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Title: Al-Fil  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Abraha, Year of the Elephant, Cultural depictions of elephants, Devil (Islam), Fil
Collection: Suras
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


  Sura 105 of the Quran  
The Elephant

Arabic text · English translation

Classification Meccan
Number of verses 5

Sūrat al-Fīl (Arabic: سورة الفيل‎, "The Elephant") is the 105th chapter (sura) of the Quran. It is a Meccan sura consisting of 5 verses.


The year of Muhammad's birth is identified as 'the Year of the Elephant', when Mecca was attacked by Abraha accompanied by an elephant. Quranic exegetes interpreted that God saved the Meccans from this force by sending a swarm of birds that pelted the invaders with clay stones and drove them away. A number of other interpretations exist.[1] [2]

There is uncertainty about the origin of the word sijjīl (lumps of hard clay) in verse 4. The etymologies proposed for sijjīl include the Persian sang and gil ('stone' and 'clay'), or Aramaic sgyl ('smooth altar stone'), or Syriac sīgīliyon ('seal, diploma').[3] In the Quran 'sijjīl' occurs in two other verses: 11:82 and 15:74.


  1. ^ Leaman, ed. by Oliver (2008). The Qur'an : an encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 129.  
  2. ^ Mir, Mustansir (2005). "Elephants, Birds of Prey, and Heaps of Pebbles: Farāhī's Interpretation of Sūrat al-Fīl". Journal of Qur'anic Studies 7 (1): 33–47.  
  3. ^ Rippin, Andrew (editor) (2007). .The Blackwell Companion to the Qur'an Oxford: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 137-138. ISBN 1405178442

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