As Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Surah Al-Fil
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
1. Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the Owners of the Elephant
2. Did He not make their plot go astray.
3. And He sent against them birds, in flocks.
4. Striking them with stones of Sijjil.
5. And He made them like an empty field of stalks.
This chapter is called Al-Fil (The Elephant) because it begins by introducing the story about the People of the Elephant.
Its Relation To What is Before It
In the last Surah, Allah Almighty described people who backbite, who slander, who sow dissension among people, who gather wealth and are boastful of what they have amassed; and Allah Almighty clarified that wealth will not benefit its boastful owner when he faces Allah Almighty. In this Surah, Allah Almighty relates a story that proves the futility of wealth, a story about the People of the Elephant. They were a people who were much more powerful than the Quraish; they were also wealthier and more arrogant. Despite that Allah Almighty destroyed them with tiny, weak birds; their wealth, numbers, and strength were all of no avail to them.
The Meanings Of Its Words Alam Tara Kaifa Fa’ala Rabbuka:
Did you not know - Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is being addressed, and though he was not alive at the time this story took place, he was alive to see its effects.Ashaabil-Feel:
There were 13 elephants, the largest of which was called Mahmud. Their owner was Abrahah, the governor of Yemen for the ruler of Ethiopia.Alam Yaj’al Kaidahum:
Kaid means plot; they were plotting to destroy the Ka’bah.Fee Tadhleel:
Allah Almighty caused their plan to fail and He destroyed them.At-Tayr:
It is used to refer to anything that flies in the air, be it big or small. Abaabeel:
In many groups: in flocks.Sijjeel:
Like the leaves of crops that have been eaten by animals and trampled under their feet.
The Meaning in Summary
This Surah relates the story of a momentous occurrence, which took place before the birth of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Abrahah Al-Ashram, the governor of Yemen at the time, served under the rule of the King of Habashah. Abrahah had an idea to build a house in San'a, Yemen, hoping that the Arabs would make pilgrimage to it instead of to Makkah. By doing that, he wanted to shift the center of trade and profits from Makkah to Yemen, and when he mentioned his idea to the Ethiopian King the latter agreed and was most pleased by the plan.
When the house -- Church -- was built, he called it Al-Qullais; no structure comparable to it was built before. One day, a man from the Quraish was so angry at this house being built that he defecated inside of it and then soiled the walls with his own excrement. When Abrahah saw what happened, he grew furious and prepared an army to attack Makkah and to destroy the Ka'bah. He had thirteen elephants with him, the largest of which was called Mahmud.
As they were going to Makkah, they destroyed any Arab or tribal resistance that came in their way, until finally they reached a place close to Makkah. Negotiations took place between them and the chief of Makkah, Abdul-Muttalib bin Hashim, the grandfather of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam). An agreetment was made: Abrahah returned camels that he usurped from Abdul-Muttalib; in return, he was free to approach the Ka'bah. The men, women, and children of Makkah were ordered to leave and to seek safety in the peaks of the neighboring mountains, for the fear that the tyrannical army approaching would harm them.
As they reached a nearby valley, many flocks of birds sent down stones from above: each stone ranged between the size of a chickpea and a lentil. As soon as a stone fell on a man, he would melt and his flesh would scatter; thus the army was destroyed. As Abrahah was fleeing, his flesh was falling off and he died on the way. This was a great blessing from Allah Almighty for the dwellers of His Inviolable City and for the keepers of His House. Until this day, the Arabs venerate the Ka’bah and honor the residents of Makkah.
What Call Be Derived From These Verses
1) Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is consoled in this Surah for the harm inflicted on him by the Quraish.
2) Allah Almighty reminds the Quraish of what He Almighty did with Abrahah and his army, to instill fear into them.
3) We should appreciate Allah’s All-Powerful Abilities, and we should learn a lesson after learning of how Allah Almighty destroys His enemies.
4) Allah Almighty protects His House from the enemies of His religion.
5) This occurrence had serious effects on events to take place afterwards, the year it took place, 580, is called the year of the Elephant, and it is the year in which the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) was born.