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Al-Fil

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This article is about the chapter of the Qur'an translated to English as "The Elephant." For other uses, see Elephant (disambiguation).

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

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

It forms a pair with the following sura, Quraish, reminding the Quraysh tribe who dominated Mecca of the favors that Allah had bestowed on them; indeed, it is said that in Uthman'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.

This Surah discusses how the people of the elephant were destroyed, because of their plotting against the Ka'ba. Allah sent birds against these people, and these birds destroyed the people and the elephants they had brought for their task. These birds threw many, many stones of baked clay at the elephants and the people, which led to their stoppage. This story emphasizes the power of Allah against which no plot can win.

"Al-Fil" is also the name of a "sura" by the false prophet Musaylimah.

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