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"al-Fil" is also the name of a "sura" by the unsuccessful would-be prophet Musaylimah.

Surat al-Fil (The Elephant) is the 105th chapter of the Qur'an. It is a Makkan sura consisting of 5 ayat. It describes the incidents of the Year of the Elephant, the year when Muhammad was born.

It forms a pair with the following sura, Quraish, reminding the Quraysh tribe who dominated Mecca of the favors that God had bestowed on them; indeed, it is said that in Ubayy ibn Ka'b 's copy of the Qur'an they were written together as a single sura. The Kaaba was central to the life of Quraish, being a center of pilgrimage which brought much trade and prestige; Surat al-Fil describes how God saved the Kaaba from destruction, while surat Quraish describes God as Lord of that Kaaba and urges Quraish to worship Him so that, among other things, He should protect them on their trading journeys.


Pickthall translation:

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

  1. Hast thou not seen how thy Lord dealt with the owners of the Elephant?
  2. Did He not bring their stratagem to naught,
  3. And send against them swarms of flying creatures,
  4. Which pelted them with stones of baked clay,
  5. And made them like green crops devoured (by cattle)?

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Last updated: 09-03-2005 18:37:12