Have you (O Muhammad (SAW)) 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]. (1)
Did He not make their plot go astray? (2)
And He sent against them birds, in flocks, (3)
Striking them with stones of Sijjîl (baked clay). (4)
And He made them like (an empty field of) stalks (of which the corn has been eaten up by cattle).(5)
Allah begins this surah with a question to make the Quraysh ponder upon how Allah has saved the Kaabah from the enemy. This is a blessing to the Quraysh. Due to this bounty, the Quraysh’s status was elevated among the Arabs.
Allah reminded them on how Allah ruined the enemy’s great plan. Allah is the best planner. Allah has willed for the army to march all the way from Yemen up to whwre they were nearing Makkah. In the way, Allah has willed the army to defeat a few groups who went out to stop the army. Which made Abrahah probably more confident of his unbeatable army. No one can stop him and his great army elephants.
Allah has willed everything until finally to give the whole army the punishment thus showing the truth to the Arab world that the Kaabah will be protected by Allah.
Imagine in the sky there comes a flock of birds coming to you. Like jet fighters carrying little bombs in their claws and beak.
It is reported from `Ubayd bin `Umayr that he said, “When Allah wanted to destroy the People of the Elephant, he sent birds upon them that came from sea swallows. Each of the birds was carrying three small stones — two stones with its feet and one stone in its beak. They came until they gathered in rows over their heads. Then they gave a loud cry and threw what was in their claws and beaks. Thus, no stone fell upon the head of any man except that it came out of his behind (i.e., it went through him), and it did not fall on any part of his body except that it came out from the opposite side. Then Allah sent a severe wind that struck the stones and increased them in force. Thus, they were all destroyed.”
Subhanallah! Tiny little birds against the great elephant army? When Allah wills it, anything can be His soldiers. And in this story, the small birds were Allah’s soldier.
See what they are carrying
تَرۡمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ۬ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ۬
stones – حجارة
What happen to the army of elephants
Allah describes they are melt down and slowly vegetate looking like stalks of corn already being chewed up. Unrecognisable.
The meaning of this is that Allah destroyed them, annihilated them and repelled them in their plan and their anger. They did not achieve any good. He made a mass destruction of them, and not one of them returned (to their land) to relate what happened except that he was wounded. This is just like what happened to their king, Abrahah. For indeed he was split open, exposing his heart when he reached his land of San`a’. He informed the people of what happened to them and then he died.
Dr. Aliya helped me tremendously in preparing the worksheetts. Barakallahufihi. May Allah shower her with ilmu that are beneficial
Among the exercises we did
1. Identifying الاءستفهام in the surah. WHich are
2. Highlighted words
Word to highlight is
حجارة من سجيل
3. The two animals mentioned in the surah
4. Introducing الضمير المنفصل
5. Introducing حرف الجر
6. Some reflection
The Quraish were idolators but the Elephant Army were Christians. Wasn’t Christianity closer to Islam than idolatry (shirk)? Why did Allah give victory to the Quraish instead?
Lessons from this surah:
- It is easy for Allah to defeat His enemies.
- People may plot against Allah & Islam but Allah knows of their plot. They cannot trick Allah.
- The torment for disbelievers is harsh indeed, even in this world.
- Allah saved Makkah from the invasion of the Elephant Army to protect the Ka’bah and honour the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad SAW
- No matter how big the army of the disbelievers, they cannot defeat the armies of Allah.