As soon as they had camped in Awtas, people crowded round Malik. The old sane Duraid bin As-Simmah, who was well-known as a war-experienced man, and who was among those who gathered round Malik, asked: “What valley are we in?” “In Awtas,” they said. “What a good course it is for horses! It is neither a sharp pointed height nor a loosed soiled plain. What? Why do I hear camels’ growling, the donkeys’ braying, the children’s cries and the sheep bleating?” asked Duraid. They said: “Malik bin ‘Awf had made people bring their women, properties and children with them.” So he called Malik and asked him what made him do such a thing. Malik said that his aim was to have everybody’s family and properties around them so that they fight fiercely to protect them.” “I swear by Allâh that you are nothing but a shepherd,” answered Duraid, “Do you believe that there is anything whatsoever, can stand in the way of a defeated one or stop him from fleeing? If you win the battle you avail nothing but a man with a sword and a spear; but if you lose you will bring disgrace on your people and properties,” then he resumed his talk and went on wondering about some septs and their leaders. “O Malik, thrusting the distinguished people of Hawazin into the battlefield will avail you nothing. Raise them up to where they can be safe. Then make the young people mount their horses and fight. If you win, those whom you tarried will follow you, but if you were the loser it would be a loss of a battle, but your kinsmen, people and properties would not be lost.”
But Malik, the general leader, refused this suggestion. “By Allâh,” he said, “I will not do such a thing. You must have grown a senile. Hawazin have to obey me, or else I will lean my body against this sword so that it penetrates through my back.” He rejected any sort of contribution of Duraid’s in that concern.
“We obey you,” said his people, Duraid consequently said: “Today is a day that I have not missed but surely I will not be tempted to witness.”