Khawlah bint al-Azwar, fluttering cloth and clinking metal, deep in the heat of the desert;
Squares her shoulders, draws a breath. Sends a word heavenwards,
Eyes steely behind their shade. No fear must slake her resolve today.
The hilt of the blade warms in her grip, the blood thrums under her skin-
The spirit is good today.
She raises her hand.
You raise your hand-
Screams a battle cry, lets it ring over the mass of bristling humanity arrayed on the slope-
Tuck in your hijab where it threatens to fly away, pull your face into a smile.
And then suddenly the race is on, sand kicked up in clouds and arrows flying-
Your head is high and your step is resolute; it must not waver.
Her world is narrowed to a vision of haze, of blood and dust and metal-
Sometimes they ask you what it means to be a leader.
She will not taste defeat today; her blade is guided by her Lord.
Here is what you know: there is little you can do, in the grand scheme.
This is little enough in the path of Allah. One day of bravery. One hour.
Little more than exist, and share the word of it.
But this is your sacrifice, and your great reward-
But this is your bravery, your small rebellion.
To exist, and to fight for you and your own.