Sura 105
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The Elephant (Al-Fîl)

In the name of Allah, Gracious, Merciful.

1Do you not see how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?

2Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray?

3And He sent against them flights of birds.

4Striking them with stones of baked clay.

5Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw has been eaten up.

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

1Alam tara kaifa faala rabbuka biashhabil fil

2Alam yajal kaidahum fi tadhlil

3Wa arsala alaihim thairan ababil

4Tarmihim bihijaratim minsijjil

5Fajaalahum kaashfim makul

1. All the commentators agree that the “People of the Elephant” are the people of Yaman who followed their King to revenge the desecration of his Church by the people of Mecca whose shrine (Kaabah’s) business was declining because of the influence of the Church. The King Abrahah marched against Mecca with some say 13, others say one elephant, the mere sight of which scared the Arabs and drove them to the hills. Maulana Ali mentions that Muhammad’s grandfather Abdul Mutallib prayed for Allah to defend the city, which Allah is alleged to have done by sending some mysterious birds to cover the sky where the Christians were and drop stones on them killing them instantly, after which heavy rains came and washed the bodies of the dead, and those not yet dead, away. Thus Allah allegedly granted them victory over the Christians.

The truthfulness of the story cannot be established anywhere beyond pre-Islamic Arabia, in any case, King Abraham was going to take matters into his own hands. God Almighty says that vengeance is His and He would repay. The King was about to play God and punish a whole nation for the offence of a few undesirable elements. Sin always brought the Israelites to their knees in battle against their enemies and it was different here.

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