Battle of the Camel

A Famous Hadith Attributed to the Prophet Muhammad

Abu Bakra reported: when it reached the Prophet that the Persians had enthroned a daughter of the Kisra as queen over them, he said: “Never shall a people prosper who make a woman their ruler”

A 9th-century Description

This report was recorded by the Persian traditionalist Bukhari, one of the main scholars famous for his knowledge and collection of hadith.

When ‘Ali sent ‘Ammar and [his son] Hasan to Kufa to call upon them [the inhabitants] to fight [against ‘A’isha] ‘Ammar made a speech. He said: ‘I know that she is his [the Prophet’s] wife in this world and the next, but God put you to the test [whether] to be His followers or hers.”

Source, p. 111.

An 11th-century Description

This passage comes from the 11th-century Shi’i author Mufid.

When he [‘Ali] learned of the journey of ‘A’isha and Talha and Zubayr from Mecca to Basra, he praised God and said: ”A’isha and Talha and Zubayr have begun their journey. Each of the two men claims the caliphate separately from the other. Talha claims the position of caliph because he is the paternal cousin of ‘A’isha and Zubayr because he is the son-in-law of her father [Abu Bakr]. By God, if they are victorious in what they want, then Zubayr will kill Talha or Talha will execute Zubayr, each in dispute over [the right] to the kingship. By God, I know that she is the one who rides the camel. She will not stop at any pasture, nor follow any steep path and she will not stop anywhere except in rebellion against God until her soul and [the souls of] those who are with her come to an end.”

Source, p. 124.

A 15th-century Depiction

This image is from a 15th-century manuscript of Mir-Khvand’s the Gardens of Purity, a Persian history.

A 15th-century Depiction

This image is from a 15th-century manuscript of Hafiz-i Abru, a Persian historian.