The Sword of Allah - Khalid Bin Waleed (Ral)

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Chapter 35: Al-Yarmuk

 Part III: The Invasion of Iraq

 

Page: 3

As the corps fell back in some disorder, Amr ordered his cavalry regiment of 2,000 horse to counter-attack and throw back the Romans. The cavalry went into battle with great dash and for some time checked the Roman advance, but was unable to hold it for long. It was repulsed by the Romans and turned away from battle, also making for the Muslim camp. As the horsemen reached the camp along with the foot soldiers, they found a line of women waiting for them with tent poles and stones in their hands. The women screamed: "May Allah curse those who run from the enemy!" And to their husbands they shouted: "You are not our husbands if you cannot save us from these infidels." Other women began to beat drums and sang an improvised song:

O you who run from a constant woman
Who has both beauty and virtue;
And leave her to the infidel,
The hated and evil infidel,
To possess, disgrace and ruin!
2

What these Muslims received from their women was not just stinging rebukes; they were actually assaulted! First came a shower of stones, then the women rushed at the men, striking horse and rider with tent poles; and this was more than the proud warriors could take. Indignant at what had happened, they turned back from the camp and advanced in blazing anger towards the army of Qanateer. Amr now launched his second counter attack with the bulk of his corps.

The situation on the Muslim left was only a little less serious. Here too the initial Roman attack was repulsed, but in a second attack the Romans broke through the corps of Yazeed. This was the army of Gregory, with chains, more slow-moving than the others but also more solid. Yazeed too used his cavalry regiment to counter attack and it too was repulsed; and after a period of stiff resistance the warriors of Yazeed fell back to their camp, where the women awaited them, led by Hind and Khaulah. The first Muslim horseman from the left wing to arrive at the camp was Abu Sufyan, and the first woman to meet him was none other than Hind! She struck at the head of his horse with a tent pole and shouted: "Where to, O Son of Harb? Return to battle and show your courage so that you may be forgiven your sins against the Messenger of Allah." 3

Abu Sufyan had experienced his wife's violent temper before and hastily turned back. Other warriors received the same treatment from these women as the soldiers of Amr had received from theirs, and soon the corps of Yazeed returned to battle. A few women ran forward alongside the horses and one of them actually brought down a Roman with her sword. As the warriors of Yazeed turned again to grapple with the army of Gregory, Hind took up her song of Uhud:

We are the daughters of the night;
We move among the cushions
With a gentle feline grace
And our bracelets on our elbows.
If you advance we shall embrace you;
And if you retreat we shall forsake you
With a loveless separation.
4

One may question the propriety of Hind singing such a provocative song, but she felt that she was young enough to do so. After all, she was not a day over 50!

1. Waqidi: p. 140.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid: p. 141.
4. Ibid: p. 140.