Elephant Army

Elephant Army

Since the time Allah SWT created Adam AS, angels, and devils, the battle between the truth (Ahl-ul-haq) versus the filth (Ahl-ul-batil) exist. The angel always whispers goodness, and the devil whispers evil. People are given freedom to choose between both.

Prior the birth of Prophet Muhammad SAW, a Yemeni ruler named Abraha al-Asyram was tempted by whispers of the devil to divert pilgrims from Makkah to Yemen. He made ​​a great church made of marble and gilded wood. Since Yemen was under Najasyi authority, he sent a letter to Najasyi.  The letter read…

“O king, I have set up a church for you. There was never a king who built a church like this before. I will never stop working to distract people from pilgrimage towards Ka’aba to the Church I have made.”

Illustration by Raimy Sofyan  Elephant Army Mekkah tempo dulu

Illustration by Raimy Sofyan

Of course Abrahah’s idea was rejected by the Arabs. They did not want to turn away from Baitul Haram built by their ancestor, Prophet Ibrahim AS and Ismail AS.  This was especially so for the Nazarenes pilgrimage to the church. Many Arabs, were angered and insulted by Abrahah’s idea, they would then come to the church and defecated it.

This incident made ​​Abrahah angry! He then vowed to destroy Ka’aba. He sent troops to al-Mughammas, regions in eastern Kaukab hilll, 24 km from the city of Mekkah. They seized the properties from the tribes of Quraish and others. Among them were owned by Abdul Muthalib ibn Hashim (the grandfather of the Prophet Mohammad) in which they seized 100 camels he owned. Then the Quraysh, Kinanah, Hudzail and the other wanted to kill Abrahah. But they backed down, because the troops of Abrahah was stronger than theirs.

Abrahah’s army surged again led by Abrahah himself.  His mission was to destroy the Ka’aba. When Abrahah approached Baitullah, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandfather, Abdul Muthalib asked him to go. Abrahah refused! With much arrogance he ruled an elephant called Mahmud in which he led to the destroy Ka’aba. Unfortunately, although led directly to the Ka’aba the elephant did not advance.  It would not go to the Ka’aba. In fact it turned itself the other way.

When Abrahah was busy subduing his elephant, suddenly Ababil birds came brought on hot stones in their beaks and two legs. Like aircrafts spewed fire, the birds of Ababil destroyed Abraha’s army. The gallant soldiers wounded like a leaves tearing apart. This Included Abrahah who lay in his death. Some of the surviving soldiers brought Abrahah home. However when they arrived in San’a, Abrahah had died.

The event of elephant army of Abrahah attacked Ka’aba and their destruction by birds of Ababil coincided with birth of a baby who would change the history of human civilization. He was the Prophet Muhammad SAW. Allah immortalized the incidence in Surat Al- Fiil.

There are some things we can learn from the event and the letter of Al-Fill:

  1. One of human characteristic tempted by whispers of satan the devil la’natullah descendants is hasud (envy): feel sad if someone else happy, feel happy to see others sad. This envy makes someone not creative to answer any problem that is happening or vacancy, but he makes something the same with the intent to destroy others;
  2. Allah creates His creatures, not like a watchmaker who makes ​​a clock: make it and not to interfere. What happens is that in addition to create it, Allah SWT also to keep it. Events of Ababil birds defeated the elephant was a tangible evidence of participation and Allah intervention.
  3. How big the enemy of Allah will not be able to resist the slightest forces of Allah SWT’s help. This should be the spirit of Muslims to continue fighting despite by naked eye, the forces of Allah’s enemy is greater, because by nature the enemy of Allah is like that rotten wood leaning on the weathered wall, or very weak. We had been lost, not our enemy is very strong, but we feel weaker from the enemy so we are unable to move our hands and legs to destroy the wood;
  4. Allah immortalized the incident in the Quran, in order to capture the span of human events in life, we should be familiar with our history, in order to become lessons for the next generation;
  5. The event in which elephant troops known with the year of elephant was coincide with the birth of Prophet Muhammad SAW. It is a sign of Allah’s guard to the Prophet Muhammad SAW, because if Abrahah’s army capable to destroy Ka’aba and destroy Mekkah people, included Aminah, the mother of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. If the mother of the prophet was killed, then Prophet Muhammad SAW was never born. And Allaah knows best.
Udo Yamin Majdi

The author completed his bachelor's at the University of Al-Azhar, Cairo. Used to be a chairman of the Forum Lingkar Pena (FLP) Egypt, the Indonesian writers club. Is now living in Indonesia, and published several books, one of them is "Quranic Quotient". He is also a founder and director of Word Smart Center, KIASTRA magazine editor, and Islamic Center bulletin editor in West Java, Indonesia.

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