Explanation of Surah No 105 of Quran AL-FIL (The Elephant)
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
This also is an early Meccan Surah, refers to an event that happened in the year approximately fifty days before the birth of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the year 570 A.D. This Surah reveals the story of the army of Elephant.
History: - At that time Yemen and Najran (South of Arabia) were the good source of business trade. The Arabs used to do the trade between India, Indonesia East Africa and the Roman conquered Estates. They used to use the Sea routes to deliver the goods to Jordan and Egypt and the land routes to Mecca, Jeddah, Tabuk, Egypt and Syria. When the Romans Empire spreaded up to Egypt and Syria, they concentrated to somehow take over the business trade and the benefit from the Arabs
In the year 523 A.D, he Jewish Ruler of Yemen (Zunuvas) oppressed and massacred the mass Christian of Najran for rejecting the Jews Faith. Therefore the Christain Estate of Hanash (Abyssinia) attacked and conquered Yemen with the help of Roman Empire with the pure intension of taking over the Arab trade. And by 523 A.D the whole Yeman came under the Rule of Habash.
Those days Mecca was a good source of trade as well. In Kaba (The Holy Mosque in Mecca) there were idols of gods and goddess and the Arabs from all over Arabia used to go there to perform the Pilgrimage, so the business flourished there.
Abraha was the Governor of Yeman on behalf of the Christian king of Habasha (Abyssinia). When he came fully into power then he started to complete his mission which was to establish the Christianity in the Arab world as well as to take over their trade. Therefore he built a very big Church (named Alkalis) in Sana (the capital of Yemen) against the Kaba of Mecca to spread Christianity as well as to bring the Arab Pilgrims and their trade and wealth to Yeman. He insisted that all the pilgrims should go to Alkalis to perform their pilgrimage. The Quraish who were incharge of Kaba got angry and did some mischief in the Alkalis. This gave a good excuse to Abraha to invade Mecca with the intention to destroy Kaba.
Therefore Abraha to invade intoxicated with power and religious fantism led a big expedition with sixty thousand men and thirteen elephants proceeded towards Mecca to destroy Kaba. Many of the Arab tribes on the way tried to resist them but they were defeated, until his army approached near Mecca, ceased a lot of flocks of cattle's of Quraish in which Abdul Mutallib, the chief of Quraish who was grandfather of Prophet (PBUH) lost 200 of his Camels.
Abraha sent his Messenger to warn the Meccans that he had come to destroy the Kaba.
Then Abdul Mutallib asked his people to take the refuge in the mountains with their wives and children to be safe from the invasion. Then he with the other Quraish Chiefs went to Kaba and cried for help from Rabb (Lord) of the Universe. That time they all forgot to call upon their idol gods.
Then Abraha demanded to see the chief for negotiation, Abdul Mutallib went to him and said that they had no power to fight with them and said that his Rabb would take care of His House of Kaba. But he requested to return his flocks of Camels, which he returned them to him.
Then Abraha proceeded to enter into Mecca. But his elephant named Mahmood became stubborn and refused to go forward. Then Miraculously the army of small birds came with small dry stones in their beaks and in their claws and started throwing at his army which used to melt their bodies and kill them. Same way Abraha with most of his army men got killed. This incident happened at Mohassir which is between Muzdalifa and Mina in Mecca. Abyssinian lost the power in Yeman in 575 AD. Such was the victory given to Meccans miraculously by their Lord. Barely forty years passed to this incident that everyone knew about it and most of them were eye witnesses. Many knew that their Quraish Chiefs asked for help in Kaba from Rabb and not from their idols. The Meccans were so much impressed with this incident that for next few year they worshipped the Rabb Alone.
Therefore Allah reminds them about this incident by revealing this Surah to give two lessons
First is that at time of calamities and difficulties you call your Rabb Only for help and not your false gods and goddesses. That means subconsciously you know that your idol gods have no power, neither they can hear nor see or move. And this incident, so why should you not worship and thank Him Alone, And you really should follow this routine.
Second lesson is that your Rabb is greater and powerful of all. No matter how big army one can collect against Him, he cannot defeat Him. In fact he himself will be defeated and destroyed. Your Rabb is capable to take care of Him own House of Kaba.
The Summary is taken from the Book "The Pearls Of Wisdom" by Mrs. Badria Kazim (May Allah shower Blessings And Mercy upon Her)
Mr. Liyakat Shah
About Author / Additional Info:
A teacher by profession