What happened to the ones with elephants?

Approximately 1500 years ago, a person called “Abrahah” used to rule over Yemen and Abyssinia[1]. He would see people going to Makkah Mukarramah to perform Hajj and do Tawaf[2] of the blessed Ka’bah. He thought: Why not I construct a place of worship in San’a, a city in Yemen, so that people come to do its Tawaf instead of the blessed Ka’bah. Therefore, he constructed a place of worship. People of Arab severely disliked this action of his and a person from the tribe of Bani Kinanah excreted in that worshipping place.

Attempt of demolishing the blessed Ka’bah

When Abrahah came to know about this, he swore to demolish the Ka’bah out of fury. Therefore, he gathered his army and headed towards Makkah Mukarramah with this intention. This army had a lot of elephants, and the leader of all the elephants was an elephant called “Mahmood” who had a very strong body. It is due to these elephants that this army has been referred to as ‘اَصْحٰبُ الْفِیْل’, i.e. “those with the elephants” in the Holy Quran.

Taking over of the animals

When Abrahah reached near Makkah, he settled in a valley nearby and took over the animals of the people of Makkah. Among those animals were also 200 camels of the grandfather of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Sayyiduna ‘Abdul Muttalib رَضِىَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ.

Refuge in the mountains

Upon looking at the evil intentions of Abrahah, Sayyiduna ‘Abdul Muttalib رَضِىَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ commanded the people of Makkah to seek refuge in the mountains; and after supplicating to Allah Almighty for the safety of the blessed Ka’bah, he too came on a mountain.

Army of Ababeel[3]

In the morning, Abrahah ordered the army to proceed in order to attack. When the elephant called Mahmood was made to get up, he would walk in any direction that the army would face him but would sit down when they would face him towards the blessed Ka’bah. In the meanwhile, suddenly an army of the birds called “Ababeel” emerged flying from the sea and came over their heads. Every Ababeel had three pebbles, two in the claws and one in the mouth. Every pebble also contained the name of the dying person. Ababeel started throwing pebbles on the army. The elephant-rider whom the pebble would fall upon, it would go through his metal helmet and strike the head. Moreover, it would pierce through his body and reach the elephant, and would create a hole in the elephant’s body and fall upon the ground. This way, the whole army was destroyed. They became like a pile of leaves of harvest consumed by animals. The year in which this incident took place, the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was born later in the same year.

(Siraat-ul-Jinaan, vol. 10, pp. 827; ‘Ajaaib-ul-Quran ma’ Gharaib-ul-Quran, pp. 224)

Madani pearls obtained from the parable

Dear Madani children!

٭ By disobeying Allah Almighty, one faces disgrace in this world and the Hereafter.

٭ It is necessary to respect and revere the Holy Ka’bah.

٭ Those who disrespect sacred places meet a terrible end, as was the case with the army of the elephants.

٭ We shall abide by the etiquette whenever we attain the privilege of going to the Masjid for Salah, Tilawat [recitation of the Holy Quran] and other Nafl [supererogatory] acts of worship, because “bright future” is only for those who observe etiquette.



[1] Ancient name of Ethiopia

[2] Circumambulation

[3] Swallows – A black coloured bird that has a white chest

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What happened to the ones with elephants?

As the days of Eid-ul-Adha draw nearer, children start having a lot of fun. Cows, bulls and goats are found tied in every street and even camels at some places. There is always an air of excitement and festivity for children and when the sacrificial animal is bought by their family then the enjoyment of children increases further. They see these animals and stay around them all day long serving them with water and fodder and show great affection towards them.

Dear Madani children! It is very good to show affection towards the sacrificial animals but there is a need for caution in everything as well as there are some limitations too. So, children need to be careful and they should keep themselves away from some acts during Eid-ul-Adha:

1. Insisting on buying animals

Some children insist their parents to buy cow or goat etc. Such kind of insistence may cause embarrassment for the parents. Such type of stubbornness is not the practice of good children. If the parents feel appropriate, they will bring sacrificial animal themselves.

2. Taking animals out for a walk

Animals have more strength and power than children. Sometimes children take their animals out for a walk, and animals run away either by hitting or breaking loose, and thus they go missing. So, children should not take animal out alone.

3. Teasing animals

Some children pull the ears or tail of animals with force unnecessarily causing trouble to them. It is a sinful act to cause trouble to the animals without any reason. Moreover, such acts infuriate them and they may hit too. As the sacrificial animals not usually feel attached to the buyers, some of them become panicky having seen new places and strangers; on the other hand, while showing bravery, some children try to go near the animals to touch them and end up in their own loss.

O our Beloved Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! Grant us Taufeeq (ability) to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha in a graceful manner.

اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

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What happened to the ones with elephants?

When teacher ‘Shaahid’ entered the classroom, he was looking very happy. Some students also noticed it. He taught students a lesson on whiteboard for a while then he closed the book and sat down on his chair with satisfaction.

Hassaan: Sir! What is the matter, today, you are looking so happy?

Teacher (Shaahid): Yes! There is a big reason but first of all tell me which this month is.

Many students unanimously said: “August”

Teacher (Shaahid): Now tell me. Which important event took place in this month?

All students remained silent, no one could figure out what to say.

Teacher (Shaahid): Our country Pakistan gained independence in this month and I become happy as soon as this month begins.

Muzzammil: When did Pakistan gain independence?

Teacher (Shaahid): 71 years ago from today, our country gained independence on August 14, 1947.

Hasanayn: Our country has gained independence a long time ago then why are we celebrating it now?

Teacher (Shaahid): No doubt, our country has gained independence many years ago but when the days and dates of certain celebrated events arrive every year, people revive the joyous moments and the realisation of gaining the blessing of Allah Almighty provides food for thought that what we were before, what our condition was; and now after gaining this blissful life, we express thankfulness to Allah Almighty abundantly. We decorate our houses and streets with flags and buntings and wear different badges on our clothes.

Mufeez: What is the benefit of planting flags?

Teacher (Shaahid): By planting green flags and buntings, we express our love for our country and inculcate a feeling of being one nation and one community as the way we are one in planting flags, similarly, we are also one nation in the time of difficulty. If any enemy attacks our country, we, as a one nation, will fight altogether with bravery and will also lay down our lives in due time but will not let anyone harm our beloved country.

Hassaan: I also want to ask a question.

Teacher (Shaahid): Sure, go ahead.

Hassaan: We celebrate 14th August every year and we also make good intentions every year. Haven’t we become good yet?

Teacher (Shaahid): Appreciated! You have asked a good question. Every one of us should keep trying to be good. If we have this perception that we have already become good then we will give up pondering on our mistakes and flaws.

Khalid: Apart from this, what are other acts that we should do on this day?

Teacher (Shaahid): We should especially make Du’a for the safety of our country and nation, and concentrate on our study so that we could brighten the name of our country and nation in the entire world. I have talked to the principal; by tomorrow, the whole school will be decorated with green flags and buntings.

Hasanayn: Our street has been decorated yesterday and some flags were also hoisted in some houses. Sir! It was so pleasing to see all this, and it made me happy.

Teacher (Shaahid): Every person must become happy on the independence of our country because independence of our country in fact is our independence and the honour of our country in fact is our honour. So, will all the students plant a flag in their houses?

Students said: We will do it today right away.

Faces of students were lighted up with happiness and their voice was giving a glimpse of a firm resolve to do something for the country.

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