Recently, another namesake, Khaula Binte Tha’labah’s story has been doing circles on the internet too. She was the woman who Allah listened to from above seven heavens. Known as the only woman who debated her side of the issue with the Prophet (pbuh) to a point till Allah revealed a Surah (Surat al-Mujadilah) to favour her position on the matter thus solving an age old issue (Zihar) that had plagued their culture and relieved all Muslim women from its consequences.
While in Italy, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the famous Tarot Garden designed by Niki de Saint Phalle in 1998. I was immediately drawn to the dragon sculpture perhaps because dragons symbolise wisdom, power and strength in East Asian culture as well as good luck for people who are worthy of it.
It made me think of my name which symbolises the same things.
I remember when I was young, many class fellows made fun of my name. I became really conscious when I would meet new people because without much consideration they would always start laughing or telling me how weird it was. Frustrated out of my wits one day, a teenage me asked my mom why on earth she would keep such a difficult name for me after keeping pretty pronounceable names like Sara and Maria for my elder sisters.
It was then she told me the story of my namesake, Hazrat Khaula Binte Azwar, known as the “Queen of Islam” and the woman I am named after. A bold and strong warrior, she fought an entire army on horseback almost singlehandedly disguised as a man in order to save her brother from the enemies. She rallied the captive women to also embrace their inner strength and not be submissive and to fight back (which they did).
I cannot be more in love with my name today.
It symbolises bravery, wisdom, power, strength and a fierce desire for justice-
All excellent things for a namesake like me to spend my life living up to.
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