Zar'qa Al-Yamahma - The Farsighted Knight
Lady Knights


Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Where a sharp-eyed young girl lived with her family. This girl was named Zar'qa Al-Yamahma and she was a member of the Judais tribe.

As Zar'qa grew older, word began to spread of her strangely keen eyesight. She would often excitedly announce her father's arrival in a specific number of days. When asked about her prediction she claimed she could see him approaching. Others stood on the small hill from which the young girl said she had spied him but could see nothing on the far horizon. But young Zar'qa insisted she could see him and described, down to the last detail, what he wore, what cattle he brought with him and what his traveling companions looked like.

Eager to prove the insistent girl wrong, some boys rode out to see if they could meet the supposedly approaching men. When they came back, it was with strange looks upon their faces, for they had met the travelers and found that everything Zar'qa had said was correct, down to the last detail.

By turns the members of her tribe were wary of her eyesight, intrigued by her ability, convinced she was tricking them and then, finally, they all agreed she was more far sighted than anyone they had ever heard of. They all became boastingly proud of her and her sharp sight, especially when her keen eyes warned themm on more than one occasion, of the approach of enemy raiders.

Soon word had spread of the woman who had been keeping her tribe safe by the keenness of her eyes. It was said that she could see anyone who approached while he was still three days ride away. Unable to escape Zar'qa's alert eyes most would-be raiders went in search of easier prey and Zar'qa's tribe enjoyed many long years of peace.

Then one day, a king of Yemen named Has'san, decided that the Judais tribe had grown fat and prosperous and would make a rich prize for any who managed to surprise them. So he thought of a plan to outwit the keen eyes of Zar'qa Al-Yamahma. He had his troops cut down trees and bushes as they marched. When they were three days' march away from the Judais tribe, they stood the small trees and bushes before them and marched slowly and carefully behind them.

Zar'qa, ever alert, was puzzled by the strange sight she saw. She could see trees and bushes on the far horizon but they seemed to be slowly approaching. When she mentioned what she had seen to the people of her tribe, her statement was met with ridicule and disbelief. Soon, rumors were flying about how Zar'qa had gone mad and now saw things not from a distance, but from her own delusional mind. And so the tribe was unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of King Has'san and his army who lost no time gathering up the tribe's accumulated wealth and attacking its members.

Zar'qa herself was captured and interrogated as to the reason for her extraordinary eyesight. She told her interrogators that she would often use a certain black rock called al-Ithmid as kohl and that was the only thing she did differently from the rest of the people. When the interrogation was over, Has'san ordered his men to crucify the unfortunate Zar'qa at the door of her family's tent.

Ever after, the people in the area used al-Ithmid rocks as kohl hoping to become as farsighted as the legendary Zar'qa Al-Yamahma.

*Written by © 2011. Care to read or leave Comments?

Notes:
  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Has'san (a King of Yemen): حسان
    • Zar'qa Al-Yamahma: زرقاء اليمامة

Sources:
  1. Al-Amili, Z. (2000 AD, 1421 H). معجم أعلام النساء [Compendium of Notable Women]. Beirut: Al-Rey'yaan Co. Page 362-363.

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