I’ve discovered wordle.net! To do this, go there and paste in some text. I dropped in my promotional material and the pattern above was chosen, with the most used words appearing larger. I decided to put in selections from the chapter on ‘A’isha, with “The Battle of the Camel”  featured, and here is what appeared:

‘A'isha and The Battle of the Camel

Here is some of the text from Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad:

“Beware the barking dogs of Hawa’ab” is a phrase from the legend of ‘A’isha’s journey to Basra. In this tale, there were dogs in the town barking or howling. This caused ‘A’isha to remember Muhammad’s warning. Alarmed, she wished to turn back. But her generals, men invested in war, tricked her into going forward. Was this a story concocted by ‘Ali’s followers to discredit her? Whatever the truth, she continued, riding first to Basra, then to a place near the Tigris River where the armies faced each other and the leaders began to negotiate a resolution to the conflict. During the night fighting broke out and the truce ended ended quickly — with war. Untold, p. 44.  [This is followed by a poem]

<><> owner’s manual: the howdah

The father of this howdah is dawn with no birds. Its mother is a lost prayer. This is the story of ‘A’isha, the ride to Basra, the sidewise motion of war. It is equal parts the camel’s wobbly stride and a woman’s keen eye.

The howdah is a covered platform strapped to a camel’s back. Some facts about the howdah:

ONE.              It’s arrow proof.

TWO.             One can peer out through the slits.

THREE.         Dismounting requires that the camel kneel or fall.

‘A’isha travels inside a howdah.

When her army comes to Hawa’ab, the local dogs

set up a ceaseless howl.

Beware the barking dogs of Hawa’ab She hears him say,

“Turn back and do it now!” Were those the Prophet’s words?

‘A’isha’s generals bark and bark around her. She wishes they’d shut up. She rides on.

More things to know about the howdah:

ONE.              It’s a fairly safe observation post in a battle

TWO.            Above the battle, it’s a rallying point for the troops.

THREE.        It’s a Pandora’s Box.

A war begins and ends in hemorrhage.

Ten thousand dead and dying men surround Aisha’s tall, red camel.

What happens to a howdah during a battle:

ONE.            In a fierce battle it can become a target.

TWO.            If the camel falls, the howdah crashes from a great height.

THREE.       al Hawdaj, al Haddun! The other side claims victory.

The daughter of this story is a crushed bird. Its son is a desire for peace

folded in to that unspeakable war. This is the story of ‘A’isha

as Shahada. The story over and over, between one breath

and the next, anywhere else than this.    Any other outcome. <><>

endnotes:~ This is a phrase that may have been yelled in battle as a great animal with a howdah fell heavily al-hawdaj,– the howdah, al-Haddun! – the heavy, tumbling, fall.~ “Beware the barking dogs…” was, according to some accounts, something Muhammad had prophetically told ‘A’isha years before (hadith). ~ Shahada means witness.

pages from Untold about Zaynab b. Jahsh

One morning Zaynab opened the door to greet Muhammad and something happened between them. Some say she was wearing only a single garment, and that he closed his eyes and said, “Praised be God the Great, praised be God who turns hearts!”…. Untold, p. 49.

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