105 - Soorah al-Feel - (The Elephant) - [Makkee]

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In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 

[105:001] Have you (O Muhammad [sal-Allāhu 'alayhi wa sallam]) not seen how your Lord dealt with the Owners of the Elephant? [The Elephant Army which came from Yemen under the command of Abrahah Al-Ashram intending to destroy the Ka'bah at Makkah].

 

[105:002] Did He not make their plot go astray?

 

[105:003] And He sent against them birds, in flocks,

 

[105:004] Striking them with stones of Sijjīl (baked clay).

 

[105:005] And He made them like (an empty field of) stalks (of which the corn) has been eaten up (by cattle).

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(V.105:5) The Story of the Army of the Elephants.

This incident happened during the period of the birth year of Prophet Muhammad . Abrahah Al-Ashram was the governor of Yemen on behalf of the king of Ethiopia (as Yemen was a part of the Ethiopian kingdom). He (Abrahah) thought to build a house (like the Ka'bah at Makkah) in San'a (the capital of Yemen) and call the Arabs to perform the pilgrimage there in San'a instead of the Ka'bah (Al-Bait Al-Harām) in Makkah, with the intention of diverting the trade and benefits from Makkah to Yemen. He presented his idea to the king of Ethiopia who agreed to his idea. So the house (church) was built and he named it Al-Qullais; there was no church of its like at that time. Then a man from the Quraish tribe of Makkah came there and was infuriated by it, so he relieved his nature (stools and urine) in it, soiled its walls and went away. When Abrahah Al-Ashram saw that, he could not control his anger and raised an army to invade Makkah and demolish the Ka'bah. He had in that army thirteen elephants and amongst them was an elephant called Mahmūd which was the biggest of them. So that army proceeded and none amongst the Arab tribes that faced them (fought against them) but was killed and defeated, till it approached near Makkah. Then there took place negotiations between Abrahah Al-Ashram and the chief of Makkah (Abdul-Muttalib bin Hāshim, the grandfather of the Prophet ), and it was concluded that Abrahah would restore the camels of Abdul-Muttalib which he had taken away, and then he (Abrahah Al-Ashram) would decide himself as regards the Ka'bah. Abdul-Muttalib ordered the men of Makkah to evacuate the city and go to the top of the mountains along with their wives and children in case some harm should come to them from the invading oppressors. Then that army moved towards Makkah till they reached Muhassir Valley. While the army was marching towards Makkah, in the middle of the valley, suddenly it was overtaken by flocks of birds, flocks after flocks, air-raiding that army with small stones slightly bigger than a lentil seed. There never fell a stone on a soldier except it dissolved his flesh and burst it into pieces. So they perished with a total destruction. Abrahah Al-Ashram fled away while his flesh was bursting into pieces till he died on the way (back to Yemen). Such was the victory bestowed by Allāh, (the All-Majestic, All-Powerful) to the people of Makkah and such was the protection provided by Him for His House (Ka'bah in Makkah). (See Tafsīr Ibn Kathir, Sūrat Al-Fīl)

 

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