Opinion Center: Hi all readers! In this article, I will explain about the terrible events in the year of Elephant. In a number of previous articles, I have explained that, this year is one of the historical years for Arabs and Muslims. So, as Muslims we need to know about that.
What is meant by knowing elephants is the year when King Abraha and the troops who boarded an elephant went to Mecca to destroy the Ka’bah. The attack was caused by the king’s envy when he learned that many Arabs had come to Mecca to perform Hajj. I still remember, I once heard the statement, that there were many parties who made the Ka’bah to rival the Ka’bah in Mecca. The motive that is seen is the competition between many parties so that their Ka’bah is used as a place of worship by people. But the most crowded worship is worship at the Ka’bah in Mecca, which was built by Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail. And I think it’s true that, before the king left for Mecca with his troops, he said, “For my sake, really I will destroy it (Ka’bah) so that people will not use it to do the pilgrimage again.”
In the middle of the trip they invited people they met to do the Hajj at their Ka’bah. Actually, on the way there were people who reminded Abraha, that actually the Ka’bah in Mecca was not used by the Arabs for Hajj, but it was only used by the Quraysh. But the king refused. He remained determined to destroy the Ka’bah in Mecca.
When the king arrived at Maghmas, 6 miles from Mecca, the news of the king’s arrival was known by people who lived in the mountains around Mecca. According to them, they would not be able to fight Abraha’s forces, while in Mecca there was only the power of Abdul Muttallib. The king’s journey to Mecca killed the animals of the Quraysh tribe, including two hundred camels belonging to Abdul Muttallib.
Before they attacked Mecca, King Abraha sent someone to go there to meet Abdul Mutallib. After they spoke for a while, Abdul Mutallib asked that he meet the king. The request was granted. Di also met with the king. When he met the king, he was very respected. His body was large and his face was very handsome. The meeting did not make the king change his decision to attack Mecca.
At night, before they continue their journey to attack Mecca, they actually feel a sense of nervousness. That’s why there are differences of opinion between troops. Among them there are people who want to continue their initial intentions, and there are also people who don’t want to do that. People who don’t want to attack the Ka’bah are people from the al-Asy’ari group and the Khats’am group. People from two groups finally left King Abraha’s army.
Abraha and troops who want to destroy the Ka’bah still recommend traveling in the middle of the night. They continued to go to Mecca until morning. When the sun rises, suddenly above them are many large birds. The birds read very large stones to throw at Abraha and his troops. These stones can penetrate their heads to their stomachs. The smallest stone about the size of a human head, and the largest about the size of a thin camel. They come from the sea. Abraha’s troops were destroyed. The birds are birds of Ababil.
The Qur’an tells the tragic story that happened in the year of the Elephant in the surah al-Fiil;
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 how your Lord dealt with the possessors of the elephant?  Did He not cause their war to end in confusion  And send down (to prey) upon them birds in flocks  Casting against them stones of baked clay  So He rendered them like straw eaten up . (QS: al-Fiil ; 1-5).
All readers! That is a brief explanation of year of Elephant. Look forward to other interesting explanations in the next few articles!
I think that is enough for this article. May be useful! Amen!
See you again in the next article!
Ibnu Ishaq, as-Siirah an-Nabawiyyah, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Lebanon, II, 2009, p. 111-115.