Great Women of Islam: Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar - Part 1
Her brother, Dirar, was the knight and poet of his tribe, and was well known 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 on all arts of swordsmanship and she became also a perfect knight. Besides that, Khawlah mastered the noble art of poetry. She was a brunette, tall, slim and of great beauty.
Her name remained greatly unknown, until the battle of Ajnadin, not far from Jerusalem, where Drear 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, narrates in his book "The conquering of Al Sham (Greater Syria)"
"In a battle that took place in Bayt Lahyah near Ajnadin, Khalid watched a knight, in black attire, with a large green shawl wrapped around his waist and covering his chest. That knight broke through the Roman ranks as an arrow. Wondering about the identity of the unknown Knight Khalid and the others followed him and joined battle,
Rafe' Bin Umayrah Al-Ta'if was one of the fighters. He described how that knight scattered the enemy ranks, disappearing in their midst, to reappear after a while with blood dripping from his spear. He swerved again and repeated the deed fearlessly, several times. All the Moslem army was worried about him and praying for his safety. Rafe' and others thought that he was Khalid, who 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. 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 till 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 identity.
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.
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