Post-classical history

§ Varieties of God’s Will: The Opposing Fates of a Warrior and an Artisan

Once, when we had an encounter with the Franks, I witnessed a horseman of ours called Badi ibn Talil al-Qushayri, one of our bravest men, fighting without any armour except for two cloth garments. A Frankish horseman thrust his spear through his chest and cut through that little bone that is in one’s chest,20the spear sticking out through his side. So he withdrew and we did not think he would make it back to his home alive. But God (glory be to Him) decreed that he should be saved, and he recovered from his wound. But for a year afterwards, it remained the case that whenever he slept on his back, he could not sit up unless someone set him up by his shoulders. Then his ailment passed from him completely and he went back to living and riding as he used to do.

Thus, I say that glory belongs to He who executes His will upon His creations, bestowing life and sending death, He who lives and never dies! With His hand all goodness He brings: He has power over all things.21

We also had with us an artisan, called ‘Attab, the stoutest, tallest man there ever was. He went into his house one day and, as he was sitting down, he leaned his hand against a garment [43] lying there, which happened to have a needle in it. The needle went into the palm of his hand and he died from it. By God, he would moan over his wound down in the city and his moans could be heard up in the citadel, so bulky was his body and loud his voice. So he gets a pin-prick and dies, while this al-Qushayri has a quntariya-spear thrust through his chest and exit out his side without any harm coming to him!

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!