushed to seize the bridle and the standard, and one after another they were cut down.

Thus seventy men perished by the bridle of the ill-fated animal. Her litter, steel-plated and constructed like a cage, bristled all over with darts and arrows, and the hump of the huge beast looked like a startled and angry hedgehog. "Convinced that the battle must remain in suspense as long as the camel continued to exhibit a rallying point to the defenders of Ayesha, Ali signified his desire to those around him that their efforts should be directed to bring down the animal. After repeated and desperate assaults, Malik-al-Ashtar succeeded at lengh in forcing a passage and immediately struck off one of the camel's legs. Malik smote another leg, and the camel immediately sank to the earth. The litter of Ayesha being thus brought to the ground, Mohammed, the son of Abubakr, was directed by Ali to take charge of his sister and protect her from being injured by the missiles which still flew from all quartets. He drew near accordingly, but when on introducing his hand into the litter and happening to touch that of Ayesha, she loaded him with abuse and execration, demanding what reprobate had presumed to stretch his hand where none but the Prophet's had been permitted. Mohammed replied that though it was the hand of her nearest in blood, it was also that of her bitterest enemy. Recognizing, however, the well known accents of her brother, the apprehensions of Ayesha were speedily dispelled." Price's Mohamedan History as quoted by S. Ockley p. 310.

Adapted from: "Ali, the Magnificent" by: "Yousuf N. Lalljee"

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