Post-classical history

§ A Warrior’s Wedding Garb Proves Fatal

A Kurdish soldier of ours, called Mayyah, once speared a Frankish horseman, forcing a ring of his mail hauberk into his abdomen and killing him. A few days later, the Franks made an attack against us. Now, Mayyah had just got himself married, so he went out to fight wearing over his hauberk a red robe, one of his nuptial garments, [49] which made him conspicuous. As a result, a Frankish horseman thrust his spear at him and killed him (may God have mercy upon him). How close the funeral to the wedding!46

This story reminds me of an account about the Prophet (may God’s blessing and peace be upon him). Someone recited this verse to him by Qays ibn al-Khatim:47

On the day of the defence I fought in a state of undress

Toying with the sword in my hand as if I was playing at chess.

So the Prophet (may God’s blessing and peace be upon him) asked those of the Ansar48 who were present (may God be pleased with them), ‘Were any of you present at the Battle of al-Hadiqa?’49

‘Messenger of God, may God’s blessing and peace be upon you,’ replied one of the men. ‘I was present, and so was Qays ibn al-Khatim. Being newly married, he wore a red mantle and, by Him who sent you to bring Truth, Qays fought exactly as he said he did.’

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