Prayer Time

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All the praises and thanks be to Allah the sole revealer of the glorious Qur’an as a book of perfect guidance. May his salutations and benedictions be upon the beloved prophet, his family and companions.

Among the great events that occurred prior to the advent of Islam, is the event of the destruction of the army of Abrahah. Abrahah was a king who claimed divinity and hence built a house intending to divert pilgrims who go for pilgrimage at the sacred house of Allah in Makkah to his house. He matches forth to Makkah to destroy the kaaba so as to achieve his aim. His army consisted of thousands of warriors and elephants. Allah destroys them and reduced them to ashes. This year became known in the history of pre-Islamic Arabia as the Year of the Elephant. It was in this very year the holy Prophet of Islam peace and blessings of Allah be upon him was born.

In this short article we shall look at a chapter of the glorious which was revealed on this event and the lessons that could be derived from it.

[In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.]

1) أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِأَصْحَابِ الْفِيلِ

[Have you (O Muhammad) not seen how your Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant?]

2) أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِي تَضْلِيلٍ

[Did He not make their plot go astray?]

3) وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا أَبَابِيلَ

[And He sent against them birds, in flocks,]

4) تَرْمِيهِم بِحِجَارَةٍ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ

[Striking them with stones of Sijjîl (baked clay).]

5) فَجَعَلَهُمْ كَعَصْفٍ مَّأْكُولٍ

[And He made them like (an empty field of) stalks (of which the corn) has been eaten up (by cattle)]

Purpose of revelation.

Hazrat Abu Taleb asks Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – are you a Prophet for all, he replies, for all – Persians, Romans, all. When Quraiysh heard this, they said…Persians and Romans will snatch our land away and break the Ka’ba to stones. At this point, Sura al Feel was revealed (in order to tell them that no one could accomplish such an action). The event was well known throughout Arabia, it did not come to light through this revelation. When the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) recited these verses for the pagans of Mecca no one denied it. If it were a doubtful matter, at least a group of people would reject it and that rejection, like their other rejections, would be recorded in history, especially since the Qur'an has stated the matter with the phrase /a lam tara/, 'Have you not seen?'. This word is a strong word, and it means that the incident it indicates has happened FOR SURE.


Some lessons learnt:


- This House Has An Owner.

This miraculous punishment has a clear difference with the miracles that happened for the punishment of other disobedient nations such as in Noah's Flood, a shower of stones for Lot's people, the storm for 'Ad's people, and lightning for Thamood's people. They were a series of natural happenings which were miracles only in those special circumstances, but the story of Abrahah and the birds pelting his army with little stones from their beaks and claws is not something like a natural event.


- The Gravest Punishment by the Least Means!

Still, sometimes Allah gives these grand missions to some smaller agents to perform. For example, He commissions a microbe, which is never visible to the naked eye, to increase into a very large, massive number through reproduction, in a very short time. Then, they infect the strong members of a society or societies with a dangerous, contagious disease, like a plague, during a short length of time which destroys them all, rapidly. This is the Power of Allah when He wills.

- Prophet recited this to the Quraysh – it indirectly conveyed the meaning to them that since the Prophet is Allah’s beloved (even more so than the Ka’ba) that those who plot to harm him will be destroyed as well.


Purpose of Al Feel:

- The relation between Al Quraysh and Al Feel (Feel is immediately followed by Quraysh) – Al Quraysh is about remembering blessings of Allah – it supplements argument of Al Feel that had the Ka’ba been destroyed all their security and blessings would go away. This was used as an argument in the book‘Genuineness of the Holy Quran’ by Mirza Mahdi Puya to prove that no disarrangement has happened in the Quran’s ordering. He says though the Surahs are separated by a Bismillah in between, they are essentially one, because Feel’s argument is made stronger by Quraysh’s argument.

- On the other hand, this event, which was nearly close to the time of the birth of the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), in fact, paved the way for that great advent, and was the messenger of the importance of that rising. This is the same thing that is called /irhaas/ 'indication' by commentators (something Allah causes to happen in lifetime of a Prophet is Mo’jizah, before their birth it is ‘Irhaas’…therefore many believe this incident signalled a big change to come.

- Warning to all arrogant ones in the world, whether they are from the Quraysh or not, to know that they can never stand against the Power of Allah.




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