The Compassionate Warrior, by Elsa Marston

This was the time in his life that Abd el-Kader had intended to devote to peaceful pursuits such as prayer, teaching, and charitable deeds. He might have turned his back on the growing tensions in Damascus: It would not have been unreasonable. Yet he could not escape the world around him, or the role that fate seemed to have cut out for him. Nor did he choose to.