Day 28 – Sūrat al-Fil

Brief Info
Sūrat al-Fīl No. 105. Revealed in Makkah, 5 verses. The sūra refers to the incident of the army of elephants that tried to attack the Ka‘bah in the year the Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam was born. It is a reminder of Allah ‘azza wajall’s power for tyrants of all times.

Merits of reciting the Sūra
Imam al-Sadiq ‘alayhis-salām has said: Whoever recites Sūrat al-Fīl in his obligatory prayers, every land, mountain and lump of earth will bear witness for him on the Day of Judgement that he has been one of those who offered prayers. On that Day, a caller will call out, ‘You are right about My servant. I accept your witnessing, for him or against him. Let him enter Paradise without any accounting. Surely, I like him and his actions.

Note: According to scholars such a huge reward will be for those who refrain from being proud and work to please Allah.

This sūra and the sūra that follows it, Sūrat al-Quraysh, are considered as one sūra. Both need to be recited after al-Fātiha in the qirā’at of wājib prayers.

Synopsis of contents
The sūra talks about how Abraha’s plan to destroy the Ka‘bah with an army of elephants was thwarted by an army of birds with pebbles in their beaks.

Some Lessons from the Sūra
1) The power of Allah and His plan always prevails.
2) Human beings think they are mighty, but they are actually very weak.
3) Allah uses small agents to overcome powerful forces.

Select verses for memorization in Arabic and English.
It would be recommended that the entire sūra be memorized.

Activity for self-study
There is an interesting story about Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet (s) and his meeting with Abraha. Check it at

Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsir Namūne; M. H. Shakir, Holy Qur’an Translation; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English.

Past lessons of Sūra Familiarization available at:

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