Understanding Islam: The Meaning of Surah Al-Fil ~ Hi all readers! Al-Fil is one of the surah names in the Quran. In general, the surah explains the story of the king of Abraha and his army who failed to attack Mecca because it was destroyed by Allah’s army of birds. If we read the Islamic historical data about that, then we will find an explanation, that the king of Abraha misunderstood about what happened in Mecca. He was informed that the Kaaba had become one of the centers of paganism. That’s why he wants to invade Mecca to destroy the Ka’bah. Of course, as Muslims we must know that. That’s why I wrote this article. So, you have to read it to the end!
Before I explain the meaning of surah al-Fil, I want to explain that the surah is Makiyah. The meaning is that Allah sent the surah to the Prophet Muhammad before he moved to Medina. In the surah there are five verses, twenty three sentences, and ninety six letters. The editor of the surah is as follows;
أَلَمۡ تَرَ كَيۡفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصۡحَٰبِ ٱلۡفِيلِ ١ أَلَمۡ يَجۡعَلۡ كَيۡدَهُمۡ فِي تَضۡلِيلٖ ٢ وَأَرۡسَلَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ طَيۡرًا أَبَابِيلَ ٣ تَرۡمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٖ مِّن سِجِّيلٖ ٤ فَجَعَلَهُمۡ كَعَصۡفٖ مَّأۡكُولِۢ ٥
Have you not considered, [O Muhammad], how is your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant?  Didn’t he make their plan into misguidance?  And He sent against them birds in flocks  Striking them with stones of hard clay  And He made them like eaten straw . (Al-Fil ; 1-5).
(أَلَمۡ تَرَ) The point is, “Do you not know, O Messenger of Allah’s most noble (Prophet Muhammad)?”
(كَيۡفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصۡحَٰبِ ٱلۡفِيلِ) The meaning is, “[About] how your God has done something to the troops riding the elephants.” There are differences of opinion about the name of the king who led the army. According to Qatadah, that the name of the king was Abraha al-Ashram who came from Ethiopia or Habasah. But according to Said bin Jubair, that the king’s name was Abu al-Kaisyum.
(أَلَمۡ يَجۡعَلۡ كَيۡدَهُمۡ فِي تَضۡلِيلٖ) The point is, “That verily your God (Allah) has made their efforts a very bad destruction for them.”
(وَأَرۡسَلَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ طَيۡرًا أَبَابِيلَ) The point is, “That your God (Allah) sent the Ababil birds to destroy them.”
(تَرۡمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٖ مِّن سِجِّيلٖ) The point is, “That the birds threw stones at their bodies.” There are differences of opinion about the stones carried by these birds. Some say that the stone is a stone that was used to torture. But there are also those who say that the stone comes from Hell.
(فَجَعَلَهُمۡ كَعَصۡفٖ مَّأۡكُولِۢ) The point is, “That your God (Allah) has made them like leaves that are eaten by caterpillars.”
All Readers! That is a brief explanation of the meaning of surah al-Fil. Do you understand? If you want to ask, please ask!
I think that’s enough for this article. May be useful. Amen!
See you in the next article!