Owners of the Elephant (Part-2)

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Ibn Ishaq said: It is said that when 'Abdul Muttalib entered upon Abraha he was accompanied with Ya'mur Ibn Nafa'ah Ibn 'Adiy Ibn Ad-Dail Ibn Bakr Ibn 'Abd Manah Ibn Kinanah the chief of the Banu Bakr tribe and Khuwailid Ibn Wa'ilah the chief of the Hudhail tribe who offered Abraha one-third of the properties of Tihamah district in return for his going back and leaving the Ka'bah alone. But, Abraha refused their offer. Ibn Ishaq added: "I am not certain about the authenticity of this!"

When 'Abdul Muttalib returned home he told the Quraishites about what happened between him and Abraha and ordered them to evacuate Mecca and move to the mountains. Then, he accompanied with some men stood holding the ring of the Ka ' bah' s door invoking Allah and seeking His Aid against Abraha and his troops.

Ibn Ishaq said: then, 'Abdul Muttalib let the door's ring and set out with his companions to the mountains seeking shelter and awaiting for what would happen next. In the morning, Abraha got prepared to enter Mecca, and got his elephant and troops prepared. The elephant's name was Mahmoud. When he was directed towards Mecca, Nufail Ibn Habib came near him and whispered in his ear: Kneel down Mahmoud and go back home safe, you are in Allah's Sacred Town. He let go his ear and the elephant kneeled down.

As-Suhaili said: this means that the elephant fell to the ground, as elephants do not kneel down. It is said: that some elephants might kneel down just as camels. And, Allah Knows Best.

Nufail Ibn Habib went away and climbed up the mount till he was far and safe. The Abyssinians beat the elephant forcing him to stand up to his feet, but he refused. They hit his head with axe-like weapons, but he refused. They tried their best to force him to stand up to his feet, but they could not. They directed his face back towards the Yemen and he stood up and ran thereto. They directed him towards the Sham (Syria) and then towards the east and he stood up to his feet and ran thereto. They again directed him towards Mecca, but he refused. Thereupon, Allah the Almighty sent upon them birds from the seaside resembling hawks. Each bird held three stones: one in his beak and two in his two legs. The stones were like chick-peas and lentils, and none from among the Abyssinians was hit by a stone, but he was killed. Moreover, the birds did not hit them all. The rest of them fled away seeking the way they first came from and asking about Nufail Ibn Habib to guide them back to Yemen.

Ibn Ishaq said: the Abyssinians fled away while death pursuing them on every path and in every way and Abraha was hit with a stone as well. They carried him and his body began to tear up part after part till they reached San'aa. After a short while, his chest cracked (as claimed by historians) and he died.

Ibn Ishaq said: I have been told by Ya' qub Ibn 'Utbah that that year was the first in which measles, small-box, and bitter trees such as colocynth and African rue appeared in the Arab Peninsula.

To read the next part of this story, click here.

By: Ibn Katheer Translated by Ali As-Sayed Al-Halawani

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