Rafed English

The battle of the camel 'Jamal'

Early next morning, Friday the 16th of Jamadi 11, 36 A.H. (November 656 A.D.) Ayesha took the field, mounted in a litter on her great camel Al-Askar and riding up and down among her troops, animating them by her presence and by her voice. In history the battle is named 'the battle of the camel' after the strange animal on which Ayesha was mounted, though it was fought on the field of Khoreiba close to Busra . Ali's army faced the enemy in battle array, but the Caliph ordered them not to take the offensive unless the enemy began the onset. He further gave stringent orders that no wounded should be slain, no fugitive pursued, no plunder seized nor the privacy of any house violated. No sooner had he given these orders when showers of arrows started to pour from the enemy but, still Ali forbade his soldiers to retaliate and bade them wait.

"To the very last moment Ali evinced a decided repugnance to shed the blood of a Muslim; and just before the battle, he endeavoured to turn the adversary to allegiance by a solenm appeal to the Quran. A person named Muslim immediately offered himself for the service; and uplifting a copy of the sacred volume with his right hand, this individual proceeded to admonish the enemy to recede from their unwarranted designs. 1 But the hand which bore the Holy Manuscript was severed from his arm by one of the infuriated multitude. Seizing the Quran with his left, that limb was also severed by another scimitar. Still, however, 'messing it to his bosom with his mutilated arms he continued his exhortations until finally he was kiled by the swords of the enemy. His body was subsequently recovered by his friends and prayers pronounced over it by Ali in person ; after which, taking up a handful of dust, and scattering it towards the insurgents, that prince imprecated upon them the retribution of an avenging Deity. In the meantime. the impetuosity of Ali's followers could no longer be restrained. Drawing their swords and pointing their spears, they rushed impetuously to the combat, which was supported on all sides with extraordinary fierceness and animosity. "Price's Mohomedan History" quoted by S. Ockley p. 308.

1. According to Tabari (Persian) by Talha.

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

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